English Standard Version
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
King James Bible
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
American Standard Version
For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.
We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know I part; but then I shall know even as I am known.
English Revised Version
For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I have been known.
Webster's Bible Translation
For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Weymouth New Testament
For the present we see things as if in a mirror, and are puzzled; but then we shall see them face to face. For the present the knowledge I gain is imperfect; but then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 Parallel
CommentaryVincent's Word Studies
Through a glass (δἰ ἐσόπτρου)
Rev., in a mirror. Through (διά) is by means of. Others, however, explain it as referring to the illusion by which the mirrored image appears to be on the other side of the surface: others, again, think that the reference is to a window made of horn or other translucent material. This is quite untenable. Ἔσοπτρον mirror occurs only here and James 1:23. The synonymous word κάτοπτρον does not appear in the New Testament, but its kindred verb κατοπτρίζομαι to look at one's self in a mirror, is found, 2 Corinthians 3:18. The thought of imperfect seeing is emphasized by the character of the ancient mirror, which was of polished metal, and required constant polishing, so that a sponge with pounded pumice-stone was generally attached to it. Corinth was famous for the manufacture of these. Pliny mentions stone mirrors of agate, and Nero is said to have used an emerald. The mirrors were usually so small as to be carried in the hand, though there are allusions to larger ones which reflected the entire person. The figure of the mirror, illustrating the partial vision of divine things, is frequent in the rabbinical writings, applied, for instance, to Moses and the prophets. Plato says: "There is no light in the earthly copies of justice or temperance or any of the higher qualities which are precious to souls: they are seen through a glass, dimly" ("Phaedrus," 250). Compare "Republic," vii., 516.
Darkly (ἐν αἰνίγματι)
Lit., in a riddle or enigma, the word expressing the obscure form in which the revelation appears. Compare δἰ αἰνιγμάτων in dark speeches, Numbers 12:8.
Face to face
Compare mouth to mouth, Numbers 12:8.
Shall I know (ἐπιγνώσομαι)
I am known (ἐπεγνώσθην)
The tense is the aorist, "was known," in my imperfect condition. Paul places himself at the future stand-point, when the perfect has come. The compound verb is the same as the preceding. Hence American Rev., "I was fully known."
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
darkly. Gr. in a riddle.
So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered."
With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"
And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,
Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable.
1 Corinthians 8:3
But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.
1 Corinthians 13:9
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
1 Corinthians 13:11
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 gave up childish ways.
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ESV Text Edition 2011: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.