1 Corinthians 2:13 PNEUMATIKOS vs. PNEUMATIKA
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Wed Apr 11 12:04:12 EDT 2001
On Tue 10 Apr 2001 (17:12:35), jdevine at familyconnect.com wrote:
> I have a question regarding the apparent differentiation between the two
> forms of PNEUMATIKOS in this verse. It seems that, in the context of
> Paul's discourse on how mankind gets spiritual wisdom, he refers to
> some differentiation between PNEUMATIKOS and PNEUMATIKA. (Otherwise,
> why would he use the mechanistic term SUGKRINW to link the two?)
> Apparently he uses
> the picture of SUGKRINONTES (SUG- with KRINONTES) as the relationship
> between the two, explaining how God effects communication of spiritual
> truths to mankind. The whole of the two appear very mechanistic an
> analogy would be two gears enmeshed together with the source & force of
> energy/content coming from one, being transferred thru the other.
hA KAI LALOUMEN OUK EN DIDAKTOIS ANQRWPINHS SOFIAS LOGOIS ALL' EN
DIDAKTOIS PNEUMATOS, PNEUMATIKOIS PNEUMATIKA SUGKRINONTES.
PNEUMATIKOIS can be masculine plural, or neuter plural; people, or things.
If things, what things? Spiritual matters? or spiritual words?
You ask about PNEUMATI-KOIS, -KA but the crux is the meaning of SUGKRINONTES.
Historically, the LXX uses it to mean "interpreting (of dreams)" in Genesis
40, 41, and Daniel 2, 4, 5 and 7; and in Polybius. So the RV Margin 2nd
alternative has "interpreting spiritual things to spiritual men". The RSV and
the NEB have "interpreting spiritual truths to those who have the Spirit".
The RSV margin 1st alternative is "interpreting spiritual truths in spiritual
language". hO DE PNEUMATIKOS (verse 15) comes after our verse; indeed some
versions start a new paragraph after verse 13. So PN' PN' SUG' refers to what
has gone before, in verse 12, ELABOMEN ALLA TO PNEUMA TO EK TOU QEOU. We now
have the Spirit of God, not merely the spirit of man. The anarthrous use of
PNEUMATIKOI does not easily connect with hO DE PNEUMATIKOS in verse 15.
Jerome in the Vulgate translates it as "comparing" /conparantes/. This is
the Pauline usage in 2 Corinthians 10:12, after all. The RSV margin 2nd
alternative has "comparing spiritual things with spiritual". Spiritual
conclusions coming from spiritual premisses. The KJV has 'comparing spiritual
things with spiritual'. TC Edwards writes "The higher Christian training
resembles Plato's criterion of dialectical power, the faculty to see the
relation of the sciences to one another and to true being (cf. Rep.VII.
p.457). With SUGKRINONTES compare Plato's SUNOPTIKOS. The words are a clear
atatement of the necessity for an objective teaching, and its spirit is
opposed to the theory of the Clementine Homilies (xiii.6) that men require
only an inward revelation. It is this objectiveness of the revelation that
saves the Apostle's conception of the province of the spiritual man from
the Gnostic intellectualism, which deprived Christianity of its foundation in
historical fact and reduced it to a philosophical speculation." (TC Edwards,
/A Commentary on First Corinthians/, London, 1885, p62f).
JB Lightfoot translates "'combining the spiritual with the spiritual', i.e.
applying spiritual methods to explain spiritual truths". He quotes Theodore
of Mopsuestia DIA TWN TOU PNEUMATOS APODEIXEWN THN TOU PNEUMATOS DIDASKALIAN
PISTOUMEQA. This is the proper meaning of SUGKRINEIN 'to combine', as
DIAKRINEIN is 'to separate'. SUGKRINEIN, it is true, sometimes gets the
sense of 'comparing', as in 2 Cor 10:12; but it does not suit the context
here, whether explained, as by Chrysostom and others, of comparing the
types of the Old Testament with the tidings of the New, or more generally.
Others again, taking PNEUMATIKOIS to be masculine, translate it 'explaining
spiritual things to spiritual men'. Against this it may be urged, (1) that
though SUGKRINEIN is frequently used of interpreting dreams (cf. Gen xl.8,
22, xli.12, Dan v.12), yet the leading notion which it involves is 'finding
out', 'comparing' the phenomena of the dream with the phenomena of common
life (so KRINEIN, EGKRINEIN are used of dreams), whixh notion is out of
place here; (2) the combination PNEUMATIKOIS PNEUMATIKA points to the
neuter gender, as otherwise we should rather expect PNEUMATIKA TOIS
PNEUMATIKOIS; (3) the dative is naturally governed by the SUN of SUGKRINONTES,
and (4) the qualifications of the recipient seem to be introduced first in
the following verse by YUCIKOS DE." (JB Lightfoot, /Notes on the Epistles of
St Paul/, MacMillan, London, 1895, reprinted Zondervan, 1957, p 180f).
The RV Margin 1st alternative follows Lightfoot; so does the ASV. The late
John Wenham commented to the present writer "Weiss and Bousset say 'Combining
spiritual things with spiritual words', or 'giving spiritual truth a
spiritual form'. This seems to summarise very pithily the substance of the
preceding verse. 'Combine' is a common use of SUGKRINW." (from my notes of a
lecture he gave in 1963).
> My main concern is if there is any historical evidence of the usage of
> PNEUMATIKA in ancient Greek & how it was used together with PNEUMATIKOS.
> Thank you for your responses.
Sorry I can't come up with anything more specific on PNEUMATI-KA, -KOIS.
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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