So, I just read an e-mail someone sent to me concerning 1 Corinthians 3:19. The person is a Flat Earther and they ended the e-mail with the ISV version of this verse:

I Corinthians 3:19 (International Standard Version) For the wisdom of this world is nonsense in God’s sight. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise with their own trickery.

So, I looked it up in several translations myself. Of course starting with the KJV:

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

Nearly all of the various translations read pretty close to the same.

The word for “foolishness” in the KJV is Strong’s # 3472: Original Word: μωρία, ας, ἡ Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: mória Phonetic Spelling: (mo-ree’-ah) Short Definition: folly, absurdity Definition: folly, absurdity, foolishness.

ISV chose to translate it as “nonsense.” Absurd foolishness is indeed nonsense even if that’s not the direct translation of the word from the concordance. It’s a reasonable synonym.

The word “craftiness” in the KJV and several others comes from Strongs # 3834:

Original Word: πανουργία, ας, ἡ Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: panourgia Phonetic Spelling: (pan-oorg-ee’-ah) Short Definition: cunning, craftiness Definition: shrewdness, skill; hence: cunning, craftiness.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance cunning, craftiness, subtilty. From panougos; adroitness, i.e. (in a bad sense) trickery or sophistry — (cunning) craftiness, subtilty.

HELPS Word-studies 3834 panourgía (from 3956 /pás, “every” and 2041 /érgon, “deed”) – properly, every (evil) work; (figuratively) crafty behavior; unscrupulous cunning that stops at nothing to achieve a selfish goal.

“The man who practices panourgia (-pan + ergon) is ready to do anything, up to every trick” (P. Hughs, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 123).

NAS Exhaustive Concordance Word Origin from panourgos Definition cleverness, craftiness NASB Translation craftiness (4), trickery (1).

VVeerrryyyy innnnteresssstinnnnnggg…