1 Corinthians 1:17-2:2

In this pericope, Bailey identifies the chiasmsus, contrasting the preaching of flowery rhetoric to the simple but powerful preaching of the cross of Jesus Christ. Preaching the cross of Jesus Christ forms the crux of this passage, and it is surrounded by undermining the effectiveness of wise words.

Basic outline

I. Wise words and wise people are inadequate [Needed: the cross] (1:17-20)

    II. The Power and wisdom of God in the Cross (1:21-26a)

III. Wise words and wise people are inadequate [Needed: the cross] (1:26b-2:2)


Detailed Chiasmus

1:17.a For Christ did not send me to baptize
b. but to preach the gospel,
c. not with wise words,
d. lest it be emptied of its power, the cross of Christ.

    1:23. but we preach Christ crucified

2:1-2. a. And I came to you brethren,
c. not in lofty words or wisdom,
b. proclaiming to you the mystery of God.
d. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Bibliographic Reference

Bibliographic Reference: 

Bailey KE. Paul through Mediterranean Eyes, 73-74.