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asked by (3.4k points)

1 Corinthians 13:10 and when that which is perfect may come, then that which is in part shall become useless. (YLT)

οταν δε ελθη το τελειον τοτε το εκ μερους καταργηθησεται

3 Answers

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answered by (260 points)

The revelation of Jesus Christ as testified earlier in 1 Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 1:4-7  

    I always thank my God concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus; that in everything you were enriched in him, in all speech and all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ;

commented by (2.3k points)
Hey, way to check out the context!
But what is the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ?  The Book of Revelation?  (perhaps also meaning the close of the canon of Scripture since that may have been the last book of the Bible written).  That was my guess, that "that which is perfect" would be the whole of the Bible, the "more sure word of prophesy" (II Pet. 1:19).
Or does this mean when Jesus is revealed at his Second Coming?
commented by (260 points)
When Paul wrote that the Corinthians would be "behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ" - what do you think was communicated to them?   

I'm thinking they didn't read Paul's letter and think that after John wrote his prophesy of the Revelation of Jesus Christ that the gifts would be over because they had the book.  

I'm aware of this historical interpretation but find no such revelation from God as a teaching of Christ or his eye witnesses. It seems to me that the simple reading in chapter 13 is just like the one quoted here in 1 Cor 1.  The gifts are here until Jesus returns.   

Do you see a simple reading being other than that?
commented by (2.3k points)
I think I'll have to agree with you that the revelation of Jesus in I Cor. 1:7 is the basically the same event as the day of our Lord Jesus Christ at the end in I Cor. 1:8.
So you're therefore taking the position that the gift of prophesy, the gift of tongues, and the gift of knowledge in I Cor. 13:8 will continue until the Second Coming, right?
commented by (260 points)
Yes. There can be honest disagreements the gifts such as  whether the gift of tongues is what is commonly expressed today, but the concept of a "cessation" of the gifts revealed in scriptures doesn't seem very honest to me.
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answered by (1.3k points)
Love, first for God, then for our fellow humans. (Matthew 22:34-40) When we begin our Christian journey we are as a child (imperfect, lacking in Godly love), but when we begin to mature (in the ways of God) our understanding of Godly love grows and our imperfection begins to change to perfection. This is the most precious of gifts. (Colossians 3:14, 1 John 4:7-12, 17-18, 1 Corinthians 13:13, 16:14)
commented by (2.3k points)
Interesting.  So then what is "that which is in part" (I Cor. 13:10)?  I thought it was the gifts of prophesy, tongues, and knowledge (I Cor. 13:8); but are you saying that "that which is in part" would be immaturity and imperfect love?
commented by (1.3k points)
Question 1: The word “part” would be better translated as “measure” which fits nicely into the subject matter, thus when perfection came the part (or measure in maturity and love) would disappear and  spiritual maturity and perfect Godly love would be in fullness . The NIV records this verse in a much clearer way: (in relation to 1 Cor. 12, 13, and 14) “But when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.”
Question 2: Yes, but not in the way you seem to portray it. The imperfection (lacking in Godly love) that relates to the spiritual gifts outlined in I Corinthians 13:8 is explained by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14. These spiritual gifts would be imperfect, if they did not edify the church (Godly love). This seems to be the reason Paul is bringing the topic up in the first place. (review: 1 Corinthians 3) Paul point out in 1 Cor. 13:9  that they only could “know in part” and “prophesy in part.” This seems to relate to their immaturity in the ways of God and His love. “The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.” (1 Cor 8:2-3--NIV) Thus, spiritual maturity and perfect love can only be found and understood, if we are known by God.
commented by (260 points)
This is an interesting thought on the meaning of this verse.....I'll have to look into it more myself in this light.
commented by (1.3k points)
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.
+1 vote
answered by (940 points)
The entity to which reference is made -- "that which is perfect" --  is the completed Canon of Scripture.  The fledgling Church had temporary need of certain spiritual gifts, but that need ceased once the Canon was complete, whereupon the temporary gifts were done away.  The basic meaning of the English term "perfect" (and the Greek term which it translates) is "mature" or "complete."
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