1 Corinthians 3:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.

King James Bible
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
And I, brethren, have not been able to speak to you as to spiritual, but as to fleshly; as to babes in Christ.

World English Bible
Brothers, I couldn't speak to you as to spiritual, but as to fleshly, as to babies in Christ.

Young's Literal Translation
And I, brethren, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual, but as to fleshly -- as to babes in Christ;

1 Corinthians 3:1 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And I, brethren - See 1 Corinthians 2:1. This is designed to meet an implied objection. He had said 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 that Christians were able to understand all things. Yet, they would recollect that he had not addressed them as such, but had confined himself to the more elementary parts of religion when he came among them. He had not entered upon the abstruse and difficult points of theology - the points of speculation in which the subtle Greeks so much abounded and so much delighted. He now states the reason why he had not done it. The reason was one that was most humbling to their pride; but it was the true reason, and faithfulness demanded that it should be stated. It was, that they were carnal, and not qualified to understand the deep mysteries of the gospel; and the proof of this was unhappily at hand. It was too evident in their contentions and strifes, that they were under the influence of carnal feelings and views.

Could not speak unto you as unto spiritual - "I could not regard you as spiritual - as qualified to enter into the full and higher truths of the gospel; I could not regard you as divested of the feelings which influence carnal people - the people of the world, and I addressed you accordingly. I could not discourse to you as to far-advanced and well-informed Christians. I taught you the rudiments only of the Christian religion." He refers here, doubtless, to his instructions when he founded the church at Corinth. See the note at 1 Corinthians 2:13-15.

But as unto carnal - The word "carnal" here σάρκινοῖς sarkinois is not the same which in 1 Corinthians 2:14, is translated "natural" ψυχικός psuchikos. "That" refers to one who is unrenewed, and who is wholly under the influence of his sensual or animal nature, and is no where applied to Christians. "This" is applied here to Christians - but to those who have much of the remains of corruption, and who are imperfectly acquainted with the nature of religion; babes in Christ. It denotes those who still evinced the feelings and views which pertain to the flesh, in these unhappy contentions, and strifes, and divisions. "The works of the flesh are hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, envyings" Galatians 5:20-21; and these they had evinced in their divisions; and Paul knew that their danger lay in this direction, and he therefore addressed them according to their character. Paul applies the word to himself Romans 7:14, "for I am carnal;" and here it denotes that they were as yet under the influence of the corrupt passions and desires which the flesh produces.

As unto babes in Christ - As unto those recently born into his kingdom, and unable to understand the profounder doctrines of the Christian religion. It is a common figure to apply the term infants and children to those who are feeble in understanding, or unable, from any cause, to comprehend the more profound instructions of science or religion.

1 Corinthians 3:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Temples of God
'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?'--1 COR. iii. 16 The great purpose of Christianity is to make men like Jesus Christ. As He is the image of the invisible God we are to be the images of the unseen Christ. The Scripture is very bold and emphatic in attributing to Christ's followers likeness to Him, in nature, in character, in relation to the world, in office, and in ultimate destiny. Is He the anointed of God? We are anointed--Christs in Him. Is He the Son of God? We in Him receive the
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Servants and Lords
'All things are yours; 22. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23. And ye are Christ's.'--1 COR. iii. 21-23. The Corinthian Christians seem to have carried into the Church some of the worst vices of Greek--and English--political life. They were split up into wrangling factions, each swearing by the name of some person. Paul was the battle-cry of one set; Apollos of another. Paul and Apollos were very good friends,
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Alcuin on True Missionary Labours.
THE cause of the first failure of the mission amongst the Saxons, may serve as a lesson and a warning to all times. It was this: that they sought to introduce from without what can only be effected from within; that worldly aims were blended with the diffusion of Christianity; that men did not follow the example of the Apostle Paul, who, in preaching the Gospel, allowed the Jews to remain Jews, and the Greeks, Greeks, and knew how to become to the Jews as a Jew, and to the Greeks as a Greek. The
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Certain it Is, Albeit all this Disputation Go from Side to Side...
38. Certain it is, albeit all this disputation go from side to side, some asserting that it is never right to lie, and to this effect reciting divine testimonies: others gainsaying, and even in the midst of the very words of the divine testimonies seeking place for a lie; yet no man can say, that he finds this either in example or in word of the Scriptures, that any lie should seem a thing to be loved, or not had in hatred; howbeit sometimes by telling a lie thou must do that thou hatest, that what
St. Augustine—On Lying

Cross References
Romans 7:14
For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.

1 Corinthians 2:6
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;

1 Corinthians 2:14
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.

1 Corinthians 2:15
But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

1 Corinthians 14:37
If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment.

Galatians 6:1
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

Ephesians 4:14
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

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