1 Corinthians 2:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 2:13, NIV: "This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words."

1 Corinthians 2:13, ESV: "And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual."

1 Corinthians 2:13, KJV: "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."

1 Corinthians 2:13, NASB: "We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words."

1 Corinthians 2:13, NLT: "When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths."

1 Corinthians 2:13, CSB: "We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people."

What does 1 Corinthians 2:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has made it clear that God's plan to bring salvation to those who believe in Christ's death for their sin can only be known through the Holy Spirit. Human senses and reason are not enough to come to faith in Christ. At best, that can lead to knowledge about God, but not trusting faith in God (James 2:19; Romans 1:18–23). The Holy Spirit must reveal God's thoughts to us.

Paul now shows, though, that not every believer will be able to interpret and fully understand, these spiritual truths. That's why He and the other apostles work as interpreters, helping those who have heard from God through the Holy Spirit to better understand what it means. This is a key aspect of discipleship: that more experienced, mature Christians guide newer believers in their growth.

Paul knows he is not the one who makes it possible for anyone to believe. God must reveal the truth through His Spirit to each person who will believe. Paul's job is simply to use words to help those who believe—or who will believe—to understand what cannot be known with human wisdom alone.