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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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1 Corinthians 2:14

Now the natural man (psuxikov de antrwpov).
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 pneuma and pneumatikos, psuxh and psuxikos, sarx and sarkinov and sarkikov. 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 sarx, pneuma, and psuxh 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. Psuxikov is a qualitative adjective from psuxh (breath of life like anima, life, soul). Here the Vulgate renders it by animalis and the German by sinnlich, the original sense of animal life as in Jude 1:19; James 3:15. In 1 Corinthians 15:44,46 there is the same contrast between psuxikov and pneumatikov as here. The psuxikov man is the unregenerate man while the pneumatikov man is the renewed man, born again of the Spirit of God. {Receiveth not (ou dexetai).
Does not accept, rejects, refuses to accept. In Romans 8:7 Paul definitely states the inability (oude gar dunatai) of the mind of the flesh to receive the things of the Spirit untouched by the Holy Spirit. Certainly the initiative comes from God whose Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to accept the things of the Spirit of God. They are no longer "foolishness" (mwria) to us as was once the case (1:23). Today one notes certain of the intelligentsia who sneer at Christ and Christianity in their own blinded ignorance.

He cannot know them (ou dunatai gnwnai).
He is not able to get a knowledge (ingressive second aorist active infinitive of ginwskw). 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 (pneumatikwv anakrinetai).
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 psuxikoi men are incapable of rendering a decision for they are unable to recognize the facts. They judge by the psuxh (mere animal nature) rather than by the pneuma (the renewed spirit).

 


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 2:14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=1co&chapter=002&verse=014>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

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