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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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1 Corinthians 2:13

Which things also we speak (a kai laloumen).
This onomatopoetic verb lalew (from la-la), to utter sounds. In the papyri the word calls more attention to the form of utterance while legw refers more to the substance. But lalew in the N.T. as here is used of the highest and holiest speech. Undoubtedly Paul employs the word purposely for the utterance of the revelation which he has understood. That is to say, there is revelation (verse 10), illumination (verse 12), and inspiration (verse 13). Paul claims therefore the help of the Holy Spirit for the reception of the revelation, for the understanding of it, for the expression of it. Paul claimed this authority for his preaching (1 Thessalonians 4:2) and for his epistles (2 Thessalonians 3:14).

Not in words which man's wisdom teacheth (ouk en didaktoiv antrwpinhv sopiav logoiv).
Literally, "not in words taught by human wisdom." The verbal adjective didaktoiv (from didaskw, to teach) is here passive in idea and is followed by the ablative case of origin or source as in John 6:45, esontai pantev didaktoi teou (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 (laloumen) of the words, "which the Spirit teacheth (en didaktoiv pneumatov), "in words taught by the Spirit" (ablative pneumatov as above). 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 (pneumatikoiv pneumatika sunkrinontev).
Each of these words is in dispute. The verb sunkrinw, 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 pneumatikoiv? Is it masculine or neuter like 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 verse 14. If pneumatikoiv be taken as neuter plural (associative instrumental case after sun in sunkrinontev), the idea most naturally would be, "combining spiritual ideas (pneumatika) with spiritual words" (pneumatikoiv). This again makes good sense in harmony with the first part of verse 13. On the whole this is the most natural way to take it, though various other possibilities exist.

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:13". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=1co&chapter=002&verse=013>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

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