1 Corinthians 3:1
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn't talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.

English Standard Version
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.

Berean Study Bible
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly—as infants in Christ.

Berean Literal Bible
And I, brothers, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual, but as fleshly--as to infants in Christ.

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.

Christian Standard Bible
For my part, brothers and sisters, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ.

Contemporary English Version
My friends, you are acting like the people of this world. That's why I could not speak to you as spiritual people. You are like babies as far as your faith in Christ is concerned.

Good News Translation
As a matter of fact, my friends, I could not talk to you as I talk to people who have the Spirit; I had to talk to you as though you belonged to this world, as children in the Christian faith.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ.

International Standard Version
Brothers, I couldn't talk to you as spiritual people but as worldly people, as mere infants in the Messiah.

NET Bible
So, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but instead as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.

New Heart English Bible
And I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual, but as fleshly, as infants in Christ.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And I, my brethren, have not been able to speak with you as with spiritual ones but as with the carnal and as to babies in The Messiah.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, I couldn't talk to you as spiritual people but as people still influenced by your corrupt nature. You were infants in your faith in Christ.

New American Standard 1977
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I, brothers, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

King James 2000 Bible
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

American King James Version
And I, brothers, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, even as to babes in Christ.

American Standard Version
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.

Douay-Rheims Bible
AND I, brethren, could not speak to you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. As unto little ones 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.

English Revised Version
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, even as to babes in Christ.

Weymouth New Testament
And as for myself, brethren, I found it impossible to speak to you as spiritual men. It had to be as to worldlings--mere 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;
Study Bible
God's Fellow Workers
1Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly— as infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready,…
Cross References
Romans 7:14
We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

1 Corinthians 2:6
Among the mature, however, we speak a message of wisdom--but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

1 Corinthians 2:14
The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:15
The spiritual man judges all things, but he himself is not subject to anyone's judgment.

1 Corinthians 14:37
If anyone considers himself a prophet or spiritual person, let him acknowledge that what I am writing you is the Lord's command.

Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if someone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him with a spirit of gentleness. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

Ephesians 4:14
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed about by the waves and carried around by every wind of teaching and by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming.

Hebrews 5:13
Everyone who lives on milk is still an infant, inexperienced in the message of righteousness.

Treasury of Scripture

And I, brothers, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, even as to babes in Christ.

as unto spiritual.

1 Corinthians 2:6,15
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: …

Galatians 6:1
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

as unto carnal.

1 Corinthians 3:3,4
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? …

1 Corinthians 2:14
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.

Matthew 16:23
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

babes.

1 Corinthians 14:20
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

Ephesians 4:13,14
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: …

1 John 2:12
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.







Lexicon
Brothers,
ἀδελφοί (adelphoi)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 80: A brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian. A brother near or remote.

I
Κἀγώ (Kagō)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Nominative 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2504: To also, I too, but I. From kai and ego; so also the dative case kamoi, and accusative case kame and I, me.

could not
ἠδυνήθην (ēdynēthēn)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1410: (a) I am powerful, have (the) power, (b) I am able, I can. Of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible.

address
λαλῆσαι (lalēsai)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 2980: A prolonged form of an otherwise obsolete verb; to talk, i.e. Utter words.

you
ὑμῖν (hymin)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

as
ὡς (hōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5613: Probably adverb of comparative from hos; which how, i.e. In that manner.

spiritual,
πνευματικοῖς (pneumatikois)
Adjective - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 4152: Spiritual. From pneuma; non-carnal, i.e. ethereal, or a spirit, or supernatural, regenerate, religious.

but
ἀλλ’ (all’)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

as
ὡς (hōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5613: Probably adverb of comparative from hos; which how, i.e. In that manner.

worldly—
σαρκίνοις (sarkinois)
Adjective - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 4560: Fleshly, consisting of flesh, carnal. From sarx; similar to flesh, i.e. soft.

as
ὡς (hōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5613: Probably adverb of comparative from hos; which how, i.e. In that manner.

infants
νηπίοις (nēpiois)
Adjective - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3516: From an obsolete particle ne- and epos; not speaking, i.e. An infant; figuratively, a simple-minded person, an immature Christian.

in
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

Christ.
Χριστῷ (Christō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.
III.

(1) And I.--Again, as in 1Corinthians 2:6, the Apostle shows how general principles which he has just explained were exemplified in his own conduct. In the closing verses of 1 Corinthians 2 St. Paul has enunciated the general method of teaching spiritual truth as being dependent upon the receptive powers of those who are being taught. He now proceeds to point out to them that their own character, as being wanting in spirituality, was the real hindrance to his teaching them the higher spiritual truth which may be called "the wisdom" of the gospel.

As unto carnal.--Better, as being carnal. Our version may seem to imply that the Apostle spoke to them as if they were carnal, though they really were not so; but the force of the passage is that they were indeed carnal, and that the Apostle taught them not as if they were such, but as being such. "Carnal" is here the opposite of "spiritual," and does not involve any reference to what we would commonly speak of as carnal sin.

Babes in Christ.--This is the opposite of the "full grown" in 1Corinthians 2:6, to whom the "wisdom" could be taught. (See also Colossians 1:28, "full grown in Christ.") It may be an interesting indication of the "manliness" of St. Paul's character and his high estimate of it in others, that he constantly uses the words "babe" and "childhood" in a depreciatory sense. (See Romans 2:20, Galatians 4:3, Ephesians 4:14.)

Verses 1-4. - The carnal conceit of the spiritually immature. Verse 1. - I... could not speak unto you as unto spiritual. Though softened by the word brethren, there was a crushing irony of reproof in these words: "You thought yourselves quite above the need of my simple teaching. You were looking down on me from the whole height of your inferiority. The elementary character of my doctrine was after all the necessary consequence of your own incapacity for anything more profound." As unto carnal. The true reading here is sarkinois, fleshen, not sarkikois, fleshly, or carnal; the later and severer word is perhaps first used in ver. 3. The word sarkinos (earneus), fleshen, implies earthliness and weakness and the absence of spirituality; but sarki-kos (carnalis) involves the dominance of the lower nature and antagonism to the spiritual. As mite babes in Christ. The word "babes" has a good and a bad sense. In its good sense it implies humility and teachableness, as in 1 Corinthians 14:20, "In malice be ye babes;" and in 1 Peter 2:2, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word;" and in Matthew 11:25. Here it is used in its bad sense of spiritual childishness. 3:1-4 The most simple truths of the gospel, as to man's sinfulness and God's mercy, repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, stated in the plainest language, suit the people better than deeper mysteries. Men may have much doctrinal knowledge, yet be mere beginners in the life of faith and experience. Contentions and quarrels about religion are sad evidences of carnality. True religion makes men peaceable, not contentious. But it is to be lamented, that many who should walk as Christians, live and act too much like other men. Many professors, and preachers also, show themselves to be yet carnal, by vain-glorious strife, eagerness for dispute, and readiness to despise and speak evil of others.
Jump to Previous
Able Address Babes Babies Carnal Christ Couldn't Flesh Fleshly Found Impossible Infants Mere Speak Spirit Spiritual Teaching Worldly
Jump to Next
Able Address Babes Babies Carnal Christ Couldn't Flesh Fleshly Found Impossible Infants Mere Speak Spirit Spiritual Teaching Worldly
Links
1 Corinthians 3:1 NIV
1 Corinthians 3:1 NLT
1 Corinthians 3:1 ESV
1 Corinthians 3:1 NASB
1 Corinthians 3:1 KJV

1 Corinthians 3:1 Bible Apps
1 Corinthians 3:1 Biblia Paralela
1 Corinthians 3:1 Chinese Bible
1 Corinthians 3:1 French Bible
1 Corinthians 3:1 German Bible

Alphabetical: address And as brethren Brothers but Christ could flesh I in infants men mere not of speak spiritual to worldly you

NT Letters: 1 Corinthians 3:1 Brothers I couldn't speak to you as (1 Cor. 1C iC 1Cor i cor icor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
1 Corinthians 2:16
Top of Page
Top of Page