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“ὅτι πνευµατικῶς ἀνακρίνεται”

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Examining Translations of 1 Corinthians 2:14*

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Abstract Most English translations of and commentaries on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians interpret the final 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 first 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.”

Affiliations: 1: Providence, RI


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