1 Corinthians 13
New Revised Standard Version 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

[Follows Paul's discussion of spiritual gifts and the body of Christ, in which he ends with these words:
"But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way." (12:31)]

The More Excellent Way

  {1}     If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels,
                        but do not have love,
                                I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
  {2}                                                     And
            if I have prophetic powers, and
                  understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and
            if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
                        but do not have love,
                                I am nothing.
  {3}    If I give away all my possessions, and
            if I hand over my body so that I may boast,
                        but do not have love,
                                I gain nothing.
  {4}                                                 Love is patient;
                                                          love is kind;
                                                          love is not envious
                                                                      or boastful
                                                                      or arrogant
  {5}                                                              or rude.
                                        It does not insist on its own way;
                                        it is not irritable or resentful;
  {6}                                it does not rejoice in wrongdoing,
                                                                but rejoices in the truth.
  {7}                                         It bears all things,
                                                    believes all things,
                                                    hopes all things,
                                                    endures all things.
  {8}                                                                                         Love never ends.
                                                                        But as for prophecies,    they will come to an end;
                                                                              as for tongues,         they will cease;
                                                                              as for knowledge,         it will come to an end.
  {9}                 For we know       only in part, and
                               we prophesy  only in part;
{10}                             but when the complete comes,
                                                          the partial will come to an end.
{11}                                                                 When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
                                                                                                        I thought like a child,
                                                                                                        I reasoned like a child;
                                                                         when I became an adult,
                                                                                                        I put an end to childish ways.
{12}                             For now we see in a mirror, dimly,
                                                            but then we will see face to face.
                                           Now I know only in part;
                                                                 then I will know fully,
                                                           even as I have been fully known.
{13}     And now     faith,     hope,    and     love abide, these three;
                          and the greatest of these is love.

 

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