I’ve searched over this site to make sure this question wasn’t already asked, and I saw some similar questions.

Nevertheless, let’s get started:

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.

For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

I Corinthians‬ ‭2:14-16‬

I’ve actually never understood this verse, is Paul saying that Christ’s mind dwells in us? I’m confused. Can someone explain to me the hermeneutical options?

Q: What did Paul mean by “we have the mind of Christ”?

3 Answers 3


Those who have the mind of Christ are able to discern spiritual things that the natural man cannot understand or see.

Having the mind of Christ enables one to see what is freely given to him that the natural man is unable to receive.

For what person knows the things of a person except the spirit of the person that is in him? So also, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God. 13And we speak of these things, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. 1:Cor. 2:12-13

Christ is the only one who has known the mind of the Lord. In Christ is where all wisdom and treasures are hidden. Christ's mind can enlighten our minds as to what God's Spirit is revealing to our Spirit in regard to spiritual things. If we did not have Christ's mind we would not be able to understand the things that the Spirit is saying to our spirit. Only through Christ's mind can we begin to even understand God's purposes and His thoughts.

  • +1 > But we have the mind of Christ (ἡμεις δε νουν Χριστου ἐχομεν [hēmeis de noun Christou echomen]). As he has already shown (verses 6 to 13). Thus with the mind (νους [nous]. -- Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (1 Co 2:16). Broadman Press.
    – Perry Webb
    May 28, 2022 at 21:19

The operative word in 1 Cor 2:16 is νοῦς (nous), a word that means almost the same in English as the Greek. More specifically, BDAG ascribes three shades meanings to this word:

  1. the faculty of intellectual perception (a) mind, intellect, eg, Rom 7:22, 23, 25; (b) understanding, mind, eg, Luke 24:45, Rev 13:18, Phil 4:7, 2 Thess 2:2
  2. way of thinking, mind attitude as the sum total of the whole mental and moral state of being, (a) as possessed by every person ... be transformed by the renewing of your mind, which come about when Christians have their natural νοῦς penetrated and transformed by the Spirit which they receive at baptism, Rom 12:2, Eph 4:23, Rom 1:28, Eph 4:17, Col 2:18, 2 Tim 3:8, 1 Tim 6:5, Titus 1:15, (b) specifically of the Christian attitude or way of thinking, eg, 1 Cor 1:10
  3. result of thinking, mind, thought, opinion, decree, Rom 14:5, 1 Cor 2:16a. When Paul continues in the latter passage (1 Cor 2:16b) ... he is using the Scriptural word νοῦςto denote what he usually calls πνεῦμα (1 Cor 2:14). He can do this because his νοῦς (since he is a 'pneumatic' person) is filled with the Spirit (see 2a above), so that in his case the two are interchangeable. Such a νοῦς is impossible for a 'psychic' person.

Note #3 above and the BDAG extended explanation. Thus, "the mind of Christ" appears to be a Spirit-filled person - the distinction is explained in detail in Rom 8:5-9

5 Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Ellicott is more succinct in his comments about 2 Cor 2:16b

But we have the mind of Christ.—That is, spiritual men, including the Apostles. The Apostle here identifies Christ with the Spirit, whom he has previously spoken of as the Teacher of spiritual things. He does not mean to assert that the Apostles knew all that the mind of Christ knew, but that all things which they did know were from Him and spiritual (John 15:15).

Barnes is even briefer:

The mind of Christ - The views, feelings, and temper of Christ. We are influenced by his Spirit.


Seeking of wisdom thru scripture challenges the ardent listener to run between dogmatism and enlightenment. The dogmatism route leaves him a bigot but enlightenment may do that as well. Christ served parables and the mind of christ is big faith but he said small(mustard seed) is beautiful

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    Sep 13, 2022 at 12:26
  • I’m not sure what being dogmatic has to do with bigotry.
    – Cork88
    Sep 14, 2022 at 4:23

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