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2 Corinthians 5:16 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh: even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know [him so] no more.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know [Him in this way] no longer.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Wherefore henceforth we know no man according to the flesh: though indeed we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now henceforth we know [him] no more.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— So that *we* henceforth know no one according to flesh; but if even we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we know [him thus] no longer.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— So that, we, henceforth, know, no one, after the flesh: if we have even been gaining, after the flesh, a knowledge of Christ,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— So that we henceforth have known no one according to the flesh, and even if we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him no more;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Wherefore henceforth, we know no man according to the flesh. And if we have known Christ according to the flesh: but now we know him so no longer.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Wherefore hencefoorth know we no man, after the flesh: yea, though we haue knowen Christ after the flesh, yet now hencefoorth knowe wee him no more.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— And henceforth we no man know according to the flesh; and if we have known the Meshiha according to the flesh, yet from now we know not.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And therefore, we know no person after the flesh: and if we have known the Messiah after the flesh, yet henceforth we know [him] no more.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Wherefore 5620
{5620} Prime
ὥστε
hoste
{hoce'-teh}
From G5613 and G5037; so too, that is, thus therefore (in various relations of consecution, as shown).
henceforth 575
{0575} Prime
ἀπό
apo
{ap-o'}
A primary particle; 'off', that is, away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literally or figuratively).
3568
{3568} Prime
νῦν
nun
{noon}
A primary particle of present time; 'now' (as adverb of date, a transition or emphasis); also as noun or adjective present or immediate.
know 1492
{1492} Prime
εἰδῶ
eido
{i-do'}
A primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent, G3700 and G3708; properly to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perfect only) to know.
z5758
<5758> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 516
we 2249
{2249} Prime
ἡμεῖς
hemeis
{hay-mice'}
Nomitive plural of G1473; we (only used when emphatic).
no man 3762
{3762} Prime
οὐδείς
oudeis
{oo-dice'}
From G3761 and G1520; not even one (man, woman or thing), that is, none, nobody, nothing.
after 2596
{2596} Prime
κατά
kata
{kat-ah'}
A primary particle; (preposition) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case [genitive, dative or accusative] with which it is joined).
the flesh: 4561
{4561} Prime
σάρξ
sarx
{sarx}
Probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), that is, (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred, or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such).
yea, 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
though 1499
{1499} Prime
εἰ καί
ei kai
{i kahee}
From G1487 and G2532; if also (or even).
we have known 1097
{1097} Prime
γινώσκω
ginosko
{ghin-oce'-ko}
A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' (absolutely), in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as shown at left, with others not thus clearly expressed).
z5758
<5758> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 516
Christ 5547
{5547} Prime
Χριστός
Christos
{khris-tos'}
From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.
after 2596
{2596} Prime
κατά
kata
{kat-ah'}
A primary particle; (preposition) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case [genitive, dative or accusative] with which it is joined).
the flesh, 4561
{4561} Prime
σάρξ
sarx
{sarx}
Probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), that is, (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred, or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such).
yet 235
{0235} Prime
ἀλλά
alla
{al-lah'}
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
now 3568
{3568} Prime
νῦν
nun
{noon}
A primary particle of present time; 'now' (as adverb of date, a transition or emphasis); also as noun or adjective present or immediate.
henceforth y3765
[3765] Standard
οὐκέτι
ouketi
{ook-et'-ee}
From G3756 and G2089; not yet, no longer.
z0
<0000> Grammar
The original word in the Greek or Hebrew is translated by more than one word in the English. The English translation is separated by one or more other words from the original.
know x1097
(1097) Complement
γινώσκω
ginosko
{ghin-oce'-ko}
A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' (absolutely), in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as shown at left, with others not thus clearly expressed).
we y1097
[1097] Standard
γινώσκω
ginosko
{ghin-oce'-ko}
A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' (absolutely), in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as shown at left, with others not thus clearly expressed).
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
[him] no more. 3765
{3765} Prime
οὐκέτι
ouketi
{ook-et'-ee}
From G3756 and G2089; not yet, no longer.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Corinthians 5:16

_ _ Wherefore — because of our settled judgment (2 Corinthians 5:14),

_ _ henceforth — since our knowing Christ’s constraining love in His death for us.

_ _ know we no man after the flesh — that is, according to his mere worldly and external relations (2 Corinthians 11:18; John 8:15; Philippians 3:4), as distinguished from what he is according to the Spirit, as a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17). For instance, the outward distinctions of Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, slave or free, learned or unlearned, are lost sight of in the higher life of those who are dead in Christ’s death, and alive with Him in the new life of His resurrection (Galatians 2:6; Galatians 3:28).

_ _ yea, though — The oldest manuscripts read, “if even.”

_ _ known Christ after the flesh — Paul when a Jew had looked for a temporal reigning, not a spiritual, Messiah. (He says “Christ,” not Jesus: for he had not known personally Jesus in the days of His flesh, but he had looked for Christ or the Messiah). When once he was converted he no longer “conferred with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:16). He had this advantage over the Twelve, that as one born out of due time he had never known Christ save in His heavenly life. To the Twelve it was “expedient that Christ should go away” that the Comforter should come, and so they might know Christ in the higher spiritual aspect and in His new life-giving power, and not merely “after the flesh,” in the carnal aspect of Him (Romans 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1, 1 Peter 4:2). Doubtless Judaizing Christians at Corinth prided themselves on the mere fleshly (2 Corinthians 11:18) advantage of their belonging to Israel, the nation of Christ, or on their having seen Him in the flesh, and thence claimed superiority over others as having a nearer connection with Him (2 Corinthians 5:12; 2 Corinthians 10:7). Paul here shows the true aim should be to know Him spiritually as new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:15, 2 Corinthians 5:17), and that outward relations towards Him profit nothing (Luke 18:19-21; John 16:7, John 16:22; Philippians 3:3-10). This is at variance with both Romish Mariolatry and transubstantiation. Two distinct Greek verbs are used here for “know”; the first (“know we no man”) means “to be personally acquainted with”; the latter (“known Christ ... know ... more”) is to recognize, or estimate. Paul’s estimate of Christ, or the expected Messiah, was carnal, but is so now no more.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

_ _ In these verses the apostle mentions two things that are necessary in order to our living to Christ, both of which are the consequences of Christ's dying for us; namely, regeneration and reconciliation.

_ _ I. Regeneration, which consists of two things; namely, 1. Weanedness from the world: “Henceforth we know no man after the flesh, 2 Corinthians 5:16. We do not own nor affect any person or thing in this world for carnal ends and outward advantage: we are enabled, by divine grace, not to mind nor regard this world, nor the things of this world, but to live above it. The love of Christ is in our hearts, and the world is under our feet.” Note, Good Christians must enjoy the comforts of this life, and their relations in this world, with a holy indifference. Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet, says the apostle, we know him no more. It is questioned whether Paul had seen Christ in the flesh. However, the rest of the apostles had, and so might some among those he was now writing to. However, he would not have them value themselves upon that account; for even the bodily presence of Christ is not to be desired nor doted upon by his disciples. We must live upon his spiritual presence, and the comfort it affords. Note, Those who make images of Christ, and use them in their worship, do not take the way that God has appointed for strengthening their faith and quickening their affections; for it is the will of God that we should not know Christ any more after the flesh. 2. A thorough change of the heart: For if any man be in Christ, if any man be a Christian indeed, and will approve himself such, he is, or he must be, a new creature, 2 Corinthians 5:17. Some read it, Let him be a new creature. This ought to be the care of all who profess the Christian faith, that they be new creatures; not only that they have a new name, and wear a new livery, but that they have a new heart and new nature. And so great is the change the grace of God makes in the soul, that, as it follows, old things are passed away — old thoughts, old principles, and old practices, are passed away; and all these things must become new. Note, Regenerating grace creates a new world in the soul; all things are new. The renewed man acts from new principles, by new rules, with new ends, and in new company.

_ _ II. Reconciliation, which is here spoken of under a double notion: —

_ _ 1. As an unquestionable privilege, 2 Corinthians 5:18, 2 Corinthians 5:19. Reconciliation supposes a quarrel, or breach of friendship; and sin has made a breach, it has broken the friendship between God and man. The heart of the sinner is filled with enmity against God, and God is justly offended with the sinner. Yet, behold, there may be a reconciliation; the offended Majesty of heaven is willing to be reconciled. And observe, 1. He has appointed the Mediator of reconciliation. He has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:18. God is to be owned from first to last in the undertaking and performance of the Mediator. All things relating to our reconciliation by Jesus Christ are of God, who by the mediation of Jesus Christ has reconciled the world to himself, and put himself into a capacity of being actually reconciled to offenders, without any wrong or injury to his justice or holiness, and does not impute to men their trespasses, but recedes from the rigour of the first covenant, which was broken, and does not insist upon the advantage he might justly take against us for the breach of that covenant, but is willing to enter into a new treaty, and into a new covenant of grace, and, according to the tenour thereof, freely to forgive us all our sins, and justify freely by his grace all those who do believe. 2. He has appointed the ministry of reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:18. By the inspiration of God the scriptures were written, which contain the word of reconciliation, showing us that peace was made by the blood of the cross, that reconciliation is wrought, and directing us how we may be interested therein. And he has appointed the office of the ministry, which is a ministry of reconciliation: ministers are to open and proclaim to sinners the terms of mercy and reconciliation, and persuade them to comply therewith. For,

_ _ 2. Reconciliation is here spoken of as our indispensable duty, 2 Corinthians 5:20. As God is willing to be reconciled to us, we ought to be reconciled to God. And it is the great end and design of the gospel, that word of reconciliation, to prevail upon sinners to lay aside their enmity against God. Faithful ministers are Christ's ambassadors, sent to treat with sinners on peace and reconciliation: they come in God's name, with his entreaties, and act in Christ's stead, doing the very thing he did when he was upon this earth, and what he wills to be done now that he is in heaven. Wonderful condescension! Though God can be no loser by the quarrel, nor gainer by the peace, yet by his ministers he beseeches sinners to lay aside their enmity, and accept of the terms he offers, that they would be reconciled to him, to all his attributes, to all his laws, and to all his providences, to believe in the Mediator, to accept the atonement, and comply with his gospel, in all the parts of it and in the whole design of it. And for our encouragement so to do the apostle subjoins what should be well known and duly considered by us (2 Corinthians 5:21), namely, (1.) The purity of the Mediator: He knew no sin. (2.) The sacrifice he offered: He was made sin; not a sinner, but sin, that is, a sin-offering, a sacrifice for sin. (3.) The end and design of all this: that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, might be justified freely by the grace of God through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Note, [1.] As Christ, who knew no sin of his own, was made sin for us, so we, who have no righteousness of our own, are made the righteousness of God in him. [2.] Our reconciliation to God is only through Jesus Christ, and for the sake of his merit: on him therefore we must rely, and make mention of his righteousness and his only.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Corinthians 5:16

So that we from this time — That we knew the love of Christ. Know no one — Neither ourselves, nor you, neither the rest of the apostles, Galatians 2:6, nor any other person. After the flesh — According to his former state, country, descent, nobility, riches, power, wisdom. We fear not the great. We regard not the rich or wise. We account not the least less than ourselves. We consider all, only in order to save all. Who is he that thus knows no one after the flesh? ln what land do these Christians live? Yea, if we have known even Christ after the flesh — So as to love him barely with a natural love, so as to glory in having conversed with him on earth, so as to expect only temporal benefits from him.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

2 Corinthians 5:16

(9) Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: (10) yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.

(9) He shows what it is not to live to ourselves but to Christ, that is, to know no man according to the flesh. That is to say, to be conversant among men and yet not to care for those worldly and carnal things, as those do who have regard for a man's family, his country, form, glory, riches, and such like, in which men commonly dote and weary themselves.

(10) An amplification: "This is", he says, "so true, that we do not now think carnally of Christ himself, who has now left the world, and therefore he must be thought of spiritually by us."

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
know we no:

Deuteronomy 33:9 Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant.
1 Samuel 2:29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded [in my] habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?
Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 12:48-50 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? ... For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
Mark 3:31-35 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. ... For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
John 2:4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Galatians 2:5-6 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. ... But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed [to be somewhat] in conference added nothing to me:
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Philippians 3:7-8 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. ... Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,
Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.
1 Timothy 5:21-22 I charge [thee] before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. ... Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
James 2:1-4 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons. ... Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

yet:

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.
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Dt 33:9. 1S 2:29. Mt 10:37; 12:48. Mk 3:31. Jn 2:4; 6:63; 15:14. Ga 2:5; 5:6. Php 3:7. Col 3:11. 1Ti 5:21. Jm 2:1; 3:17.

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