1 Corinthians 13:1
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

King James Bible
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

American Standard Version
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

Douay-Rheims Bible
IF I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

English Revised Version
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

Webster's Bible Translation
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Weymouth New Testament
If I can speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but am destitute of Love, I have but become a loud-sounding trumpet or a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:1 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Tongues

Mentioned first because of the exaggerated importance which the Corinthians attached to this gift.

Angels

Referring to the ecstatic utterances of those who spoke with tongues.

Charity (ἀγάπην)

Rev., love. The word does not occur in the classics, though the kindred verbs ἀγαπάω and ἀγαπάζω to love, are common. It first appears in the Septuagint, where, however, in all but two of the passages, it refers to the love of the sexes. Eleven of the passages are in Canticles. See, also, 2 Samuel 13:15, Sept. The change in the Rev. from charity to love, is a good and thoroughly defensible one. Charity follows the caritas of the Vulgate, and is not used consistently in the A.V. On the contrary, in the gospels, ἀγάπη is always rendered love, and mostly elsewhere, except in this epistle, where the word occurs but twice. Charity, in modern usage, has acquired the senses of tolerance and beneficence, which express only single phases of love. There is no more reason for saying "charity envieth not," than for saying "God is charity;" "the charity of Christ constraineth us;" "the charity of God is shed abroad in our hearts." The real objection to the change on the part of unscholarly partisans of the A.V. is the breaking of the familiar rhythm of the verses.

Sounding brass (χαλκὸς ἠχῶν)

The metal is not properly brass, the alloy of copper and zinc, but copper, or bronze, the alloy of copper and tin, of which the Homeric weapons were made. Being the metal in common use, it came to be employed as a term for metal in general. Afterward it was distinguished; common copper being called black or red copper, and the celebrated Corinthian bronze being known as mixed copper. The word here does not mean a brazen instrument, but a piece of unwrought metal, which emitted a sound on being struck. In the streets of Seville one may see pedlers striking, together two pieces of brass instead of blowing a horn or ringing a bell.

Tinkling cymbal (κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον)

The verb rendered tinkling, alalazo, originally meant to repeat the cry alala, as in battle. It is used by Mark (Mark 6:38) of the wailings of hired mourners. Hence, generally, to ring or clang. Rev., clanging. Κύμβαλον cymbal, is derived from κύμβος a hollow or a cup. The cymbal consisted of two half-globes of metal, which were struck together. In middle-age Latin, cymbalum was the term for a church or convent-bell. Ducange defines: "a bell by which the monks are called to meals, and which is hung in the cloister." The comparison is between the unmeaning clash of metal, and music; between ecstatic utterances which are jargon, and utterances inspired by love, which, though unintelligible to the hearers, may carry a meaning to the speaker himself and to God, 1 Corinthians 14:4, 1 Corinthians 14:7.

1 Corinthians 13:1 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I speak.

1 Corinthians 13:2,3 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith...

1 Corinthians 12:8,16,29,30 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit...

1 Corinthians 14:6 Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation...

2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness...

have not.

1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but charity edifies.

Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.

Romans 14:15 But if your brother be grieved with your meat, now walk you not charitably. Destroy not him with your meat, for whom Christ died.

Galatians 5:6,22 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love...

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

as.

1 Corinthians 14:7,8 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds...

Cross References
Psalm 150:5
Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Mark 16:17
And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

1 Corinthians 12:10
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

1 Corinthians 13:8
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 14:2
For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 14:4
The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.

1 Corinthians 14:5
Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

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