1 Corinthians 13:1
New International Version
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

New Living Translation
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

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.

Berean Study Bible
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal.

Berean Literal Bible
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

New American Standard Bible
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become 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.

Christian Standard Bible
If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Contemporary English Version
What if I could speak all languages of humans and even of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Good News Translation
I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

International Standard Version
If I speak in the languages of humans and angels but have no love, I have become a reverberating gong or a clashing cymbal.

NET Bible
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

New Heart English Bible
If I speak with the tongues of humans and of angels, but do not have love, I have become sounding bronze, or a clanging cymbal.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
If I shall speak with every human and Angelic language and have no love in me, I shall be clanging brass or a noise-making cymbal.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I may speak in the languages of humans and of angels. But if I don't have love, I am a loud gong or a clashing cymbal.

New American Standard 1977
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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.

King James 2000 Bible
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

American King James Version
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.

Darby Bible Translation
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass or a clanging 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.

World English Bible
If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don't have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

Young's Literal Translation
If with the tongues of men and of messengers I speak, and have not love, I have become brass sounding, or a cymbal tinkling;
Study Bible
Love
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.…
Cross References
Psalm 150:5
Praise Him with clashing cymbals; praise Him with resounding cymbals.

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

1 Corinthians 12:10
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in various tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

1 Corinthians 13:8
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be restrained; where there is knowledge, it will be dismissed.

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

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

1 Corinthians 14:5
I wish that all of you could speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.

2 Corinthians 12:4
was caught up into Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.

Revelation 14:2
And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and the loud rumbling of thunder. And the sound I heard was like harpists strumming their harps.

Treasury of Scripture

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.

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, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing…

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, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

have not.

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

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

Romans 14:15
But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

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, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? …







Lexicon
If
Ἐὰν (Ean)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1437: If. From ei and an; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.

I speak
λαλῶ (lalō)
Verb - Present Subjunctive Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2980: A prolonged form of an otherwise obsolete verb; to talk, i.e. Utter words.

in the
ταῖς (tais)
Article - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

tongues
γλώσσαις (glōssais)
Noun - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 1100: The tongue; by implication, a language.

of men
ἀνθρώπων (anthrōpōn)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

of angels,
ἀγγέλων (angelōn)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 32: From aggello; a messenger; especially an 'angel'; by implication, a pastor.

but
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

have
ἔχω (echō)
Verb - Present Subjunctive Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2192: To have, hold, possess. Including an alternate form scheo skheh'-o; a primary verb; to hold.

not
μὴ (mē)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3361: Not, lest. A primary particle of qualified negation; not, lest; also (whereas ou expects an affirmative one) whether.

love,
ἀγάπην (agapēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 26: From agapao; love, i.e. Affection or benevolence; specially a love-feast.

I am
γέγονα (gegona)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.

[only a] ringing
ἠχῶν (ēchōn)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2278: From echos; to make a loud noise, i.e. Reverberate.

gong
χαλκὸς (chalkos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5475: Perhaps from chalao through the idea of hollowing out as a vessel; copper.

or
(ē)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2228: Or, than. A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.

[a] clanging
ἀλαλάζον (alalazon)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 214: From alale; to vociferate, i.e. to wail; figuratively, to clang.

cymbal.
κύμβαλον (kymbalon)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 2950: A cymbal. From a derivative of the base of kuma; a 'cymbal'.
XIII.

(1) Though I speak . . .--The more excellent way is "Love." Without it all moral and intellectual gifts are valueless. If there be love--the love of God, and the love of our brethren--in our hearts, all will be well. This hymn of praise in honour of love is remarkable. (1) as coming from St. Paul, and not from St. John, from whose pen we might naturally have looked for it; and (2), occurring here in an atmosphere of controversy, preceded and succeeded as it is by close logical argument.

On the first point we may observe what a striking illustration it is of the completeness of St. Paul's character. The clear, vigorous intellect and the masculine energy of the great Apostle are united to a heart full of tenderness. We can almost feel its pulsations, we can almost hear its mighty throbbings, in every line of this poem.

That this passage should be found in the middle of a protracted argument suggests the idea that we have here the result of a sudden and direct inspiration. The Apostle had always been conscious of a mighty power working in him, mastering him, bringing him into captivity to Christ. There suddenly flashes upon him the realisation of what that power is, and he cannot but at once give utterance, in language of surpassing loftiness and glowing with emotion, to the new and profound conviction which has set his whole soul aflame. This chapter is the Baptismal Service of Love. Here it receives its new Christian name. The word (agape) which is used here for love is peculiar to the New Testament (and a few passages in the LXX.). It is not to be found in any heathen writer. The word "charity," which signifies either tolerance or almsgiving, is an insufficient rendering of the original, and destroys the force of the passage, especially in 1Corinthians 13:3, where "almsgiving" without love is pronounced worthless. The Latin caritas was used as the rendering of agape, probably because the ordinary Latin word amor (love) was considered too significant of a mere earthly or fleshly affection; and hence the word "charity" in the English version. Perhaps it was hoped that the word "charity," when planted in such a soil. and with such surroundings, would have grown to have that larger significance to which the original gives expression. If so, the experiment has not succeeded, the word has not become acclimatised to this chapter. The word "love" had better be restored here. The rare purity of its surrounding atmosphere will completely deprive it of any earthly or sensual taint.

This chapter, occupied with the one main thought, divides itself into three parts--

1Corinthians 13:1-3. The greatest gifts are valueless without LOVE.

1Corinthians 13:4-7. The pre-eminent characteristics of LOVE.

1Corinthians 13:8-13. Gifts are transient; virtues are eternal, and chief of them is LOVE.

Tongues of men and of angels.--The gift of tongues (see Notes on 1 Corinthians 14) is placed first as that most over-estimated at Corinth. It is useless without love. It would be impossible to define love, as it is impossible to define life; but the best conception of what St. Paul means by love can be found from the description which he subsequently gave of it. Stanley, contrasting the meaning of the word employed by St. Paul with the various words for love in other literature, remarks: "While the 'love' of the New Testament retains all the fervour of the Hebrew 'aspiration' and 'desire,' and of the 'personal affection' of the Greek, it ranges through as wide a sphere as the comprehensive 'benevolence' of Alexandria. Whilst it retains the religious element that raised the affections of the Hebrew Psalmist to the presence of God, it agrees with the classical and Alexandrian feelings in making its chief object the welfare of man. It is not religion evaporated into benevolence, but benevolence taken up into religion. It is the practical exemplification of the two great characteristics of Christianity, the union of God with man, the union of religion with morality; love to man for the sake of love to God, love to God showing itself in love to man."

As sounding brass.--Not a brass trumpet, or instrument of any kind, but simply a piece of metal, which when struck will merely produce noise.

A tinkling cymbal.--Better, a clanging cymbal. This instrument can produce by itself no intelligible tune. (See Psalm 40:5.)

Verses 1-13. - The supremely excellent way of Christian love. This chapter has been in all ages the object of the special admiration of the Church. Would that it had received in all ages the loftier and more valuable admiration which would have been expressed by an acceptance of its lessons! Tertullian says that it is uttered "with all the force of the Spirit" (totis Spiritus viribus). It is a glorious hymn or paean in honour of Christian love, in which St. Paul rises on the wings of inspiration to the most sunlit heights of Christian eloquence. Like the forty-fifth psalm, it may be entitled "A Psalm of Love." Valcknaer says that the "oratorical figures which illuminate the chapter have been born spontaneously in an heroic soul, burning with the love of Christ, and placing all things lower than this Divine love." In vers. 1-3 he shows the absolute necessity for love; in vers. 4-7 its characteristics; in vers. 8-12 its eternal permanence; in ver. 13 its absolute supremacy. Verse 1. - Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels. The case is merely supposed. The tongues of men are human languages, including, perhaps, the peculiar utterance of ecstatic inspiration with which he is now dealing. It is, perhaps, with reference to this latter result of spiritual exultation, at any rate in its purest and loftiest developments, that he adds the words, "and of angels." It is unlikely that he is referring to the rabbinic notion that the angels only understood Hebrew, and not Aramaic or other languages. The words are meant to express the greatest possible climax. The most supreme powers of utterance, even of angelic utterance - if any of the Corinthians had or imagined that they had attained to such utterance - are nothing in comparison with the universally possible attainment of Christian love. It is remarkable that here again he places "tongues," even in their grandest conceivable development, on the lowest step in his climax. And have not charity. It is deeply to be regretted that the translators of the Authorized Version here introduced from the Vulgate a new translation for the sacred word "love," which dominates the whole New Testament as its Divine keynote. Greek possesses two words for "love." One of these, eros, implying as it did the love which springs from sensual passion, was dyed too deeply in pagan associations to be capable of redemption into holier usage. It is characteristic of the difference between paganism and Christianity, that Plato's eulogy in the 'Symposium' is in honour of eros, not of anything resembling agape. The apostles, therefore, were compelled to describe the ideal of the gospel life by another word, which expressed the love of esteem and reverence and sacred tenderness - the word agape. This word was not indeed classical. No heathen writer had used it. But the verb agapao, corresponding to the Latin diligo, and bring reserved for this loftier kind of love, suggested at once the substantive agape, which, together with the similar substantive agapesis (Jeremiah 31:3, etc.), had already been adopted by the LXX. and by Philo and in Wisd. 3:9. The word is thus, as Archbishop Trench says, "born in the bosom of revealed religion" ('New Testament Synonyms,' p. 41). The Vulgate chose caritas (whence our "charity") to express this love of reason and affection, the dearness which reigns between human beings, and between man and God. This word, like agape, is absolutely unstained with any evil association. If "charity" had been exclusively used for agape, no objection need have arisen, although "love" is English while "charity" is Latin. But it was an Unmixed evil that, by the use of two different words for the same Greek word, English readers should have been prevented from recognizing the unity of thought on this subject which prevails among all the books of the New Testament (Matthew 22:37-40; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:14; 1 John 4:7, 8, etc.). To argue that the word "love" in English is not unmingled with unhallowed uses is absurd, because those uses of the word have never been supposed for a single moment to intrude into multitudes of other passages where love is used to render agape. Who has ever dreamed of objecting on such grounds to the favourite hymn? -

"Faith and Hope and Love we see
Joining hand in hand agree;
But the greatest of the three
And the best is Love."
It is true that Lord Bacon admired "the discretion and tenderness of the Rhenish Version" in using the word "charitie," "because of the indifferencies and equivocation of the word [love] with impure love." But that objection, if it ever existed, has now been done away with by the use of "love" in such a multitude of other pure and lofty passages of Holy Writ. It is, therefore, a great gain that the Revised Version restored to this passage the word "love," which had been used by Tyndale, Cranmer, and the Geneva Bible. For in modern English usage the word "charity" is almost confined to "almsgiving," and that of a kind which is often made an excuse for shirking all real self denial, and for not acting up to the true spirit of love. Christian love is always and infinitely blessed, but the almsgiving which has usurped the name of "charity" often does more harm than good. I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal; more literally, I have become booming brass, or clanging cymbal. My "tongues" without "love" become a mere discordant, obtrusive, unintelligible dissonance. The Greek word for "clanging" (alalazon) is an onomatopoeia, like the Hebrew name for cymbals, tseltselim (Psalm 150:5). 13:1-3 The excellent way had in view in the close of the former chapter, is not what is meant by charity in our common use of the word, almsgiving, but love in its fullest meaning; true love to God and man. Without this, the most glorious gifts are of no account to us, of no esteem in the sight of God. A clear head and a deep understanding, are of no value without a benevolent and charitable heart. There may be an open and lavish hand, where there is not a liberal and charitable heart. Doing good to others will do none to us, if it be not done from love to God, and good-will to men. If we give away all we have, while we withhold the heart from God, it will not profit. Nor even the most painful sufferings. How are those deluded who look for acceptance and reward for their good works, which are as scanty and defective as they are corrupt and selfish!
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