1 Corinthians 12:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

New Living Translation
So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.

English Standard Version
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

King James Bible
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

International Standard Version
For this reason I want you to be aware that no one who is speaking by God's Spirit can say, "Jesus is cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

NET Bible
So I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because I inform you of this: there is no man who speaks by The Spirit of God and says, “Yeshua is damned”, neither can a man say, “Yeshua is THE LORD JEHOVAH”, except by The Spirit of Holiness.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So I want you to know that no one speaking by God's Spirit says, "Jesus is cursed." No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore I give you to understand, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus anathema and that no one can call Jesus Lord but by the Holy Spirit.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.

American King James Version
Why I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

American Standard Version
Wherefore I make known unto you, that no man speaking in the Spirit of God saith, Jesus is anathema; and no man can say, Jesus is Lord, but in the Holy Spirit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith Anathema to Jesus. And no man can say the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost.

Darby Bible Translation
I give you therefore to know, that no one, speaking in [the power of the] Spirit of God, says, Curse [on] Jesus; and no one can say, Lord Jesus, unless in [the power of the] Holy Spirit.

English Revised Version
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking in the Spirit of God saith, Jesus is anathema; and no man can say, Jesus is Lord, but in the Holy Spirit.

Webster's Bible Translation
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God, calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.

Weymouth New Testament
For this reason I would have you understand that no one speaking under the influence of The Spirit of God ever says, "Jesus is accursed," and that no one is able to say, "Jesus is Lord," except under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

World English Bible
Therefore I make known to you that no man speaking by God's Spirit says, "Jesus is accursed." No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," but by the Holy Spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
wherefore, I give you to understand that no one, in the Spirit of God speaking, saith Jesus is anathema, and no one is able to say Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:1-11 Spiritual gifts were extraordinary powers bestowed in the first ages, to convince unbelievers, and to spread the gospel. Gifts and graces greatly differ. Both were freely given of God. But where grace is given, it is for the salvation of those who have it. Gifts are for the advantage and salvation of others; and there may be great gifts where there is no grace. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were chiefly exercised in the public assemblies, where the Corinthians seem to have made displays of them, wanting in the spirit of piety, and of Christian love. While heathens, they had not been influenced by the Spirit of Christ. No man can call Christ Lord, with believing dependence upon him, unless that faith is wrought by the Holy Ghost. No man could believe with his heart, or prove by a miracle, that Jesus was Christ, unless by the Holy Ghost. There are various gifts, and various offices to perform, but all proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit; that is, from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the origin of all spiritual blessings. No man has them merely for himself. The more he profits others, the more will they turn to his own account. The gifts mentioned appear to mean exact understanding, and uttering the doctrines of the Christian religion; the knowledge of mysteries, and skill to give advice and counsel. Also the gift of healing the sick, the working of miracles, and to explain Scripture by a peculiar gift of the Spirit, and ability to speak and interpret languages. If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any power to make it known, we must give all the glory of God. The greater the gifts are, the more the possessor is exposed to temptations, and the larger is the measure of grace needed to keep him humble and spiritual; and he will meet with more painful experiences and humbling dispensations. We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who have them not.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - Wherefore. Their previous condition of Gentile ignorance rendered it necessary to instruct them fully respecting the nature and discrimination of the charisms of the Spirit. By the Spirit of God; rather, in the Spirit; i.e. in the state of spiritual exaltation and ecstasy. The phrase is a Hebrew one to describe inspiration. Jesus accursed. It may well seem amazing that the Corinthians should need instructing that such awful language could not be uttered by any one speaking "in the Spirit of God." It is evident, however, that such expressions had been uttered by persons who were, or seemed to be, carried away by the impassioned impulse which led to "glossolaly." (It is better to use this technical word in order to dissipate the cloud of strange misconceptions as to the true nature of this charism.) So terrible an outrage on the conscience of Christians could never have passed unchecked and unpunished, except from the obvious inability of the young community to grapple with the new and perplexing phenomena of an "inspiration" which appeared to destroy the personal control of those possessed by it. Among Jewish converts glossolaly was regarded as a form of that wild mantle "inspiration" of which we find some traces in Jewish history (1 Samuel 10:10, 11; 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Samuel 19:23, 24, etc.), and which was alluded to in the very name Nabo, which implied a boiling energy. Among Gentile converts the glossolaly would be classed with the overmastering influences of which they read, or which they witnessed, in the Sibyls, the Pythian priestesses, and the wild orgiastic devotees of Eastern cults. They would not like to call any one to task for things spoken in a condition which they regarded as wholly supernatural. As to the speakers,

(1) some of them, not being sincere, might have really fallen under the influence of impulses which were earthly and demonish, not Divine;

(2) others, not duly controlling their own genuine impulse, may have been liable to the uncontrolled sway of utterances for which they were at the moment irresponsible;

(3) or again, being incapable of reasoned expression, they may have audibly expressed vague Gnostic doubts as to the identity of the "Jesus" who was crucified and the Divine Word; or

(4) they may have been entangled in Jewish perplexities rising from Deuteronomy 21:23, "He that is hanged" (which was also the expression applied by Jews to the crucified) "is accursed of God;" or finally,

(5) by some strange abuse of the true principle expressed by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:16, they may have asserted in this fearful form their emancipation from the acknowledgment of Jesus "after the flesh." Similar phenomena - the same intrusions into worship of downright blasphemy or of blasphemous familiarity - have constantly recurred at times of overwhelming spiritual excitement, as for instance m the adherents of the "everlasting gospel" in the thirteenth century, and in various movements of our own day. Is accursed; rather, is anathema. The word corresponds to the Hebrew cherem, which means "a ban," and "what is devoted or set apart by a ban;" and to the Latin sacer, which means not only "sacred," set apart by holy consecration, but also "devoted to destruction." No man can say that Jesus is [the] Lord, but by [in] the Holy Ghost. It involved a strong rebuke to the illuminati, who professed a profound spiritual insight, to tell them that no man could make the simple, humble confession of the divinity of Jesus (for "Lord" is here an equivalent of the Hebrew "Jehovah") except by the same inspiration as that which they so terribly abused. There is a very similar passage in 1 John 1:2; but there the "test" of the inspiration is a confession of the humanity of Jesus as against Gnostics, who treated his human life as purely phantasmal. Here the test is the confession of his divinity as against Jews and Gentiles. (For a parallel passage, see Matthew 16:17, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee.")

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Wherefore I give you to understand,.... Or "I make known unto you"; what I am about to say are certain truths, and to be depended on,

that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; or "anathema", as did the unconverted Gentiles, who knew nothing of Jesus but by report; which report they had from the Jews, his enemies; and by that report he appeared to them to be a very wicked and detestable person, who was put to death by the means of his own countrymen, was hanged upon a tree, and so to be counted and called accursed: the apostle seems to have reference to the sense these Corinthians had of Jesus, and what they called him before their conversion; whence it appeared that they spoke not by, nor were they possessed of the Spirit of God then, and therefore their having of him now was an instance of pure grace; or else respect is had to the Jews, who not only, whilst Jesus was living, blasphemed him, but continued to call him accursed after his death, whilst they were in their own land; and after the destruction of their city and temple, they continued, as Justin Martyr observes (a) to Trypho the Jew, to "curse" Christ, and them that believed in him; and to this day privately call him by such names as will hardly bear to be mentioned, were it not for the explanation of such a passage: thus they (b) call him "Jesus the perverse", or he that perverteth the law of God; and "Jesu", the name they commonly give him, they say is the abbreviation of , "let his name and memory be blotted out"; and which they sometimes explain by "Jesu is a lie, and an abomination: they call him a strange God, and vanity" (c), and often by the name of (d), "one that was hanged", and so with them accursed; and which seems to be the name the Jews, in the apostle's time, gave him, and to which he here refers. Now, as in the former verse he may have regard to the Gentiles, so in this to the Jews in this church, who, before conversion, had so called Christ, when it was plain they had not the Spirit of God then, or they could not have so called him; and therefore if they were partakers of him now, they ought to admire divine grace, and not glory in themselves, and over others. Dr. Lightfoot thinks, that Jewish exorcists who strolled about, and pretended to do miracles by the Holy Ghost, and yet called Jesus "anathema", are meant, of whom the Corinthians might assure themselves that they did not speak, nor act, nor were acted by the Spirit of God. The words may be applied to all such as detest and deny the doctrines of Christ, respecting his person and office; as that he is come in the flesh, is the true Messiah, the Son of God, truly and properly God; that his death is a proper sacrifice, and full satisfaction for sin; and that justification is by his imputed righteousness: without any breach of charity it may be said, such persons do in effect call Jesus accursed, nullifying his person, sufferings, and death, as to the dignity and efficacy of them; and cannot be thought to have, and speak by, the Spirit of God, who if they had him, would teach them otherwise. Moreover, as the word "anathema" here used answers to "Cherem", a form of excommunication among the Jews; it may be truly said that such call Jesus accursed, or "anathema", who, if I may be allowed the expression, excommunicate him out of their sermons and faith; these crucify him afresh, trample him under foot, count his blood as a common thing, and do malice to his Spirit; and therefore cannot be thought to have him, and speak by him.

And that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost; or Jehovah; which, with the Jews, was a name ineffable, to which the apostle might have respect. Christ is Lord of all, of angels, good and bad; of men, righteous and wicked; of the chief among men, the kings, princes, and lords of the earth; as he is God by right of nature, and as Creator of them by virtue of that; and because of his providential power and influence in the government of the universe; he is Lord of his church and people, by the Father's gift of them to him; by his espousal of them to himself; by the purchase of his blood; and by the conquests of his grace; and as appears by the various relations he stands in to them, as father, husband, head, King, and master. Now, though a man may historically say all this, as the devils may, and hypocritically, as formal professors and foolish virgins do now, and will at the last day; and as all men then will by force, whether they will or not, confess that Jesus is Lord, who have not the Spirit of God; yet no man can call him his Lord, can appropriate him to himself truly and really, as his Lord, Saviour, and Redeemer, as David, Thomas, the Apostle Paul, and others have done; but by the Spirit; since such an appropriation includes spiritual knowledge of Christ, strong affection to him; faith of interest in him, an hearty profession of him, and sincere subjection to him; all which cannot be without the Spirit of God: for he is the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; and true love to Christ is a genuine fruit of his; faith in Christ, is entirely of his operation; and a subjection to the righteousness of Christ, and to his ordinances, is through the influence of his grace; and it is owing to his witnessings that any can truly, and in faith, claim their interest in him. Upon the whole, the apostle's sense is, let a man pretend to what he will, if he does not love Jesus Christ, and believe in him, he is destitute of his Spirit; and whoever loves Christ, and believes in him, and can call him his Lord in faith and fear, however mean otherwise his gifts may be, he is a partaker of the Spirit of God.

(a) Dialog. cum Tryph. p. 335. (b) Buxtorf. Abbrev. p. 10. (c) Buxtorf. Abbrev. p. 101, 102, 103. (d) Ib. Lex. Talmud. col. 2596.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. The negative and positive criteria of inspiration by the Spirit—the rejection or confession of Jesus as Lord [Alford] (1Jo 4:2; 5:1). Paul gives a test of truth against the Gentiles; John, against the false prophets.

by the Spirit—rather, as Greek, "IN the Spirit"; that being the power pervading him, and the element in which he speaks [Alford], (Mt 16:17; Joh 15:26).

of God … Holy—The same Spirit is called at one time "the Spirit of God"; at another, "the HOLY Ghost," or "Holy Spirit." Infinite Holiness is almost synonymous with Godhead.

speaking … say—"Speak" implies the act of utterance; "say" refers to that which is uttered. Here, "say" means a spiritual and believing confession of Him.

Jesus—not an abstract doctrine, but the historical, living God-man (Ro 10:9).

accursed—as the Jews and Gentiles treated Him (Ga 3:13). Compare "to curse Christ" in the heathen Pliny's letter [Epistles, 10.97]. The spiritual man feels Him to be the Source of all blessings (Eph 1:3) and to be severed from Him is to be accursed (Ro 9:3).

Lord—acknowledging himself as His servant (Isa 26:13). "Lord" is the Septuagint translation for the incommunicable Hebrew name Jehovah.

1 Corinthians 12:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
Spiritual Gifts Bestowed
2You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. 3Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.…
Cross References
Matthew 22:43
He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says,

John 13:13
"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.

John 13:14
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.

Romans 9:3
For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,

Romans 10:9
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

1 John 4:2
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

Revelation 1:10
On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
Treasury of Scripture

Why I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

no man.

Mark 9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do …

John 16:14,15 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you…

1 John 4:2,3 Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that …

accursed. or, anathema.

1 Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

Deuteronomy 21:23 His body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall in …

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse …

no man.

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, …

Matthew 16:16,17 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of …

John 13:13 You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the …

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of …

2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, …

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