1 Corinthians 2:14 (DRB):

14 But the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot understand, because it is spiritually examined.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (GNT):

14 ψυχικος δε ανθρωπος ου δεχεται τα του πνευματος του θεου μωρια γαρ αυτω εστιν και ου δυναται γνωναι οτι πνευματικως ανακρινεται

I read the Arabic and English translations of the Greek phrase "ψυχικὸς δὲ ἄνθρωπος" in 1 Corinthians 2:14, the translations were as follows:

  • الإنسان الطبيعي.
  • الإنسان البشري.
  • Natural man.
  • Natural person.
  • sensual man.

I think all these translations (except: sensual man) are inaccurate.

I think the accurate translation is "psychic person" or "Soulish person".

So, what is the accurate translation of the phrase?

Are there English translations like: "psychic person" or "Soulish person"?


2 Answers 2


“Are there English translations like: "psychic person"?”


“Recovery Version Bible” is very accurate to Greek and consistent in translation. It is very clear in Tripartite man, distinguishing between spirit and soul clearly.

2:14 But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually.


  • thank you, you were so helpful to me.
    – salah
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 16:19
  • In case that you may want to read it with paper. You can get a free copy of Recovery Version (NT) from this website: biblesforamerica.org Recovery version has so much footnotes based on theology and experience, together with many cross references. Those information may clarify many questions and inspire the readers. Peace to you.
    – Your Josh
    Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 1:43

Adam was made a living soul, 1 Corinthians 15:45. Literally, 'became the first man Adam unto soul living (see the literal interlinear of The Englishman's Greek New Testament).

God breathed into him the breath of life. But that was natural. It was of creation.

Paul tells us, again in I Corinthians 15:45 that 'the last Adam unto quickening spirit' ibid.

The same contrast as is in 15:45 is also here in 2:14.

Paul is saying that ψυχικος δε ανθρωπος, psuchikos de anthropos, 'that natural to man' does not receive the things of the Spirit of God.

Man by nature, man as created, man in his natural state - does not receive such. We know from other scriptures that a new birth is required, as Jesus says in John 3 'ye must be born again'.

Man has by nature the breath of God, but that is a created thing. It is natural. The word psuchikos is derived from psuche. But Paul contrasts that with the living spirit which came of the second humanity, the 'last' Adam.

However the word 'psychic' has a special meaning in English and does not translate the word psuche in Greek. And therefore is not suitable for the derived word psuchikos.

Psuche : ψυχή, ψυχῆς, ἡ (ψύχω, to breathe, blow), from Homer down, the Sept. times too many to count for נֶפֶשׁ, occasionally also for לֵב and לֵבָב;

The breath of life; the vital force; the living being; life ; the soul

Thayer - Biblehub

  • as you said, in 1Corinthians 15:45 Paul put "living Soul" as opposite of "quickening Spirit" i.e: Soul is opposite of Spirit. That's what I am saying: psychic (soulish) person is hard to understand the spiritual matters, i.e: soul and spirit are two different, opposite Essences, but sometimes soul used meaning Essence, and also spirit used meaning Essence. But basically they are two different opposite words. That what Paul and the Bible trying to say.
    – salah
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 14:22

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