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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

1 . In  Romans 1:26 f.,  Romans 11:21;  Romans 11:24 (cf.  Judges 1:10 ‘naturally’) ‘natural’ is the rendering of φυσικός. In Romans 1 St. Paul denounces certain forms of sexual vice as ‘against nature.’ To indulge in them is to pervert and degrade human nature. Its constitution is violated when the lower impulses refuse to be controlled. History confirms the Apostle’s judgment that ‘natural’ instincts and passions unbridled by reason and conscience lead to unnatural crimes which are dishonouring alike to man and to God. To Renan’s outburst, ‘Nature cares nothing about chastity,’ the true reply is, ‘Instead of saying that Nature cares nothing about chastity, let us say that human nature, our nature, cares about it a great deal’ (Matthew Arnold, Discourses in America, London, 1896, p. 60). In Romans 11 St. Paul, using figurative language, describes the Jews as ‘natural branches’ in contrast with the Gentiles, who are represented as artificially grafted into the tree of God’s people. The process described is ‘one that in horticulture is never performed. The cultivated branch is always engrafted upon the wild stock, and not vice versa. This Paul knew quite well (see παρὰ φύσιν, v. 24), and the force of his reproof to the presuming Gentile turns on the fact that the process was an unnatural one’ (J. Denney, Expositor’s Greek Testament, ‘Romans,’ 1900, p. 680).

2 . In  1 Corinthians 2:14;  1 Corinthians 15:44;  1 Corinthians 15:46, ‘natural’ is the rendering of ψυχικός. It is also used twice in Revised Version margin as an alternative to another translation of the same word. In  2 Peter 2:12 ‘mere animals’ is in the Revised Versiontext, but in  Judges 1:19 ‘sensual’ is found, ‘animal’ being a second marginal rendering. In all these passages ψυχικός ‘has a disparaging sense, being opposed to πνευματικός (as ψυχή is not to πνεῦμα), and almost synonymous with σάρκινος or σαρκικός ( 1 Corinthians 3:1 f.).… This epithet describes to the Corinthians the unregenerate nature at its best, the man commended in philosophy, actuated by the higher thoughts and aims of the natural life-not the sensual man (the animalis of the Vulg.[Note: Vulgate.]) who is ruled by bodily impulses. Yet the ψυχικός, μὴ ἔχων πνεῦμα ( Judges 1:19) may be lower than the σαρκικός, where the latter, as in  1 Corinthians 3:3 and  Galatians 5:17;  Galatians 5:25, is already touched but not fully assimilated by the life-giving πνεῦμα’ (G. G. Findlay, Expositor’s Greek Testament, ‘1 Cor.,’ 1900, p. 783, note on  1 Corinthians 2:14). To this helpful discrimination may be added a brief quotation from T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on First Ep. to Corinthians2, London, 1885: ‘the word ψυχικός was coined by Aristotle (Eth. Nic. III. x. 2), to distinguish the pleasures of the soul, such as ambition and desire of knowledge, from those of the body.’ As used by St. Paul, ‘the ψυχικός, contrasted with the ἀκρατής, is the noblest of men. But to the πνευματικός he is related as the natural to the supernatural.… The indwelling spirit is the Holy Spirit; and he in whom that Spirit dwells is at once supernatural and holy’ (p. 65f., note on  1 Corinthians 2:14 f.).

ψυχικός is sometimes rendered ‘psychic,’ and sometimes ‘soulish’ in  1 Corinthians 15:44, with the intention of emphasizing the contrast between the ‘natural’ and the ‘spiritual’ body. But ‘though inadequate, “natural” is the best available rendering of this adjective; it indicates the moulding of man’s body by its environment, and its adaptation to existing functions; the same body is χοϊκόν in respect of its material (v. 47).’ In this context, however, ‘ψυχικον is only relatively a term of disparagement; the “psychic” body has in it the making of the “spiritual” ’ (G. G. Findlay, op. cit. p. 937). The body which, in our present state, is adapted for the service of the soul, is contrasted by St. Paul with the body which, in the future state, will be adapted for the higher service of the spirit. ‘An organism fitted to be the seat of mind, to express emotion, to carry out the behests of will is already in process of being adapted for a still nobler ministry.’ Hence in v. 46 the history of man is said to be ‘a progress from Adam to Christ, from soulish to spiritual, from the present life to the future’ (T. C. Edwards, op. cit. pp. 441, 445).

3 . (a) In two passages ( Romans 1:31,  2 Timothy 3:3) the phrase ‘without natural affection’ is the rendering of ἄστοργος. By this word St. Paul describes those who are so regardless of the claims of nature as to be lacking in love for their own kindred. He assumes that love of kindred (στοργή) should naturally arise from such human relationships as parent and child, husband and wife, brother and sister. Here, as in those passages in which ‘natural’ is the rendering of φυσικός, the word denotes not what is in harmony with our environment, but what is in accord with our own true nature or constitution.

(b) In  James 1:23 ‘his natural face’ is the rendering of the phrase πρόσωπον τῆς γενέσεως, lit.[Note: literally, literature.]‘the face of his birth’ (Revised Version margin). The meaning is the face which is ‘native’ to man. The contrast is between ‘the face which belongs to this transitory life,’ of which a reflexion may be seen in a mirror, and ‘the character which is being here moulded for eternity,’ of which a reflexion may be seen in the Word (J. B. Mayor, Epistle of St. James 3, London, 1910, p. 71, note on 1:23).

Literature.-J. Laidlaw, Bible Doctrine of Man, new ed., Edinburgh, 1895; H. Wheeler Robinson, The Christian Doctrine of Man, do., 1911.

J. G. Tasker.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( a.) Resembling the object imitated; true to nature; according to the life; - said of anything copied or imitated; as, a portrait is natural.

(2): ( a.) Of or pertaining to the lower or animal nature, as contrasted with the higher or moral powers, or that which is spiritual; being in a state of nature; unregenerate.

(3): ( a.) Fixed or determined by nature; pertaining to the constitution of a thing; belonging to native character; according to nature; essential; characteristic; not artifical, foreign, assumed, put on, or acquired; as, the natural growth of animals or plants; the natural motion of a gravitating body; natural strength or disposition; the natural heat of the body; natural color.

(4): ( a.) Conformed to the order, laws, or actual facts, of nature; consonant to the methods of nature; according to the stated course of things, or in accordance with the laws which govern events, feelings, etc.; not exceptional or violent; legitimate; normal; regular; as, the natural consequence of crime; a natural death.

(5): ( a.) Having to do with existing system to things; dealing with, or derived from, the creation, or the world of matter and mind, as known by man; within the scope of human reason or experience; not supernatural; as, a natural law; natural science; history, theology.

(6): ( a.) Conformed to truth or reality

(7): ( a.) Springing from true sentiment; not artifical or exaggerated; - said of action, delivery, etc.; as, a natural gesture, tone, etc.

(8): ( n.) A native; an aboriginal.

(9): ( a.) Having the character or sentiments properly belonging to one's position; not unnatural in feelings.

(10): ( a.) Connected by the ties of consanguinity.

(11): ( a.) Begotten without the sanction of law; born out of wedlock; illegitimate; bastard; as, a natural child.

(12): ( a.) Applied to an air or modulation of harmony which moves by easy and smooth transitions, digressing but little from the original key.

(13): ( a.) Belonging to, to be taken in, or referred to, some system, in which the base is 1; - said or certain functions or numbers; as, natural numbers, those commencing at 1; natural sines, cosines, etc., those taken in arcs whose radii are 1.

(14): ( a.) Produced by natural organs, as those of the human throat, in distinction from instrumental music.

(15): ( a.) Of or pertaining to a key which has neither a flat nor a sharp for its signature, as the key of C major.

(16): ( n.) Natural gifts, impulses, etc.

(17): ( n.) A character [/] used to contradict, or to remove the effect of, a sharp or flat which has preceded it, and to restore the unaltered note.

(18): ( n.) One born without the usual powers of reason or understanding; an idiot.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

ψυχικος , is a term that frequently occurs in the apostolic writings: "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,"  1 Corinthians 2:14 . Here it is plain that by "the natural man," is not meant a person, devoid of natural judgment, reason, or conscience, in which sense the expression is often used among men. Nor does it signify one who is entirely governed by his fleshly appetites, or what the world calls a voluptuary, or sensualist. Neither does it signify merely a man in the rude state of nature, whose faculties have not been cultivated by learning and study, and polished by an intercourse with society. The Apostle manifestly takes his "natural man" from among such as the world hold in the highest repute for their natural parts, their learning, and their religion. He selects him from among the philosophers of Greece, who sought after wisdom, and from among the Jewish scribes, who were instructed in the revealed law of God,  1 Corinthians 1:22-23 . These are the persons whom he terms the wise, the scribes, the disputers of this world—men to whom the Gospel was a stumbling block and foolishness,  1 Corinthians 1:20;  1 Corinthians 1:23 .

The natural man is here evidently opposed to, ο πνευματικος , "him that is spiritual,"  1 Corinthians 2:15 , even as the natural body which we derive from Adam is opposed to the spiritual body which believers will receive from Christ at the resurrection, according to  1 Corinthians 15:44-45 . Now the spiritual man is one who has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him,  Romans 8:9 , not merely in the way of miraculous gifts, as some have imagined, (for these were peculiar to the first age of the Christian church, and even then not common to all the saints, nor inseparably connected with salvation,  1 Corinthians 13:1-4;  Hebrews 6:4-7 ,) but in his saving influences of light, holiness, and consolation, whereby the subject is made to discern the truth and excellency of spiritual things, and so to believe, love, and delight in them as his true happiness. If therefore a man is called "spiritual" because the Spirit of Christ dwells in him, giving him new views, dispositions, and enjoyments, then the "natural man," being opposed to such, must be one who is destitute of the Spirit, and of all his saving and supernatural effects, whatever may be his attainments in human learning and science. It is obviously upon this principle that our Lord insists upon the necessity of the new birth in order to our entering into the kingdom of heaven,  John 3:3;  John 3:5 .

King James Dictionary [4]

Natural a. to be born or produced

1. Pertaining to nature produced or effected by nature, or by the laws of growth, formation or motion impressed on bodies or beings by divine power. Thus we speak of the natural growth of animals or plants the natural motion of a gravitating body natural strength or disposition the natural heat of the body natural color natural beauty. In this sense, natural is opposed to artificial or acquired. 2. According to the stated course of things. Poverty and shame are the natural consequences of certain vices. 3. Not forced not far fetched such as is dictated by nature. The gestures of the orator are natural. 4. According to the life as a natural representation of the face. 5. Consonant to nature.

Fire and warmth go together, and so seem to carry with them as natural an evidence as self-evident truths themselves.

6. Derived from nature, as opposed to habitual. The love of pleasure is natural the love of study is usually habitual or acquired. 7. Discoverable by reason not revealed as natural religion. 8. Produced or coming in the ordinary course of things, or the progress or animals and vegetables as a natural death opposed to violent or premature. 9. Tender affectionate by nature. 10. Unaffected unassumed according to truth and reality.

What can be more natural than the circumstances of the behavior of those women who had lost heir husbands on this fatal day?

11. Illegitimate born out of wedlock as a natural son. 12. Native vernacular as ones natural language. 13. Derived from the study of the works or nature as natural knowledge. 14. A natural note, in music, is that which is according to the usual order of the scale opposed to flat and sharp notes, which are called artificial.

Natural history, in its most extensive sense, is the description of whatever is created, or of the whole universe, including the heavens and the earth, and all the productions of the earth. But more generally, natural history is limited to a description of the earth and its productions, including zoology, botany, geology, mineralogy, meteorology, & 100

Natural philosophy, the science of material natural bodies, of their properties, powers and motions. It is distinguished from intellectual and moral philosophy, which respect the mind or understanding of man and the qualities of actions. Natural philosophy comprehends mechanics, hydrostatics, optics, astronomy, chimistry, magnetism, eletricity, galvanism, & 100

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

That which is according to nature.

1. γένεσις, 'origin, birth.' Man beholds his natural face in a glass.  James 1:23 .

2. κατὰ φύσιν, 'according to nature.' The Israelites are called the natural branches of the olive tree which God planted on earth.   Romans 11:21,24 .φυσικός, 'that which belongs to nature.'  Romans 1:26,27;  2 Peter 2:12;  Jude 10 .

3. ψυχικός, from 'life, soul.' "The natural man [that is, a man characterised by the natural life of the soul, without the teaching and power of the Holy Spirit] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God."  1 Corinthians 2:14 . The body of the Christian is sown 'a natural body' (having had natural life through the living soul); it will be raised 'a spiritual body.'  1 Corinthians 15:44-46 .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

NATURAL. The contrast between ‘natural’ (Gr. psychikos ) and ‘spiritual’ ( pneumatikos ) is drawn out by St. Paul in   1 Corinthians 15:44-46 . The natural body is derived from the first Adam, and is our body in so far as it is accommodated to, and limited by, the needs of the animal side of the human nature. In such a sense it is especially true that ‘the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God’ (  1 Corinthians 2:14 ). Man derives his spiritual life from union with Christ (‘the last Adam’), but his present body is not adapted to the needs of this spiritual existence; hence the distinction made by St. Paul between the natural body (called the ‘body of death,’   Romans 7:24 ) and the spiritual body of the resurrection. The transference from the one to the other begins in this life, and the two beings are identical in so far as continuity creates an identity, but otherwise, owing to the operation of the union with Christ, distinct.

T. A. Moxon.

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

 Romans 1:26-27  Romans 1:31 2 Timothy 3:3 3 Romans 11:21 11:24 4 1 Corinthians 2:14 1 Corinthians 2:15 James 3:15  Jude 1:19  James 1:23

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

is the rendering in the A.V. of the N.T. for two Greek words of somewhat kindred signification:

1, as opposed to Artificial, Φυσιχός , applied only to the Animal nature of men ( Romans 1:26-27;  Judges 1:10) or beasts ( 2 Peter 2:12);

2, as opposed to Spiritual, Ψυχικός , applied to Inanimate objects ( 1 Corinthians 15:44;  1 Corinthians 15:46), and to men in their unconverated state ( 1 Corinthians 2:14), or as depraved ( James 3:15;  Judges 1:19). (See Carnal).