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1 Corinthians 3:1

    1 Corinthians 3:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And I, brothers, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, even as to babes in Christ.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the teaching I gave you, my brothers, was such as I was able to give, not to those who have the Spirit, but to those who are still in the flesh, even to children in Christ.

    Webster's Revision

    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.

    World English Bible

    Brothers, I couldn't speak to you as to spiritual, but as to fleshly, as to babies in Christ.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 3:1

    Carnal - Of the flesh; denoting human nature.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:1

    I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual - This is a continuation of the preceding discourse. See the notes on 1 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 2:15 (note), and 1 Corinthians 2:16 (note).

    But as unto carnal - Σαρκικοις, Persons under the influence of fleshly appetites; coveting and living for the things of this life.

    Babes in Christ - Just beginning to acquire some notion of the Christian religion, hut as yet very incapable of judging what is most suitable to yourselves, and consequently utterly unqualified to discern between one teacher and another; so that your making the distinctions which you do make, so far from being a proof of mature judgment, is on the contrary a proof that you have no right judgment at all; and this springs from your want of knowledge in Divine things.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 3:1

    And I, brethren - See 1 Corinthians 2:1. This is designed to meet an implied objection. He had said 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 that Christians were able to understand all things. Yet, they would recollect that he had not addressed them as such, but had confined himself to the more elementary parts of religion when he came among them. He had not entered upon the abstruse and difficult points of theology - the points of speculation in which the subtle Greeks so much abounded and so much delighted. He now states the reason why he had not done it. The reason was one that was most humbling to their pride; but it was the true reason, and faithfulness demanded that it should be stated. It was, that they were carnal, and not qualified to understand the deep mysteries of the gospel; and the proof of this was unhappily at hand. It was too evident in their contentions and strifes, that they were under the influence of carnal feelings and views.

    Could not speak unto you as unto spiritual - "I could not regard you as spiritual - as qualified to enter into the full and higher truths of the gospel; I could not regard you as divested of the feelings which influence carnal people - the people of the world, and I addressed you accordingly. I could not discourse to you as to far-advanced and well-informed Christians. I taught you the rudiments only of the Christian religion." He refers here, doubtless, to his instructions when he founded the church at Corinth. See the note at 1 Corinthians 2:13-15.

    But as unto carnal - The word "carnal" here σάρκινοῖς sarkinois is not the same which in 1 Corinthians 2:14, is translated "natural" ψυχικός psuchikos. "That" refers to one who is unrenewed, and who is wholly under the influence of his sensual or animal nature, and is no where applied to Christians. "This" is applied here to Christians - but to those who have much of the remains of corruption, and who are imperfectly acquainted with the nature of religion; babes in Christ. It denotes those who still evinced the feelings and views which pertain to the flesh, in these unhappy contentions, and strifes, and divisions. "The works of the flesh are hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, envyings" Galatians 5:20-21; and these they had evinced in their divisions; and Paul knew that their danger lay in this direction, and he therefore addressed them according to their character. Paul applies the word to himself Romans 7:14, "for I am carnal;" and here it denotes that they were as yet under the influence of the corrupt passions and desires which the flesh produces.

    As unto babes in Christ - As unto those recently born into his kingdom, and unable to understand the profounder doctrines of the Christian religion. It is a common figure to apply the term infants and children to those who are feeble in understanding, or unable, from any cause, to comprehend the more profound instructions of science or religion.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 3:1

    3:1 And I, brethren - He spoke before, 1Cor 2:1, of his entrance, now of his progress, among them. Could not speak to you as unto spiritual - Adult, experienced Christians. But as unto men who were still in great measure carnal, as unto babes in Christ - Still weak in grace, though eminent in gifts, 1Cor 1:5.