1 Corinthians 2:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

New Living Translation
But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

English Standard Version
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

New American Standard Bible
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God's Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.

International Standard Version
A person who isn't spiritual doesn't accept the things of God's Spirit, for they are nonsense to him. He can't understand them because they are spiritually evaluated.

NET Bible
The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For a selfish man does not receive spiritual things, for they are madness to him, and he is not able to know, for they are known by The Spirit.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A person who isn't spiritual doesn't accept the teachings of God's Spirit. He thinks they're nonsense. He can't understand them because a person must be spiritual to evaluate them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But the natural man does not perceive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

King James 2000 Bible
But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

American King James Version
But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot understand, because it is spiritually examined.

Darby Bible Translation
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;

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Weymouth New Testament
The unspiritual man rejects the things of the Spirit of God, and cannot attain to the knowledge of them, because they are spiritually judged.

World English Bible
Now the natural man doesn't receive the things of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can't know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Young's Literal Translation
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;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:10-16 God has revealed true wisdom to us by his Spirit. Here is a proof of the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, 2Pe 1:21. In proof of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, observe, that he knows all things, and he searches all things, even the deep things of God. No one can know the things of God, but his Holy Spirit, who is one with the Father and the Son, and who makes known Divine mysteries to his church. This is most clear testimony, both to the real Godhead and the distinct person of the Holy Spirit. The apostles were not guided by worldly principles. They had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God, and the saving impression of them from the same Spirit. These things they declared in plain, simple language, taught by the Holy Spirit, totally different from the affected oratory or enticing words of man's wisdom. The natural man, the wise man of the world, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. The pride of carnal reasoning is really as much opposed to spirituality, as the basest sensuality. The sanctified mind discerns the real beauties of holiness, but the power of discerning and judging about common and natural things is not lost. But the carnal man is a stranger to the principles, and pleasures, and actings of the Divine life. The spiritual man only, is the person to whom God gives the knowledge of his will. How little have any known of the mind of God by natural power! And the apostles were enabled by his Spirit to make known his mind. In the Holy Scriptures, the mind of Christ, and the mind of God in Christ, are fully made known to us. It is the great privilege of Christians, that they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit. They experience his sanctifying power in their hearts, and bring forth good fruits in their lives.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 14. - The natural man. The Greek word is ψυχικὸς (psychical); literally, soulish, i.e. the man who lives the mere life of his lower understanding, the unspiritual, sensuous, and egoistic man. He may be superior to the fleshly, sensual, or carnal man, who lives only the life of the body (σωματικὸς); but is far below the spiritual man (πνευματικός). St. Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:23) recognizes the tripartite nature of man - body, soul, spirit. Receiveth not; i.e. "does not choose to accept." He judges them by the foregone conclusions of his own prejudice. Because they are spiritually judged. The organ for the recognition of such truths - namely, the spirit - has become paralyzed or fallen into atrophy, from neglect; therefore the egoist and the sensualist have lost the faculty whereby alone spiritual truth is discernible. It becomes to them what painting is to the blind, or music to the deaf. This elementary truth is again and again insisted on in Scripture, and ignored by sceptics (Romans 8:6, 7; John 3:3; John 6:44, 45; John 14:17; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6). This verse is sometimes used to depreciate knowledge, reason, and intellect. On that abuse of the passage, see Hooker, 'Eccl. Pol.,' 3. 8:4-11, an admirable passage, which Bishop Wordsworth quotes at length. It is, perhaps, sufficient to say that if God has no need of human knowledge, he has still less need of human ignorance.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But the natural man,.... Not a babe in Christ, one that is newly born again, for though such have but little knowledge of spiritual things, yet they have a taste, and do relish and desire, and receive the sincere milk of the word, and grow thereby; but an unregenerate man, that has no knowledge at all of such things; not an unregenerate man only, who is openly and notoriously profane, abandoned to sensual lusts and pleasures; though such a man being sensual, and not having the Spirit, must be a natural man; but rather the wise philosopher, the Scribe, the disputer of this world; the rationalist, the man of the highest attainments in nature, in whom reason is wrought up to its highest pitch; the man of the greatest natural parts and abilities, yet without the Spirit and grace of God, mentioned 1 Corinthians 1:20 and who all along, both in that chapter and in this, quite down to this passage, is had in view: indeed, every man in a state of nature, who is as he was born, whatever may be the inward furniture of his mind, or his outward conduct of life, is but a natural man, and such an one

receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: not the things relating to the deity, personality, and perfections of the Holy Spirit, though these the natural man knows not, nor receives; nor the things done by him, particularly the operations of his grace on the souls of men in regeneration, concerning which he says, as Nicodemus did, "how can these things be?" but the truths of the Gospel before spoken of; so called, because they are contained in the Scriptures edited by the Spirit of God, are the deep things of God, which he searches into and reveals; and because they are made known by him, who is given and received for that end and purpose, that the saints might know them; and because they are delivered by the preachers of the Gospel, in words which he teacheth; now these the natural man receives not in the love of them, so as to approve of and like them, truly to believe them, cordially embrace them, and heartily be subject to them, profess and obey them, but on the contrary abhors and rejects them:

for they are foolishness unto him; they are looked upon by him as absurd, and contrary to reason; they do not agree with his taste, he disrelishes and rejects them as things insipid and distasteful; he regards them as the effects of a crazy brain, and the reveries of a distempered head, and are with him the subject of banter and ridicule:

neither can he know them: as a natural man, and whilst he is such, nor by the help and mere light of nature only; his understanding, which is shut unto them, must be opened by a divine power, and a superior spiritual light must be thrown into it; at most he can only know the literal and grammatical sense of them, or only in the theory, notionally and speculatively, not experimentally, spiritually, and savingly:

because they are spiritually discerned; in a spiritual manner, by a spiritual light, and under the influence, and by the assistance of the Spirit of God. There must be a natural visive discerning faculty, suited to the object; as there must be a natural visive faculty to see and discern natural things, so there must be a spiritual one, to see, discern, judge, and approve of spiritual things; and which only a spiritual, and not a natural man has.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

14. natural man—literally, "a man of animal soul." As contrasted with the spiritual man, he is governed by the animal soul, which overbears his spirit, which latter is without the Spirit of God (Jude 19). So the animal (English Version, "natural") body, or body led by the lower animal nature (including both the mere human fallen reason and heart), is contrasted with the Spirit-quickened body (1Co 15:44-46). The carnal man (the man led by bodily appetites, and also by a self-exalting spirit, estranged from the divine life) is closely akin; so too the "earthly." "Devilish," or "demon-like"; "led by an evil spirit," is the awful character of such a one, in its worst type (Jas 3:15).

receiveth not—though they are offered to him, and are "worthy of being received by all men" (1Ti 1:15).

they are foolishness unto him—whereas he seeks "wisdom" (1Co 1:22).

neither can he—Not only does he not, but he cannot know them, and therefore has no wish to "receive" them (Ro 8:7).

1 Corinthians 2:14 Additional Commentaries
Context
Wisdom from the Spirit of God
13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.…
Cross References
John 14:17
the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:21
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:23
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

1 Corinthians 1:25
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

1 Corinthians 3:1
Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly--mere infants in Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:44
it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15:46
The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.

James 3:15
Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

Jude 1:19
These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
Treasury of Scripture

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

the natural man. [Psuchikos,] the animal man, one who lives in a natural state, and under the influence of his animal passions; for [psuche] means the inferior and sensual part of man, in opposition to the [nous] understanding, or [pneuma,] the spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:44,46 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is …

James 3:15 This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jude 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

receiveth.

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know …

Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said to Peter, Get you behind me, Satan: you are …

John 3:3-6 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except …

John 8:43 Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word.

John 10:26,27 But you believe not, because you are not of my sheep, as I said to you…

John 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed …

Romans 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; …

the things.

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit …

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will …

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

John 16:8-15 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, …

they.

1 Corinthians 1:18,23 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; …

John 8:51,52 Truly, truly, I say to you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death…

John 10:20 And many of them said, He has a devil, and is mad; why hear you him?

Acts 17:18,32 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, …

Acts 18:15 But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look …

Acts 25:19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, …

Acts 26:24,25 And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, …

neither.

Proverbs 14:6 A scorner seeks wisdom, and finds it not: but knowledge is easy to …

John 5:44 How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek …

John 6:44,45 No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: …

Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city …

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which …

1 John 2:20,27 But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things…

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, …

Jude 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

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