corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.10.16
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
1 Corinthians 2

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 2

1 Corinthians 2:1. μαρτύριον] A C א*, min.(301) Syr(302) Copt. and some Fathers: ΄υστήριον. Approved by Griesb. and Ewald, adopted also by Rückert. A gloss written on the margin from 1 Corinthians 2:7. Had ΄αρτύριον crept in from 1 Corinthians 1:6, the witnesses which have it would read also τοῦ χριστοῦ instead of τ. θεοῦ; but this occurs only in very few, some of which, besides, have ΄υστήριον.—1 Corinthians 2:2. τὶ εἰδέναι] Elz. τοῦ εἰδέναι τι. But τοῦ is wanting in decisive witnesses; that τι should be put first is rendered certain by B C, min(303) Bas. Cyr. Isid. Chrys. Hil. Victorin. Aug., also D E (which have τὶ ἐν ὑμῖν εἰδέναι); and the external attestation must decide here.—1 Corinthians 2:3. καὶ ἐγώ] Lachm. and Rückert read κἀγώ, with A B C א, min(304) Or. Bas. al(305) Taken from 1 Corinthians 2:1.—1 Corinthians 2:4. After πειθοῖς Elz. has ἀνθρωπίνης, against preponderating evidence. Addition from 1 Corinthians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 2:13. In reply to Heydenreich’s unfounded defence of the word, see Reiche, Comment. crit. I. p. 134.

The readings which alter πειθοῖς ( πειθοῖ: 1, 18*, 48, al(306) Or. Eus. al(307); πειθανοῖς, Macar.), and those which either leave out λόγοις (F G, 74, al(308) Erp. Boern. Ambrosiast. Sedul.) or alter it ( λόγων: Syr(309) Armen. Or. twice over, and several others: λόγον), are old shifts resorted to on failure to understand πειθοῖς, as also the short reading ἐν πειθο͂ σοφίας must be so accounted. See the exegetical remarks, and Reiche, p. 133.—1 Corinthians 2:7. The order of the words θεοῦ σοφίαν (Elz. and Matth. invert it) is decisively attested, as also the order in 1 Corinthians 2:10 : ἀπεκάλ. θεός.1 Corinthians 2:9. In place of the second , Lachm. and Tisch. have ὅσα, with A B C and some Fathers.(310) Rightly; is a mechanical repetition from what goes before.—1 Corinthians 2:10. Instead of δέ Tisch. reads γάρ, supported only by B, min(311) Copt. Sahid. Clem.

αὐτοῦ] is wanting in A B C א, Copt. Clem. Bas. Cyr. It is deleted by Lachm. and Rückert. But considering the independent τὸ γὰρ πνεῦμα which follows, it would have been more natural to omit αὐτοῦ or to add ἁγίου (so Didym.) than to insert αὐτοῦ.—1 Corinthians 2:11. ἔγνωκεν is, in accordance with the vast preponderance of evidence, approved by Griesb. and adopted by Lachm. Tisch. and Rückert. Elz., however, Matth. and Scholz, have οἶδεν. Repetition of the preceding οἶδεν, done mechanically or by way of gloss. In favour of ἔγνωκεν there is also the reading ἔγνω in F G, 23, and Fathers.—1 Corinthians 2:13. πνεύματος] Elz. adds ἁγίου, against decisive evidence to the contrary. A superfluous and weakening definition.—1 Corinthians 2:15. The μέν after ἀνακρ. in Elz. and Scholz (deleted by Lachm. Tisch. and Rück.) is wanting in A C D* F G, 17, and many VSS(312) and Fathers. It has arisen from the δέ which follows. In א* the whole verse is omitted through Homoioteleuton. א** has μέν.

τὰ πάντα] so also Rück. and Tisch.; Lachm. brackets τά; Elz. and Scholz have simply πάντα. But τά is attested by A C D, min(313) Ir. ms. Or. Nyss. Chrys.; πάντα is an old correction of the text, with the view of bringing in the masculine to correspond with the οὐδενός which comes after; hence, too, Didym. and Theodoret have πάντας.—1 Corinthians 2:16. χριστοῦ] Lachm. has κυρίου, with B D* F G, Theophyl. Ambrosiast. Aug. Sedul. Mechanical repetition of the preceding κυρίου. Had κυρίου been the original reading and explained by a gloss, the substitute for it would have been not χριστοῦ, but θεοῦ, seeing that every marginal annotator must have been aware from Isaiah 40:13 that the preceding κυρίου referred to God.


Verse 1

1 Corinthians 2:1. κἀγώ] I too, as is the duty, in accordance with the previous explanation (1 Corinthians 1:17-31), of every preacher of the gospel. The construction is such, that καθʼ ὑπεροχὴν κ. τ. λ(314) belongs to καταγγ., as indicating the mode adopted in the καταγγέλλειν: I too, when I came to you, brethren, came proclaiming to you, not upon the footing of a pre-eminence of speech (eloquence) or wisdom (philosophy), the testimony of God. Against connecting the words it this way (which is done also by Castalio, Bengel, and others, Pott, Heydenreich, Schrader, de Wette, Osiander, Ewald), it is objected that ἐλθὼν ἦλθον gives an intolerable tautology. But this is of no weight (see the passages in Bernhardy, p. 475; Bornemann, a(315) Cyrop. v. 3. 2; Sauppe, a(316) Anab. iv. 2. 21 comp on Acts 7:34), and would, besides, apply to the construction ἦλθον οὐ σοφίας, καταγγέλλων (Luther, Erasmus, Calvin, Grotius, and others, including Flatt, Rückert, Hofmann); further, it is more natural and more in accordance with the sense to think in connection with καθʼ ὑπεροχὴν κ. τ. λ(318) of the manner of the preaching than of the manner of the coming. For that reason, too, ἦλθον is not placed after σοφίας. The preposition κατά, again, to express mode (Winer, p. 375 [E. T. 501]), is quite according to rule; comp καθʼ ὑπερβολήν, κατὰ κράτος, and the like.

As to ὑπεροχή, eminentia, comp 1 Timothy 2:2; Plat. Legg. iv. p. 711 D Def. 416; Arist. Pol. iv. 9. 5. Also κακῶν ὑπεροχή, 2 Maccabees 13:6.

καταγγέλλων] Paul might have used the future, but the present participle places the thing more vividly before us as already begun with the ἦλθον. So especially often ἀγγέλλων (Valck. a(321) Phoen. 1082); e.g. Xen. Hell. ii. 1. 29: ἐς τὰς ἀθήνας ἔπλευσεν, ἀγγέλλουσα τὰ γεγονότα, Plat. Phaed. p. 116 C, and Stallbaum in loc(322) See, in general, Winer, p. 320 f. [E. T. 429 f.]; Dissen, a(323) Pindar. Ol. vii. 14.

τὸ μαρτύρ. τοῦ θεοῦ] in substance not different from τ. μαρτ. τ. χριστοῦ, 1 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:8. For the preachers of the gospel give testimony of God, as to what He has done, namely, in Christ for the salvation of men. Comp 1 Corinthians 15:15. In accordance with 1 Corinthians 1:6, the genitive is not, with Calvin, Bengel, Osiander, and Hofmann, to be taken subjectively, as in 1 John 5:9 f.


Verses 1-5

1 Corinthians 2:1-5. Application of the foregoing section (1 Corinthians 1:17-31) to the manner in which Paul had come forward as a teacher in Corinth.


Verse 2

1 Corinthians 2:2. For I did not resolve (did not set it before me as part of my undertaking) to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and that the crucified, i.e. to mix up other kinds of knowledge with the proclamation of Jesus Christ, etc.(325) Had Paul not disdained this and not put aside all other knowledge, his καταγγέλλειν would not have remained free from ὑπεροχὴ λόγου σοφίας. The ordinary reference of the negation to τι: I resolved to know nothing, etc., is in arbitrary opposition to the words (so, however, Pott, Flatt, Rückert, Osiander, Ewald). In ἔκρινα Calvin and Grotius find too much, since the text does not give it: magnum duxi; Hofmann again, too little, with Luther and others: I judged, was of opinion; for Paul could indeed discard and negative in his own case the undertaking to know something, but not the judgment that he did know something. His self-determination was, not to be directed to know, etc. Comp 1 Corinthians 7:37; 2 Corinthians 2:1; Romans 14:13; κρῖναί τι καὶ προθέσθαι, Polyb. iii. 6. 7; Wisdom of Solomon 8:9; 1 Maccabees 11:33; 2 Maccabees 6:14, al(327) He might have acted otherwise, had he proposed to himself to do so.

τὶ εἰδέναι] πρὸς ἀντιδιαστολὴν τῆς ἔξωθεν εἴρηται σοφίας· οὐ γὰρ ἦλθον συλλογισμοὺς πλέκων, οὐδὲ σοφίσματα, οὐδʼ ἄλλο τι λέγων ὑμῖν, ὅτι χριστὸς ἐσταυρώθη, Chrysostom. But the giving up of everything else is far more powerfully expressed by εἰδέναι (comp Arrian, Epict. ii. 1) than if Paul had said λέγειν or λαλεῖν. He was not disposed, when among the Corinthians, to be conscious of anything else but Christ. The notion of permission (Rückert), which might be conveyed in the relation of the infinitive to the verb (see Lobeck, a(329) Phryn. p. 753; Kühner, a(330) Xen. Mem. ii. 2. 1; Anab. v. 7. 34), would here only weaken the force of the statement. Were τοῦ εἰδέναι τι the correct reading (but see the critical remarks), the right rendering of the genitive would not be: so that (Billroth), but: I made no resolution, in order to know anything. Comp on Acts 27:1.

κ. τοῦτ. ἐσταυρ.] notwithstanding the offence therein implied for Jew and Gentile, 1 Corinthians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 1:23. Comp Galatians 6:14.


Verse 3-4

1 Corinthians 2:3-4. After the probative sentence, 1 Corinthians 2:2, Paul takes up again the connection of 1 Corinthians 2:1, and that with the simple καί: And I for my part (with others it may have been different!) fell into weakness and into much fear and trembling among you ( πρὸς ὑμ.; see on John 1:1).

γίγνεσθαι ἐν, to fall into a state, etc. (and to be in it); so Thuc. i. 78. 1; Plato, Prot. p. 314 C Dem. p. 179, ult. Comp Luke 22:44; 1 Maccabees 1:27; 2 Maccabees 7:9; Hist. Sus. 8. We might also join πρὸς ὑμᾶς to ἐγενόμην, not, indeed, in the way in which Hofmann interprets it, as if for ἐγενόμην there stood ἤμην (Mark 14:49), but in the sense: I arrived among you (2 John 1:12, and see generally, Fritzsche, Ind. ad Lucian. Dial. Deor. p. 85; Nägelsbach on the Iliad, p. 295, ed. 3); 1 Corinthians 2:4, however, shows that what is here spoken of is not again (1 Corinthians 2:1) the coming thither, but the state when there.

The three phrases, ἀσθ., φόβος, and τρόμος, depict the deep bashfulness with which Paul was in Corinth, through his humble sense of the disproportion between his own powers and the great enterprise to which his conscientiousness kept him bound. In facing it he felt himself very weak, and was in fear and trembling. As for want of natural strength of will and determination, of which Hofmann speaks, there were no signs of anything of the kind in Paul, even judging from his experience at Athens; and no such weakness betrays itself in Acts 18:4-11. The connection forbids us from thinking, with Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Erasmus, Cornelius a Lapide, Grotius, and others, of the sufferings and persecutions ( ἀσθ.), and of the apprehension of dangers, which he had to undergo in Corinth; for the text hints nothing of persecutions and dangers, and these would not necessarily furnish the motive for simplicity in preaching (1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 2:4 f.), nay, might even excite to the greater rhetorical exertion. The weakness, etc., was of a deep ethical nature, being based on the entire renunciation of human wisdom and strength (1 Corinthians 2:5). Other exegetes wrongly understand ἀσθενεία even of bodily weakness, either generally sickliness (Rückert), or more especially weakness in the chest and voice (Storr, comp Rosenmüller).

φόβος κ. τρόμος] always denote with Paul (comp also Psalms 2:11) the deeply vivid and keen apprehension of humility, lest it should be unable to meet the emergency concerned. See 2 Corinthians 7:15; Philippians 2:12; Ephesians 6:5.

λόγος μου κ. τ. κήρυγμά μου] are indeed emphatically separated from each other by the repetition of the μου; but it is an arbitrary distinction to make the former of the two refer to the form, the latter to the contents (Heydenreich), or the former to the privata, the latter to the publica institutio (so Rückert and the majority of commentators). The former is the more general expression, the latter the particular: my speech generally (comp 2 Corinthians 10:10), and especially my public preaching.

οὐκ ἐν πειθοῖς σοφ. λόγοις] sc(337) ἦν, non versabatur in, did not move in the element of persuasive words of wisdom, such words as are philosophically arranged and thereby fitted to persuade. πειθός is found nowhere else in the whole range of extant Greek literature, πιθανός being the word in use (Xen. Cyr. vi. 4. 5; Thuc. iv. 21; Dem. 928. 14; Josephus, Antt. viii. 9; and the passages from Plato in Ast, Lex. III. p. 102. Meineke, Menand. p. 222). πειθός, however, is formed from πείθω by correct analogy as φειδός from φείδομαι, etc. Comp Salmasius, de ling. Hellenist, p. 86; Reiche, Comment. crit. I. p. 136 f. It was in all likelihood an adjective belonging only to the colloquial language of common life. Kypke, indeed (Obss. II. p. 193), would find some trace of it in Plato, Gorg. p. 493 A but what we have there is a play on the words τὸ πιθανόν and πίθος, a cask, which has no connection whatever with πειθός. Pasor and Schrader make πειθοῖς to be the dative plural of πειθώ, suada, and what follows to be in apposition to it: in persuasions, in words of wisdom. But the plural of πειθώ also has no existence; and how abrupt such an apposition would be, as well as wholly at variance with the parallel in 1 Corinthians 2:13! The following are simply conjectures (comp the critical remarks): Beza and Erasmus Schmid (after Eusebius), ἐν πειθοῖ σοφίας λόγων; Grotius, ἐν πιστοῖς κ. τ. λ(340); Valckenaer, Klose, and Kühn (Commentat. a(341) 1 Cor. ii. 1–5, Lips. 1784), ἐν πιθανοῖς or πειθανοῖς κ. τ. λ(342) (comp also Alberti, Schediasm. p. 105); Alberti, ἐν πειθοῦς (suadae) σ. λόγοις, or (so, too, Semler, Flatt, Rinck, Fritzsche in the Hall. Lit. Zeit. 1840, Nr. 100) ἐν πειθοῖ σοφίας (without λόγοις).

ἐν ἀποδείξει πνεύματος κ. δυνάμεως] Without there being any necessity for explaining the two genitives by a ἓν διὰ δυοῖν as equivalent to πνεύματος δυνατοῦ (so still Pott, Flatt, Billroth, Olshausen, Maier, with older expositors), the meaning may, according to our interpretation of ἀπόδειξις and to our taking the genitives in an objective or subjective sense, be either: so that I evinced Spirit and power (so Vatablus and others, with Pott and Billroth); or: so that Spirit and power made themselves known through me (Calvin: “in Pauli ministerio … quasi nuda Dei manus se proferebat”); or: so that Spirit and power gave the proof (Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Neander, and Maier, following older commentators). The latter is most in keeping with the purposely-chosen expression ἀπόδειξις (found here only in the N. T.; Dem. 326. 4; Plato, Phaed. p. 77 C, Theaet. p. 162 E, and often; 3 Maccabees 4:20), and with the significant relation to οὐκ ἐν πειθοῖς σ. λόγοις. Paul means the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10 ff.) and the divine power communicating itself therein, 1 Corinthians 2:5 (Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:5), which wrought through his preaching upon the minds of men, persuading them of its truth,—the testimonium Spiritus Sancti internum.(344) At variance with the text is the view of several of the older expositors (following Origen, contra Celsum, i. p. 5), who refer πνεύματος to the oracles of the O. T., and δυνάμ. to the miracles of the apostle; as well as the view of Grotius, that the former applies to the prophecies, and the latter to the cures, by means of which Paul had given the ἀπόδειξις.


Verse 5

1 Corinthians 2:5. Aim of the divine leading, the organ of which the apostle knew himself to be, in what is set forth in 1 Corinthians 2:4 : in order that your faith (in Christ) may be based, have its causal ground (comp Bernhardy, p. 210), not on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power (which has brought conviction to you through my speech and preaching). That ἵνα introduces not his own (Hofmann), but the divine purpose, is clear from ἐν ἀποδείξει κ. τ. λ(346), in which Paul has stated how God had wrought through him. Comp ἵνα in 1 Corinthians 1:31.


Verse 6

1 Corinthians 2:6. Wisdom, nevertheless (unphilosophical as my discourse among you was), we deliver among the perfect.

λαλοῦμεν] we speak it out, hold it not back. That the plural does not refer to Paul alone (so usually), but to the apostolic teachers in general, is clear from the καὶ ἐγώ in 1 Corinthians 3:1, which introduces the particular application of the plural statement here.

ἐν means nothing else than in, surrounded by, among, coram; λαλεῖν ἐν corresponds to the λαλεῖν with the dative in 1 Corinthians 3:1. We must therefore reject not only the rendering for the perfect (Flatt, with older expositors), which is in itself linguistically untenable (for even in such passages as those cited by Bernhardy, p. 212, the local force of ἐν should be retained), but also the explanation: according to the judgment of the perfect (Grotius, Tittmann, de Spir. Dei mysterior. div. interprete, Lips. 1814, in the Syn. N. T. p. 285), which would have to be referred, with Billroth, to the conception of among, since the corresponding usage of ἐν ἐμοί, ἐν σοί, in the sense, according to my or thy view, applies exclusively to these particular phrases (Bernhardy, p. 211).

The τέλειοι (comp on Ephesians 4:13), who stand in contrast to the νήπιοι ἐν χριστῷ, are those who have penetrated beyond the position of beginners in Christian saving knowledge to the higher sphere of thorough and comprehensive insight. The σοφία, which is delivered to these, is the Christian analogue to philosophy in the ordinary sense of the word, the higher religious wisdom of Christianity, the presentation of which (1 Corinthians 12:8) is not yet appropriate for the beginners in the faith (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). The form of this instruction was that of spiritual discourse (1 Corinthians 2:13) framed under the influence of the holy πνεῦμα, but independent of the teachings of philosophic rhetoric; and its matter was the future relations of the Messianic kingdom (1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 2:12) in their connection with the divine counsel of redemption and its fulfilment in Christ, the μυστήρια τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν (Matthew 13:11),—that, which no eye hath seen, etc. Comp Bab. Sanhedr. f. xcix. 1 : “Quod ad mundum futurum: oculus non vidit, O Deus, praeter te.” The definitions now given(350) respecting the σοφία θεοῦ are the only ones that neither go beyond the text, nor are in the least degree arbitrary, while they comprehend also the doctrine of the κτίσις as regards its Messianic final destination, Romans 8,—that highest analogue to the philosophy of nature. It may be gathered, however, with certainty from 1 Corinthians 3:1-2, that we are not to think here of any disciplina arcani. With the main point in our view as a whole,—namely, that σοφία denotes that higher religious wisdom, and τέλειοι those already trained in Christian knowledge, grown up, as it were, to manhood,

Erasmus, Castalio, Estius, Bengel, Semler, Stolz, as well as Pott, Usteri, Schrader, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Ewald, Neander, Maier, Hofmann, accord. Chrysostom, however, Theophylact, Theodoret, Luther, Calvin, Beza, Grotius, Rosenmüller, and others, including Tittmann, Flatt, Billroth, and Olshausen, understand by the τέλειοι the Christians generally, or the true Christians, to whom the apostle’s doctrine ( σοφίαν λέγει τὸ κήρυγμα καὶ τὸν τρόπον τῆς σωτηρίας, τὸ διὰ σταυροῦ σωθῆναι, τελείους δὲ τοὺς πεπιστευκότας, Chrysostom), appeared as wisdom, not as folly. “Ea dicimus quae plena esse sapientiae judicabunt veri ac probi Christiani,” Grotius. But 1 Corinthians 3:2 is decisive against this view; for there γάλα denotes the instruction of beginners as distinguished from the σοφία ( βρῶμα). Comp the appropriate remarks of Castalio on this passage.

σοφίαν δὲ οὐ τ. αἰῶν. τ.] wisdom, however, which does not belong to this age ( δέ, as in Romans 3:22; Romans 9:30; Galatians 2:2; Philippians 2:8), which is not, like the Jewish and Hellenic philosophy, the product and intellectual property of the pre-Messianic age. Comp 1 Corinthians 1:20. αἰῶνος τούτου σοφίαν ὀνομάζει τὴν ἔξω, ὡς πρόσκαιρον καὶ τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ συγκαταλυομένην, Theophylact.

οὐδέ] also (in particular) not.

τῶν ἀρχ. τ. αἰῶν τ.] These are the rulers generally (comp Acts 13:27), the dominant powers (proceres) of the pre-Messianic time among Jews and Gentiles. But to say that Paul’s meaning is that he does not teach politics (Grotius), is to limit his words in a way foreign to the connection; he affirms generally that the σοφία in question is a wisdom to which holders of temporal power are strangers. Comp 1 Corinthians 2:8. It is a mistake to explain the ἄρχ. τ. αἰῶν. τ. as referring either to influential philosophers and men of learning(355) (Theodoret, Theophylact, and others, including Pott; comp Neander: “the intellectual rulers of the ancient world”), or to the demons, connecting it with 2 Corinthians 4:4, John 12:31 (Marcion, Origen, some writers referred to by Chrysostom and Theophylact, also Ambrosiaster, Estius, Bertholdt), both of these interpretations being incompatible with the words, and forbidden by 1 Corinthians 2:8; or lastly, to the Jewish archontes alone (Cameron, Hammond, Vorstius, Lightfoot, Locke, Stolz, Rosenmüller), which is contrary to the general character of the expression, and not required by 1 Corinthians 2:8 (see on 1 Corinthians 2:8).

τῶν καταργ.] which are done away with, i.e. cease to subsist (1 Corinthians 1:28, 1 Corinthians 15:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14), namely, when Christ returning establishes His kingdom. Comp Revelation 16-19. This reference is implied in the context by the emphatic repetition of τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου. The expedient of explaining it into: “Whose power and influence are broken and brought to nought by the gospel,” Billroth (comp Flatt and Rückert), rationalizes the apostle’s conception, and does not even accord with history.

The present participle, as in 1 Corinthians 1:18. Comp 2 Corinthians 3:7.


Verses 6-16

1 Corinthians 2:6-16. Wisdom, however, we deliver among the perfect; but it is a higher wisdom revealed to us by the Spirit, which therefore only those filled with the Spirit, and not the sensuous, apprehend.

Paul having, in 1 Corinthians 1:17-31, justified the simple and non-philosophical method of proclaiming the gospel from the nature of its contents, and having now, in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, applied this to himself and his own preaching among the Corinthians, there might be attributed to him the view that what the preachers of the gospel set forth was no σοφία at all,—a supposition which, in writing to the Corinthians above all, he could not safely leave uncontradicted. He now shows, accordingly, that among ripened Christians there is certainly a σοφία delivered, but not a philosophy in the common, worldly sense, etc.


Verse 7

1 Corinthians 2:7. θεοῦ σοφίαν] God’s philosophy, of which God is the possessor, who has made it known to those who proclaim it, 1 Corinthians 2:10. This θεοῦ is with great emphasis prefixed; the repetition of λαλοῦμεν, too, carries with it a certain solemnity, comp Romans 8:15; Philippians 4:17.

ἐν ΄υστηρίῳ] does not belong to τὴν ἀποκεκρ. (with which it was connected expressly as early as Theodoret; comp Grotius: “quae diu in arcano recondita fuit”), but to λαλοῦ΄εν (Erasmus, Estius, Rückert, Schrader, de Wette, Osiander, Hofmann), not, however, in the sense: “secreto et apud pauciores” (Estius, Cornelius a Lapide), since there is no mention of a disciplina arcani (see on 1 Corinthians 2:6), but rather: by means of a secret, i.e. by our delivering what has been secret (a doctrine hidden from the human understanding, and revealed to us by God, see on Romans 11:25). To this is to be referred also the rendering of Rückert and Neander: as a mystery. Most interpreters, however, join ἐν μυστηρίῳ with σοφίαν, sc(362) οὖσαν: God’s secret wisdom (unknown but for revelation). So also Pott, Heydenreich, Billroth, Tittmann, Usteri, Ewald. But the article, although after the anarthrous σοφίαν not in itself absolutely necessary, would be omitted here at the expense of clearness. Paul would have expressed himself with ambiguity, while he might easily have avoided it by τὴν ἐν ΄υστηρίῳ. On the other hand, if he joined ἐν ΄υστ. to λαλοῦ΄εν, he could not, seeing that he wished to prefix λαλ. for the sake of emphasis, write otherwise.

τὴν ἀποκεκρ.] as respects its nature, by virtue of which it not only had been hidden from all preceding generations, but remained unknown apart from divine revelation. Comp 1 Corinthians 2:9-10; Romans 16:25. The word, which in itself might be dispensed with, is added in order to introduce the following statement with completeness and solemnity.

ἣν προώρ. θεὸς κ. τ. λ(364)] There is no ground here for supplying (with the majority of expositors, including Pott and Heydenreich) ἀποκαλύπτειν, γνωρίσαι, or the like, or (with Olshausen) a dative of the person; or yet for assuming, as do Billroth and Rückert, that Paul meant by ἥν the object of the wisdom, the salvation obtained through Christ. For προώρ. has its complete and logically correct reference in εἰς δόξαν ἡμ. (comp Ephesians 1:5), so that the thought is: “to which wisdom God has, before the beginning of the ages of this world (in eternity), given the predestination that by it we should attain to glory.” This εἰς δόξ. ἡμ. corresponds significantly to the τῶν καταργ. of 1 Corinthians 2:6, and denotes the Messianic glory of the Christians which is to begin with the Parousia (Romans 8:17; Romans 8:29 f.; 1 Thessalonians 2:12). That wisdom of God is destined in the eternal divine plan of salvation not to become (Hofmann) this glory, but to establish and to realize it. This destination it attains in virtue of the faith of the subjects (1 Corinthians 1:21); but the reference to the spiritual glorification on earth is not even to be assumed as included with the other (in opposition to de Wette, Osiander, Neander, and many older expositors), as also the correlative τῆς δόξης in 1 Corinthians 2:8 applies purely to the heavenly glory. Bengel says well: “olim revelandam, tum cum principes mundi destruentur.” It reveals itself then as the wisdom that makes blessed, having attained in the δόξα of believers the end designed for it by God before the beginning of the world.


Verse 8

1 Corinthians 2:8. ἥν] Parallel with the preceding ἥν, and referring to θεοῦ σοφίαν (Calvin, Grotius, and most commentators, including Flatt, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Hofmann), not to δόξ. ἡμῶν (Tertullian, contra Marc. v. 6, Camerarius, Pott, Billroth, Maier); for the essential point in the whole context is the non-recognition of that wisdom.(366)

εἰ γὰρ ἔγνωσαν κ. τ. λ(367)] parenthetical proof from fact for what has been just asserted; for the ἀλλά in 1 Corinthians 2:9 refers to ἣν οὐδεὶς ἔγνωκεν. The crucifixion of Christ, seeing that it was effected by Jewish and heathen rulers together, is here considered as the act of the ἄρχ. τ. αἰῶν. collectively.

τὸν κύριον τῆς δόξης] Christ is the Lord, and, inasmuch as His qualitative characteristic condition is that of the divine glory in heaven, from which He came and to which He has returned (John 17:5; Luke 24:26; Philippians 3:20 f.; Colossians 3:1-4, al(368)), the Lord of glory. Comp James 2:1. In a precisely analogous way God is called, in Ephesians 1:17, πατὴρ τῆς δόξης. Comp Acts 7:2; Psalms 24:7; Hebrews 9:5. In all these passages the expression of the adjectival notion by the genitive has rhetorical emphasis. Comp Hermann, a(372) Viger. p. 887. This designation of Christ, however, is purposely chosen by way of antithesis to ἐσταύρωσαν; for σταυρὸς ἀδοξίας εἶναι δοκεῖ, Chrysostom. Had the ἄρχοντες known that σοφία θεοῦ, then they would also have known Christ as what He is, the κύριος τῆς δόξης, and would have received and honoured instead of shamefully crucifying Him. But what was to them wisdom was simply nothing more than selfish worldly prudence and spiritual foolishness; in accordance with it Annas and Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod, acted. Comp., generally, Luke 23:34; Acts 3:17.


Verse 9

1 Corinthians 2:9. ἀλλά] but, antithesis to ἣν οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀρχόντων τ. αἰ. τ. ἔγνωκεν.

The passage of Scripture, which Paul now adduces, is to be translated: “What an eye hath not seen, nor an ear heard, and (what) hath not risen into the heart of a man, (namely:) all that God hath prepared for them that love Him.” In the connection of our passage these words are still dependent upon λαλοῦμεν. Paul, that is to say, instead of affirming something further of the wisdom itself, and so continuing with another ἥν (which none of the rulers have known, but which), describes now the mysterious contents of this wisdom, and expresses himself accordingly in the neuter form (by ), to which he was induced in the flow of his discourse by the similar form of the language of Scripture which floated before his mind. The construction therefore is not anacoluthic (Rückert hesitatingly; de Wette and Osiander, both of whom hold that it loses itself in the conception of the mysteries referred to); neither is it to be supplemented by γέγονε (Theophylact, Grotius). The connection with 1 Corinthians 2:10, adopted by Lachmann (in his ed. min(373)), and in my first and second editions, and again resorted to by Hofmann: what no eye has seen, etc., God, on the other hand ( δέ, see on 1 Corinthians 1:23), has revealed to us, etc., is not sufficiently simple, mars the symmetry of the discourse, and is finally set aside by the consideration that, since the quotation manifestly does not go beyond ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν, καθὼς γέγραπται logically would need to stand, not before, but after , because in reality this , and not the καθὼς γέγραπται, would introduce the object of ἀπεκάλυψεν.

καθὼς γέγρ.] Chrysostom and Theophylact are in doubt as to what passage is meant, whether a lost prophecy (so Theodoret), or Isaiah 52:15. Origen, again, and other Fathers (Fabricius, a(374) Cod. Apocr. N. T. p. 342; Pseudepigr. N. T. I. p. 1072; Lücke, Einleit. z. Offenb. I. p. 235), with whom Schrader and Ewald agree, assume, amidst vehement opposition on the part of Jerome, that the citation is from the Revelation of Elias, in which Zacharias of Chrysopolis avers (Harmonia Evang. p. 343) that he himself had actually read the words. Grotius regards them as “e scriptis Rabbinorum, qui ea habuerunt ex traditione vetere.” Most interpreters, however, including Osiander and Hofmann, agree with Jerome (on Isaiah 64 and a(375) Pammach. epist. ci.) in finding here a free quotation from Isaiah 64:4 (some holding that there is, besides, a reference to Isaiah 52:15, Isaiah 65:17); see especially Surenhusius, καταλλ. p. 526 ff., also Riggenbach in the Stud. u. Krit. 1855, p. 596 f. But the difference in sense—not to be got over by forced and artificial interpretation of the passage in Isaiah (see especially Hofmann)—and the dissimilarity in expression are too great, hardly presenting even faint resemblances; which is never elsewhere the case with Paul, however freely he may make his quotations. There seems, therefore, to remain no other escape from the difficulty than to give credit to the assertion—however much repugnance may have been shown to it in a dogmatic interest from Jerome downwards—made by Origen and others, that the words were from the Apocalypsis Eliae. So, too, Bleek in the Stud. u. Krit. 1853, p. 330. But since it is only passages from the canonical Scriptures that are ever cited by Paul with καθὼς γέγρ., we must at the same time assume that he intended to do so here also, but by some confusion of memory took the apocryphal saying for a canonical passage possibly from the prophecies, to which the passages of kindred sound in Isaiah might easily give occasion. Comp also Weiss, biblische Theol. p. 298.

ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδε κ. τ. λ(377)] For similar designations in the classics and Rabbins of what cannot be apprehended by the senses or intellect, see Wetstein and Lightfoot, Horae, p. 162. Comp Empedocles in Plutarch, Mor. p. 17 E: οὔτʼ ἐπιδερκτὰ τάδʼ ἀνδράσιν, οὔτʼ ἐπακουστὰ, οὔτε νόῳ περιληπτά. With respect to ἀναβ. ἐπὶ καρδ., עָלָה עַל לֵב, to rise up to the heart, that is, become a consciously apprehended object of feeling and thought, so that the thing enters as a conception into the sphere of activity of the inner life, comp on Acts 7:23.

τοῖς ἀγαπ. αὐτόν] i.e. in the apostle’s view: for the true Christians.(380) See on Romans 8:28. What God has prepared for them is the salvation of the Messianic kingdom. Comp Matthew 25:34. Constitt. Apost. vii. 32. 2 : οἱ δὲ δίκαιοι πορεύσονται εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομοῦντες ἐκεῖνα, ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδε κ. τ. λ(382)


Verse 10

1 Corinthians 2:10. Having thus set forth the hitherto hidden character of the divine σοφία, Paul now turns to its unveiling, as a result of which it was that that λαλοῦμεν of 1 Corinthians 2:6 f. took place. In doing this he puts ἡμῖν emphatically first in the deep consciousness of the distinction implied in so signal a mark of divine favour. The object of ἀπεκάλ. is the immediately preceding a ἡτοίμασεν κ. τ. λ(383)

ἡ΄ῖν] plural, as λαλοῦμεν in 1 Corinthians 2:6, and therefore neither to be referred to the apostle alone (Rosenmüller, Rückert, and others), nor to all Christians (Billroth, etc.).

διὰ τοῦ πνεύ΄. αὐτοῦ] The Holy Spirit, proceeding forth from God as the personal principle of Christian enlightenment, of every Christian endowment, and of the Christian life, is the medium, in His being communicated to men (1 Corinthians 2:12), of the divine revelation; He is the bearer of it; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 3:3; Ephesians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Corinthians 14:6, al(384)

τὸ γὰρ πνεῦ΄α κ. τ. λ(385)] Herewith begins the adducing of proof for that ἡμῖν δὲ ἀπεκάλυψεν κ. τ. λ(386) which continues on to 1 Corinthians 2:12, to this effect, namely: For the Spirit is familiar with the mysteries of God, because He alone stands in that unique relation as respects knowledge to God, which corresponds to the relation of the human spirit to man (1 Corinthians 2:10-11); but what we have received is no other than this Spirit of God, in order that we might know the salvation of God (1 Corinthians 2:12), so that no doubt remains that we have actually the ἀποκάλυψις in question through the Spirit. That τὸ πνεῦ΄α means not the human spirit, but the Holy Spirit, is certain from what goes before and from 1 Corinthians 2:11-12.

ἐρευνᾷ] rightly interpreted by Chrysostom: οὐκ ἀγνοίας, ἀλλʼ ἀκριβοῦς γνώσεως ἐνταῦθα τὸ ἐρευνᾷν ἐνδεικτικόν. Comp Psalms 139:1; Romans 8:27; Revelation 2:23. The word expresses the activity of this knowledge. But Paul was not thinking of “God’s knowing Himself in man” (Billroth, comp Baur), or of any other such Hegelian views as they would impute to him.

πάντα] all things, without limitation. Comp Wisdom of Solomon 7:23; Psalms 139:7.

τὰ βάθη τοῦ θεοῦ] Comp Judith 8:14 : βάθος καρδίας ἀνθρώπου; see on Romans 11:33, also Plato, Theaet. p. 183 E. The expression: “depths of God,” denotes the whole rich exhaustless fulness which is hidden in God,—all, therefore, that goes to make up His being, His attributes, His thoughts, plans, decrees, etc. These last (see 1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 2:12), the βαθύβουλον (Aeschylus, Pers. 143) of the Godhead, are included; but we are not to suppose that they alone are meant. The opposite is τὰ βαθέα τοῦ σατανᾶ, Revelation 2:24. The depths of God, unsearchable by the cognitive power of created spirits (comp Romans 11:33), are penetrated by the cognitive activity of His own immanent principle of life and manifestation, so that this, i.e. the Holy Spirit, is the power [Potenz] of the divine self-knowledge. God is the subject knowing and the object known in the intrinsic divine activity of the Spirit, who is the substratum of the absolute self-consciousness of the Godhead, in like manner as the human spirit is the substratum of the human Ego.


Verse 11

assigns the reason for the καὶ τὰ βάθη τοῦ θεοῦ just mentioned, and that in such a way as to represent the searching of these βάθη as exclusively pertaining to the Spirit of God, according to the analogy of the relation between the spirit of man and man himself.

1 Corinthians 2:11 assigns the reason for the καὶ τὰ βάθη τοῦ θεοῦ just mentioned, and that in such a way as to represent the searching of these βάθη as exclusively pertaining to the Spirit of God, according to the analogy of the relation between the spirit of man and man himself.

ἀνθρώπων] should neither, with Grotius, be held superfluous nor, with Tittmann, be suspected (it is wanting in A, Or. 1, Athan. Cyr. Vigil, taps.); on the contrary, it is designed to carry special emphasis, like τοῦ ἀνθρώπου afterwards (which is wanting in F G, and some Fathers), hence also the position chosen for it: ἀνθρώπων τὰ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου: no man knows what is man’s, save the spirit of the man which is in him.(392) Comp Proverbs 20:27. Were what is peculiar to him not known to the spirit itself of the man (who is made the object of contemplation), in that case no man would have this knowledge of the man; it would not come within the region of human knowing at all. The man’s own spirit knows it, but no other man.

We are not, with many expositors, including Pott and Flatt, to add βάθη by way of supplement to τὰ τοῦ ἀνθρ. or to τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ. This would be a purely arbitrary limitation of the universal statement, to which τὰ βάθη, as a qualitative expression, is subordinated. What are meant are the relations in general of God and of man, more especially, from the context, the inner ones. The illustration adduced by Grotius serves to bring out the sense more clearly: “Principum abditos sensus quis novit nisi ipse principis animus?”

ἔγνωκε] cognita habet. See Bernhardy, p. 378. For the rest, this οὐδεὶς ἔγνωκε is, as a matter of course, said not as in distinction from the Son (Luke 10:22), but from the creatures.

REMARK.

The comparison in 1 Corinthians 2:11 ought not to be pressed beyond the point compared. We are neither, therefore, to understand it so that the Spirit of God appears as the soul of the divine substance (Hallet; see, on the other hand, Heilmann, Opusc. II.), nor as if He were not distinct from God (see, on the contrary, 1 Corinthians 2:10), but simply so that the Spirit of God, the ground of the divine personal life, appears in His relation to God as the principle of the divine self-knowledge, in the same way as the principle of the human self-knowledge is the πνεῦμα of the man, which constitutes his personal life. Hence God is known only by His Spirit, as the man is only by his spirit, as the vehicle of his own self-consciousness, not by another man. With τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ, Paul does not again join τὸ ἐν αὐτῷ, because the man’s spirit indeed is shut up in the man, but not so the Divine Spirit in God; the latter, on the contrary, goes forth also from Him, is communicated, and is τὸ τνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ. See 1 Corinthians 2:12.


Verse 12

1 Corinthians 2:12. δέ] leading on to the second half of the demonstration which began with τὸ γὰρ πνεῦμα in 1 Corinthians 2:10 (see on 1 Corinthians 2:10).

ἡμεῖς] as ἡμῖν in 1 Corinthians 2:10.

τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου] i.e. the spirit which unbelieving mankind has. This spirit is the diabolic πνεῦμα, that is, the spirit proceeding forth from the devil, under whose power the κόσμος lies, and whose sphere of action it is. See 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:11-12; Ephesians 2:2. Comp John 12:31; 1 John 4:3; 1 John 5:19. Had we received this spirit,—and here Paul glances back at the ἄρχοντες τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου in 1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 2:8,—then assuredly the knowledge of the blessings of eternity would have remained closed for us, and (see 1 Corinthians 2:13) instead of utterances taught by the Spirit we should use the language of the human wisdom of the schools. It is indeed the πνεῦμα τῆς πλάνης as contrasted with the πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, 1 John 4:6. Most commentators take τὸ πνεῦμα in the sense of mode of thought and view, so that the meaning would be: “Non sumus instituti sapientia mundana et saeculari,” Estius. So Theophylact, and after him Beza, Calvin, Grotius, and many others, including Morus, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Heydenreich, de Wette, Maier, and similarly Pott. But, according to 1 Corinthians 2:10, τὸ πνεῦμα must denote, in keeping with the context, the objective spirit opposed to the Spirit of God; and that is, according to the decided dualistic view of the apostle (comp esp. Ephesians 2:2), the diabolic πνεῦμα, which has blinded the understanding of the unbelievers, 2 Corinthians 4:4. Billroth’s explanation: that it is the non-absolute spirit, the finite, in so far as it persists for itself and does not resolve itself into the divine, is a modern un-Pauline importation; and this holds, too, of Hofmann’s exposition: that it is the spirit, in virtue of which the world is conscious of itself, knowing itself, however, only in that way in which alone its sinful estrangement from God leaves it possible for it to do so, not in God, namely, but out of God. If that is not to be taken as the diabolic spirit, then the conception is simply an un-Pauline fabrication, artificially worded so as to explain away the diabolic character. Lastly, Rückert’s view, that Paul meant: “we have received our πνεῦμα not from the world, but from God,” cannot even be reconciled with the words of the passage.

τὸ ἐκ τ. θεοῦ] The ἐκ is employed by Paul here not in order to avoid the appearance of making this πνεῦμα the principle that determines the action of God (so Kling in the Stud. u. Krit. 1839, p. 435), which were a needless precaution, but because this form of expression has a significant adaptation to the ἵνα εἰδῶμεν κ. τ. λ(396); there can be no doubt about this knowing, if it proceeds from the Spirit which is from God (which has gone forth upon believers; comp 1 Corinthians 2:11, τὸ ἐν αὐτῷ), John 15:26.

ἵνα εἰδῶ΄εν κ. τ. λ(398)] the divine purpose in imparting the Spirit which proceeded forth from God. This clause, expressive of design, containing the object of the ἀπεκάλυψεν in 1 Corinthians 2:10, completely winds up the adducing of proof for the ἡμῖν δὲ ἀπεκάλ. θ. διὰ τ. πν. αὐτ.

τὰ ὑπὸ τ. θεοῦ χαρ. ἡμῖν] are the blessings of the Messianic kingdom, the possession of which is bestowed by divine grace on the Christians ( ἡμῖν), not, indeed, before the Parousia as an actual possession, but as an ideal one to be certainly entered upon hereafter (Romans 8:24; Romans 8:30; Colossians 3:3-4); comp Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9. That to take it ideally in this way is correct (in opposition to Hofmann), is clear from the consideration that τὰ χαρισθέντα must be identical with ἡτοίμασεν θεὸς κ. τ. λ(400) in 1 Corinthians 2:9, and with the δόξα ἡ΄. in 1 Corinthians 2:7.


Verse 13

1 Corinthians 2:13. Having thus in 1 Corinthians 2:10-12 given the proof of that ἡμῖν δὲ ἀπεκάλ. κ. τ. λ(401), the apostle goes on now to the manner in which the things revealed were proclaimed, passing, therefore, from the εἰδέναι τὰ χαρ. to the λαλεῖν of them. The manner, negative and positive, of this λαλεῖν (comp 1 Corinthians 2:4) he links to what has gone before simply by the relative: which (namely, τὰχαρισθ. ἡμ.) we also (in accordance with the fact of our having received the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:12) utter not in words learned of human wisdom (dialectics, rhetoric, etc.), but in those learned of the Spirit. The genitives: ἀνθρωπ. σοφ. and πνεύματος, are dependent on διδακτοῖς (John 6:45). See Winer, pp. 182, 178 [E. T. 242, 236]. Pflugk, a(403) Eur. Hec. 1135. Comp Pindar, Ol. ix. 153: πολλοὶ δὲ διδακταῖς ἀνθρώπων ἀρεταῖς κλέος ὤρουσαν ἑλέσθαι· ἄνευ δὲ θεοῦ κ. τ. λ(405), comp Nem. iii. 71. Sophocles, El. 1Co 336: τἀμὰ νουθετήματα κείνης διδακτά. It is true that the genitives might also be dependent upon λόγοις (Fritzsche, Diss. II. in 2 Cor. p. 27); but the context, having διδακτοῖς πνεύματος, is against this. To take διδακτοῖς (with Ewald) as meaning, according to the common classical usage, learnable, quae doceri possunt (see especially Demosth. 1413. 24; Plato, Prot. p. 319 B: οὐ διδακτὸν εἶναι μηδʼ ὑπʼ ἀνθρώπων παρασκευαστὸν ἀνθρώποις), does not agree so well with 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:15.

The suggestio verborum, here asserted, is reduced to its right measure by διδακτοῖς; for that word excludes all idea of anything mechanical, and implies the living self-appropriation of that mode of expression which was specifically suitable both to the divine inspiration and to its contents (“verba rem sequuntur,” Wetstein),—an appropriation capable of being connected in very different forms with different given individualities (Peter, Paul, Apollos, James, etc.), and of presenting itself in each case with a corresponding variety.

πνευ΄ατικοῖς πνευ΄ατικὰ συγκρίνοντες] connecting(407) spiritual things with spiritual, not uniting things unlike in nature, which would be the case, were we to give forth what was revealed by the Holy Spirit in the speech of human wisdom, in philosophic discourse, but joining to the matters revealed by the Spirit ( πνευματικοῖς) the speech also taught by the Spirit ( πνευματικά),—things consequently of like nature, “spiritualibus spiritualia componentes” (Castalio). So in substance also Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, Balduin, Wolf, Baumgarten, Kling in the Stud. und Krit. 1839, p. 437, de Wette, Osiander, Maier, etc., and rightly, since this sense suits the connection singularly well, and does not in any degree clash with the classical use of συγκρίνειν (Valckenaer, p. 134 f.; Porson, a(408) Med. 136). Plato has it frequently in this meaning, and in contrast to διακρίνειν. See Ast, Lex. Plat. III. p. 290 f. Other commentators, while also taking πνευματ. as neuter, make συγκρίνειν, explicare, namely, either: explaining the N. T. doctrine from the types of the O. T. (Chrysostom and his successors(409)), or: “exponentes ea, quae prophetae Spiritu Dei acti dixere, per ea, quae Christus suo Spiritu nobis aperuit” (Grotius, Krebs), or: “spiritualibus verbis spiritualia interpretantes” (Elsner, Mosheim, Bolten, Neander). But the first two of these renderings are against the context, and all the three are against the usus loquendi; for συγκρίνειν is never absolutely interpretari, either in profane Greek (in which, among later writers, as also in 2 Corinthians 10:12, Wisdom of Solomon 7:29; Wisdom of Solomon 15:18, 1 Maccabees 10:71, it very often means to compare; comp Vulgate: comparantes, and see Lobeck, a(411) Phryn. p. 278) or in the LXX. With the latter it is indeed the common word for the interpretation of dreams ( פתר, see Genesis 40:8; Genesis 40:16; Genesis 40:22; Genesis 41:12; Genesis 41:15; Daniel 5:12); but in such cases (comp the passages from Philo, where διακρίνειν occurs, in Loesner, p. 273) we have to trace it back to the literal signification of judging, κρίματα συγκρῖναι, thou canst pronounce, utterances of judgment. Comp. the phrase, recurring more than once in that same story of Belshazzar, in Daniel 5 : τὴν σύγκρισιν γνωρίζειν, or: ἀναγγέλλειν: to make known or declare the judgment (as to what that marvellous writing might signify).">(413) namely, as to what was to be indicated by the vision in the dream (comp κρίνειν τὸ σημαινόμενον τῶν ὀνειράτων in Josephus, Antt. ii. 2. 2, also the ὀνειροκριτικά of Artemidorus). The meaning, to judge, however, although instances of it may be established in Greek writers also (Anthol. vii. 132; Polybius, xiv. 3, 7, xii. 10. 1; Lucian. Soloec. 5), would be unsuitable here, for this reason, that the phrase πνευματικοῖς πνευματικά, both being taken as neuter, manifestly, according to the context, expresses the relation of matter and form, not the judging of the one πνευματικόν by the other (Ewald), notwithstanding that Luther, too, adopts a similar interpretation: “and judge spiritual things spiritually.” Lastly, it is incorrect to take πνευματικοῖς as masculine, and render: explaining things revealed by the Spirit to those who are led by the Spirit (the same as τελείοις in 1 Corinthians 2:6; comp Galatians 6:1). This is the view of Pelagius, Sedulius, Theophylact (suggested only), Thomas, Estius, Clericus, Bengel, Rosenmüller, Pott, Heydenreich, Flatt, Billroth, Rückert. To the same class belongs the exposition of Hofmann, according to whom what is meant is the solution of the problem as to how the world beyond and hereafter reveals and foreshows itself in what God’s grace has already bestowed upon us (1 Corinthians 2:12) in a predictive sign as it were,—a solution which has spiritual things for its object, and takes place for those who are spiritual. But the text does not contain either a contrast between the world here and that hereafter, or a problematic relation of the one to the other; the contrast is introduced into τὰ χαρισθέντα in 1 Corinthians 2:12, and the problem and its predictive sign are imported into συγκρίνοντες.(416) Again, it is by no means required by the connection with 1 Corinthians 2:14 ff. that we should take πνευματικοῖς as masculine; for 1 Corinthians 2:14 begins a new part of the discourse, so that ψυχικὸς ἄνθρωπος only finds its personal contrast in δὲ πνευματικός in 1 Corinthians 2:15. Tittmann’s explanation (Synon. p. 290 f., and comp Baur) comes back to the sense: conveying (conferentes) spiritual things to spiritual persons, without linguistic precedent for it.

Note the weighty collocation: πνεύματος, πνευματικοῖς, πνευματικά.


Verse 14

1 Corinthians 2:14. To receive such teaching, however, in which πνευματικά are united with πνευματικοῖς, every one has not the capacity; a psychical man apprehends not that which is of the Spirit of God, etc.

ψυχικὸς ἄνθρωπος is the opposite of the πνευματικός who has received the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12 f., 15); he is therefore one πνεῦμα (the Holy Spirit) μὴ ἔχων (Jude 1:19). Such a man—who is not essentially different from the σαρκικός (see on 1 Corinthians 3:1), but the mental side of whose nature is here brought forward by the word ψυχικός—is not enlightened and sanctified by the Spirit of God, but is governed by the ψυχή, the principle of life for the σάρξ, so that the sphere in which he works and strives is not that of the divine truth and the divine ζωή, but the purely human activity of the understanding, and, as regards practical things, the interests of the life of sense, the ἐπιθυμίαι ψυχικαί, 4 Maccabees 1:32, the ἐπιθυμίαι ἀνθρώπων, not the θέλημα θεοῦ, 1 Peter 4:2. Comp generally, Weiss, biblische Theol. p. 270 f. The higher principle of life, the human πνεῦμα,(419) which he has, is not laid hold of and quickened by the Holy Spirit; the regeneration by the Holy Spirit, who operates upon the human spirit and thereby brings about the renewal of the man (comp John 3:6), has not yet taken place with him; hence the psychical man is really the natural man, i.e. not yet enlightened and sanctified by the Spirit of God, not yet born again,(421) although, at the same time, ψυχικός means not naturalis (i.e. φυσικός in contrast to διδακτός, τεχνικός, and the like; comp Polyb. vi. 4, 7 : φυσικῶς καὶ ἀκατασκεύως), but animalis (Vulgate). Comp ψυχικὴ σοφία as contrasted with that ἄνωθεν κατερχομένη, James 3:15. Many have taken up the idea in a one-sided way, either in a merely intellectual reference ( τὸν μόνοις τοῖς οἰκείοις ἀρκούμενον λογισμοῖς, Theodoret; see also Chrysostom, Theophylact, Beza, Grotius, Heydenreich, Pott; comp too, Wieseler on Gal. p. 451), or in a merely ethical one (a man obedient to sensual desires; so, and in some cases, with an exaggerated stress on the sinfulness involved, it is interpreted by Erasmus, Vitringa, Limborch, Clericus, Rosenmüller, Valckenaer, Krause, and others). The two elements cannot be separated from each other without quite an arbitrary act of division.

οὐ δέχεται] The question whether this means: he is unsusceptible of it, does not understand (Vulgate, Castalio, Beza, Piscator, Grotius, Rückert, et al(425)); or: he does not accept, respuit (Peschito, Erasmus, and others, including Tittmann, Flatt, Billroth, de Wette, Osiander, Ewald, Maier), falls to be decided in favour of the latter view by the standing use of δέχεσθαι in the N. T. when referring to doctrine. See Luke 8:13; Acts 8:14; Acts 11:1; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Comp 2 Thessalonians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 8:17.

τὰ τοῦ πν.] what comes from the Spirit. This applies both to the matter and form of the teaching. See 1 Corinthians 2:13.

μωρία γὰργνῶναι] ground of this οὐ δέχεται κ. τ. λ(427): It is folly to him, i.e. (as 1 Corinthians 1:18) it stands to him in the practical relation of being something absurd, and he is not in a position to discern it. The latter clause is not covered by the former (Hofmann), but appends to the relation of the object to the subject the corresponding relation of the subject to the object.

The statement of the reason for both of these connected clauses is: ὅτι πνευματικῶς ἀνακρίνεται: because they ( τὰ τοῦ πνεύμ.) are judged of after a spiritual fashion (1 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 14:24), i.e. because the investigative ( ἀνα) judgment of them (the searching into and estimating their nature and meaning) is a task which, by reason of the nature of the subject-matter to be dealt with, can be performed in accordance with its own essential character in no other way than by means of a proving and judging empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit (a power which is wanting to the ψυχικός). πνευ΄ατικῶς, that is to say, refers not to the human spirit, but to the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 2:13) who fills the human spirit, and by the hallowing influence of divine enlightenment and power capacitates it for the ἀνακρίνειν of the doctrines of teachers filled with the Spirit who address it, so that this ἀνακρίνειν is an activity which proceeds in a mode empowered and guided by the Spirit. We may add that ἀνακρίν. does not mean: must be judged of (Luther and many others, among whom are Tittmann, Flatt, and Pott), but it expresses the characteristic relation, which takes place; they are subject to spiritual judgment. That is an axiom. But this very sort of ἀνάκρισις is what is lacking in the ψυχικός.


Verse 15

1 Corinthians 2:15. He who is spiritual, on the other hand, judges all things, but is for his own part ( αὐτός) judged by no one; so lofty is his position, high above all the ψυχικοῖς, to whom he is a riddle, not to be read by their unenlightened powers of judging, to which τὰ τοῦ πνεύματος are folly!

πνευματικός] he who stands under the influence of the Holy Spirit, enlightened and led by Him. Comp on πνευ΄ατικῶς in 1 Corinthians 2:14.

τὰ πάντα] (see the critical remarks(429)) receives from the context no further limitation than that of the article, which is not unsuitable (Hofmann), but denotes the totality of what presents itself to his judging, so that it does not apply merely to τὰ τοῦ πνεύματος (Ewald: “all the deepest and most salutary divine truths”), the ἀνακρίνειν of which, on the part of the πνευ΄ατικός, is a matter of course, but means all objects that come within the sphere of his judgment. To everything that comes before him he can assign the right estimate in virtue of his power of judgment, enlightened and upheld by the Holy Spirit. He has the true critical eye of the δοκιμάζειν (1 Thessalonians 5:21) for all that offers itself to him to be judged. How often has Paul himself displayed this ἀνάκρισις πνευ΄ατική, and that, too, in matters not connected with doctrine, under situations the most varied! e.g. in his wise availing himself of circumstances when persecuted and put on trial, during his last voyage, etc.; in his decisions concerning matrimonial questions, contendings at law, slavery, collections, and the like, in regard to which he manages with consummate tact, and with the most wonderful clearness, precision, and impartiality, to subject everything to the standard of a higher spiritual point of view; in his estimate of the different persons with whom he comes into contact; in the mode in which he adapts himself to given relations: in his sublime judgments, such as 1 Corinthians 3:22; in his powerful self-witness, 2 Corinthians 6:4 ff.; in his noble independence from earthly things, 1 Corinthians 7:29 ff.; Philippians 4:11 ff.

ὑπʼ οὐδενός] namely, who is not also πνευ΄ατικός. This follows necessarily from the foregoing πνευ΄ατ. ἀνακρίνει τὰ πάντα. Comp too, 1 John 4:1. The standpoint of the psychical man is too low, and his mode of thought too foreign in its presuppositions and principles, for him to be able to understand and judge of the pneumatic. In like manner, the blind (see as early as Chrysostom and Theophylact) cannot judge of the painter, nor the deaf of the musician.

How Roman Catholic writers have sought to render 1 Corinthians 2:15, standing opposed as it does to the authority claimed by the church, serviceable to their own side, may be seen, e.g., in Cornelius a Lapide: “Sin autem nova oriatur quaestio in fide aut moribus, eaque obscura et dubia, eadem prudentia dictat homini spirituali … ejusdem Spiritus judicio recurrendum esse ad superiores, ad doctores, ad ecclesiam Romanam quasi matricem,” etc.


Verse 16

1 Corinthians 2:16. Proof for the αὐτὸς δὲ ὑπʼ οὐδενὸς ἀνακρινεται. “For in order to judge of the πνευματικός, one would need to have known the mind of Christ, which we πνευματικοί are in possession ofto be able to act the part of teacher to Christ.” The form of this proof is an imperfect syllogism, the last proposition in which, as being self-evident, is not expressed.(431) The major proposition is clothed in the words of Isaiah 40:13 (substantially after the LXX.), comp Romans 11:34. There, indeed, κύριος applies to God; but Paul, appropriating the words freely for the expression of his own thought, applies it here to Christ (against Calvin, Grotius, and most older interpreters, also Flatt, Osiander, Ewald, Hofmann), as the minor proposition ἡμεῖς δὲ κ. τ. λ(433) proves.

The νοῦς κυρίου is the understanding of the Lord, embracing His thoughts, judgments, measures, plans, etc., the νοῦς being the faculty where these originate and are elaborated. The conception is not identical with that of the πνεῦμα χριστοῦ (against Billroth, Neander, and many others), which rather, when imparted to man, makes his νοῦς the νοῦς χριστοῦ, not being itself the νοῦς χ., but that which constitutes its substratum.

ὃς συμβιβ. αὐτόν] qui instructurus sit eum, i.e. in order (after thus coming to know him) to instruct Him. See on this use of ὅς, Matthiae, II. p. 1068; Kühner, II. p. 529 ff. Regarding συμβιβάζειν, which is frequent in the LXX. in the sense of instruere, docere, but does not occur with that meaning in Greek writers, see Schleusner, Thes. V. p. 154. This ὃς συμβ. αὐτόν is not “rather superfluously” taken in along with the rest of the quotation (Rückert), but is included as essential to the proof of the ὑπʼ οὐδενὸς ἀνακρίνεται, since the forming a judgment assumes the capacity to instruct (act as master). This, then, is what he who would judge the πνευματικοί must be capable of doing with respect to Christ, since these have the mind of Christ. Chrysostom says well: ὃς συμβιβάσει αὐτὸν, οὐχ ἁπλῶς προσέθηκεν, ἀλλὰ πρὸς εἶπεν ἤδη, ὅτι τὸν πνευματικὸν οὐδεὶς ἀνακρίνει· εἰ γὰρ εἰδέναι οὐδεὶς δύναται τοῦ θεοῦ (rather Christ’s) τὸν νοῦν, πολλῷ μᾶλλον διδάσκειν καὶ διορθοῦσθαι.

To refer αὐτόν, with Nösselt (Opusc. II. p. 137 f.), to the πνευματικός (so, too, Rosenmüller and Tittmann, l.c(434) p. 294), is an involved construction rendered necessary only by failure to catch the simple course of proof.

ἡμεῖς δὲ νοῦν χ. ἔχ.] the minor proposition, with the emphasis on ἡμεῖς, and the explanatory χριστοῦ in place of κυρίου. Paul includes himself along with the rest among the πνευματικοί. These are the possessors ( ἔχομεν) of the mind of Christ. For, since they have the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9; Romans 8:16), and since Christ is in them (Romans 8:10; 2 Corinthians 13:5), their νοῦς, too, can be no mental faculty different in kind from the νοῦς χριστοῦ, but must, on the contrary, be as ideally one with it, as it is true that Christ Himself lives in them (Galatians 2:20), and the heart of Christ beats in them (Philippians 1:8), and He speaks in them (2 Corinthians 13:3). Comp respecting this indwelling of Christ in His believers, the idea in Galatians 3:27; Romans 13:14. οὐ γὰρ πλάτωνος, οὐδὲ πυθαγόρου, says Chrysostom, ἀλλʼ χριστὸς τὰ ἑαυτοῦ τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ ἐνέθηκε διανοίᾳ. Many commentators (not recognising the process of proof) have interpreted ἔχομεν as perspectam habemus (see Tittmann, l.c(436)), as e.g. Rosenmüller and Flatt: “We know the meaning of the doctrine of Christ;” or Grotius: “Novimus Dei consilia, quae Christo fuere revelata.”

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-corinthians-2.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology