New International Version
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
King James Bible
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.
Darby Bible Translation
And if I shall dole out all my goods in food, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but have not love, I profit nothing.
World English Bible
If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don't have love, it profits me nothing.
Young's Literal Translation
and if I give away to feed others all my goods, and if I give up my body that I may be burned, and have not love, I am profited nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:3 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor - This is a proof that charity, in our sense of the word, is not what the apostle means; for surely almsgiving can go no farther than to give up all that a man possesses in order to relieve the wants of others. The word ψωμιζω, which we translate to feed the poor, signifies to divide into morsels, and put into the mouth; which implies carefulness and tenderness in applying the bounty thus freely given.
And though I give my body to be burned - Ἱνα καυθησομαι· Mr. Wakefield renders this clause thus:
2. He says that there is no such word as καυθησωμαι.
3. That καυχησωμαι, that I may boast, is the reading of the Ethiopic and Coptic, and he might have added of the Codex Alexandrinus; several Greek and Latin MSS. referred to by St. Jerome; of Ephraim; and of St. Jerome himself, who translates the passage thus: Si tradidero corpus meum ut glorier: i.e. "If I deliver up my body that I may glory, or have cause of boasting."
4. He adds that burning, though a common punishment in after times, was not prevalent when this epistle was written.
Some of the foreign critics, particularly Schulzius, translate it thus: Si traderem corpus, ut mihi stigma inureretur: "If I should deliver up my body to receive a stigma with a hot iron;" which may mean, If I should, in order to redeem another, willingly give up myself to slavery, and receive the mark of my owner, by having my flesh stamped with a hot iron, and have not love, as before specified, it profits me nothing. This gives a good sense; but will the passage bear it? In the MSS. there are several various readings, which plainly show the original copyists scarcely knew what to make of the word καυθησωμαι, which they found in the text generally. The various readings are, καυθησομαι, which Griesbach seems to prefer; καυθησεται; and καυθῃ; all of which give little variation of meaning. Which should be preferred I can scarcely venture to say. If we take the commonly received word, it states a possible case; a man may be so obstinately wedded to a particular opinion, demonstrably false in itself, as to give up his body to be burned in its defense, as was literally the case with Vanini, who, for his obstinate atheism, was burnt alive at Paris, February 19th, a.d. 1619. In such a cause, his giving his body to be burned certainly profited him nothing.
"We may observe," says Dr. Lightfoot, "in those instances which are compared with charity, and are as good as nothing if charity be absent, that the apostle mentions those which were of the noblest esteem in the Jewish nation; and also that the most precious things that could be named by them were compared with this more precious, and were of no account in comparison of it.
"1. To speak with the tongues of men, among the Jewish interpreters, means, to speak the languages of the seventy nations. To the praise of Mordecai, they say that he understood all those languages; and they require that the fathers of the Sanhedrin should be skilled in many languages that they may not be obliged to hear any thing by an interpreter. Maim. in Sanh., c. 2.
"2. To speak with the tongues of angels, they thought to be not only an excellent gift, but to be possible; and highly extol Jochanan ben Zaccai because he understood them: see the note on 1 Corinthians 13:1.
"3. To know all mysteries and all knowledge was not only prized but affected by them. Of Hillel, the elder, they say he had eighty disciples: thirty who were worthy to have the Holy Spirit dwell upon them, as it did upon Moses; thirty who were worthy that the sun should stop his course for them, as it did for Joshua; and there were twenty between both. The greatest of all was Jonathan ben Uzziel; the least was Jochanan ben Zaccai. He omitted not (i.e. perfectly understood) the Scripture, the Mishna, the Gemara, the idiotisms of the law, and the scribes, traditions, illustrations, comparisons, equalities, gematries, parables, etc.
"4. The moving or rooting up of mountains, which among them signified the removing of the greatest difficulties, especially from the sacred text, they considered also a high and glorious attainment: see the note on Matthew 21:21. And of his salvation, who had it, they could not have formed the slightest doubt. But the apostle says, a man might have and enjoy all those gifts, etc., and be nothing in himself, and be nothing profited by them."
The reader will consider that the charity or love, concerning which the apostle speaks, is that which is described from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, inclusive: it is not left to the conjectures of men to find it out. What the apostle means is generally allowed to be true religion; but if he had not described it, this true religion would have been as various as the parties are who suppose they have it. Let the reader also observe that, not only the things which are in the highest repute among the Jews, but the things which are in the highest repute among Christians and Gentiles are those which the apostle shows to be of no use, if the love hereafter described be wanting. And yet, who can suppose that the man already described can be destitute of true religion, as he must be under an especial influence of God; else, how,
1st, could he speak all the languages of men? for this was allowed to be one of the extraordinary gifts of God's Spirit.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
though I bestow.
though I give.
'Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 13. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three....'--1 COR. xiii. 8, 13. We discern the run of the Apostle's thought best by thus omitting the intervening verses and connecting these two. The part omitted is but a buttress of what has been stated in the former of our two verses; and when we thus unite them there is disclosed plainly the Apostle's intention …
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)
Now, and Then
Charity and Loneliness.
Revival in the Home
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
Jump to PreviousBestow Body Burned Charity Deliver Destitute Distribute Dole Feed Flames Food Gain Goods Love Others Poor Possess Possessions Profit Profited Profiteth Profits Surrender
Jump to NextBestow Body Burned Charity Deliver Destitute Distribute Dole Feed Flames Food Gain Goods Love Others Poor Possess Possessions Profit Profited Profiteth Profits Surrender
Links1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV
1 Corinthians 13:3 NLT
1 Corinthians 13:3 ESV
1 Corinthians 13:3 NASB
1 Corinthians 13:3 KJV
1 Corinthians 13:3 Bible Apps
1 Corinthians 13:3 Biblia Paralela
1 Corinthians 13:3 Chinese Bible
1 Corinthians 13:3 French Bible
1 Corinthians 13:3 German Bible
1 Corinthians 13:3 Commentaries
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.