1 Corinthians 4:7 | July 21

 

1 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV 1900)

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

 

We would not notice it in any other translation besides the KJV, but Paul changes pronouns in this verse.  He uses “thee” and “thou” instead of “ye” and “you,” which he has been using all along.  

Thee and thou always refer to the singular person.  So for some reason, he is addressing one person here.  Is he referring to the figurative “a man” in 2:1?  It’s a tough one to interpret, but interesting that he uses a different pronoun nonetheless.  

Paul may be referring back to 2:12, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God.” So when he says, Who maketh thee to differ from another he asks the question rhetorically–the answer: God does. God distinguishes those who received the spirit of God, from those who received the spirit of the world.

What has thou that thou didst not receive? Why are you acting like you are a natural person who has not received the Spirit of God (2:14).

If thou didst receive it, that is the spirit of God, why dost thou glory (boast) about being right in this dispute in the church? Quit depending on your human reason and skill and depend on the Spirit of God.

[The KJV may be difficult for us to read, but for study purposes it provides a huge benefit when dealing with personal pronouns. It helps us better understand who the audience is.]

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