Knowledge in Part
1 Corinthians 13:8-10
Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease…

In guarding our talk thus, we are helped by the analogies of those who know less than we do, and who cannot know as much as we do. A blind man, for instance, does not know as much about colour as people who see. Nor does a man who is colour-blind. They may imagine what colour is, and they can talk about their imaginations. But they must not prophesy. That is, they must not proclaim the truth about colour. They do not know what the truth is, and they do not even know the meaning of the words they use. The analogy with our ignorance is precise. For such people sometimes think they know. In the same direction is the advance which mankind has made since those prehistoric days of the cave-dweller. If to the poor savage of the limited experience of that early time I said, "Your God can give at the same instant His present command to you who are here and to other men on the other side of the world," he would hardly understand my language; and, so far as he did understand it, he would tell me I lied. In the first place, he would not know what I meant by the other side of the world. In the second place, he would say that one God could not be in two places. But, with the steady progress of the world, all this changes. Any telegraph boy sees one will acting in a dozen places, and his imagination and conception carry him into a much wider range than that which he sees. On a thousand lines the world understands that it has advanced from that feeble knowledge of that savage life. Just so far as it understands this, does the same world make out that it knows only in part now, and looks forward, with a confidence akin to certainty, to a coming time and a larger life, in which it shall know more. All such instances from history help us in our lives of to-day, and in looking forward for to-morrow. History, indeed, is always useless, unless we extort from it such lessons. If the cave-dweller or the Eskimo of to-day knew only in part what seems wholly necessary to your life and mine, in just the same fashion is it probable — it is well-nigh certain — that where I know only in part there is more knowledge which my successors will have — nay, which I myself may have, in a life not cumbered by this body.

(E. E. Hale, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

Heaven, a World of Love
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