1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Paul did not speak merely on the basis of what man’s wisdom teaches. He spoke and wrote by divine inspiration. The Gospel Paul preached, taught, and wrote was by direct revelation from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Galatians 1:12). Paul wrote words which were taught him by the Holy Spirit. Now the next clause, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual,” has been understood in various ways. Wesley reads “explaining spiritual things by spiritual words.” Williams gives “in this way fitting spiritual words to spiritual truths.” Noyes renders “connecting what is spiritual with what is spiritual.” The ESV translates “interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” The text of the NLT reads “using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.” It is probably this latter sense which is represented by The New Topical Textbook’s heading, “One portion of the Scripture to be compared with another.” This is an often made application of these words. To get at the truth of what the Bible is saying, it is always wise to compare Scripture with Scripture. The best way to do that is to make use of what are called cross references. You cannot suppose you have arrived at the truth of what the Bible teaches about a specific doctrine or matter if you have not carefully considered and taken into account all the evidence in the Bible that touches upon that doctrine. This cannot be done using a concordance alone. Many times there are important passages in the Bible that shed light on a particular verse you are studying that use different words than those found in the passage you started your study from. Those related passages can best be found by using cross references.
For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:
(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1305 for 1 Corinthians 2:13.
(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1325 or in Logos 5 Bible software for 1 Corinthians 2:13.
(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:
1 Corinthians 2:13. we speak. 2 Cor 11:6. not. ver. 1 Cor 1:1, 4, 6. *1 Cor 1:17-19. 2 Cor 1:12. 2 P 1:16. 3:15. 1 J 2:20. the words. This is a specific claim to verbal inspiration. Divine inspiration of Scripture is asserted also at 2 Tim 3:16, as is the divine inspiration of the Scripture writers, 2 P 1:21. Failure to accept the Bible’s own testimony to itself has closed this Book to so-called “modern scholarship” (a misnomer if ever there was one!). Much modern scholarship is dishonest, for instead of explaining the Bible, it attempts to explain away the Bible, refusing to honestly come to grips with its claims and message. In an effort to escape the Bible’s obvious message, dishonest scholarship has tried to deny its authenticity and authorship, ascribing, for example, the books of Moses to multiple late authorship; denying the unity of Isaiah; asserting that the gospels, particularly John, are of late origin, and do not reflect the so-called “historical Jesus,” but views and traditions of the early Church of the third or fourth century—not explaining, of course, how books can be quoted or translated before they were written, or how such stupendous claims could be foisted upon a gullible public long after the possibility of disproof by eyewitnesses has passed. The only way to get at the message of the Bible is to be completely open to its message. To approach Scripture with humanistic and naturalistic (i.e. anti-theistic) presuppositions is to try to twist Scripture to fit a world view which it most emphatically will not support. The only valid approach to Scripture is to be honest to its claims and message and grant its right to set forth a theistic, supernaturalistic world view. To deny the possibility of miracle (as Hume and his modern counterparts) is to deny the possibility of history, for both are based upon the record of eye-witness testimony, and such denial is absurd. There are more pathways to truth and knowledge than an arbitrarily narrowly defined so-called “scientific method.” Like missing the right exit on a freeway, continued advance in the wrong direction is not progress; genuine progress will require a return to where we went wrong, and a fresh start in the right direction. Much “scholarship” needs to recognize it has pursued a wrong path, and recognize that it needs to return to sound principles of former generations of reverent, truthful, believing scholarship. It is neither truthful nor fair scholarship to approach a work of literature from a consistently unsympathetic and hostile world view in the attempt to legitimately understand its message. Rather, in our attempt to understand a work of literature, we must let it speak for itself. The task of scholarship is to place the reader as close as possible in sympathetic relationship to the viewpoint of the original writer and recipients of the literary work, and not to attempt to explain it away in an effort to force it to agree with popular contemporary philosophical presuppositions. **Lk 8:15. Mt 10:20. **1 Th 2:13. +**2 Tim 3:16. 1 P 1:10, 11. 2 P 1:20, 21. 3:1, 2. man’s wisdom teacheth. Gr. didaktos (S#1318g). 1 Cor 1:26. Ec 8:1. Jn 6:45g. Ro 1:14. but which. FS63I1A, +Ex 12:4. By ellipsis supply “but (things) which.” *1 Cor 12:1-3. 14:2. Mk 13:11. *Lk 12:12. Ac 2:4. 13:32-37. 1 P 1:12. Holy. Gr. pneuma, +Mt 1:18n. Mic 3:8. teacheth. Is 11:3. Je 3:15. +*Jn 14:26. Ac 26:24. +**1 J 2:27. comparing. or, interpreting. Gr. sunkrinō (S#4793g). Note: Or, as Bishop Pearce renders, “explaining (sugkrinantes) spiritual things to spiritual men” (pneumatikois). To this alternative, however, Hodge rightly objects, for it is inconsistent with the context. Paul is rather asserting that he explained spiritual things in spiritual words. The word rendered “comparing” here means interpreting or explaining. T#1033. Ge 40:8, 16, 22. 41:12, 13, 15. Da 5:12, 16, 17. +*Lk 4:18n. +**Jn 5:39. +**Ac 17:3, 11. 2 Cor 10:12g. spiritual things. FS147I, +Jn 1:11. ver. 1 Cor 2:14. 1 Cor 9:11. 10:3-5. 12:1. Ep 5:19. *Col 3:16. with spiritual. +Ro 1:11g.