Calvinism and the CORRECT Translation of 1 Corinthians 2:14

 

 

 

First Corinthians 2:14 reads as follows:

 

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and [So/Likewise] he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

The understanding of 1 Cor. 2:14 becomes so ‘easy’ when we ask the ‘simple’ question of ‘WHY’ with respect to the first glaring statement of the said Passage…The KEY to understanding this Passage – The Natural Man REFUSES to ACCEPT… 

Thus, the ‘natural’ man will NOT ACCEPT by his OWN CHOICE, the Things that come from the Spirit of God, BECAUSE he himself considers these Things to be FOOLISHNESS.

 As such, the natural man then cannot UNDERSTAND Them (the Things of the Spirit of God)…WHY?  BECAUSE the THINGS of the Spirit of God are spiritually discerned.  The very THINGS in which the natural man himself, by his own CHOICE counts as FOOLISHNESS. 

Therefore, how can ANY man understand ANYTHING, in which he himself counts as FOOLISHNESS, and therefore will NOT ACCEPT – especially the Things of the Spirit of God?

This is simply a CAUSE – CONSEQUENCE Passage and nothing more.

Meanwhile, for those of you who do not like things simple and want to kick it up a notch - I submit the following to your theological wisdom and review.

PLEASE consider the grammatical analysis of 1 Cor. 2:14 as cited from three different sources – KJV, Geneva 1587, NIV, ISA.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:
neither [G2532 - kai] can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
 
1Corinthians 2:14  (Geneva 1587)
and the natural man doth not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for to him they are foolishness,
and [G2532 – kai] he is not [G3756 - ou] able to know them , because spiritually they are discerned;

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him,
and
[G2532 - kai] he cannot [G3756 - ou] understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

          I Corinthians 2:14 ISA - http://www.scripture4all.org/

It must be noted, that with respect to the KJV above – you will quickly notice that they have OMITTED the greek word ‘ou’ (G3756) which means NOT, NEITHER, etc., and opted to translate the greek word ‘kai’ (G2532) as NEITHER...  Thus, they illiterately merged the two words into one negative conjunction.  However, the greek ‘kai’ is normally translated as ‘AND’ - So/Likewise, etc., respective of the Geneva 1587, NIV, ISA, as well as many other respected Bible Translations.  Moreover, these other named Scriptural translations also accurately include, as insisted upon per the Greek Textus Receptus, the greek word ‘ou’ translated as NOT, etc, unlike, as stated, the KJV who opted to omit the greek word ‘ou’.

However, here is where the problem arises as to the accurate understanding of 1 Cor. 2:14, in relation to the KJV translation of the greek ‘kai’ as NEITHER, respective of their omitting the greek ‘ou’.  The translated English word ‘neither’ means when used as a grammatical CONJUNCTION, as per the Scripture above, the Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘neither’ as – “not either: the first element of the pair of the correlatives neither…nor, implying negation of both parts of the statement…”  Thus, a negative correlation between TWO statements. 

Moreover, while the greek word ‘kai’ as used in the above Passage, can mean ALSO or IN ADDITION, that is not the intention of the Context of this Passage.   

Why?  The latter part of the Passage respective of, “…
AND he CANNOT understand them, because they are spiritually discerned,” is to be understood as a CONSEQUENCE or RESULT, (ANDkai), of the Non –Receiving (will not ACCEPT) actions taken by the ‘Natural’ man, in the contextual antecedent first part of the Passage… “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for (because) they are foolishness to him…”   Why won’t the ‘natural’ man ACCEPT the Spiritual things of God – he thinks they are FOOLISH to his natural logic and reasoning.   

Therefore, the greek word ‘kai’, correctly translated as the conjunction
AND above, which is used here, is to be understood as defined by the Webster’s Dictionary; “…as a Consequence or Result of an action(s) taken…”

In summary, the Passage is then understood to be that, the Natural man’s blindness as one who will not willingly ACCEPT the things of the Spirit of God, because he reasons them to be foolish, is THEREFORE/SO - by grammatical definition and implication (
AND - kai) a RESULTING CONSEQUENCE of his own individual UNBELIEVING actions, rendering him incapable of any UNDERSTANDING of the things of the Spirit of God, because they are spiritually discerned…and as he REFUSES by his own Free-Will and volition to ACCEPT them, the natural man by his own CHOICE abides in continued blindness to the Spiritual things of God.

As such, once again, respective of 1 Cor. 2:14, it must be clearly noted that the Natural man’s blindness to the Spiritual things of God, is of his own individual CHOOSING, and not by anything God has preemptively done or does to him.

Likewise, how can anyone UNDERSTAND those things in which they REFUSE to BELIEVE?

In addition, kai can be taken loosely as inference based on Semitic influences.  Many see simple sequence or progression.  So, in narrative sequences, due to Semitic uses of the Hebrew 'waw', the LXX, there is secondary sense of inference (Therefore/So).

Thus, coupled with the evidence of Gen. 3:22, revealing that mankind does indeed have the ABILITY to CHOOSE between GOOD and EVIL, this summation seems to be the most appropriate understanding of 1 Cor. 2:14.

      Genesis 3:22 (KJV)
      And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to
know GOOD and EVIL: and now, lest he put forth his hand,
      and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
 

Therefore, mankind does indeed have the cognitive ABILITY to CHOOSE between GOOD and EVIL - Life or Death, Heaven or Hell, Jesus or Satan – Right or Wrong.