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- If I speak the tongues of angels and men but don’t have love,(1)The Greek word here “ἀγάπη” (agape), typically translated “love”. However, unlike our English word “love” – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agape centers on preference. In the verb form, it literally means “to prefer” or “show preference for”. In the New Testament, that usually means “moral preference”, or “actively preferring what God prefers” in what we do, not just in what we feel. It’s the “love” based on will, choice, decision, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word “φιλέω” (phileó), which properly means “brotherly love/affection”.) I did – and do – become a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
- And if I have prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but don’t have love; I am nothing.
- And if I give all that I possess to feed(3)“I give… …to feed” Is one word in Greek. It properly refers to giving out food in small portions to feed someone or something. the poor, and deliver(4)“deliver” this Greek word can also be translated “betray”, often used in the sense of delivering someone over to imprisonment. my body to prison so that I might boast but don’t have love; I gain nothing.
- Love is patient, it’s kind. Love isn’t jealous, love doesn’t boast, it isn’t puffed up,
- It doesn’t act indecently, it doesn’t seek things for itself, it isn’t easily angered, it doesn’t take into account wrongs suffered.
- it doesn’t rejoice at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.
- It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
- Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they will be abolished;(2)“they will be abolished” is one Word in Greek, literally meaning to render something as completely without force or power, making it idle and of no effect. Thus, it also means to abolish, because the force has been completely removed. It’s the same word used to refer to knowledge later in the verse. if tongues, they will cease, if knowledge, it will be abolished.(5)“it will be abolished” is one Word in Greek, literally meaning to render something as completely without force or power, making it idle and of no effect. Thus, it also means to abolish, because the force has been completely removed. It’s the same word used to refer to prophecies earlier in the verse
- For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
- But when the perfect comes, the partial will be abolished.
- When I was a child, I was talking like a child, I was understanding like a child, I was reasoning like a child. When I became(6)“became” The Greek word here is in the perfect tense, which is (sort of) a combination of our past and present tenses. Thus, Paul was saying that in the past he had become a man, and remained one into the present. a man, I abolished(7)“abolished” The Greek word here is in the perfect tense, which is (sort of) a combination of our past and present tenses. Thus, Paul was saying that in the past he had abolished the childish things, and continued to do so into the present. the childish things.
- For now we see through a mirror(8)“mirror” The Greek word here refers to a metallic mirror, not a glass one. in puzzling obscurity,(9)“puzzling obscurity” The Greek word here literally refers to a riddle or enigma which obscures something. but then face to face. I know in part now, but then I will know Him(10)“Him” this word was added in attempt to convey the nuance of the Greek word “ἐπιγινώσκω” (epiginóskó), here translated “I will know fully”, and the same word is at the end of the sentence (in the passive voice) there translated “I’m fully know”. It refers to close, personal, intimate knowing in the context of relationship. fully, even as I’m fully known.
- But now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.
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