The Meaning of 1 Corinthians 2:14 Explained

1 Corinthians 2:14

KJV: But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

YLT: and the natural man doth not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for to him they are foolishness, and he is not able to know them, because spiritually they are discerned;

Darby: But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him; and he cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned;

ASV: Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.

What does 1 Corinthians 2:14 Mean?

Study Notes

natural man
Paul divides men into three classes: psuchikos, "of the senses" James 3:15 ; Judges 1:19 or "natural," i.e. the Adamic man, unrenewed through the new birth John 3:3 ; John 3:5 pneumatikos, "spiritual," i.e. the renewed man as Spirit-filled and walking in the Spirit in full communion with God Ephesians 5:18-20 and sarkikos, "carnal," "fleshly," i.e. the renewed man who, walking "after the flesh," remains a babe in Christ 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 . The natural man may be learned, gentle, eloquent, fascinating, but the spiritual content of Scripture is absolutely hidden from him; and the fleshly, or carnal, Christian is able to comprehend only its simplest truths, "milk" 1 Corinthians 3:2 .

Verse Meaning

The natural man is any person who does not possess the Holy Spirit, namely, unbelievers. [1] Every human being is a natural man until he or she trusts Christ and receives the Spirit. Paul called this person a natural (Gr. psychikos) man because he or she is only natural. He has no supernatural Person indwelling him, and his viewpoints and ideas are only what are natural. He cannot accept all that God has revealed because he does not possess the indwelling Spirit of God.
The natural person can, of course, understand the gospel and experience salvation but only because the Holy Spirit illuminates his or her understanding. Paul did not mean that an unbeliever is incapable of understanding Scripture. However an unbeliever rejects and does not accept all that God wants him or her to have. One of these things is eternal life through faith in His Son. It is as though God is speaking in a language that the unbeliever does not understand; he or she fails to respond properly. He or she needs an interpreter. That is a ministry that only the Holy Spirit can perform. [2]
"It will help us to think clearly about this issue if we recognize that1Corinthians2is not concerned with the mechanics of how people understand their Bibles generally, or with the quality of a particular scholar"s exegesis of some specific Hebrew text.... His focus is the fundamental message of the crucified Messiah. And this, he insists, is fundamentally incomprehensible to the mind without the Spirit." [3]
"Human ears cannot hear high-frequency radio waves; deaf men are unable to judge music contests; blind men cannot enjoy beautiful scenery, and the unsaved are incompetent to judge spiritual things, a most important practical truth." [4]

Context Summary

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 - God's Wisdom Spiritually Revealed
The perfect are those who are full grown and matured in Christian experience. They need strong meat. For them there are blessed unveilings of the secret things of God, such as the profoundest thinkers of this world have never reached. The words in 1 Corinthians 2:9 must not be applied to heaven alone; in their first intention they belong to us in this mortal life. The human eye that has seen the fairest of earth's things, and the ear that has heard the sweetest strains of human melody, have never experienced the depths of enjoyment of those who have found the love of God in Christ. They who know Christ should not be content with the mere rudiments of the gospel, but should follow on to know those deeper things which evade men who are merely clever, but are revealed to those who are really good.
There are two types of men. There is the spiritual man, whose spirit is the temple and dwelling-place of the Spirit of God. He knows the thoughts of God, because he has a living union with the eternal Mind. And there is the natural man, possessing merely the intellect and conscience of ordinary humanity. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Corinthians 2

1  Paul declares that his preaching,
4  though it bring not excellence of speech, or of human wisdom,
5  yet consists in the power of God;
6  and so far excels the wisdom of this world, that the natural man cannot understand it

Greek Commentary for 1 Corinthians 2:14

Now the natural man [πσυχικος δε αντρωπος]
Note absence of article here, “A natural man” (an unregenerate man). Paul does not employ modern psychological terms and he exercises variety in his use of all the terms here present as πνευμα — pneuma and πνευματικοσ πσυχη — pneumatikosπσυχικοσ σαρχ — psuchē and σαρκινος — psuchikosσαρκικος — sarx and σαρχ πνευμα — sarkinos and πσυχη — sarkikos A helpful discussion of the various uses of these words in the New Testament is given by Burton in his New Testament Word Studies, pp. 62-68, and in his Spirit, Soul, and Flesh. The papyri furnish so many examples of Πσυχικος — sarxπσυχη — pneuma and ανιμα — psuchē that Moulton and Milligan make no attempt at an exhaustive treatment, but give a few miscellaneous examples to illustrate the varied uses that parallel the New Testament. πσυχικος — Psuchikos is a qualitative adjective from πνευματικος — psuchē (breath of life like πσυχικος — anima life, soul). Here the Vulgate renders it by animalis and the German by sinnlich, the original sense of animal life as in Judges 1:19; James 3:15. In 1 Corinthians 15:44, 1 Corinthians 15:46 there is the same contrast between πνευματικος — psuchikos and ου δεχεται — pneumatikos as here. The ουδε γαρ δυναται — psuchikos man is the unregenerate man while the μωρια — pneumatikos man is the renewed man, born again of the Spirit of God. [source]
Receiveth not [ου δυναται γνωναι]
Does not accept, rejects, refuses to accept. In Romans 8:7 Paul definitely states the inability Today one notes certain of the intelligentsia who sneer at Christ and Christianity in their own blinded ignorance. He cannot know them (πσυχικοι — ou dunatai gnōnai). He is not able to get a knowledge (ingressive second aorist active infinitive of πσυχη — ginōskō). His helpless condition calls for pity in place of impatience on our part, though such an one usually poses as a paragon of wisdom and commiserates the deluded followers of Christ. They are spiritually judged Paul and Luke are fond of this verb, though nowhere else in the N.T. Paul uses it only in I Corinthians. The word means a sifting process to get at the truth by investigation as of a judge. In Acts 17:11 the Beroeans scrutinized the Scriptures. These psuchikoi men are incapable of rendering a decision for they are unable to recognize the facts. They judge by the psuchē (mere animal nature) rather than by the pneuma (the renewed spirit). [source]
He cannot know them [πσυχικοι]
He is not able to get a knowledge (ingressive second aorist active infinitive of πσυχη — ginōskō). His helpless condition calls for pity in place of impatience on our part, though such an one usually poses as a paragon of wisdom and commiserates the deluded followers of Christ. [source]
They are spiritually judged [πνευμα]
Paul and Luke are fond of this verb, though nowhere else in the N.T. Paul uses it only in I Corinthians. The word means a sifting process to get at the truth by investigation as of a judge. In Acts 17:11 the Beroeans scrutinized the Scriptures. These psuchikoi men are incapable of rendering a decision for they are unable to recognize the facts. They judge by the psuchē (mere animal nature) rather than by the pneuma (the renewed spirit). [source]
The natural man [ψυχικὸς ἄνθρωπος]
See on Romans 11:4, on the distinction between ψυχή soullife, and πνεῦμα spiritThe contrast is between a man governed by the divine Spirit and one from whom that Spirit is absent. But ψυχικὸς naturalis not equivalent to σαρκικός fleshyPaul is speaking of natural as contrasted with spiritual cognition applied to spiritual truth, and therefore of the ψυχή soulas the organ of human cognition, contrasted with the πνεῦμα spiritas the organ of spiritual cognition. The man, therefore, whose cognition of truth depends solely upon his natural insight is ψυχικός naturalas contrasted with the spiritual man ( πνευματικός ) to whom divine insight is imparted. In other words, the organ employed in the apprehension of spiritual truth characterizes the man. Paul therefore “characterizes the man who is not yet capable of understanding divine wisdom as ψυχικός , i.e., as one who possesses in his ψυχή soulsimply the organ of purely human cognition, but has not yet the organ of religious cognition in the πνεῦμα spirit” (Dickson). It is perhaps impossible to find an English word which will accurately render ψυχικός . Psychic is simply the Greek transcribed. We can do no better than hold by the A.V. natural. [source]
Receiveth not [οὐ δέχεται]
Not, does not understand, but does not admit them into his heart; thus, according to New Testament usage, when the word is used in connection with teaching. See Luke 8:13; Acts 8:14; Acts 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; James 1:21. [source]
Are foolishness []
Not merely seem. To him they are. [source]
Neither can he know [καὶ οὐ δύναται γνῶναι]
Rev., more strictly, and he cannot know. “It is an utter perversion of such statements to maintain that there is in the natural man any organic, constitutional incapacity of spiritual perception requiring to be created in them by the Holy Spirit … . The uniform teaching of Scripture is that the change effected in regeneration is a purely moral and spiritual one” (Brown). [source]
Discerned [ἀνακρίνεται]
Rev., judged. Used only by Luke and Paul, and by the latter in this epistle only. By Luke, mostly of judicial examination: Luke 23:14; Acts 4:9; Acts 12:19; Acts 24:8; Acts 28:18. Of examining the Scriptures, Acts 17:11, but with the sense of proving or coming to a judgment on. The fundamental idea of the word is examination, scrutiny, following up ( ἀνά ) a series of objects or particulars in order to distinguish ( κρίνω ). This is its almost universal meaning in classical Greek. At Athens it was used technically in two senses: to examine magistrates with a view to proving their qualifications; and to examine persons concerned in a suit, so as to prepare the matter for trial, as a grand jury. The meaning judged is, at best, inferential, and the Rev. inserts examined in the margin. Bishop Lightfoot says: “ Ανακρίνειν is neither to judge nor to discern; but to examine, investigate, inquire into, question, as it is rightly translated, 1 Corinthians 9:3; 1 Corinthians 10:25, 1 Corinthians 10:27. The apostle condemns all these impatient human praejudicia which anticipate the final judgment, reserving his case for the great tribunal, where at length all the evidence will be forthcoming and a satisfactory verdict can be given. Meanwhile the process of gathering evidence has begun; an ἀνάκρισις investigationis indeed being held, not, however, by these self-appointed magistrates, but by one who alone has the authority to institute the inquiry, and the ability to sift the facts” (“On a Fresh Revision of the New Testament”). See, further, on 1 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 4:4. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for 1 Corinthians 2:14

Matthew 13:3 Parables [παραβολαῖς]
From παρά , beside, and βάλλω , to throw. A parable is a form of teaching in which one thing is thrown beside another. Hence its radical idea is comparison. Sir John Cheke renders biword, and the same idea is conveyed by the German Beispiela pattern or example; beibeside, and the old high German speldiscourse or narration. The word is used with a wide range in scripture, but always involves the idea of comparison:1.Of brief sayings, having an oracular or proverbial character. Thus Peter (Matthew 15:15), referring to the words “If the blind lead the blind,” etc., says, “declare unto us thisparable. ” Compare Luke 6:39. So of the patched garment (Luke 5:36), and the guest who assumes the highest place at the feast (Luke 14:7, Luke 14:11). Compare, also, Matthew 24:39; Mark 13:28.2.Of a proverb. The word for proverb ( παροιμία ) has the same idea at the root as parable. It is παρά , beside, οἶμος , a way or road. Either a trite, wayside saying (Trench), or a path by the side of the high road (Godet). See Luke 4:23; 1 Samuel 24:13. 3.Of a song or poem, in which an example is set up by way of comparison. See Micah 2:4; Habakkuk 2:6. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
4.Of a word or discourse which is enigmatical or obscure until the meaning is developed by application or comparison. It occurs along with the words αἴνιγμα , enigma, and πρόβλημα , a problem, something put forth or proposed ( πρό , in front βάλλω , to throw ). See Psalm 49:4 (Sept. 48:4); Psalm 78:2 (Sept. 77:2); Proverbs 1:6, where we have παραβολὴν , parable; σκοτεινὸν λόγον , dark saying; and αἰνίγματα , enigmas. Used also of the sayings of Balaam (Numbers 23:7, Numbers 23:18; Numbers 24:3, Numbers 24:15).In this sense Christ uses parables symbolically to expound the mysteries of the kingdom of God; as utterances which conceal from one class what they reveal to another (Matthew 13:11-17), and in which familiar facts of the earthly life are used figuratively to expound truths of the higher life. The un-spiritual do not link these facts of the natural life with those of the supernatural, which are not discerned by them (1 Corinthians 2:14), and therefore they need an interpreter of the relation between the two. Such symbols assume the existence of a law common to the natural and spiritual worlds under which the symbol and the thing symbolized alike work; so that the one does not merely resemble the other superficially, but stands in actual coherence and harmony with it. Christ formulates such a law in connection with the parables of the Talents and the Sower. “To him that hath shall be given. From him that hath not shall be taken away.” That is a law of morals and religion, as of business and agriculture. One must have in order to make. Interest requires capital. Fruit requires not only seed but soil. Spiritual fruitfulness requires an honest and good heart. Similarly, the law of growth as set forth in the parable of the Mustard Seed, is a law common to nature and to the kingdom of God. The great forces in both kingdoms are germinal, enwrapped in small seeds which unfold from within by an inherent power of growth.5. A parable is also an example or type; furnishing a model or a warning; as the Good Samaritan, the Rich Fool, the Pharisee and the Publican. The element of comparison enters here as between the particular incident imagined or recounted, and all cases of a similar kind.The term parable, however, as employed in ordinary Christian phraseology, is limited to those utterances of Christ which are marked by a complete figurative history or narrative. It is thus defined by Goebel (“Parables of Jesus”). “A narrative moving within the sphere of physical or human life, not professing to describe an event which actually took place, but expressly imagined for the purpose of representing, in pictorial figure, a truth belonging to the sphere of religion, and therefore referring to the relation of man or mankind to God.” In form the New Testament parables resemble the fable. The distinction between them does not turn on the respective use of rational and irrational beings speaking and acting. There are fables where the actors are human. Nor does the fable always deal with the impossible, since there are fables in which an animal, for instance, does nothing contrary to its nature. The distinction lies in the religious character of the New Testament parable as contrasted with the secular character of the fable. While the parable exhibits the relations of man to God, the fable teaches lessons of worldly policy or natural morality and utility. “The parable is predominantly symbolic; the fable, for the most part, typical, and therefore presents its teaching only in the form of example, for which reason it chooses animals by preference, not as symbolic, but as typical figures; never symbolic in the sense in which the parable mostly is, because the higher invisible world, of which the parable sees and exhibits the symbol in the visible world of nature and man, lies far from it. Hence the parable can never work with fantastic figures like speaking animals, trees,” etc. (Goebel, condensed). -DIVIDER-
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The parable differs from the allegory in that there is in the latter “an interpenetration of the thing signified and the thing signifying; the qualities and properties of the first being attributed to the last,” and the two being thus blended instead of being kept distinct and parallel. See, for example, the allegory of the Vine and the Branches (John 15) where Christ at once identifies himself with the figure' “I am the true vine.” Thus the allegory, unlike the parable, carries its own interpretation with it. -DIVIDER-
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Parable and proverb are often used interchangeably in the;New Testament; the fundamental conception being, as we have seen, the same in both, the same Hebrew word representing both, and both being enigmatical. They differ rather in extent than in essence; the parable being a proverb expanded and carried into detail, and being necessarily figurative, which the proverb is not; though the range of the proverb is wider, since the parable expands only one particular case of a proverb. (See Trench, “Notes on the Parables,” Introd.) [source]

John 3:3 See [ἰδεῖν]
The things of God's kingdom are not apparent to the natural vision. A new power of sight is required, which attaches only to the new man. Compare 1 Corinthians 2:14. [source]
John 14:17 The Spirit of truth [το πνευμα της αλητειας]
Same phrase in John 15:27; John 16:13; 1 John 4:6, “a most exquisite title” (Bengel). The Holy Spirit is marked by it (genitive case), gives it, defends it (cf. John 1:17), in contrast to the spirit of error (1 John 4:6). Whom Grammatical neuter gender He is a person, not a mere influence. Cannot receive Left to itself the sinful world is helpless (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:7.), almost Paul‘s very language on this point. The world lacks spiritual insight It failed to recognize Jesus (John 1:10) and likewise the Holy Spirit. Ye know him Emphatic position of υμεις — humeis (ye) in contrast with the world (John 15:19), because they have seen Jesus the Revealer of the Father (John 14:9). Abides Timeless present tense. With you “By your side,” “at home with you,” not merely “with you” In your hearts. So note μετα — meta (John 14:16), παρα εν — para class="translit"> en f0). [source]
Romans 8:4 The Spirit [πνεῦμα]
From πνέω tobreathe or blow. The primary conception is wind or breath. Breath being the sign and condition of life in man, it comes to signify life. In this sense, physiologically considered, it is frequent in the classics. In the psychological sense, never. In the Old Testament it is ordinarily the translation of ruach It is also used to translate chai life, Isaiah 38:12; nbreath, 1 Kings 17:17. In the New Testament it occurs in the sense of wind or breath, John 3:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Hebrews 1:7. Closely related to the physiological sense are such passages as Luke 8:55; James 2:26; Revelation 13:15. Pauline Usage: 1. Breath, 2 Thessalonians 2:8. 2. The spirit or mind of man; the inward, self-conscious principle which feels and thinks and wills (1 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Corinthians 5:3; 1 Corinthians 7:34; Colossians 2:5). In this sense it is distinguished from σῶμα bodyor accompanied with a personal pronoun in the genitive, as my, our, his spirit (Romans 1:9; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 5:4; 1 Corinthians 16:18, etc.). It is used as parallel with ψυχή souland καρδία heartSee 1 Corinthians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:17; and compare John 13:21and John 12:27; Matthew 26:38and Luke 1:46, Luke 1:47. But while ψυχή soulis represented as the subject of life, πνεύμα spiritrepresents the principle of life, having independent activity in all circumstances of the perceptive and emotional life, and never as the subject. Generally, πνεύμα spiritmay be described as the principle, ψυχή soulas the subject, and καρδία heartas the organ of life. 3. The spiritual nature of Christ. Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 Timothy 3:16. 4. The divine power or influence belonging to God, and communicated in Christ to men, in virtue of which they become πνευματικοί spiritual - recipientsand organs of the Spirit. This is Paul's most common use of the word. Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Galatians 4:6; Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:8. In this sense it appears as: a. Spirit of God. Romans 8:9, Romans 8:11, 1 Samuel 16:14-16,0; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 2:12, 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Corinthians 7:40; 2 Corinthians 3:3; Ephesians 3:16. b. Spirit of Christ. Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 4:6; Philemon 1:19. c. Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Ephesians 1:13; Romans 8:1-139 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:8, etc. d. Spirit. With or without the article, but with its reference to the Spirit of God or Holy Spirit indicated by the context. Romans 8:16, Romans 8:23, Romans 8:26, Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:4, 1 Corinthians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:8, 1 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, etc. 5. A power or influence, the character, manifestations, or results of which are more peculiarly defined by qualifying genitives. Thus spirit of meekness, faith, power, wisdom. Romans 8:2, Romans 8:15; 1 Corinthians 4:21; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 1:17; 2 Timothy 1:7, etc. These combinations with the genitives are not mere periphrases for a faculty or disposition of man. By the spirit of meekness or wisdom, for instance, is not meant merely a meek or wise spirit; but that meekness, wisdom, power, etc., are gifts of the Spirit of God. This usage is according to Old Testament analogy. Compare Exodus 28:3; Exodus 31:3; Exodus 35:31; Isaiah 11:2. 6. In the plural, used of spiritual gifts or of those who profess to be under spiritual influence, 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:12. 7. Powers or influences alien or averse from the divine Spirit, but with some qualifying word. Thus, the spirit of the world; another spirit; spirit of slumber. Romans 11:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 1:7. Where these expressions are in negative form they are framed after the analogy of the positive counterpart with which they are placed in contrast. Thus Romans 8:15: “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage, but of adoption. In other cases, as Ephesians 2:2, where the expression is positive, the conception is shaped according to Old-Testament usage, where spirits of evil are conceived as issuing from, and dependent upon, God, so far as He permits their operation and makes them subservient to His own ends. See Judges 9:23; 1653216414_47 1 Samuel 16:23; 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Kings 22:21sqq.; Isaiah 19:4. Spirit is found contrasted with letter, Romans 2:29; Romans 7:6; 2 Corinthians 3:6. With flesh, 1653216414_61; Galatians 5:16, Galatians 5:24. It is frequently associated with the idea of power (Romans 1:4; Romans 15:13, Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 2:4; Galatians 3:5; Ephesians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:7); and the verb ἐνεργεῖν , denoting to work efficaciously, is used to mark its special operation (1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 3:20; Philemon 2:13; Colossians 1:29). It is also closely associated with life, Romans 8:2, Romans 8:6, Romans 8:11, Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 15:4, 1 Corinthians 15:5; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 5:25; Galatians 6:8. It is the common possession of the Church and its members; not an occasional gift, but an essential element and mark of the christian life; not appearing merely or mainly in exceptional, marvelous, ecstatic demonstrations, but as the motive and mainspring of all christian action and feeling. It reveals itself in confession (1 Corinthians 12:3); in the consciousness of sonship (Romans 8:16); in the knowledge of the love of God (Romans 5:5); in the peace and joy of faith (Romans 14:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6); in hope (Romans 5:5; Romans 15:13). It leads believers (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18): they serve in newness of the Spirit (Romans 7:6) They walk after the Spirit (Romans 8:4, Romans 8:5; Galatians 5:16-25). Through the Spirit they are sanctified (2 Thessalonians 2:13). It manifests itself in the diversity of forms and operations, appearing under two main aspects: a difference of gifts, and a difference of functions. See Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:3, Ephesians 4:4, Ephesians 4:30; Philemon 2:1; [source]
Romans 11:3 Life [ψυχήν]
From ψύχω tobreathe or blow. In classical usage it signifies life in the distinctness of individual existence, especially of man, occasionally of brutes. Hence, generally, the life of the individual. In the further development of the idea it becomes, instead of the body, the seat of the will, dispositions, desires, passions; and, combined with the σῶμα bodydenotes the constituent parts of humanity. Hence the morally endowed individuality of man which continues after death. Scripture. In the Old Testament, answering to nephesh primarily life, breath; therefore life in its distinct individuality; life as such, distinguished from other men and from inanimate nature. Not the principle of life, but that which bears in itself and manifests the life-principle. Hence spirit (ruach πνεῦμα ) in the Old Testament never signifies the individual. Soul ( ψυχή ), of itself, does not constitute personality, but only when it is the soul of a human being. Human personality is derived from spirit ( πνεῦμα ), and finds expression in soul or life ( ψυχή ). -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
The New-Testament usage follows the Old, in denoting all individuals from the point of view of individual life. Thus the phrase πᾶσα ψυχή everysoul, i.e., every person (Romans 2:9; Romans 13:1), marking them off from inanimate nature. So Romans 11:3; Romans 16:4; 2 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 12:15; Philemon 2:30; 1 Thessalonians 2:8, illustrate an Old-Testament usage whereby the soul is the seat of personality, and is employed instead of the personal pronoun, with a collateral notion of value as individual personality. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
These and other passages are opposed to the view which limits the term to a mere animal life-principle. See Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:23; the compounds σύμψυχοι withone soul; ἰσοψύχον like-minded(Philemon 1:27; Philemon 2:20), where personal interest and accord of feeling are indicated, and not lower elements of personality. See, especially 1 Thessalonians 5:23. -DIVIDER-
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As to the distinction between ψυχή souland πνεῦμα spiritit is to be said:-DIVIDER-
1. That there are cases where the meanings approach very closely, if they are not practically synonymous; especially where the individual life is referred to. See Luke 1:47; John 11:33, and John 12:27; Matthew 11:29, and 1 Corinthians 16:18. -DIVIDER-
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2. That the distinction is to be rejected which rests on the restriction of ψυχή to the principle of animal life. This cannot be maintained in the face of 1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 Corinthians 2:14, in which latter the kindred adjective ψυχικός naturalhas reference to the faculty of discerning spiritual truth. In both cases the antithesis is πνεῦμα spiritin the ethical sense, requiring an enlargement of the conception of ψυχικός naturalbeyond that of σαρκικός fleshlyThat ψυχή soulmust not be distinguished from πνεῦμα ; spirit as being alone subject to the dominion of sin, since the πνεῦμα is described as being subject to such dominion. See 2 Corinthians 7:1. So 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 7:34, imply that the spirit needs sanctification. Compare Ephesians 4:23. -DIVIDER-
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4. Ψυχή soulis never used of God like πνεῦμα spiritIt is used of Christ, but always with reference to His humanity. -DIVIDER-
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Whatever distinction there is, therefore, is not between a higher and a lower element in man. It is rather between two sides of the one immaterial nature which stands in contrast with the body. Spirit expresses the conception of that nature more generally, being used both of the earthly and of the non-earthly spirit, while soul designates it on the side of the creature. In this view ψυχή soulis akin to σάρξ , flesh, “not as respects the notion conveyed by them, but as respects their value as they both stand at the same stage of creatureliness in contradistinction to God.” Hence the distinction follows that of the Old Testament between soul and spirit as viewed from two different points: the soul regarded as an individual possession, distinguishing the holder from other men and from inanimate nature; the spirit regarded as coming directly from God and returning to Him. “The former indicates the life-principle simply as subsistent, the latter marks its relation to God.” Spirit and not soul is the point of contact with the regenerating forces of the Holy Spirit; the point from which the whole personality is moved round so as to face God. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
Ψυχή soulis thus:-DIVIDER-
1. The individual life, the seat of the personality. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
2. The subject of the life, the person in which it dwells. -DIVIDER-
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3. The mind as the sentient principle, the seat of sensation and desire. -DIVIDER-
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[source]

1 Corinthians 4:3 Judged []
See on 1 Corinthians 2:14. Rev., in margin, examined. [source]
1 Corinthians 15:44 A natural body [σώμα ψυχικόν]
See on 1 Corinthians 2:14. The word ψυχικόν naturaloccurs only twice outside this epistle; James 3:15; Judges 1:19. The expression natural body signifies an organism animated by a ψυχή soul(see on Romans 11:4); that phase of the immaterial principle in man which is more nearly allied to the σάρξ fleshand which characterizes the man as a mortal creature; while πνεῦμα spiritis that phase which looks Godward, and characterizes him as related to God. “It is a brief designation for the whole compass of the non-corporeal side of the earthly man” (Wendt). “In the earthly body the ψυχή soul, not the πνεῦμα spiritis that which conditions its constitution and its qualities, so that it is framed as the organ of the ψυχή . In the resurrection-body the πνεῦμα spiritfor whose life-activity it is the adequate organ, conditions its nature” (Meyer). Compare Plato: “The soul has the care of inanimate being everywhere, and traverses the whole heaven in divers forms appearing; when perfect and fully winged she soars upward, and is the ruler of the universe; while the imperfect soul loses her feathers, and drooping in her flight, at last settles on the solid ground - there, finding a home, she receives an earthly frame which appears to be self-moved, but is really moved by her power; and this composition of soul and body is called a living and mortal creature. For immortal no such union can be reasonably believed to be; although fancy, not having seen nor surely known the nature of God, may imagine an immortal creature having a body, and having also a soul which are united throughout all time” (“Phaedrus,” 246). [source]
1 Corinthians 14:24 Judged [ἀνακρίνεται]
Examined and judged. The word implies inquiry rather than sentence. Each inspired speaker, in his heart-searching utterances, shall start questions which shall reveal the hearer to himself. See on discerned, 1 Corinthians 2:14. On the compounds of κρίνω , see on 1 Corinthians 11:29, 1 Corinthians 11:31, 1 Corinthians 11:32. [source]
1 Corinthians 10:25 Asking no question []
As to whether the meat had been used in idol sacrifice. See on 1 Corinthians 2:14. [source]
1 Corinthians 1:18 Foolishness [μωρια]
Folly. Old word from μωρος — mōros foolish. In N.T. only in 1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 1:21, 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 3:19. [source]
1 Corinthians 4:5 Judge [κρίνετε]
See on 1 Corinthians 2:14. The change of the verb favors the rendering examine for ἀνακρίνω . The Lord is the only competent examiner therefore do not judge until He comes to judgment. Even I myself am not competent to institute a conclusive examination, for the absence of condemnation from my conscience does not absolutely acquit me. See the critical note on 1 John 3:19-22. [source]
1 Corinthians 4:3 That I should be judged of you [ινα υπ υμων ανακριτω]
Same use of ινα — hina as in 1 Corinthians 4:2. For the verb (first aorist passive subjunctive of ανακρινω — anakrinō) see note on 1 Corinthians 2:14. Paul does not despise public opinion, but he denies “the competency of the tribunal” in Corinth (Robertson and Plummer) to pass on his credentials with Christ as his Lord. [source]
1 Corinthians 9:11 Is it a great matter? [μεγα]
The copula εστιν — estin has to be supplied. Note two conditions of first class with ει — ei both assumed to be true. On πνευματικα — pneumatika and σαρκικα — sarkika see note on 1 Corinthians 2:14 note on 1 Corinthians 3:3. This point comes out sharply also in Galatians 6:6. [source]
1 Corinthians 1:18 To them that are perishing [τοις μεν απολλυμενοις]
Dative of disadvantage (personal interest). Present middle participle is here timeless, those in the path to destruction (not annihilation. See note on 2 Thessalonians 2:10). Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:3. Foolishness (μωρια — mōria). Folly. Old word from μωρος — mōros foolish. In N.T. only in 1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 1:21, 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 3:19. But unto us which are being saved Sharp contrast to those that are perishing and same construction with the articular participle. No reason for the change of pronouns in English. This present passive participle is again timeless. Salvation is described by Paul as a thing done in the past, “we were saved” (Romans 8:24), as a present state, “ye have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5), as a process, “ye are being saved” (1 Corinthians 15:2), as a future result, “thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). The power of God (δυναμις τεου — dunamis theou). So in Romans 1:16. No other message has this dynamite of God (1 Corinthians 4:20). God‘s power is shown in the preaching of the Cross of Christ through all the ages, now as always. No other preaching wins men and women from sin to holiness or can save them. The judgment of Paul here is the verdict of every soul winner through all time. [source]
1 Corinthians 15:44 A natural body [σωμα πσυχικον]
See note on 1 Corinthians 2:14 for this word, a difficult one to translate since πσυχη — psuchē has so many meanings. Natural is probably as good a rendering as can be made, but it is not adequate, for the body here is not all πσυχη — psuchē either as soul or life. The same difficulty exists as to a spiritual body The resurrection body is not wholly πνευμα — pneuma Caution is needed here in filling out details concerning the πσυχη — psuchē and the πνευμα — pneuma But certainly he means to say that the “spiritual body” has some kind of germinal connection with the “natural body,” though the development is glorious beyond our comprehension though not beyond the power of Christ to perform (Philemon 3:21). The force of the argument remains unimpaired though we cannot follow fully into the thought beyond us. [source]
1 Corinthians 2:13 Not in words which man‘s wisdom teacheth [ουκ εν διδακτοις αντρωπινης σοπιας λογοις]
Literally, “not in words taught by human wisdom.” The verbal adjective διδακτοις — didaktois (from διδασκω — didaskō to teach) is here passive in idea and is followed by the ablative case of origin or source as in John 6:45, εσονται παντες διδακτοι τεου — esontai pantes didaktoi theou (from Isaiah 54:13), “They shall all be taught by God.” The ablative in Greek, as is well known, has the same form as the genitive, though quite different in idea (Robertson, Grammar, p. 516). So then Paul claims the help of the Holy Spirit in the utterance Clearly Paul means that the help of the Holy Spirit in the utterance of the revelation extends to the words. No theory of inspiration is here stated, but it is not mere human wisdom. Paul‘s own Epistles bear eloquent witness to the lofty claim here made. They remain today after nearly nineteen centuries throbbing with the power of the Spirit of God, dynamic with life for the problems of today as when Paul wrote them for the needs of the believers in his time, the greatest epistles of all time, surcharged with the energy of God. Comparing spiritual things with spiritual (πνευματικοις πνευματικα συνκρινοντες — pneumatikois pneumatika sunkrinontes). Each of these words is in dispute. The verb συνκρινω — sunkrinō originally meant to combine, to join together fitly. In the lxx it means to interpret dreams (Genesis 40:8, 22; 41:12) possibly by comparison. In the later Greek it may mean to compare as in 2 Corinthians 10:12. In the papyri Moulton and Milligan (Vocabulary) give it only for “decide,” probably after comparing. But “comparing,” in spite of the translations, does not suit well here. So it is best to follow the original meaning to combine as do Lightfoot and Ellicott. But what gender is πνευματικοις — pneumatikois Is it masculine or neuter like πνευματικα — pneumatika If masculine, the idea would be “interpreting (like lxx) spiritual truths to spiritual persons” or “matching spiritual truths with spiritual persons.” This is a possible rendering and makes good sense in harmony with 1 Corinthians 2:14. If πνευματικοις — pneumatikois be taken as neuter plural (associative instrumental case after συν — sun in συνκρινοντες — sunkrinontes), the idea most naturally would be, “combining spiritual ideas (πνευματικα — pneumatika) with spiritual words” (πνευματικοις — pneumatikois). This again makes good sense in harmony with the first part of 1 Corinthians 2:13. On the whole this is the most natural way to take it, though various other possibilities exist. [source]
1 Corinthians 2:13 Comparing spiritual things with spiritual [πνευματικοις πνευματικα συνκρινοντες]
Each of these words is in dispute. The verb συνκρινω — sunkrinō originally meant to combine, to join together fitly. In the lxx it means to interpret dreams (Genesis 40:8, 22; 41:12) possibly by comparison. In the later Greek it may mean to compare as in 2 Corinthians 10:12. In the papyri Moulton and Milligan (Vocabulary) give it only for “decide,” probably after comparing. But “comparing,” in spite of the translations, does not suit well here. So it is best to follow the original meaning to combine as do Lightfoot and Ellicott. But what gender is πνευματικοις — pneumatikois Is it masculine or neuter like πνευματικα — pneumatika If masculine, the idea would be “interpreting (like lxx) spiritual truths to spiritual persons” or “matching spiritual truths with spiritual persons.” This is a possible rendering and makes good sense in harmony with 1 Corinthians 2:14. If πνευματικοις — pneumatikois be taken as neuter plural (associative instrumental case after συν — sun in συνκρινοντες — sunkrinontes), the idea most naturally would be, “combining spiritual ideas This again makes good sense in harmony with the first part of 1 Corinthians 2:13. On the whole this is the most natural way to take it, though various other possibilities exist. [source]
1 Corinthians 3:18 Thinketh that he is wise [δοκει σοπος ειναι]
Condition of first class and assumed to be true. Predicate nominative σοπος — sophos with the infinitive to agree with subject of δοκει — dokei (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1038). Paul claimed to be “wise” himself in 1 Corinthians 3:10 and he desires that the claimant to wisdom may become wise (ινα γενηται σοπος — hina genētai sophos purpose clause with ινα — hina and subjunctive) by becoming a fool (μωρος γενεστω — mōros genesthō second aorist middle imperative of γινομαι — ginomai) as this age looks at him. This false wisdom of the world (1 Corinthians 1:18-20, 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14), this self-conceit, has led to strife and wrangling. Cut it out. [source]
1 Corinthians 4:3 It is a very small thing [εις ελαχιστον εστιν]
This predicate use of εις — eis is like the Hebrew, but it occurs also in the papyri. The superlative ελαχιστον — elachiston is elative, very little, not the true superlative, least. “It counts for very little with me.” That I should be judged of you (ινα υπ υμων ανακριτω — hina huph' humōn anakrithō). Same use of ινα — hina as in 1 Corinthians 4:2. For the verb (first aorist passive subjunctive of ανακρινω — anakrinō) see note on 1 Corinthians 2:14. Paul does not despise public opinion, but he denies “the competency of the tribunal” in Corinth (Robertson and Plummer) to pass on his credentials with Christ as his Lord. Or of man‘s judgement Or “by human day,” in contrast to the Lord‘s Day (der Tag) in 1 Corinthians 3:13. “That is the tribunal which the Apostle recognizes; a human tribunal he does not care to satisfy” (Robertson and Plummer). Yea, I judge not mine own self (αλλ ουδε εμαυτον ανακρινω — all' oude emauton anakrinō). Αλλα — Alla here is confirmatory, not adversative. “I have often wondered how it is that every man sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others” (M. Aurelius, xii. 4. Translated by Robertson and Plummer). Paul does not even set himself up as judge of himself. [source]
1 Thessalonians 1:5 How that [οτι]
It is not certain whether οτι — hoti here means “because” (θυια — quia) as in 2 Thessalonians 3:7; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:27 or declarative οτι — hoti “how that,” knowing the circumstances of your election (Lightfoot) or explanatory, as in Acts 16:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 12:3.; Romans 13:11. [source]
James 3:15 Coming down from above [κατερχομενη ανωτεν]
As in James 1:5, James 1:17. All true wisdom comes from God.Earthly (επιγειος — epigeios). Old adjective, on earth (επι γη — epiπσυχικη — gē), as in John 3:12, then with earthly limitations (Philemon 3:19), as here.Sensual Old adjective, belonging to the δαιμονιωδης — psuchē the sensuous or animal life (1 Corinthians 2:14 and here).Devilish (δαιμονιον — daimoniōdēs). Late adjective from daimonion (demon) and so demoniacal or demon-like, here only in N.T. [source]
James 3:15 Sensual [πσυχη]
Old adjective, belonging to the δαιμονιωδης — psuchē the sensuous or animal life (1 Corinthians 2:14 and here).Devilish (δαιμονιον — daimoniōdēs). Late adjective from daimonion (demon) and so demoniacal or demon-like, here only in N.T. [source]
Jude 1:19 Sensual [ψυχικοί]
See on Mark 12:30. As ψυχή denotes life in the distinctness of individual existence, “the centre of the personal being, the I of each individual,” so this adjective derived from it denotes what pertains to man as man, the natural personality as distinguished from the renewed man. So 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:44:. The rendering sensual, here and James 3:15, is inferential: sensual because natural and unrenewed In contrast with this is [source]
Jude 1:19 Sensual [πνευμα μη εχοντες]
Old adjective from μη — psuchē as in 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:44; James 3:15. Opposed to εχω — pneumatikos Not used by Peter.Having not the Spirit (πνευμα — pneuma mē echontes). Usual negative mē with the participle (present active of echō). Probably pneuma here means the Holy Spirit, as is plain in Judges 1:20. Cf. Romans 8:9. [source]
Revelation 11:8 Spiritually [πνευματικος]
This late adverb from πνευματικος — pneumatikos (spiritual) occurs in the N.T. only twice, in 1 Corinthians 2:14 for the help of the Holy Spirit in interpreting God‘s message and here in a hidden or mystical (allegorical sense). For this use of οπου και ο κυριος αυτων εσταυρωτη — pneumatikos see 1 Corinthians 10:3. Judah is called Sodom in Isaiah 1:9.; Ezekiel 16:46, Ezekiel 16:55. See also Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:23. Egypt is not applied to Israel in the O.T., but is “an obvious symbol of oppression and slavery” (Swete). [source]
Revelation 11:8 In [επι]
“Upon,” as in Revelation 11:6, with genitive Clearly Jerusalem in view of the closing clause (οπουεσταυρωτη — hopou- ητις — estaurōthē), though not here called “the holy city” as in Revelation 11:2, and though elsewhere in the Apocalypse Babylon (Rome) is so described (Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2, Revelation 18:10, Revelation 18:16, Revelation 18:18, Revelation 18:19, Revelation 18:21).Which Which very city, not “whichever.”Spiritually (πνευματικος — pneumatikōs). This late adverb from πνευματικος — pneumatikos (spiritual) occurs in the N.T. only twice, in 1 Corinthians 2:14 for the help of the Holy Spirit in interpreting God‘s message and here in a hidden or mystical (allegorical sense). For this use of οπου και ο κυριος αυτων εσταυρωτη — pneumatikos see 1 Corinthians 10:3. Judah is called Sodom in Isaiah 1:9.; Ezekiel 16:46, Ezekiel 16:55. See also Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:23. Egypt is not applied to Israel in the O.T., but is “an obvious symbol of oppression and slavery” (Swete).Where also their Lord was crucified First aorist passive indicative of stauroō to crucify, a reference to the fact of Christ‘s crucifixion in Jerusalem. This item is one of the sins of Jerusalem and the disciple is not greater than the Master (John 15:20). [source]
Revelation 11:8 Which [πνευματικως]
Which very city, not “whichever.”Spiritually (πνευματικος — pneumatikōs). This late adverb from πνευματικος — pneumatikos (spiritual) occurs in the N.T. only twice, in 1 Corinthians 2:14 for the help of the Holy Spirit in interpreting God‘s message and here in a hidden or mystical (allegorical sense). For this use of οπου και ο κυριος αυτων εσταυρωτη — pneumatikos see 1 Corinthians 10:3. Judah is called Sodom in Isaiah 1:9.; Ezekiel 16:46, Ezekiel 16:55. See also Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:23. Egypt is not applied to Israel in the O.T., but is “an obvious symbol of oppression and slavery” (Swete).Where also their Lord was crucified First aorist passive indicative of stauroō to crucify, a reference to the fact of Christ‘s crucifixion in Jerusalem. This item is one of the sins of Jerusalem and the disciple is not greater than the Master (John 15:20). [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Corinthians 2:14 mean?

[The] natural however man not accepts the things of the Spirit - of God foolishness for to him they are and he is able to understand [them] because spiritually they are discerned
Ψυχικὸς δὲ ἄνθρωπος οὐ δέχεται τὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Θεοῦ μωρία γὰρ αὐτῷ ἐστίν καὶ δύναται γνῶναι ὅτι πνευματικῶς ἀνακρίνεται

Ψυχικὸς  [The]  natural 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ψυχικός  
Sense: of or belonging to breath.
δὲ  however 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
ἄνθρωπος  man 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἄνθρωπος  
Sense: a human being, whether male or female.
δέχεται  accepts 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: δέχομαι  
Sense: to take with the hand.
τὰ  the  things 
Parse: Article, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
τοῦ  of  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Πνεύματος  Spirit 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: πνεῦμα  
Sense: a movement of air (a gentle blast.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Θεοῦ  of  God 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.
μωρία  foolishness 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: μωρία  
Sense: foolishness.
αὐτῷ  to  him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
ἐστίν  they  are 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
δύναται  he  is  able 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: δύναμαι  
Sense: to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom.
γνῶναι  to  understand  [them] 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: γινώσκω  
Sense: to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel.
ὅτι  because 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
πνευματικῶς  spiritually 
Parse: Adverb
Root: πνευματικῶς  
Sense: spiritually: i.
ἀνακρίνεται  they  are  discerned 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀνακρίνω  
Sense: examine or judge.