1 Corinthians 13:4
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
I am going to stir up a spot of trouble right away today. I am a King James Bible guy. After you all throw things at me, please hear me out. I also like lots of other translations and find them useful. I have numerous translations as well as numerous Study Bibles by different Bible teachers. It’s all good. I, however, do all of my reading from the King James Bible and that is what I use in this Blog. The main reason I do that is simple: those King James translators knew how to use some English! King James English is often difficult, but it is also often very accurately descriptive as well. We have a great case of that descriptiveness in the verses above.
1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John 4 are the two biggest descriptions of love found in the Bible and a verse from each is included in this article. See anything that arouses your interest? Of course you do! In 1 John the translators consistently used the word “love” to describe love; it is used some 27 times. In 1 Corinthians, they translators used the word “charity” to describe love; there is is used 9 times. What we have to understand is that the original word in all cases is some form of “agape”
Sometimes when we read 1 Corinthians 13, we tend to dismiss the word use by simply saying, “Oh, that just means love there.” Is it possible that there is more meaning there? Let’s look at that quickly. The King James translators were not stupid, they surely knew they could have just used our word “love” in each case; they didn’t just become confused. Additionally, language translation is sometimes both art and science and word for word translations do not always work. Translators sometimes have to look at the original intent of meaning they see in the original language and put the same meaning in the new language.
Let’s look briefly at the English language usage of the words, “Love” and “Charity.” I think in most of our minds a difference would come to mind immediately; it does in mine. The use of the word “Charity” seems to imply an action; it seems to apply that something is happening versus something simply being felt. Does that sound familiar?
We are going to leave it at that for today. Ponder over this and over the next few days we will take a further look at 1 Corinthians 13.