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as a substitute for the language of inspiration, for the church itself is a part of the
kingdom in its wider aspect, and all truth is necessarily dispensational truth, even to the
matter of `the simple gospel'. Consequently, we must never incorporate into our `creed'
or into the foundation of our faith, human attempts to comprehend that which is not fully
explained in the Book, all such attempts will lead us into the dark and must be avoided.
The reader of The Berean Expositor will be aware that certain phrases found in the creeds
of the church are never used in these pages, not because such phrases are necessarily
wrong, but they may be, or they may be addition, subtraction or substitution, lead away
from the faith, and consequently are avoided. How are we to understand the expression:
"Comparing spiritual things with spiritual?"
The R.V. retains the A.V. reading, but places in the margin "Or, interpreting spiritual
things to spiritual men", which shows that, while there is much to be said for a revision of
the A.V., much also can be said in its favour. Rotherham translates the passage:
"By spiritual words, spiritual things explaining."
Weymouth renders the passage:
"Adapting, as we do, spiritual words to spiritual truths",
with a footnote `truths' or `men'. Moffatt reads:
"We interpret what is spiritual in spiritual language."
The possibility that the word pneumatikos may mean `spiritual persons' rather than
`spiritual things' is because the masculine and the neuter plural dative both end in ois,
consequently an appeal to grammar will not lead to a decision. The context must decide.
Then the meaning of sugkrino must be ascertained, and here again the context influences
the shade of meaning which must be attached to any particular word, and consequently an
examination of its usage is demanded before we come to a conclusion. So far as sugkrino
is concerned, there are only three occurrences of the verb in the entire N.T. and these are
all found in Paul's epistles to the Corinthians. It is a word with which the Greeks would
be familiar, occurring as it does in several philosophical writings, and generally with the
meaning of `combine' or `compare'. Let us therefore allow Paul to be his own
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that
commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing
themselves among themselves, are not wise" (II Cor. 10: 12).
No other word than `compare' is possible here, and there is completely unanimity
among the translators cited above. The usage of the word in the LXX of the O.T. is
limited, either to the interpretation of a dream or the correspondence of practice with the
rites and ceremonies of the law. The `interpretation' of a dream is but the `comparison'
of the imagery of the vision with the facts which this imagery is intended to represent.
We therefore accept the A.V. and the R.V. text and read `compare', and not `explain' as
some have suggested. If we adopt the word `compare', then we cannot readily adopt the