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The majority of the Corinthian Christians may well have been quite faithful.

First Epistle to the Corinthians

Paul writes on their behalf to guard against the threats posed to the community by the views and conduct of various minorities. He writes with confidence in the authority of his apostolic mission, and he presumes that the Corinthians, despite their deficiencies, will recognize and accept it. The letter illustrates well the mind and character of Paul.

He provides us in this letter with many valuable examples of his method of theological reflection and exposition. He always treats the questions at issue on the level of the purity of Christian teaching and conduct. Some scholars have proposed, however, that the letter as we have it contains portions of more than one original Pauline letter. Print Share Calendar Diocesan Locator. Scripture not found. View all books of the Bible.

By accepting this message, you will be leaving the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The purpose of this chapter is also to recognize the call of lifestyle God asks of us, and draw out the true issues in the Church Garland, Immorality including prevalent sexual immorality , Conduct of the Church, Character development, and keeping a pure heart.

KJV Audio Bible - 1 Corinthians

But where there are prophesies, there will be no more; mouths will be silenced; knowledge will dissipate. In the same way, I may only know a portion, but later will know completely just as God completely knows me inside out. Of all of them, Love is the greatest. The word agape, meaning love, is often used in the New Testament describing the intimate and close affections of God and Jesus for people.

This could also be described as being a word describing communal relationship, and covenant between Christians and one another Mare, [10] Some scholars suggest that the "tongues" being referred to here is the gift of speaking in tongues, yet it should recognized that these "tongues" can be reference to speech of "any kind" Morris, Whatever noisy device this is, it is clearly something very loud. Some suggest that it may be a trumpet Morris, It should be noted in this verse that prophecy more than likely is referenced to preaching.

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According to William Barclay, "there are two kinds of preachers. There is a preacher whose one aim is to save the souls of his people and who woos them with the accents of love On the other hand there is a preacher who dangles his hearers over the flames of hell and gives the impression that he would rejoice in their damnation as much as in their salvation" Barclay, In this verse, it is suggested by scholars that Paul is stating that even if you give all of your material possessions to those who are poor, that does not mean that you did it out of pure love.

Also, Paul is saying that you can be persecuted and martyred for your faith, but still do so not out of love for others Mare, Verse 4 gives a collection of descriptive words of love reflecting both a positive and negative nature. The positive descriptors include patience and kindness, and the negative descriptors include envy, pride, and boasting.

By saying that love is patient, Paul is basically stating that love is slow to become resentful Mare, The positive descriptive words are also words that the author, Paul uses to describe God in Romans Clearly the list of negative aspects that begin in this verse are in reference to the bad behaviors of the Corinthians which are described throughout the rest of Corinthians Hays, Some of the earliest translations such as Robertson and Plummer translate to it "does not play the braggart" or "ostentation is the chief idea" Earle, By personifying love in these verses, the superiority of these acts is revealed.

Paul never uses adjectives in this chapter in order to describe love, but rather only uses verbs.

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This shows the reader that love is something that continually lives and moves, it is not something easily described as just one action, but rather many. In this passage, love is not just an emotion, but it is an action shown defined by what it does do, and does not do as we can see in verse 5.

Love is a display for these people that creates distinguishable characteristics of followers of Christ Garland, Some scholars suggest that the reference to rude behavior in this verse may be directed towards the "disorderly conduct at worship referred to in 1 Corinthians and in 1 Corinthians 14" Mare, Verses contain a list of five things that love is not, re-emphasizing "love's all encompassing scope Sampley, Verse 5 in King James Version states "thinks no evil," whereas the New International Version says that love "keeps no records of wrong.

To "think no evil" gives an inaccurate depiction as to what the verse is attempting to state. The core meaning of this verse, in the New International Version of the Bible, is to keep no records of wrong which in turn keeps from "violating loves nature" Mare, Verse 6 is the end to Paul's list of eight different negative behaviors that do not reflect love. Some bible translations of this passage do not use the word evil, but rather "unrighteousness" New American Standard Version or rather the literal translation from the root adikia , "wrongdoing.

SparkNotes: Bible: The New Testament: The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians)

This does not change the meaning of the passage significantly. As far as the positive note at the end of this verse, truth, more than likely refers to morality, alike the Johannine tradition Hays, Verse 7 is said to describe love "covering the faults of others rather than delighting in them" Mare, Paul uses "four strong verbs that characterize positively the action of agape Hays, In reference to the Greek root of protects, we get the verb stego which then later translates to a roof.

The literal meaning taken from this is "to cover closely, to protect by covering" Earle, If the modern day translations were looked up, this translation referring to a roof or covering would not be apparent.

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  4. The interpreter must look up the original Greek roots of the words in the passage. By combining information on verse 10 from The Expositor's Biblical Commentary see v. Previously, v. This love is unending because God's love is said to be the root of all earthly love Sampley, Verse 9 is a description as to why knowledge and prophecy will disappear. Some scholars suggest that this "is an example of Christian agnosticism, which defines as the recognition of present limitation, combined with the confidence in the coming of full truth" Garland, Verse 10 is merely stating that the reason why prophesies, tongues, and knowledge will disappear is because they are "imperfect and partial" Mare, When it comes to the translation of Childish ways, the literal Greek root translation can refer to ways or things.

    If the term is referenced to "things," the reader could interpret this passage as adults putting their literal, physical objects and toys from their youth such as dolls away, but if the term "ways" is used, the reader could interpret those ways as being an adults reaction to circumstances in life Earle, 84 [39] This could in turn imply an immaturity on the individuals being discussed. This verse was one to put knowledge into perspective. Paul by far knew more than the Corinthians he was writing to, and yet he still recognizes that he doesn't know everything, and only knows partially what is to be known.

    By stating that "then he shall fully know" he is saying that at the end of the ages he will know far more than he currently knows. The discussion of knowledge is used to put the idea of love into perspective Sampley, Stressing the importance of love in his conclusion, Paul is saying that "Great as faith and hope are, love is still greater.


    A faith without love is cold, and hopes without love is grim. Love is the fire which kindles faith and it is the light which turns hope into certainty" Barclay, Instead, we should just recognize that love is the greatest of virtues desirable in any individual Morris, By far, the word love is the most important and crucial word to be analyzed in this chapter of Corinthians. The main reason behind this is because the central theme is love being personified as to what it looks like in action.

    We can see this most easily in vss. All of these characteristics are not feelings of an individual, but rather actions. There are notable variants in translation that should be recognized such as the use of love in the King James Version of the bible.

    In the KJV, "charity" is replaced for love which is interesting because the "english word charity has never risen to the height of the Apostle's argument. At best it does but signify a kindly interest in and forbearance towards others.

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    It is far from suggesting the ardent, active, energetic principle which the apostle had in view" Earle, There are three Greek verbs for the word love. These words consist of " eran, philein, and agapan " all of which are in the infinitive forms. Some translations of the word Agape revert to Agapan which refers to the love of God, often translated into "to show love. The verb of this word, agapao , is found times in the New Testament, and the King James Version translates love times.

    The noun agape is found times in the Bible, translated into love 86 times, and charity 27 times Earle, The significance of how often the verb agape appears in the bible can give the reader an idea of just how important love must be. If it appears this many times in the Bible in general, this must be one of the key points the author's of the Canon were trying to get across.

    The other forms of agape do not particularly apply to this passage, so further analysis of them will not be discussed. It is crucial to pay attention to the role of Paul in the writing in this letter. There are many bias, or personal opinions that come into effect in the presentation of Paul's letter to the people in Corinth.