Examining translations of 1 corinthians 2:14

Laura B. Dingeldein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Most English translations of and commentaries on Paul's f.irst letter to the Corinthians interpret the f.inal clause of 1 Cor 2:14 causally: the psychic man is unable to know the things of God's pneuma "because they are pneumatically examined." Due to the flexibility of the Greek, however, three alternative, grammatically acceptable translations exist. Although the causal interpretation is supported by later Christian interpreters of the f.irst centuries CE, Paul's own grammatical preferences, the surrounding context of 1 Cor 2:6-16, and philosophical parallels contemporary with Paul's thought suggest that the following translation best reflects Paul's intentions: the psychic man is unable to know that he is pneumatically examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalNovum Testamentum
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • 1 Cor 2:14
  • Paul
  • moral progress
  • pneuma
  • psychic man
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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