1 Corinthians 13:8-13 – Love and Maturity

1CO13:8 Compassionate affection never fails: 724 But, prophecies will be rendered useless. 725 Tongues will cease. 726 Knowledge will be rendered useless.

Commentary From  


Compassionate affection never fails: This closing phrase is translated by others: NJB: love never comes to an end; BEC: love never dies; NEB: love will never come to an end; MOF: love never disappears; CON: love shall never pass away. One immediately thinks of that God who is love, our heavenly Father. There will never be a future time where love will not exist in the universe. What a joyous thought! At that future time when finally “God is everything to everyone” then the entire universe will be ablaze with love, lacking any hate anywhere. (1 Corinthians 15:28, Moffatt)
Most translators have preferred, “love never fails.” It has been said above that if love ends it was not love to begin. The Nazarene taught that the two greatest commandments involved agape-love: first, love for God; and, second, love for our neighbor. (Matthew 22:34-40) If one’s love should ever cease – for God or neighbor – then it started as something else, not love. There may have been another agenda at work – another principle, wrongly thought, as well as a mistaken motive. If one loves God because of the reward, then both the principle and the motive are wrong.



Useless: Or, fail, be done away with, superseded.



Tongues will cease: The question here is raised whether such charismatic gifts as existed in the early Church are in operation today. Paul writes earlier in 1 Corinthians 1:22 that the “Jews look for signs but the Greeks seek wisdom.” If one were to “become a Jew to win a Jew,” then signs would be called for. If one were to “become a Greek to win Greeks,” then wisdom would be the order of the day.
From this it would seem “signs” are provided by God during the transition from the old wine bota to the new one – that is primary for the Jews. The further removed the Christian Church was from the Jews – some speculate by the mid-second century (c150 AD) – the less the need for “signs” and the more for “wisdom.”
Eusebius (Eusebius ) makes a comment on the use of satanic inspired gifts about the middle to late second century: “In his unbridled ambition to reach the top laid himself open to the adversary, was filled with spiritual excitement and suddenly fell into a kind of trance and unnatural ecstasy. He raved, and began to chatter and talk nonsense, prophesying in a way that conflicted with the practice of the Church handed down generation by generation from the beginning… Some were annoyed, regarding him as possessed, a demoniac in the grip of a spirit of error.” Eusebius continues to record a following: “… women whom he filled with the sham spirit, so that they chattered crazily.” And continuing a bit further: “But the pseudo-prophet speaks in a state of unnatural ecstasy… He begins with voluntary ignorance and ends in involuntary psychosis.” (Pages 218ff)

From Friends of the Nazarene - Are the Gifts of the Spirit Still ...


Other References

Open and Study Spiritual Gifts: Their Origin & Purpose----For Who is Eusebius

Open and Study Eusebius and Tongues.htm 

Eusebius Is the same person that baptism Constantine the Great

Eusebius  baptised Constantine the Great in his villa in Nicomedia, on May 22, 337A.D  just before the death of the Emperor.

Eusebius of Nicomedia & Constantine1’s   Relations with Arius - For Full Study Open and Study C + C1.htm

  For More Open EusebiusSpeaksInTongues.htm  Compare to later time Miracles.htm.

History of the Pentecostal Church is in - 71.htm                                                       

1CO13:9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.---- Friends of the Nazarene - Are the Gifts of the Spirit Still ...

 1CO13:10 However, when full maturity arrives, 727 the part will be rendered useless. 728





When full maturity arrives: The Greek is TELEION [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5046, finished, perfect, full grown, adult, mature]. Or, UBS: the completion; DIA: the perfect thing. He uses the metaphor of a baby becoming a man and gradually ceasing “childish ways, thinking and speech.” In other words, he is discussing maturity. The English word “maturity” (or, completeness) may be drawn from the Greek root telos (end). Note how Paul’s uses this word here in verse 10 in the context of growing from a babe to a man. In other words, the Greek teleion possibly carries the idea of maturity.
We note that elsewhere Paul uses this same word with growth and maturity in mind: “And, indeed, he gave these [as gifts]: apostles, prophets, evangelizers, shepherds and teachers. And these for the purpose of reorganizing the Saints for the work of servants. For [the purpose of] building up the Body of Christ. Until we all might attain the oneness of the faith and an elevated knowing of the Son of The God. This results in (attaining) perfect manhood unto the measure of stature of the fullness of Christ. So that we may not remain infants – being tossed about by waves and borne around by every wind of teaching, by the slight of hand of persons always working toward methodical error. But rather, maintaining honest love keep growing into him in everything. He is the one who is the head, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-15 NCMM) When Paul says “perfect manhood” he uses ANDRA TELEION, meaning maturity just as he does in 1 Corinthians 13:10.
Combining these two uses of teleion – both in the context of growth from infancy to maturity – we believe the “complete” thing which arrives in 1 Corinthians 13:10 is that state of maturity following the completion of the Christian canon. It is our own conviction that the entire New Testament canon was finished by the year 100 AD. Thereafter, we would expect the special pneumatic gifts in 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14 would cease or pass away. [Note an earlier use of TELEEIOIS at 1 Corinthians 2:6 and 1 Corinthians 14:20]



The part will be rendered useless: In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verses 8-10 gifts of the spirit are listed. In 1 Corinthians 13:8 three of the nine are referred to. One is said, “shall fail”; one is said, “shall cease”; one is said, “shall vanish away.” What about the other six? When the nine are listed, a common English expression in the KJV, ‘to another,’ separates them. That English expression is appropriate only six times in verse 8-10 where it translates the Greek word allo. The other two appearances of ‘to another’ wrongly represent the Greek word hetero, which Vine’s Expository Dictionary says means ‘another of a different sort.’
So the use of hetero two times divides the nine gifts into three groups. The first group is of two; the last group is of two; the middle group is of five gifts. The relationship of the two gifts in the two groups of two is obvious: when the gift of tongues ceased, interpretation of tongues also would cease. Inasmuch as wisdom is the application of knowledge, when the gift of knowledge (knowing something without having to undergo the process of its learning) ceased, the gift of wisdom would also cease. The relationship between ‘prophecies’ and the other four gifts in the middle group is not so readily apparent. But from the evidently intentional apostolic choice of words, having already divided the nine gifts into three groups, he purposely mentioned one gift out of each group to represent that summary method God’s intent that all nine gifts would pass away.
But when would they pass away? Is it not obvious that the miraculously conveyed gifts would pass away before faith, hope, and love would pass away? His mention of faith, hope, and love, and that they now abideth is entered into the narrative after he has made known to the church the passing, vanishing, failing of the miraculously-conveyed gifts. And when would faith and hope pass away? When the church is selected and entered into the things which faith instructed them to hope for.
So, the nine gifts would pass away, while faith, hope and love would still abide (in the history of the church). It is well to note the testimony in verse 10, ‘That which is perfect (complete) [perfect thing -Marshall Interlinear] does not identify Christian believers, bur rather the Scriptures of divine instruction which Paul and other apostles and teaches of the early church were writing. The phrase ‘perfect thing’ translates the Greek word teleion, which is in neuter gender, singular, a fitting form to represent the holy scripture.
What would “signs” be proof of now? Paul warns in 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10. Our Master warns that many will point to such signs in the judgment and yet he states he never knew them. (Matthew 7:21-23) If such “lying signs” are Satanic – and our Master warned about the Elect being misled by such – what can we conclude but that, as Paul predicted, the early pneumatic gifts passed away with the death of the apostles and the completion of the Christian canon?

Review Questions on Chapter Thirteen

  • What new subject does Paul introduce?
  • To what does Paul compare a person without love?
  • What other attributes of gifts are compared to love?
  • Can one be self-sacrificing and charitable and yet lack love?
  • What is love?
  • What is it not?
  • What are its positive characteristics?
  • What never fails?
  • What will cease?
  • What analogy does Paul use of the Church?
  • What hope does Paul have?
  • What three attributes remain and which is the greatest?