1 Corinthians 2:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
for, "Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

King James Bible
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
For who has known the mind of [the] Lord, who shall instruct him? But *we* have the mind of Christ.

World English Bible
"For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?" But we have Christ's mind.

Young's Literal Translation
for who did know the mind of the Lord that he shall instruct Him? and we -- we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

For who hath known the mind of the Lord - Who that is still an animal man can know the mind of God? so as to instruct him, viz. the spiritual man, the same that is spoken of, 1 Corinthians 2:15. But the words may be better understood thus: How can the animal man know the mind of the Lord? and how can any man communicate that knowledge which he has never acquired, and which is foolishness to him, because it is spiritual, and he is animal? This quotation is made from Isaiah 40:13.

But we have the mind of Christ - He has endowed us with the same disposition, being born again by his Spirit; therefore we are capable of knowing his mind and receiving the teachings of his Spirit. These teachings we do receive, and therefore are well qualified to convey them to others.

The words, that he may instruct him, ὁς συμβιβασει αυτον, should be translated that he may teach It: that is, the mind of God; not instruct God, but teach his mind to others. And this interpretation the Hebrew will also bear.

Bishop Pearce observes: "The principal questions here are,, what συμβιβασει signifies, and what αυτον is relative to. The Hebrew word which the Septuagint translate by these two is יודיענו yodiennu: now, since ידיע yodia signifies as well to make known as to know, (and indeed this is the most frequent sense of it in the Old Testament), the suffix (postfix) נו nu, may relate to a thing, as well as to a person; and therefore it may be rendered not by him, but by it, i.e. the mind of the Lord. And in this sense the apostle seems to have used the words of the Seventy; for, if we understand αυτον here to be the relative to Κυριου, Lord, this verse contains no reason for what went before; whereas, if it be a relative to νουν, mind, it affords a reason for what had been said before, 1 Corinthians 2:14." The true translation of the passage, as used by the apostle, appears to be this: For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he should Teach It? And this translation agrees with every part of the context, and particularly with what follows.

1. This chapter might be considered a good model for a Christian minister to regulate his conduct by, or his public ministry; because it points out the mode of preaching used by St. Paul and the apostles in general. This great apostle came not to the people with excellency of speech and of wisdom, when he declared unto them the counsel of God. They know little, either of the spirit of St. Paul or the design of the Gospel, who make the chief excellence of their preaching to consist in the eloquence of language, or depth of human reasoning. That may be their testimony, but it is not God's. The enticing words of man's wisdom are seldom accompanied by the demonstration and power of the Holy Spirit.

2. One justly remarks, that "the foolishness of preaching has its wisdom, loftiness, and eloquence; but this consists in the sublimity of its truths, the depth of its mysteries, and the ardour of the Spirit of God." In this respect Paul may be said to have preached wisdom among those which were perfect. The wisest and most learned men in the world, who have seriously read the Bible, have acknowledged that there is a depth and height of wisdom and knowledge in that book of God which are sought in vain any where else: and indeed it would not be a revelation from God were it not so. The men who can despise and ridicule this sacred book are those who are too blind to discover the objects presented to them by this brilliant light, and are too sensual to feel and relish spiritual things. They, above all others, are incapable of judging, and should be no more regarded when employed in talking against the sacred writings than an ignorant peasant should be, who, not knowing his alphabet, pretends to decry mathematical learning.

3. A new mode of preaching has been diligently recommended, - "Scriptural phraseology should be generally avoided where it is antiquated, or conveys ideas inconsistent with modern delicacy." St. Paul did not preach in the words which man's wisdom teacheth- such words are too mean and too low for a religion so Divine. That which the Holy Spirit alone can discover, he alone can explain. Let no man dare to speak of God in any other way than he speaks of himself in his word. Let us take care not to profane his truths and mysteries, either by such low and abject ideas as are merely human, or by new and worldly expressions altogether unworthy of the Spirit of God.

4. It is the glory of God, and ought to be ours, not to be acceptable to carnal men. The natural man always finds some pretense to excuse himself from believing, by looking on the mysteries of religion as being either too much above man or too much below God; the spiritual man judges them to be so much the more credible, the less credible they are to the natural man.

The opposition, contempt, and blindness of the world, with regard to the things of God, render all its judgments concerning them liable to exception: this blindness in spiritual things is the just punishment of a carnal life. The principal part of the above is extracted from the reflections of the pious Quesnel.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Job 15:8 Have you heard the secret of God? and do you restrain wisdom to yourself?

Job 22:2 Can a man be profitable to God, as he that is wise may be profitable to himself?

Job 40:2 Shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproves God, let him answer it.

Isaiah 40:13,14 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counselor has taught him...

Jeremiah 23:18 For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, and has perceived and heard his word? who has marked his word, and heard it?

Romans 11:34 For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counselor?

may. Gr. shall. But.

John 15:15 From now on I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends...

John 16:13-16 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself...

John 17:6-8 I have manifested your name to the men which you gave me out of the world: your they were, and you gave them me...

Genesis 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself...

Ephesians 3:3,4 How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery; (as I wrote before in few words...

May the Thirtieth Finding the Deep Things
"The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." --1 CORINTHIANS ii. 7-12. The deep things of God cannot be discovered by unaided reason. "Eye hath not seen:" they are not to be apprehended by the artistic vision. "Ear hath not heard:" they are not unveiled amid the discussion of the philosophic schools. "Neither hath entered into the heart of man:" even poetic insight cannot discern them. All the common lights fail in this realm. We need another illumination, even that provided
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

I have hinted that this passage is most commonly applied to heaven, and I shall myself also so apply it in some measure, this morning. But any one who reads the connexion will discover that the apostle is not talking about heaven at all. He is only speaking of this--that the wisdom of this world is not able to discover the things of God--that the merely carnal mind is not able to know the deep spiritual things of our most holy religion. He says, "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

Letter xv (Circa A. D. 1129) to Alvisus, Abbot of Anchin
To Alvisus, Abbot of Anchin He praises the fatherly gentleness of Alvisus towards Godwin. He excuses himself, and asks pardon for having admitted him. To Alvisus, Abbot of Anchin. [18] 1. May God render to you the same mercy which you have shown towards your holy son Godwin. I know that at the news of his death you showed yourself unmindful of old complaints, and remembering only your friendship for him, behaved with kindness, not resentment, and putting aside the character of judge, showed yourself
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Of Certain Outward Temptations and Appearances of Satan. Of the Sufferings Thereby Occasioned. Counsels for those who Go On
Unto Perfection. 1. Now that I have described certain temptations and troubles, interior and secret, of which Satan was the cause, I will speak of others which he wrought almost in public, and in which his presence could not be ignored. [1] 2. I was once in an oratory, when Satan, in an abominable shape, appeared on my left hand. I looked at his mouth in particular, because he spoke, and it was horrible. A huge flame seemed to issue out of his body, perfectly bright, without any shadow. He spoke
Teresa of Avila—The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

Cross References
Isaiah 40:13
Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor?

Jeremiah 23:18
But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?

John 15:15
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Romans 11:34
"Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"

1 Corinthians 12:8
To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,

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