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1 Corinthians 3:2

ESV I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,
NIV I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
NASB I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to consume it. But even now you are not yet able,
CSB I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, since you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready,
NLT I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready,
KJV I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

What does 1 Corinthians 3:2 mean?

Paul has compared the Corinthian Christians to babies. Despite being saved for some unexplained length of time, they have not matured spiritually. The problem isn't that they are not Christians, nor have they been denied opportunity to grow. These believers have access to the power of the Holy Spirit. They have simply not participated in the process of abandoning their selfish ways, so they can spiritually grow. They could behave as spiritually-empowered believers, but instead they behave as if they were "merely human" (1 Corinthians 3:3).

Paul writes that when he was with them—when they were first saved—he fed them with milk. By this, he means that he taught them the most basic things about God and what it means to be a Christian. As with any newborn, they were only prepared to consume and digest something very basic. Like babies, they began with liquids, milk. By now, however, they should be ready for solid food. Milk is meant to inspire growth into a more mature, more capable creation.

These believers should, by now, be ready for more challenging truths of selflessly walking in Christ and living according to the Spirit. They're still not ready to chew, however. Why is it that the Corinthian Christians have gained so little maturity? Paul holds them responsible for their own lack of growth.
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