Thursday, February 14, 2008

1 Cor. 13

If with the tongues of humans,
I talk, and even of angels -
but love, I have not,
I am become a timbring gong
or a tinkling cymbal.

And if I have prophesy
and fathom all mysteries
and all knowledge
and if I have faith
to remove mountains

But do not have love

I am nothing.

And if I give away all my belongings
And surrender my body to suffering
for the sake of self glory

But do not have love

I gain nothing.

Love is generosity of spirit
Love is acts of kindness. Kindness in deed is love.

It does not envy


does not brag
does not puff up
does not act shamefully
does not seek self
does not get irritated
does not find fault

does not delight at injustice
but rejoices along with truth

always sustains
always trusts
always hopes
always supports


never fails.

Whether prophesies, they will be left aside
or tongues they will end
or knowledge it will be left aside.

For in part we know
and in part we prophesy
but when that which is complete comes the end comes

that which is in part will be left aside.

When I was a child
I talked like a child
I thought like a child
I argued like a child

But when I became an adult
The things of a child I left aside.

Now we see
through the looking glass
in riddles
but then face to face.

Now we know in part
But then we will know
Even as we are known.

As so remain faith, hope and love,
these three things
but the greatest of these



I translated this some time last summer and Kurk has posted it alongside the Greek for Valentine's day. It was an exercise to demonstrate a translation which maintained a fair degree of formal equivalence, certainly more than any of the published translations IMO. It is intended to maintain a consistent literary style and reveal some of the word play derived from this chapter. (I forget if this is where Lewis Carrol got the title for his second Alice book.)

I have been posting here over the last few days.


Clay said...

That is beautiful, Suzanne. The phrase:

"Now we see
through the looking glass
in riddles
but then face to face."

The idea of seeing in riddles struck me deeply. I just read this Wed (note the bolded):

(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

...the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam..."Listen to my words:
"When a prophet of the LORD is among you,
I reveal myself to him in visions,
I speak to him in dreams.

But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.

With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?" (from Num 12:3-8

What you do with your Word studies strikes me as similar to Moses... in that it removes the veils, the "riddles" with which Scripture speaks and "reveals the form of the Lord" by unveiling TRUTH more clearly, which TRUTH reflects upon HIS intentions and character

I visited the link where you have been posting. WOW, you do a great job! They might not see behind the veil, but I find your posts insightful. And at least this group of men seem more gentlemanly than the B-men. (I'll have to pray for those B-men lest they get struck by leprosy :P. ...which raises a question I was pondering about that account in Numbers. Suzanne, do you have any idea what this means? Is this a "law"? (see bolded) Num 12:13-14 Moses cried out to the LORD, "O God, please heal her!" The LORD replied to Moses, "If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days?..."

jamie said...

Suzanne, I have just recently begun to read your blog. Thank you for your bravery. I discovered on my own the bias of the Christian lexicons. I was appalled. I felt lied to. How does an ordinary person who doesn't know Greek trust the scriptures anymore? Since that time, I have had a difficult time picking up my bible. I had been taught that the translators always went back to the "original" Greek, but I am finding that they just translate their own biases. Can you recommend a translation for me? I used to use the NKJV for study.

I am proud of you for continuing to try to explain to those men the true meaning of words. I hope they will open their minds.

John Hobbins said...

Alice in wonderland and through the looking glass: that's what I like best about the translation - and it has many other virtues. It translates into a context.

Peter Kirk said...

If with the tongues of humans,
I talk, and even of angels

It sounds as if "angels" is the subject I am talking about, not the owners of the tongues.