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13And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.


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13. Which things also we speak, not in the learned words, etc. He speaks of himself, for he is still employed in commending his ministry. Now it is a high commendation that he pronounces upon his preaching, when he says of it that it contains a secret revelation of the most important matters — the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the sum of our salvation, and the inestimable treasures of Christ, that the Corinthians may know how highly it ought to be prized. In the meantime he returns to the concession that he had made before — that his preaching had not been adorned with any glitter of words, and had no luster of elegance, but was contented with the simple doctrine of the Holy Spirit. By the learned words of human wisdom 122122     “A similar rendering is given in some of the old English versions of the Scriptures. Thus, Wiclif’s version, (1380,) it is rendered “not in wise wordis of mannes wisdom:” in Tyndale’s version (1534) — “not in the connynge wordes of mannes wysdome: and in Rhemls version (1582) — “not in learned wordes of humane wisedom.” — Ed. he means those that savor of human learning, and are polished according to the rules of the rhetoricians, or blown up with philosophical loftiness, with a view to excite the admiration of the hearers. The words taught by the Spirit, on the other hand, are such as are adapted to a pure and simple style, corresponding to the dignity of the Spirit, rather than to an empty ostentation. For in order that eloquence may not be wanting, we must always take care that the wisdom of God be not polluted with any borrowed and profane luster. Paul’s manner of teaching was of such a kind, that the power of the Spirit shone forth in it single and unattired, without any foreign aid.

Spiritual things with spiritual Συγκρινεσθαι is used here, I have no doubt, in the sense of adapt This is sometimes the meaning of the word, 123123     “Es bons autheurs;” — “In good authors.” (as Budaeus shows by a quotation from Aristotle,)and hence συγκριμα is used to mean what is knit together or glued together, and certainly it suits much better with Paul’s context than compare or liken, as others have rendered it. He says then that he adapts spiritual things to spiritual, in accommodating the words to the subject; 124124     Beza’s view is substantially the same — “Verba rei accommodantes, ut, sicut spiritualia sunt quae docemus, neque sinceritas doctrinae caelestis ullis humanis commentis est depravata, ita spirituale sit nostrum illius docendae ghenus: — “Accommodating the words to the subject, so that as the things at we teach are spiritual, and the purity of heavenly doctrine is not corrupted by human contrivances, our mode of teaching it may in like manner be spiritual.” — Ed. that is, he tempers that heavenly wisdom of the Spirit with a simple style of speech, and of such a nature as carries in its front the native energy of the Spirit. In the meantime he reproves others, who, by an affected elegance of expression and show of refinement, endeavor to obtain the applause of men, as persons who are either devoid of solid truth, or, by unbecoming ornaments, corrupt the spiritual doctrine of God.




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