1 Corinthians 13: charity or love?


#1

So most of us have heard the "Love is patient, love is kind," and a good deal know it's from 1 Corinthians. Well, it's a beautiful couple of verses and I went to memorize them the other day. I got out my Douay-Rheims and found not love but charity! So to speak.

My question is this: where does this difference come from? In the original Greek was there a word which can be translated either way? Or should it truly be charity and for some reason certain versions say love instead for whatever reason?


#2

[quote="danzibr, post:1, topic:316570"]
So most of us have heard the "Love is patient, love is kind," and a good deal know it's from 1 Corinthians. Well, it's a beautiful couple of verses and I went to memorize them the other day. I got out my Douay-Rheims and found not love but charity! So to speak.

My question is this: where does this difference come from? In the original Greek was there a word which can be translated either way? Or should it truly be charity and for some reason certain versions say love instead for whatever reason?

[/quote]

Definitions! They are often the bane of us all!

I don't have a Greek bible handy but I am guessing the word used for love is agape, the highest form.

The word "charity" has come to mean "providing stuff for people who don't have it". That is not how the word used to be understood. Charity is actually sacrificial love, in other words, agape.


#3

[quote="SMHW, post:2, topic:316570"]
Definitions! They are often the bane of us all!

I don't have a Greek bible handy but I am guessing the word used for love is agape, the highest form.

The word "charity" has come to mean "providing stuff for people who don't have it". That is not how the word used to be understood. Charity is actually sacrificial love, in other words, agape.

[/quote]

Actually I take that back. Charity is not so much sacrificial love but rather virtuous love that units us to Christ and to each other.


#4

[quote="danzibr, post:1, topic:316570"]
So most of us have heard the "Love is patient, love is kind," and a good deal know it's from 1 Corinthians. Well, it's a beautiful couple of verses and I went to memorize them the other day. I got out my Douay-Rheims and found not love but charity! So to speak.

My question is this: where does this difference come from? In the original Greek was there a word which can be translated either way? Or should it truly be charity and for some reason certain versions say love instead for whatever reason?

[/quote]

The Greek word used here is Agape, and it has no real English equivalent. It refers to an unselfish love devoted to the welfare of others. It is more specific than just the word love, and is sometimes translated as the word charity because the word Agape was translated into the Latin word Caritas which is the root of the word charity.


#5

[quote="SMHW, post:3, topic:316570"]
Actually I take that back. Charity is not so much sacrificial love but rather virtuous love that units us to Christ and to each other.

[/quote]

I believe the King James also uses Charity
Love actually obscures the original meaning. Just another way translations can be harmfull. When read at a wedding
the original thought will be more benifical to the success of a marraige.


#6

Agape love is that quality of love and living that seeks the welfare of others before it seeks it's own welfare.


#7

I like "charity," because even though this word has largely lost its meaning, it is at least associated with an act of religion (giving alms); whereas "love" has come to mean mere sentimentality or preference. If you use the word "charity" for something *other *than giving alms, people will recognize that and hopefully try to understand its meaning.

That said, it's not like "Love is patient..." is a heretical translation or something. It's just a limitation of the English language (and of our unimaginative society).


#8

[quote="Publisher, post:6, topic:316570"]
Agape love is that quality of love and living that seeks the welfare of others before it seeks it's own welfare.

[/quote]

This.

Charity is caritas in latin, which in Christian theology has come to mean exactly that, self sacrificing love, agape love, love that seeks the good of the other before the good of self.

-Tim-


#9

“As a virtue, charity is that habit or power which disposes us to love God above all creatures for Himself, and to love ourselves and our neighbours for the sake of God.”

Since our Church is 2000 years old, we still use a lot of archaic meanings for words. When the KJV was written, the above is what “charity” meant. It has since devolved into its present shallow meaning.

See the archaic meaning here.


#10

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