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Joseph Antley

What were the "hidden wisdom" that Paul wouldn't divulge in 1 Corinthians?

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In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks of "the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." (1 Corinthians 2:7)

A few lines later, apparently discussing the same concept, he tells the Corinthians that he "could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." (3:1). He tells them that he is feeding them with milk, and not with meat (3:2).

As a non-LDS Christian, what do you believe the "meat" was that Paul refused to share with the Corinthians? Why did Paul refuse to share it? Is 1 Corinthians representative of the New Testament, or is the "meat" found somewhere else in the Bible? If so, where?

Edit: Apparently I can't edit my topic title but just pretend that that "were" is actually a "was".

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In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks of "the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." (1 Corinthians 2:7)

A few lines later, apparently discussing the same concept, he tells the Corinthians that he "could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." (3:1). He tells them that he is feeding them with milk, and not with meat (3:2).

As a non-LDS Christian, what do you believe the "meat" was that Paul refused to share with the Corinthians? Why did Paul refuse to share it? Is 1 Corinthians representative of the New Testament, or is the "meat" found somewhere else in the Bible? If so, where?

Edit: Apparently I can't edit my topic title but just pretend that that "were" is actually a "was".

Is it something that Paul refused to share with them or something that he couldn't share with them because only God can reveal to His children through personal revelation? Maybe you are thinking of the temple, but even though I am LDS, I think this sounds more like feeling the spirit or perhaps feeling God's love. Those are things that maybe a prophet can tell us about, but it is absolutely impossible to understand without actually feeling it ourselves. Only God can reveal this to us.

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Is it something that Paul refused to share with them or something that he couldn't share with them because only God can reveal to His children through personal revelation? Maybe you are thinking of the temple, but even though I am LDS, I think this sounds more like feeling the spirit or perhaps feeling God's love. Those are things that maybe a prophet can tell us about, but it is absolutely impossible to understand without actually feeling it ourselves. Only God can reveal this to us.

Paul seems to say that he could tell them were it not for the "envying, and strife, and divisions" (3:3). Several lines later Paul refers to himself and others as the "stewards of the mysteries of God" (4:1).

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As a non-LDS Christian, what do you believe the "meat" was that Paul refused to share with the Corinthians? Why did Paul refuse to share it? Is 1 Corinthians representative of the New Testament, or is the "meat" found somewhere else in the Bible? If so, where?

I think the other verses in Chapter 2 are very rich in describing the process by which the meat is taught and received. The LDS Scripture, D&C Section 50, goes into this with some specifics. But the "meat" I would say is "the mind of Christ (verse 16)" which is taught and obtained through spiritual means not available to the "carnal man." A good example from the Bible is Romans 8, mostly in verses 17-27.

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Paul seems to say that he could tell them were it not for the "envying, and strife, and divisions" (3:3). Several lines later Paul refers to himself and others as the "stewards of the mysteries of God" (4:1).

Interesting. What are your thoughts on what he is saying?

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Paul seems to say that he could tell them were it not for the "envying, and strife, and divisions" (3:3). Several lines later Paul refers to himself and others as the "stewards of the mysteries of God" (4:1).

stewards of the mysteries at the set and appropriate time. :P

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Interesting. What are your thoughts on what he is saying?

I don't know. I'm inclined to think that the "mysteries" that he had in mind related to the nature of God, the plan of salvation, and/or similarly the temple.

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Paul is teaching a concept, where he describes people as a "natural person"and the "spiritual person":

2:14 Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.

2:15 The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone.

He then says

3:1- Brothers, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ.

So here we have him teaching that the natural person are "fleshly", and like infants. They remain at a purely human level. Unable to accept what pertains to the Spirit of God (back to 2:14 and 3:14).

3:14 Now the natural person not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.

On the other hand, the natural person is called to a higher level of understanding. (3:1 and 2:6)

2:6- Yet we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away.

To your question, what is "meat is he speaking of". Paul eludes to it in 2:7, as God's wisdom and mystery, never revealed until now. (Paul's now) He teaches the culmination of existing in the Spirit in 15:44-49.

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. 45 So, too, it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being," the last Adam a life-giving spirit. 46 But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. 48 As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.

Paul teaches the mystery itself in 15:51-52.

<a name="v51">

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

In short, we (Catholic) understand the wisdom and mystery that God did not reveal until now (Paul's now), is Jesus Christ.

edit: I should add in case it isn't obvious. To the part of what you ask "what wasn't divulged", as you can see, we believe that Paul did not withhold any teachings of God's wisdom or mystery.

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There's a great youtube video on this by someone I know:

Part I:

Part II:

These videos were actually pretty enlightening.

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I agree that those were great videos

In an LDS context, there are enough clues in the epistles to convince me that Paul had a through understanding of many of the temple ordinances pretty much as we have them today.

There are too many direct similarities imo to be "coincidental".

And if we include Hebrews, whoever wrote that also knew the same ordinances.

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Paul is teaching a concept, where he describes people as a "natural person"and the "spiritual person":

2:14 Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.

2:15 The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone.

He then says

3:1- Brothers, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ.

So here we have him teaching that the natural person are "fleshly", and like infants. They remain at a purely human level. Unable to accept what pertains to the Spirit of God (back to 2:14 and 3:14).

3:14 Now the natural person not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.

On the other hand, the natural person is called to a higher level of understanding. (3:1 and 2:6)

2:6- Yet we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away.

To your question, what is "meat is he speaking of". Paul eludes to it in 2:7, as God's wisdom and mystery, never revealed until now. (Paul's now) He teaches the culmination of existing in the Spirit in 15:44-49.

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. 45 So, too, it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being," the last Adam a life-giving spirit. 46 But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. 48 As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.

Paul teaches the mystery itself in 15:51-52.

<a name="v51">

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

In short, we (Catholic) understand the wisdom and mystery that God did not reveal until now (Paul's now), is Jesus Christ.

edit: I should add in case it isn't obvious. To the part of what you ask "what wasn't divulged", as you can see, we believe that Paul did not withhold any teachings of God's wisdom or mystery.

I agree with this as the Catholic perspective saemo. The mystery is not taught by men, but by the Holy Spirit. And the mystery is discussed in 1 Corinthians 15. Isaiah 64 and 65 are also important in this understanding. Interestingly Isaiah 64:4 parallels 1 Corinthians 2:9.

The Corinthians were still trusting in men (Paul and Apollos), not the wisdom of God. This is why they weren't ready for the "meat". They are like babies in faith, which is why they haven't been given wisdom by the Holy Spirit (as we learn in chapter 2). Paul doesn't teach the wisdom, the Holy Spirit does. The foundation is laid by Paul, then God (Holy Spirit) has to do the rest.

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I agree with this as the Catholic perspective saemo. The mystery is not taught by men, but by the Holy Spirit. And the mystery is discussed in 1 Corinthians 15. Isaiah 64 and 65 are also important in this understanding. Interestingly Isaiah 64:4 parallels 1 Corinthians 2:9.

The Corinthians were still trusting in men (Paul and Apollos), not the wisdom of God. This is why they weren't ready for the "meat". They are like babies in faith, which is why they haven't been given wisdom by the Holy Spirit (as we learn in chapter 2). Paul doesn't teach the wisdom, the Holy Spirit does. The foundation is laid by Paul, then God (Holy Spirit) has to do the rest.

:P Yeah, I can't help but have in my head:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.

And You shall renew the face of the earth.

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There's a great youtube video on this by someone I know:

Part I:

Part II:

Of course there is nothing to reconstruct. :P It is well known that the Eucharist is the Mystery that the Early Church Fathers refer to.

Further, Simon the Magus was the first written example of an excommunication. Gnosticism is a heresy.

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:P Yeah, I can't help but have in my head:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.

And You shall renew the face of the earth.

;) Very true. That prayer really covers those passages nicely.

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As you look up the various verses where the term "mystery" is used, it boils down to this. There is no hidden meaning concerning Masonic/Mormon temple ordinances which were never part of Jewish Temple practice which ultimately pointed to the sacrifice of the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sin (the keys of the kingdom in the taking of the bread and wine in the Sacrament as instituted by Jesus):

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles?Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. (Ephesians 3:1-13)

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

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As you look up the various verses where the term "mystery" is used, it boils down to this. There is no hidden meaning concerning Masonic/Mormon temple ordinances which were never part of Jewish Temple practice which ultimately pointed to the sacrifice of the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sin (the keys of the kingdom in the taking of the bread and wine in the Sacrament as instituted by Jesus):

You are seeing only a small part of this. Hebrews 10:20.

Every time "mystery" is used, it is used in close proximity to a discussion of "flesh". The Hebrews passage explains the meaning.

The "through the glass darkly" passage has a similar meaning if you check the notes in the LDS version.

I wanted to point to this, but I will not discuss it further, for those who have ears to hear, etc.

The discussion in 1 Corinthians 15 is also highly relevant to this whole perspective of what "mystery" means to Paul

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In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks of "the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." (1 Corinthians 2:7)

A few lines later, apparently discussing the same concept, he tells the Corinthians that he "could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." (3:1). He tells them that he is feeding them with milk, and not with meat (3:2).

As a non-LDS Christian, what do you believe the "meat" was that Paul refused to share with the Corinthians? Why did Paul refuse to share it? Is 1 Corinthians representative of the New Testament, or is the "meat" found somewhere else in the Bible? If so, where?

I believe the "meat" is meant to symbolize an experience of initiation. It was not that Paul refused to share it, it was that he couldn't teach it with words - the individual must experience it for himself.

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There's a great youtube video on this by someone I know:

Part I:

Part II:

Haha. I thought of you immediately when I saw the title of this thread. I was going to link to them but I'm glad you did first. You deserve it. :P

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There's a great youtube video on this by someone I know:

Part I:

Part II:

Great stuff! Thanks!

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I believe the "meat" is meant to symbolize an experience of initiation. It was not that Paul refused to share it, it was that he couldn't teach it with words - the individual must experience it for himself.

Yes, in the context of Corinthians, the mystery is revealed to the person by the Holy Spirit.

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These videos were actually pretty enlightening.

I've got the text on my hard drive that I read in the presentation, if you'd like a copy. Just PM me so I'll get a notice in my email (since I don't get on here everyday)

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In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks of "the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." (1 Corinthians 2:7)

The church.

A few lines later, apparently discussing the same concept, he tells the Corinthians that he "could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." (3:1). He tells them that he is feeding them with milk, and not with meat (3:2).

The church had not been fully developed yet, neither its structure, nor even the idea of a church.

As a non-LDS Christian, what do you believe the "meat" was that Paul refused to share with the Corinthians? Why did Paul refuse to share it? Is 1 Corinthians representative of the New Testament, or is the "meat" found somewhere else in the Bible? If so, where?

The church as an institution continued, and continues, to develop as an institution.

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Yes, in the context of Corinthians, the mystery is revealed to the person by the Holy Spirit.

Yet Paul seems to state that he could give them the "meat," if it weren't for their contentions. He also refers to himself and others as "stewards of the mysteries," implying that he and other leaders possess the mysteries and are to watch over them and share them as needed.

The very concept of the mysterion as a secret learned through ritualistic initiation implies that it this "hidden wisdom" is something that can be learned from another man -- although Paul would agree that it could not be accurately understood and would be worthless without the help of the Holy Spirit.

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Yet Paul seems to state that he could give them the "meat," if it weren't for their contentions. He also refers to himself and others as "stewards of the mysteries," implying that he and other leaders possess the mysteries and are to watch over them and share them as needed.

The very concept of the mysterion as a secret learned through ritualistic initiation implies that it this "hidden wisdom" is something that can be learned from another man -- although Paul would agree that it could not be accurately understood and would be worthless without the help of the Holy Spirit.

I agree that whatever the "mystery" is that Paul is talking about, it can only be understood through the Holy Spirit. In our view, Paul is a steward of the mysteries of God, because He is a steward of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (which does not necessitate that this is something learned secretly or are analagous to the LDS temple rituals). Paul speaks about this elsewhere, where he states, in Ephesians 3:3-6:

3How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

5Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

6That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Therefore, the mystery of God, is given by revelation (again, the Holy Spirit), and is clearly referencing Christ. The entirety of Ephesians 3 is important to this discussion of the "mysteries". Colossians 1 also speaks to this:

26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory

Through 1 Corinthians 2, and other chapters, we see that the people have been given milk, however they are still in the world, clinging to carnal matters, like the kings and rulers of the world, who do not realize the true mysteries, which are revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

So truly, at least in the Catholic view, the priesthood is the steward of the mysteries of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which finds its expression in the sacraments of Christ (which, in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, are called 'mysteries').

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