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Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1 Corinthians 13), the rendering in the Authorized Version of the word which properly denotes love, and is frequently so rendered (always so in the Revised Version). It is spoken of as the greatest of the three Christian graces (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13).
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) Love; universal benevolence; good will.

2. (n.) Liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to put the best construction on the words and actions of others.

3. (n.) Liberality to the poor and the suffering, to benevolent institutions, or to worthy causes; generosity.

4. (n.) Whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the needy or suffering for their relief; alms; any act of kindness.

5. (n.) A charitable institution, or a gift to create and support such an institution; as, Lady Margaret's charity.

6. (n.) Eleemosynary appointments [grants or devises] including relief of the poor or friendless, education, religious culture, and public institutions.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

char'-i-ti (agape):

1. A New Word

2. A New Ideal

3. An Apostolic Term

4. Latin Equivalents

5. English Translation

6. Inward Motive

7. Character

8. Ultimate Ideal 9. Almsgiving

10. Tolerance

In the King James Version in 26 places from 1 Corinthians 8:1 onward. The same Greek word, which appears in the New Testament 115 times, is elsewhere translated by "love."

1. A New Word:

The substantive agape is mainly, if not exclusively, a Biblical and ecclesiastical word (see Deissmann, Bible Studies, 198), not found in profane writings, although the verb agapan, from which it is derived, is used in classical Greek in the sense of "love, founded in admiration, veneration, esteem, like the Latin diligere" (Grimm-Thayer), rather than natural emotion (Latin, amare).

2. A New Ideal:

It is a significant evidence of the sense of a new ideal and principle of life that permeated the Christian consciousness of the earliest communities, that they should have made current a new word to express it, and that they should derive that word, not from the current or philosophical language of Greek morality, but from the Septuagint.

3. An Apostolic Term:

In the New Testament the word is apostolic, and appears first and predominantly in the Pauline writings. It is found only twice in the Synoptics (Matthew 24:12 Luke 11:42), and although it is in both places put in the mouth of the Saviour, it can easily be understood how the language of a later time may have been used by the narrator, when it is considered that these gospels were compiled and reduced to writing many years after the spread of the Pauline epistles. The word is not found in James, Mark or Acts, but it appears in Paul 75 times, in John 30 times, in Peter 4 times, in Jude twice and in Hebrews twice. Jesus Christ gave the thing and the spirit in the church, and the apostles (probably Paul) invented the term to express it.

4. Latin Equivalents:

When Jerome came to translate the Greek Testament into Latin, he found in that language no word to represent agape. Amor was too gross, and he fell back on dilectio and caritas, words which, however, in their original meanings were too weak and colorless to represent agape adequately. No principle seems to have guided him in the choice of the one word or the other in particular places.

5. English Translation:

Caritas in English became "charity," and was taken over by the English translators from the Vulg, though not with any regularity, nor as far as can be judged, according to any definite principle, except that it is used of agape only in man, never as it denotes a quality or action of God, which is always translated by "love." When agape is translated by "charity" it means either

(1) a disposition in man which may qualify his own character (1 Corinthians 8:1) and be ready to go forth to God (1 Corinthians 8:3) or to men; or

(2) an active and actual relation with other men, generally within the church (Colossians 3:14 1 Thessalonians 3:6 2 Thessalonians 1:3 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Timothy 4:12 1 Peter 4:8; 1 Peter 5:14), but also absolutely and universally (1 Corinthians 13). In the earlier epistles it stands first and unique as the supreme principle of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 13), but in the later writings, it is enumerated as one among the Christian virtues (1 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:22; 2 Timothy 3:10 Titus 2:2 2 Peter 1:7 Revelation 2:19).

6. Inward Motive:

In Paul's psalm of love (1 Corinthians 13) it is set forth as an innermost principle contrasted with prophecy and knowledge, faith and works, as the motive that determines the quality of the whole inner life, and gives value to all its activities. If a man should have all gifts of miracles and intellect, and perform all the works of goodness and devotion, "and have not love, it profiteth nothing," for they would be purely external and legal, and lacking in the quality of moral choice and personal relation which give life its value (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Love itself defines men's relation to men as generous, tolerant and forgiving.

7. Character:

"Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not" (1 Corinthians 13:4). It determines and defines a man's own character and personality. It is not boastful and arrogant, but dignified, pure, holy, courageous and serene. Evil cannot provoke it nor wrong delight it. It bears cheerfully all adversity and follows its course in confident hope (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). It is final virtue, the ultimate ideal of life. Many of life's activities cease or change, but "love never faileth."

8. Ultimate Ideal:

To it all other graces and virtues are subordinated. "Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). In one passage only in the New Testament (; 1 Corinthians 3Jo 1:6) agape seems to have a meaning that comes near to the later, ecclesiastical meaning of charity as almsgiving.

9. Almsgiving:

With the growing legalism of the church and the prevalence of monastic ideals of morality, caritas came to mean the very opposite of Paul's agape-just "the giving of goods to feed the poor," which "without love profiteth nothing." At present, the word means either liberality to the poor, or tolerance in judging the actions of others, both qualities of love, but very inadequate to express its totality.

10. Tolerance:

The Revisers have therefore accurately dropped the word and substituted "love" for it in all passages. It is interesting to note that in Welsh the reverse process has occurred: cariad (from Latin caritas) was used throughout to translate agape, with the result that, in both religious and ordinary speech, the word has established itself so firmly as almost to oust the native word "serch."

T. Rees

1654. eleemosune -- mercy, pity, spec. alms
... Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: eleemosune Phonetic Spelling:
(el-eh-ay-mos-oo'-nay) Short Definition: alms-giving, charity Definition: abstr ...
// - 6k

26. agape -- love, goodwill
... charity, love. From agapao; love, ie Affection or benevolence; specially (plural)
a love-feast -- (feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love. see GREEK agapao. ...
// - 7k


... CHARITY. CHARITY. 8,6,8,6. ... Let heart and house be open thrown,. Thy gifts with others
share; Let holy charity be shown. To all who need thy care. ...
// from the land of luther/charity.htm

An Epistle on Charity.
... An Epistle on Charity. By what ... Christian. This charity had S. Stephen, perfectly,
when he prayed for them who stoned him to death. This ...
/.../the form of perfect living and other prose treatises/an epistle on charity.htm

... THE SIXTEENTH REVELATION CHAPTER LXXXIV "Charity". "Charity" ... Thus-Charity keepeth
us in Faith and Hope, and Hope leadeth us in Charity. ...
/.../julian/revelations of divine love/chapter lxxxiv charity.htm

Whether the Will is the Subject of Charity?
... OF THE SUBJECT OF CHARITY (TWELVE ARTICLES) Whether the will is the subject of charity?
Objection 1: It would seem that the will is not the subject of charity. ...
// theologica/whether the will is the.htm

Whether Charity is Friendship?
... OF CHARITY, CONSIDERED IN ITSELF (EIGHT ARTICLES) Whether charity is friendship?
Objection 1: It would seem that charity is not friendship. ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether charity is friendship.htm

Whether Charity is a virtue?
... OF CHARITY, CONSIDERED IN ITSELF (EIGHT ARTICLES) Whether charity is a virtue?
Objection 1: It would seem that charity is not a virtue. ...
/.../ theologica/whether charity is a virtue.htm

On Charity
... Second Series Sermon 91 On Charity. "Though I speak with the tongues of men
and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding ...
/.../wesley/sermons on several occasions/sermon 91 on charity.htm

Whether Charity Can Increase?
... OF THE SUBJECT OF CHARITY (TWELVE ARTICLES) Whether charity can increase?
Objection 1: It would seem that charity cannot increase. ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether charity can increase.htm

Of Charity
The second point is charity, beginning and origin of all virtues. ...
/.../john/the adornment of the spritual marriage/chapter iv of charity.htm

Whether Charity Increases Indefinitely?
... OF THE SUBJECT OF CHARITY (TWELVE ARTICLES) Whether charity increases indefinitely?
Objection 1: It would seem that charity does not increase indefinitely. ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether charity increases indefinitely.htm

Charity (29 Occurrences)
... 5. (n.) A charitable institution, or a gift to create and support such an institution;
as, Lady Margaret's charity. ... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. CHARITY. ...
/c/charity.htm - 23k

Alms (13 Occurrences)
... The Mosaic legislation (Leviticus 25:35; Deuteronomy 15:7) tended to promote a spirit
of charity, and to prevent the occurrence of destitution among the people ...
/a/alms.htm - 22k

Vaunt (5 Occurrences)
... 1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (Root in KJV ASV WBS YLT). ...
/v/vaunt.htm - 8k

Vaunteth (2 Occurrences)
... 1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (KJV ASV WBS). ...
/v/vaunteth.htm - 6k

Envieth (1 Occurrence)
... 1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (KJV ASV WBS). ...
/e/envieth.htm - 6k

Puffed (13 Occurrences)
... 1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT). ...
/p/puffed.htm - 10k

Suffereth (14 Occurrences)
... (ASV). 1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (KJV ASV WBS). ...
/s/suffereth.htm - 10k

Beg (77 Occurrences)
... 2. (vt) To ask earnestly for; to entreat or supplicate for; to beseech. 3. (vt)
To ask for as a charity, esp. to ask for habitually or from house to house. ...
/b/beg.htm - 37k

Itself (203 Occurrences)
... 1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (KJV ASV BBE WBS YLT). ...
/i/itself.htm - 36k

Love (703 Occurrences)
... In 1 Corinthians 13 the apostle sets forth the excellency of love, as the word
"charity" there is rendered in the Revised Version. Noah Webster's Dictionary. ...
/l/love.htm - 65k

Bible Concordance
Charity (29 Occurrences)

Matthew 6:2 When you give in charity, never blow a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets in order that their praises may be sung by men. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward.

Matthew 6:3 But when you are giving in charity, let not your left hand perceive what your right hand is doing,

Luke 11:41 But give for gifts to the needy those things which are within, and behold, all things will be clean to you.
(See NAS)

Luke 12:33 Give what property you have in exchange for money, and give the money to the poor; make for yourselves money-bags which will not get old, wealth stored up in heaven which will be yours for ever, where thieves will not come nor worms put it to destruction.
(See NAS)

Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which when translated, means Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and acts of mercy which she did.

1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

1 Corinthians 13:1 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.

1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity.

Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

1 Thessalonians 3:6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:

2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

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 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2 Timothy 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

Titus 2:2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

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

1 Peter 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2 Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

3 John 1:6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:

Jude 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Revelation 2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.



Charity: Enjoined

Charity: Explained

Select Readings: Charity

Uncharitableness of Eli Toward Hannah

Uncharitableness: Bildad Toward Job

Uncharitableness: Charging Him With Bringing Them out of Egypt to Die

Uncharitableness: Charging Him With Having Made Them Abhorrent to the Egyptians

Uncharitableness: Eliab Toward David, Charging Him With Presumption, when he offered to Fight Goliath

Uncharitableness: Eliphaz Toward Job

Uncharitableness: General Scriptures Concerning

Uncharitableness: Nathanael, when he Said "Can Any Good Thing Come out of Nazareth"

Uncharitableness: Princes of Ammon Toward David, when he Sent Commissioners to Convey his Sympathy to Hanun

Uncharitableness: The Jews, Charging Paul With Teaching Contrary to the Law of Moses and Against the Temple

Uncharitableness: The Tribes West of the Jordan River Toward the Two and a Half Tribes

Uncharitableness: Zophar Toward Job

Related Terms

Alms (13 Occurrences)

Vaunt (5 Occurrences)

Vaunteth (2 Occurrences)

Envieth (1 Occurrence)

Puffed (13 Occurrences)

Suffereth (14 Occurrences)

Beg (77 Occurrences)

Itself (203 Occurrences)

Love (703 Occurrences)

Fervent (10 Occurrences)

Pittance (1 Occurrence)

Charitable (2 Occurrences)

Almsgiving (3 Occurrences)

Abideth (66 Occurrences)

Begging (18 Occurrences)

Beggar (5 Occurrences)

Abide (162 Occurrences)

Charitably (1 Occurrence)

Charm (5 Occurrences)

Commandment (209 Occurrences)

Kindness (295 Occurrences)

Vanish (21 Occurrences)

Virtue (21 Occurrences)

Notwithstanding (37 Occurrences)

Long-suffering (23 Occurrences)

Liberality (7 Occurrences)

Giving (611 Occurrences)

Groweth (29 Occurrences)

Greatness (63 Occurrences)


Withereth (13 Occurrences)

Wallet (7 Occurrences)

Fail (130 Occurrences)

Foundation (82 Occurrences)

Feeding (37 Occurrences)

Faileth (26 Occurrences)

Tinkling (4 Occurrences)

Envy (56 Occurrences)

Extent (15 Occurrences)

Edifieth (2 Occurrences)

Expend (2 Occurrences)

Deportment (12 Occurrences)

Mammon (4 Occurrences)


Pelican (5 Occurrences)

Perceive (53 Occurrences)

Profiteth (9 Occurrences)

Praised (101 Occurrences)

Prochorus (1 Occurrence)

Praises (66 Occurrences)

Phoebe (1 Occurrence)

Perfectness (2 Occurrences)

Publius (2 Occurrences)

Puffeth (3 Occurrences)

Benevolence (2 Occurrences)

Bounteous (1 Occurrence)

Borrowing (1 Occurrence)

Blow (124 Occurrences)

Beneficence (2 Occurrences)

Bestow (27 Occurrences)

Brotherly (8 Occurrences)

Beneficent (3 Occurrences)

Charities (4 Occurrences)

Corban (2 Occurrences)

Coal (7 Occurrences)

Contemplative (2 Occurrences)

Already (171 Occurrences)

Afford (12 Occurrences)

Aged (63 Occurrences)

Aboundeth (5 Occurrences)

Stephen (13 Occurrences)

Shining (115 Occurrences)

Spots (6 Occurrences)

Stand (542 Occurrences)

Solemnly (62 Occurrences)

Sung (13 Occurrences)

Withered (46 Occurrences)

Offered (320 Occurrences)

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