The following is an excerpt from my Master’s thesis on first Corinthians 1: 17-25. This will be a quick discussion on the phrase “Christ crucified” found in verse 23.
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. . . This phrase serves as the content of the proclamation of foolishness, back in verse 21. The term Christ crucified is a perfect passive participle, and it is functioning as a adjectival- substantive participle, meaning the one who was crucified. The perfect participle carries the force of, ” … describing an event that, completed in the past … ,” and “… has results existing in the present time” (Wallace, “Greek Grammar beyond the Basics,” 573). Thus Christ crucified carries with it the notion that Christ’s crucifixion stands as a past reality with its effects coming into the present. Lenski succinctly summarizes this phraseology:
The perfect participle Christ crucified states that, one crucified, Christ now stands before us continuously as such. The fact of his crucifixion has become something permanent and enduring from the very moment when that fact occurred. This crucified Christ is both the sum of the Gospel and the Center from which every part of the Gospel radiates, and in which all of its parts meet (Lenski, “The Interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second Epistle to the Corinthians,” 66).
The proclamation of Christ crucified is what serves as a stumbling block to the Jews and as folly to the Greeks.