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1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV) states:

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Does this mean that the joy of Heaven is incomprehensibly great or that some quality of the experience is beyond the current ability to contemplate?

For example, for foods that one has not tasted one might be unable to contemplate the particular taste (qualitative factor) but have had previous experience of the same degree of pleasure in tasting. Such tasting of new foods would be beyond contemplation in the second sense but not in the first sense.

So was Paul indicating that what is beyond contemplation is how much joy or some qualitative aspect?

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1 Answer 1

This is one of those passages that is more metaphorical and should be taken in context with the entire passage, and, like the entire New Testament, it should be taken in context with common Judaic beliefs of the day.

The people to whom Paul is speaking know what heaven is supposed to be like. The resurrection of the dead and the paradise that awaits is often repeated. Paul wouldn't be trying to describe heaven in a single verse to people who'd been hearing about heaven their entire lives. Verse 9 is an analogy used to explain that Paul didn't come up with this stuff on his own. He is teaching what God taught him.

Simply, Paul is saying that compared to anything any person could have come up with, this wisdom from God is like this world compared to what we know heaven will be like.

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I'm not sure the believers in Corinth could be described as a "people who –  rhetorician Aug 28 '13 at 0:07

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