1 Corinthians 13 (Annotated)

1 Corinthians 13 as found in the greater annotated Saved,Β Separated, And Soul-Winning Study Bible

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels (not that those gifts are still for today you understand), and have not charity(which is such a much better word that “love” don’t you think?) , I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal (only we don’t use cymbals unless it’s to play John Phillips Sousa). And though I have the gift of prophecy (Since I’m the pastor you know I do!), and understand all mysteries (I’m the pastor that’s a given!), and all knowledge (have you seen the diplomas on my wall??); and though I have all faith (which I pretty much do), so that I could remove mountains (or at least remove people from the membership rolls that I don’t like), and have not charity(that word is really hard to understand we’ll get back to this later), I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor (not that we actually go in for that kind of thing around here) , and though I give my body to be burned (probably by Roman Catholics), and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long (oh, how I suffer! I haven’t had a new car in months!), and is kind (to those who deserve it and aren’t liberals); charity envieth not (no problem here, I’m already the best at everything); charity vaunteth not itself (whoops. go back and scratch out that last note), is not puffed up (Again this is confusing. I’m assuming this is a reference to being gay), Doth not behave itself unseemly (no rock music or britches on women), seeketh not her own (eh?), is not easily provoked(unless of course it’s holy anger which all of mine is), thinketh no evil(no bad shows on TV, amen?); Rejoiceth not in iniquity(Doesn’t vote Democrat), but rejoiceth in the truth(Votes Republican); Beareth all things(it doesn’t say “bareth” amen? so you women keep yourselves covered), believeth all things(at least the things I tell you to believe), hopeth all things(I hope I get a better bonus this year), endureth all things(like me putting up with you more sinful folk). Charity never faileth. (at least as long as you stay on my good side.)

And all God’s people said?

76 thoughts on “1 Corinthians 13 (Annotated)”

    1. As satirical as this is supposed to be, it’s too typical of the IFB interpretations I’ve always heard from the churches I grew up in. πŸ™„

      I don’t know why I never questioned the ways they taught this passage or the ridiculous ways they stretched it to teach other “doctrines”.

  1. Bravo! I believe that 1 Corinthians 13 is one of those passages that you don’t truly understand until you’ve walked through it. Until you’ve had leaders treat you with contempt and spread false statements about you all while publicly “extending the right hand of fellowship” you don’t really grasp the significance of the text.

  2. Good stuff, Darrell. I was thinking about this passage. I used to read it during hollerin’ time at church. As a kid, I understood that the passage meant unselfish love that served others. I also understood that there was almost none of that kind of love around me in the church. I concluded that because speaking in tongues was mentioned and we were taught that speaking in tongues was no longer required from God, I assumed with my kid logic that charity was no longer required either. 😯

    1. What??? Reading the Bible when the Manogawd is expounding on a favourite verse of his having nothing to do with what you’re reading…… Tsk-tsk… πŸ™„

  3. Particularly enjoyed that “we don’t do that kind of thing around here” attitude towards bestowing goods for the poor. Baptists think the only interaction they should have with the poor is getting them to put their kids on the bus.

      1. That will depend on whether the pastor had breakfast or not. If not he may forego the third appeal to:

        β€œCome to the altar and do business with God today, right now, while the spirit is still moving, this may be your last opportunity, you could die on the way home, don’t reject God again, COME ON, RIGHT NOW! While the altar is open, you come. Come on! I pray that all hearts are clear. Don’t leave from here today without knowing heaven will be your eternal home. Last call, COME ON!

        Every head bowed and every eye closed. Nobody looking around. I know the spirit is still moving and I can see there are some of you who are fight it. You know you have sin in your life and yet you are still resisting his earnest pleading for you to let Jesus into your heart. I can see you are under conviction.

        There may be some here who have some unconfessed sin in your life. You are going through some deep waters right now and you are wondering where God is at right now. Your sin is standing between you and God. He is not able to comfort you and help you because you have sin in your life.

        Maybe you have been listening to the devils music. Maybe not worldly rock and roll but this so called Christian Rock and roll. You have embraced the world, and you know you are out of the perfect will of God.

        Maybe you have been gossiping about someone here in the church, maybe you have had hard feelings towards someone and you need to make it right. You need to come to the altar right now and make it right.

        Maybe you have been talking about the pastor, you don’t agree with what he’s been preaching. He has been stepping on your toes here lately. Maybe he preached hard against your pet sin. You’re under conviction because you are causing disunity in the body. You are withstanding the man of God and by doing so you are withstanding God himself.

        Every head still bowed and every eye still closed. If you have any unspoken request and you would like for me to pray for you, raise your hand. I see that hand. I see that hand. Thank you sister, I see that one. All over ht building tonight.

        If you know you are struggling hard with sin, and you say “preacher, I want you to pray for me.” Raise your hand. I see that hand, and that one and that one. Ok you can put those hands down.

        If you say preacher I have not been the man at home I ought to be, I have let sin creep in and I’ve been watching things I know I shouldn’t be and thinking thoughts I shouldn’t. Raise your hand. Thank you brother, I see that hand… and that one, and that one. Anyone else? I see that hand.

        Ladies! How about you are you the woman at home you ought to be? Are you taking care of the home the way you ought? Are you taking care of your husband the way you ought? Are you wearing pants around the house? Why allow things at home that you know are not right out in public, amen? Its the little foxes that spoil the vine. If you have not been the wife, woman, mother you ought to be and you want me to pray for you raise your hands. All over the building. I see that one, thank you sister, and that one. Ok, put your hands down.

        If you raised your hand then while I pray for you, you come on down to this altar and do business with God. Get right with God so that he can help you with your daily struggles. Get your sin under the blood. Make your account with God right so that there is nothing outstanding that would hinder God working in your life.

        After I pray, Sister Beulah will play through one last verse and if nobody comes we will close. Don’t you be the one who grieves the Holy Spirit. We’ll let Him close the service.”

        (after the prayer sermon and the final verse)
        β€œAre all hearts right? Amen?
        All right, be back here in your place this evening at 6:00 pm. Brother Jake dismiss us in prayer.”
        (as the pastor walks to the back)

        1. *twich, shudder, twich*

          Various tummies grumbling because it’s close to the end of services.

          Sister Dorothy fretting because the roast she put in the oven before she came this morning is most likely *very* well done.

          Brother Naylor annoyed because his nap was interupted due to the altar call.

          Eight year old Brother Seth is doing the potty dance.

          Sister Wanda is praying in a soft voice, but it sounds like she could be speaking in tongues.

          The Turner family is wondering where they will go for lunch and leave a tract instead of a tip.

          Fifteen year old Sister Renee is thinking Brother Eli looks *hottt* in his new Army Private uniform standing next to his Momma.

        2. my word, this is the most realistic rendition of an altar call that I’ve heard… you hit it right on!

          thanks for the giggles πŸ˜†

        3. @Don And you written altar call is why I love my church that doesn’t do altar calls and doesn’t have an invitation. My son, who has only visited a fundy church once or twice, went to a youth camp out recently where the speaker did the eyes closed / head bowed invitation. My son refers to it as the “handy raisy” thing.

        4. Um, Don. That’s almost word for word what I heard for years (the only difference is we didn’t have a Beulah in our church). I wonder if there’s a course preacher boys take called altarcallology that uses the same standard textbook. Wow! You were right on!

        5. This is EXACTLY like the standard altar call I endured all my life in fundyland. My least favorite part of the whole thing was how pretty much every bad thing ever would be mentioned (and as a kid trying to be a good christian, I felt like I needed to raise my hand because otherwise I was “lying to God” like they always said … so arms would be twisted until hands were raised, and THEN he would say “if you raised your hand then come forward.” I hated that. To quote Admiral Ackbar–“It’s a trap!”

        6. Wow. Just wow. This belongs in a novel. As Heather said, this is the most realistic rendering of an altar call I’ve ever read.

          After sixty years and the dozens and dozens of these that I have sat through, it has taken seeing it in print for me to realize just how manipulative they really are.

          Thank you, Don. You’ve done us a service.

        7. Ouch.

          Many years ago, I used to raise my hand in all innocence in order to be truthful, but then I was stunned when they tried to manipulate me to the front for raising my hand.

          So, I just stopped raising my hand.

          I don’t mind an altar call; our church has one, but it is low-key… something like “the altars are available if you want to use it”. No hi-pressure to get people coming forward.

          I can do business with God just fine from my chair as at an altar – plus, I don’t see how they are Scriptural.

          I’ve never been in one quite as manipulative as Don’s, but I have been in ones with heavy manipulation.

        8. Wow. All of a sudden, I understand exactly how it is that altar calls are emotionally manipulative. Thanks Don.

        9. The Invitation System … accurately portrayed. Now for a question – what exactly is an “altar” in a New Testament church? I thought they were part of the “types and shadows” done away with in Christ. Oh, there I go .. expecting fundamentalists to actually read and use the Bible.

        10. Good grief, Don’s been to my church! The only two things missing were “If you’re here and…” that they start every invitation with! Why do they always say IF you’re here? Every time…

          And the sister playing the piano was not Beulah but Debbie, other than that he was spot on! πŸ˜†

        11. Can I just add, beautifully written Sir. I’ve never experienced an alter call so I don’t have the visceral reaction to your comment, but nethertheless – wow!

        12. Don have you ever thought of holding some old time tent meetings? Or going on the revival circuit? I think you go this thing down!

        13. Oh, Don. That was painful! And you got it down – the right expressions, the little turns-of-phrase – all down the line to so many invitations that I heard.

          Like Hazeleyed, I too would feel guilty and want to raise my hand, but I soon learned about the trap so I would sit in agony, praying to God in my head and hoping that my disinclination to go forward wasn’t because I was proud because God hates the proud.

          I was thankful when I became the pianist, because then I didn’t have to feel pressured to come forward and feel guilty because I didn’t. Instead I got to safely sit on the bench.

        14. Don, that was almost perfect. You just need to refer to it as “the ole’ fashioned alter”.

        15. You know, you guys here my be mostly fundy Baptist But I was raised in an independant Pentecostal Church and your alter call is so real I shudder. Sometimes when I just refused to raise my hand someone would come to me, put their hand on my shoulder and do their best to persuade me. I can hear “Almost Persuaded” now. Pheww, tough.

  4. It’s a perfect example of how someone can read a Bible passage and still fail to see what it’s actually saying and only take away what they WANT to see, only reinforcing what they ALREADY think.

    Instead of being conformed to the Gospel, they’re twisting the Bible to conform to their own opinions.

    1. Exactly! Reminds me of a vintage Michael Spencer post about the same sort of error: http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/magic-books-grocery-lists-and-silent-messiahs-how-rightly-approaching-the-bible-shapes-the-entire-christian-life

      “I want to begin with a question: β€œWhat is the best way to encounter the message God has for us in the Bible?”

      My answer will be β€œIn understanding the overall message of the books that mostly clearly describe the person and significance of Jesus Christ.”

      That’s not the normal answer, but it is an important answer. The normal answer is something like this: β€œThe best way to encounter the truth about God in the Bible is through experiencing and believing the content of individual verses.””

      And then putting our own spin on verses because we’ve robbed them of context. πŸ˜₯ Fundies seem to forget that chapter and verse divisions weren’t inspired.

  5. This passage from 1 Corinthians (without the “notes”) is my father’s favorite part of the Bible. He has always taken it to mean what it says, with no need for interpretation, and he tries to follow it. Thank God for my Dad.

    1. You are truly a blessed man, Big Gary to have/had a dad like that. It’s something a lot of people would like to be able to say about their parent/s but can’t. It’s a beautiful thing indeed!

  6. I always liked how charity and wisdom are depicted as female. Not to say that clearly all women are wiser and more loving than evil men or something, but it’s just interesting that, when it really comes down to it, the Bible uses both men and women to exhibit good attributes.

    1. Not to rain on your parade, but the gender is inherant in the language – love is a female word in koine. In other words, in the interest of proper grammar, Paul had not choice but to use the feminine pronoun (so the readers would be able to recognize the antecedent) – which would better be translated in the neuter in English (don’t tell King Jimmy). However, in Proverbs wisdom is specifically pictured as a woman, so I think your point stands.

      1. Okay, but grammatical gender is neither cultural nor biological gender.

        In French a man’s necktie is feminine. Languages that assign genders to nouns are full of strange assignments.

        The principle deity of love in the Greco-Roman world was Aphrodite or Venus; so it wouldn’t seem at all hard to give Love a feminine pronoun.

        And Venus/Aphrodite wasn’t just about fertility and sex she had heavenly aspects too.

        1. The French word for “vagina” is masculine: “le vagin.”

          Grammatical gender is easier to grasp if you don’t try to make it make sense.

        2. For real fun and frustration, check out Mark Twain’s “The Awful German Language” including the sad, sad tragedy of The Fishwife & Its Fate. πŸ˜€

  7. I thought the reason fundies never gave to charities was because charity suffereth. And we all know suffering is a result of sin in our lives. And besides, if he wanted those poor people to eat, He wouldn’t have blessed you with that money, would He?

    (many of my fundy high school chapels were filled with a great man from Indiana who could do amazing things with a random phrase from Scripture. Those of you who were never fundies missed out on some strange sermons.)

    1. In my Fundy U we “trained” to do that. We called it “Popcorn Preaching” where you were given a random verse and 5 or 10 mins to “preach” it. Interestingly enough it seems many IFB preachers took that with them into their own ministries. πŸ™„

  8. Amen. It so good, amen, to know that there are still some, amen, who are part of that amen old time amen hell-fire and brimstone amen, fundymentalist preching amen, still out there amen? Good olde time preachin, amen? Can someone give me a few amens? Haymen! All those who don’t like us, amen, our godly standards amen, or our singing amen, praying and preaching amen are just bigots lost amen and doomed to a devils hell fire forever–hayayayay aymen and amen. Preach it borther, amen? πŸ™„

  9. Besides all of the crazy standards and self righteousness that envelopes fundiland, I would have to say that the sin that they will answer to God the most for is Scripture twisting. It’s very sad to sit and listen to MOG’s twist Scripture so they can manipulate their audience. πŸ™

    1. If you believe that Scripture is the truth, and you CHANGE it to make it “your truth”, you make it NOT the truth anymore (if that just made any sense at all!).

  10. Loved (well not really) the altar call. Was having some flashbacks to am evangelist we had come to our church when I was in high school.

    He would have “every head bowed, and every eye closed” routine. However he would have his lovely wife sing the 500th verse while we let the Holy Spirit speak to us.

    She couldn’t sing (and she wasn’t lovely). She screeched. It was painful. One time it got so bad mom and I started to laugh. We tried so hard to keep it suppressed. We both had hold of the pew in front of us so hard it started to shake.

    No one got saved and I hate “just as I am”. I remember the first time I experienced an altar call at the end of the service. There was no guilt, no public shame.

  11. Amen, Darrell! It reminded me of the “not so good old days.” Glad that I don’t have to hear that type of preaching anymore. And, @Don…..perfect example of the altar call!! The church we attend now doesn’t have an invitation or altar call. Thank goodness! Right before we left our IFB church, I peeked a few times when every eye was supposed to be closed & I didn’t see hands go up like the preacher was saying….another manipulation by them…..to induce guilt.

    1. I think I have a capital idea! Darrell and I can go on the road. He can preach and I’ll do the altar calls… All we need is a shiny suit for Darrell to wear, we already have the SFL Choir, and we can put a band together, all we need is a bus and a tent and we can make this “Leap of Faith.” πŸ˜† πŸ™„

  12. It is however, brothers and sisters, important to note that in the original Greek (which of course is subservient to the KJV) “charity” comes from the Popish Latin equivalent of “agape”. We NEED to understand in these EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL last days that today “charity” simply means “social justice” which is a code word of O…I mean our demonic enemy, brrrrrrrrrothers! Do not fall for this interpretive trick of the dem…I mean those who would spiritually deceive you! Can I have an Amen?

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