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1 Corinthians 2:11

    1 Corinthians 2:11 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For who has knowledge of the things of a man but the spirit of the man which is in him? in the same way, no one has knowledge of the things of God but the Spirit of God.

    Webster's Revision

    For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.

    World English Bible

    For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God's Spirit.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 2:11

    Save - Except; besides.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:11

    For what man knoweth the things of a man - The word ανθρωπων in the first clause is omitted by the Codex Alexandrinus, and one other; and by Athanasius, Cyril, and Vigil of Tapsus. Bishop Pearce contends strongly against the authenticity of the word, and reads the passage thus: "For what is there that knoweth the things of a man, except the spirit of a man that is in him?" "I leave out," says the learned bishop, "ανθρωπων, with the Alexandrian MS., and read τις γαρ οιδεν τα του ανθρωπου; because I conceive that the common reading is wide of St. Paul's meaning; for to say, What man except the spirit of a man, is (I think) to speak improperly, and to suppose that the spirit of a man is a man; but it is very proper to say, What except the spirit of a man: τις is feminine as well as masculine, and therefore may be supplied with ουσια, or some such word, as well as with ανθρωπος." Though the authority for omitting this word is comparatively slender, yet it must be owned that its omission renders the text much more intelligible. But even one MS. may preserve the true reading.

    The spirit of a man knows the things of a man: that is, a man is conscious of all the schemes, plans, and purposes, that pass in his own mind; and no man can know these things but himself. So, the Spirit of God, He whom we call the Third Person of the glorious Trinity, knows all the counsels and determinations of the Supreme Being. As the Spirit is here represented to live in God as the soul lives in the body of a man, and as this Spirit knows all the things of God, and had revealed those to the apostles which concern the salvation of the world, therefore what they spoke and preached was true, and men may implicitly depend upon it. The miracles which they did, in the name of Christ, were the proof that they had that Spirit, and spoke the truth of God.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 2:11

    For what man ... - The design of this is, to illustrate what he had just said by a reference to the way in which man acquires the knowledge of himself. The purpose is to show that the Spirit has an exact and thorough knowledge of the things of God; and this is done by the very striking thought that no man can know his own mind, his own plans and intentions, but himself - his own spirit. The essential idea is, that no man can know another; that his thoughts and designs can only be known by himself, or by his own spirit; and that unless he chooses to reveal them to others, they cannot ascertain them. So of God. No man can penetrate his designs; and unless he chooses to make them known by his Spirit, they must forever remain inscrutable to human view.

    The things of a man - The "deep things" - the hidden counsels, thoughts, plans, intentions.

    Save the spirit of man ... - Except his own mind; that is, himself. No other man can fully know them. By the spirit of man here, Paul designs to denote the human soul - or the intellect of man. It is not to be supposed that he here intends to convey the idea that there is a perfect resemblance between the relation which the soul of man bears to the man, and the relation which the Holy Spirit bears to God. The illustration is to be taken in regard to the point immediately before him - which is, that no one could know and communicate the deep thoughts and plans of God except his Spirit - just as no one could penetrate into the intentions of a man, and fully know them, but himself. The passage proves, therefore, that there is a knowledge which the Spirit has of God, which no man, no angel can obtain, just as every man's spirit has a knowledge of his own plans which no other man can obtain; that the Spirit of God can communicate his plans and deep designs, just as a man can communicate his own intentions; and consequently, that while there is a distinction of some kind between the Spirit of God and God, as there is a distinction which makes it proper to say that a man has an intelligent soul, yet there is such a profound and intimate knowledge of God by the Spirit, that he must be equal with him; and such an intimate union, that he can be called "the Spirit of God," and be one with God, as the human soul can be called "the spirit of the man," and be one with him.

    In all respects we are not to suppose that there is a similarity. In these points there is - It may be added that the union, the oneness of the Spirit of God with God, is no more absurd or inexplicable than the union of the spirit of man with the man; or the oneness of the complex person made up of body and soul, which we call man. When people have explained all the difficulties about themselves - in regard to their own bodies and spirits, it will be time to advance objections against the doctrines here stated in regard to God.

    Even so - To the same extent; in like manner.

    The things of God - His deep purposes and plans.

    Knoweth no man - Man cannot search into them - any more than one man can search the intentions of another.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 2:11

    2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man - All the inmost recesses of his mind; although men are all of one nature, and so may the more easily know one another. So the things of God knoweth no one but the Spirit - Who, consequently, is God.