1 Corinthians 8:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 8:2, NIV: "Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know."

1 Corinthians 8:2, ESV: "If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know."

1 Corinthians 8:2, KJV: "And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know."

1 Corinthians 8:2, NASB: "If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;"

1 Corinthians 8:2, NLT: "Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn't really know very much."

1 Corinthians 8:2, CSB: "If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it."

What does 1 Corinthians 8:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul seems to have quoted the Corinthians as saying "all of us possess knowledge." This might have been part of an earlier letter (1 Corinthians 7:1), and possibly a rebuttal to Paul's own instructions. Paul has responded that knowledge on its own merely leads to pride. He refers to it using the term phuisoo, meaning "inflated." On the other hand, love—from the Greek agapē—truly builds people up (1 Corinthians 8:1).

Now Paul warns that someone can imagine they know something and be wrong. The old saying goes that a little knowledge is dangerous. Modern culture has even given this a fancy-sounding name: the Dunning-Kruger Effect. The idea is that those who gain a small amount of knowledge on a subject tend to become overconfident about how much they really know. That's what Paul seems to be saying about those in Corinth: they are challenging his teaching about eating food offered to idols based on limited knowledge and an "inflated" view of their own wisdom.

Paul's references to "knowing" here all come from the same basic word: ginosko, which implies perception, understanding, and knowledge.