Love, the More Excellent Way

13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a ringing brass gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and I know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I parcel out all my possessions, and if I hand over my body in order that I will be burned,[a] but do not have love, it benefits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not boast, it does not become conceited, it does not behave dishonorably, it is not selfish[b], it does not become angry, it does not keep a record of wrongs, it does not rejoice at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will pass away. If there are tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but whenever the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside the things of a child. 12 For now we see through a mirror indirectly[c], but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know completely, just as I have also been completely known. 13 And now these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:3 Some manuscripts have “in order that I may boast”
  2. 1 Corinthians 13:5 Literally “does not seek the things of itself”
  3. 1 Corinthians 13:12 Literally “in an indirect image”

13 If I speak in the tongues[a](A) of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy(B) and can fathom all mysteries(C) and all knowledge,(D) and if I have a faith(E) that can move mountains,(F) but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor(G) and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b](H) but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient,(I) love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.(J) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,(K) it is not easily angered,(L) it keeps no record of wrongs.(M) Love does not delight in evil(N) but rejoices with the truth.(O) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.(P)

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies,(Q) they will cease; where there are tongues,(R) they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part(S) and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes,(T) what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood(U) behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;(V) then we shall see face to face.(W) Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.(X)

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.(Y) But the greatest of these is love.(Z)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:1 Or languages
  2. 1 Corinthians 13:3 Some manuscripts body to the flames

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