1 Corinthians 12 – Fam, Get Bodied

I’m disappointed. Paul, introducing the topic of spiritual gifts in today’s passage, says, “You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the dumb idols” (2). At least, that’s how my dad’s NASB, the brown-covered one you see in all the photographs, puts it. And I say to myself, yeah! Idols are stupid idiots! You know Paul knows his Isaiah and his Psalms. But then I turn to the NASB on Bible Gateway, and it puts it as “mute idols.” And I check the Greek, and sure enough, the word indicates an inability to speak, not moronicity. The word literally means “voiceless.” Which is still in the spirit of those Old Testament critiques of idolatry; wood can’t speak, gold has no spirit. But man, I thought Paul was straight-up throwing some shade at idols’ intellectual capabilities.