LOVE: A NAZARENE COMMAND A Look at 1st Corinthians 13

יהוה is the Hebrew form of the Name of the Creator. 
According to most scholars, the most probable pronunciation of this Name is Yahweh.
This site uses ‘the Eternal’ when referring to יהוה 
The name of the Messiah is Yeshua, short for Yehoshua (יהושע),
which means ‘Yah is salvation’ [Matthew 1:21]

Anyone who claims to be a follower of Yeshua the Messiah is bound to do two things in proof of this: First,

John 14:23-24
23 יהושע answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he shall guard My Word. And My Father shall love him, and We shall come to him and make Our stay with him. 
24 “He who does not love Me does not guard My Words. And the Word which you hear is not Mine but of the Father Who sent Me".
{Yeshua's words in purple}

 And, second:

John 15:17
“These words I command you, so that you love one another"

These two will mark every genuine Nazarene [a follower of Yeshua the Messiah]: a knowledge of and obedience to what Yeshua taught; and, becoming a loving disciple of the Messiah.

What is this ‘love’? How is it characterised? Most believers that are familiar with Scripture would turn to one of the most beautiful passages: 

1 Corinthians 13:1  [Lamsa New Testament] 
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love in my heart, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

A person’s speech may seem inspired like the voice of angels or another may be a master of mystic and ancient languages or speak a dozen different languages. However, if this angelic voice lacks «agape» or love it is nothing more than a ‘noisy gong’ or ‘the clash of cymbals’.

Shaul (Paul) continues to write about the importance of having love in one’s heart

1 Corinthians 13:2 [Lamsa New Testament]  
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love in my heart, I am nothing. 

A person may claim to be a prophet, possess spiritual mysteries, and claim to understand all of the cosmos and every kind of hidden truth. A person may have powerful conviction or absolute faith to overcome every kind of obstacle yet, if love is not present, such a person is worth nothing. A person with such a gift is without value and may as well not have any gift at all if love is not present in his/her heart.

1 Corinthians 13:3 [Lamsa New Testament] 
 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love in my heart, I gain nothing.

Can there be a hidden agenda behind such charity or love? May it be praise or honour from others? What is the motive and principle behind such self-sacrifice?

Matthew 6:1-4 [Lamsa New Testament]
1 Be careful concerning your alms, not to do them in the presence of men, merely that they may see them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven. 
2 Therefore when you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, just as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the market places, so that they may be glorified by men. Truly I say to you, that they have already received their reward. 
3 But when you give alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing; 
4 So that your alms may be done secretly, and your Father who sees in secret, shall himself reward you openly.   

[Read Matthew chapter 5, 6 &7 for the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ teachings of Yeshua] 

Now, examine Shaul’s list of sixteen of those characteristics which describe love [Hebrew «ahavah»] or [Greek«agape»]

#1) 1 Corinthians 13:4aLove is patient

The Greek word for <long-suffering> is «makrothymeo». This word can mean:
– to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart;
– to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles;
– to be patient in bearing the offences and injuries of others
– to be mild and slow in avenging
– to be long-suffering, slow to anger, slow to punish

This verse is variously rendered as:

Anderson’s 1865 New Testament; Companion Bible: Love suffers long
Bible in Basic English [BBE]: Love is never tired of waiting 
Voice i the Wilderness Version [VW]: Love is longsuffering
Diaglott NT: The love suffers long
The Godbey New Testament: Divine love suffers long

The Eternal possesses this attribute – Romans 2:4; 9:22; 1 Timothy 1:16
It is a fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22
It is proof of an outstanding minister or servant – 2 Corinthians 6:6; 2 Timothy 3:10
It contributes to unity – Ephesians 4:2
It is reflected in joy – Colossians 1:11 
A follower of Messiah should show it toward everyone – 1 Thessalonians 5:14

#2) 1 Corinthians 13:4bLove…is kind

«Chresteuomai» is the Greek word translated as <kind>.
– to show one’s self mild, to be kind, use kindness
– to show oneself useful, act benevolently, to be generous.
– the Middle English root ‘kynde’ means sympathetic, friendly, gentle and caring nature,          
– it looks for a way to be instructive.

This word is variously rendered as: 

Diaglott New Testament: (Love)  …is gentle
Etheridge: (Love) …is benign
Geneva: (Love) …is bountiful
Rotherham: (Love) …is gracious
Bishops Bible, 1568; Tyndale: (Love) …is courteous

The Eternal is characterised by kindness – Romans 2:4; Titus 3:4; 1 Peter 2:3 
Messiah’s yoke is gentle (kind) – Matthew 11:30
    The Hebrew Gospels from Sepharad renders it <…my yoke is restful>
   [The Hebrew Gospels from Sepharad: Translated by Justin J. Van Rensburg
    A literal translation of a medieval Hebrew manuscript in the Vatican Library, Vat. Ebr. 100 – 
    hebrewgospels.com]      

The Eternal is kind even toward the ungrateful and wicked and thus kindness and mercy are     the path to a righteous life – Luke 6:35; Matthew 5:45  
Kindness is often associated with hospitality and giving – Acts 26:2, 30; 2 Corinthians 8:6, 7, 9
Shaul counsels kindness – Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22
Kindness is related to ‘grace’ which is undeserved kindness

So, kindness or being kind would be characterised by hospitality, charity, giving, mercy, and good manners, or gentility .
When in doubt about what to do to another do the kind thing.
Our life should be characterised by our kindness, particularly toward even our enemies, those ungrateful, or even wicked. Only then can spiritual perfection be attained – Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:30-36.

#3) 1 Corinthians 13:4cLove…is not jealous

The Greek for “jealous” is «zeloo». One can see the English word ‘zeal’ in this Greek word.

1 Corinthians 13:4c is variously rendered as:

Aramaic English New Testament: love is not envious
Concordant Literal Version: Love is not jealous.
Exegesis Companion Bible: love is never jealous 
King James Version: envieth not
Lamsa New Testament: love does not envy 
Moffatt New Testament: Love knows no jealousy
Twentieth Century New Testament [1898]: love is never envious

good jealousy – John 2:17; 2 Corinthians 11:2.  
bad jealousy – Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 3:3.
Often when the subject is the bad form of «zelos» then translators use the word envy. When it is good, it is zeal. But, zeal can be misdirected or wrongly motivated.

Jealousy may manifest itself in greed or envy. Here the jealous person covets what another has: beauty, riches, intelligence, social standing, or spiritual status. This jealously always manifests itself in gossip, slander, or obstinate coldness.
Proper jealousy may be illustrated by a wife or husband’s insistence on exclusivity in matters of romance or intimacy – Proverbs 6:32-34. This is a proper jealousy which is an insistence on exclusive devotion. It is not petty and over-bearing so that the mate may have no friends because of the other mate’s jealousy.

Jealousy and envy are exceedingly dangerous and corrosive – Proverbs 14:30.

Proverbs 27:4
Wrath is cruel and displeasure overwhelming, But who is able to stand before jealousy? 

This is what happened to Mosheh (Moses) who spoke without faith because he was provoked by the jealousy of others –

Psalm 106:32-33
32 And they provoked wrath at the waters of Meribah, And Mosheh suffered on account of them; 
33 Because they embittered his spirit, And he spoke rashly with his lips. 

If we remember that if we are ever moved to speak unkindly, even wickedly in slander of another, it is probably jealously or envy which motivates us.

#4) 1 Corinthians 13:4dLove…does not boast

The Greek is «ou perpereuomai» and is variously translated as:

Aramaic English New Testament: Love…is not boastful
Concordant Literal Version: Love…is not bragging
Exegesis Companion Bible: Love…never brags
King James Version: charity{love} vaunteth not itself
Moffatt New Testament: love makes no parade
Phillips Modern English [1963]; Twentieth Century New Testament [1898]: never boastful

The word is unique to this verse. As with jealousy, there is a good form of bragging or boasting and a bad form. The difference is dependent on the object of this boasting or bragging.

Proverbs 27:1
Do not boast of tomorrow, For you do not know what a day brings forth. 

This is echoed by Ya’qob (James)

James 4:13-16 [Aramaic English New Testament]
13. But what will we say of those who say: “Today or tomorrow we will go to such or such a city and will abide there a year; and we will traffic and get gain?” 
14. And they do not know what will be tomorrow: for what is our life but an exhalation that is seen a little while and then vanishes and is gone? 
15. Whereas they should say: “If Master YHWH{the Eternal} wills it, and we live, we will do this or that.” 
16. They glory in their arrogance. All such glorying is evil. 

On this basis the bragging or boasting, which is not out of love, may be characterised by materialistic boasts which ignore the Eternal.
Shaul quotes Jeremiah 9:23-24 twice in his letters to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 1:28-31
28 And Elohim has chosen the low-born of the world and the despised, and the ones that are not, that He might bring to naught the ones that are, 
29 so that no flesh should boast in His presence. 
30 And of Him you are in Messiah יהושע, who became for us wisdom from Elohim, righteousness also, and set-apartness and redemption, 
31 that, as it has been written, “He who boasts, let him boast in יהוה{Jeremiah 9:23-24}.”

 And then again

2 Corinthians 10:17-18
17 But “He who boasts, let him boast in יהוה .” {Jeremiah 9:23-24} 
18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but he whom the Master commends.

The prophet Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) mentions a good and bad form of bragging or boasting

Jeremiah 9:23-24
23 Thus said יהוה, “Let not the wise boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty boast in his might, nor let the rich boast in his riches, 
24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am יהוה, doing kindness, right-ruling, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” declares יהוה. 

Yirmeyahu lists some of those areas in which even worshippers of the Eternal might find themselves bragging or boasting: wisdom or intelligence (or, educational background); personal strength, health or physical fitness; and, riches or material possessions. On the other hand if one is to boast or brag it ought to be in the realm of spiritual insight (characterised by humility) and knowing the Eternal in a personal relationship.

In the spirit of Shaul’s description of love as not bragging, it is often the case that a mature Nazarene must remain silent and not give the impression of bragging. 

#5) 1 Corinthians 13:4eLove…does not get puffed up

The Greek word here is «ou perpereuomai» and is variously translated as:

New Jerusalem Bible: never conceited
Revised Standard Version: not arrogant
Smith and Godspeed Translation: not put on airs
Phillips Modern English [1963]: nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance

  • conceit and arrogance was a Corinthian problem – 2 Corinthians 12:20.
  • this word is used most often within Shaul’s two letters to the Corinthian believers or congregation.
  • egotistical attitude often involves favouritism or a sectarian spirit involving personalities – 1 Corinthians 4:6.
  • it is often manifest by what we say about ourselves – 1 Corinthians 4:18, 19.
  • it is also seen in a failure to repent – 1 Corinthians 5:2.
  • Shaul associates being puffed up with a fleshly way of thinking – Colossians 2:18.
  • a head-strong disposition – 2 Timothy 3:4.
  • it is always a danger for ambitious men. (1 Timothy 3:6).
  • Shaul associates the attitude with those who teach erroneous doctrine not founded on the Scriptures
1 Timothy 6:3-5 [Word of Yahweh]
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Master Yahshua the Messiah, and to the doctrine which is according to holiness; 
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is holiness: from such withdraw thyself. 

#6) 1 Corinthians 13:5aLove…does not behave indecently

The Greek is «aschemoneo» and is variously rendered as:

Berkeley Version [1945]: unmannerly
King James Version: not behave itself unseemly
James Moffatt Translation [1913]: Love…is never rude
New American Standard: not unbecomingly
C B Wiliams Translation: Love…does not act with rudeness

The word is rare and other forms are elsewhere rendered as shameless, indecent, unseemly, or dishonourably – 1 Corinthians 7:36; 12:23; Romans 1:27; Revelation 16:15.
It is most often associated with sexual matters.

In English the word ‘love’ is most often associated with romantic, even sexual, feelings towards another. One thing true «agape» is not is an emotion motivated by actions which violate the Eternal’s law. Thus, this kind of ‘love’ will never be found among the immoral or those seeking to take sexual disadvantage of another. Indeed, one may see the word ‘scheme’ within the Greek.

Other translators lean toward the idea of bad manners or rudeness. Certainly, «agape» or love can never be characterised by those with ill-manners or rude social behaviour. Rather, a Nazarene possessed of this kind of love will be seen to be well-mannered and polite in social matters. Never would a Nazarene take advantage of their spiritual position in the Assembly of believers to scheme indecency toward a fellow worshipper.

#7) 1 Corinthians 13:5bLove…does not seek its own>

The Greek «ou zetei ta heautes» is literally ‘not seeking things of itself’ –  It is variously rendered as:

King James Version: Love…seeketh not her own
James Moffatt Translation (1913): Love…is never selfish
Norlie’s Simplified New Testament: Love…does not pursue selfish aims
Revised Standard Version: (Love)…does not insist on its own way
Twentieth Century New Testament [1898]: (Love)…is never self-seeking

Perhaps no phrase describes the general understanding of «agape» or love. The idea is expressed elsewhere by Shaul. Indeed, a similar phrasing in Greek has already occurred in

1 Corinthians 10:24
Let none seek selfish interests, but rather the interest of others

Philippians 2:4 is very similar 

Phiippians 2:4
Do not be looking after selfish interests, but rather those interests of others.

Here is the root of «agape» or love: interest, not in self, but in that of others. Truly, this is neighbour-love characterised by the Golden Rule:

Luke 6:31
And as you wish men should do to you, you also do to them in the same way

This means putting others before self, just as the example of our Master Yeshua

Philippians 2:6-7 [Word of Yahweh]
6 Who, being in the form of Yahweh, thought it not robbery to be equal with Yahweh: 
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 

This is Shaul’s example of not looking after just one’s own interests as he mentions in

Philippians 2:4 [Lamsa New Testament]
Let no one be mindful only of his own things, but let every one be mindful of the things of his neighbour also. 

We are to look after other people’s well-being not only our own, exhorting, uplifting and encouraging them in general and in their difficult moments. Such love will attract other affectionate and compassionate persons.

#8) 1 Corinthians 13:5cLove…is not provoked

The Greek is «ou paroxunetai» – not being incensed and is variously rendered as:

King James Version: Love…is not easily provoked
New English Bible [1961]: Love…is not quick to take offence
Phillips Modern English [1963]: Love…is not touchy
Revised Standard Version: Love…is not irritable

One can see the root of ‘oxygen’ in the word and it literally refers to the bellows of the blacksmith which blasts the coals and heats things up and thus sharpens iron. The English word ‘paroxysm’ can mean ‘a sudden convulsion or outburst’ for either good or bad. The word is rare and various forms convey ‘to stir’ or ‘arouse’ – Acts 17:16.

the first case of anger makes us shiver that such a thing befall us – Genesis 4:5.
the Corinthian church had a problem with ‘cases of anger’. – 2 Corinthians 12:20.
anger is a work of the flesh – Galatians 5:20.
Shaul encourages getting rid of anger – Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8.

There are two particular occurrences which catch our attention, one bad and another good.

Acts 15:39 [Word of Yahweh]
And the contention{paroxysm} was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabah{Barnabas} took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus

It is very interesting that the one who wrote that <love is not (given) to paroxysm> should have it recorded by his travelling companion Luke that he did succumb to such a burst of anger. Though we are not precisely told who it was that first became so angry. The case that caused this circumstance was Shaul’s refusal to take the disciple Marqos (Mark) on this missionary tour because he had left midway during the previous journey. Barnaba (Barnabas), Marqos’, cousin, may have wanted him to join them for family reasons – Galatians 4:10. Clearly, here is a case where love was not controlling these men.

This illustrates that there are times when even previously good friends or companions, as was the case with Barnaba (Barnabas) and Shaul, have a disagreement so severe that they become angry with one another. Paul and his new partner, Silas (Silvanus), go on to write several inspired epistles where Barnaba misses out on this opportunity. Barnaba is not mentioned again in the Book of Acts. However, Shaul later mentions both Barnaba and Marqos in positive tones – Galatians 2:1, 9, 13; 4:10.

There is a good form of paroxysm which occurs in

Hebrews 10:24
And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works

Where love may cool it is vital to blast the coals with the oxygen of encouragement. Paul writes this counsel in the context of Nazarene or believer meetings.

It is true some personalities are given to wearing their feelings on their cuff and have a low boiling point. This is due more to immaturity on the Nazarene walk, while those who have been Nazarene disciples longer will manifest a calmer and controlled spirit. It is often easier to learn to remain quiet — and keep opinions within and under control — rather than struggling to always say the right thing. Once one controls rash speech, anger will become less and less part of the Nazarene character.

There is one final thought regarding love not provoking others. Being a cause of provocation can bring our Nazarene or fellow believers enormous grief. Consider, how Mosheh was driven “crazy” (Ecclesiastes 7:7) by the provocation of his fellow worshippers.

Psalm 106:32-33 [Numbers 20:2, 12; 27:14; Deuteronomy 1:37; 32:51; compare Hebrews 3:15]
32 And they provoked wrath at the waters of Meribah, And Mosheh suffered on account of them; 
33 Because they embittered his spirit, And he spoke rashly with his lips. 

 #9) 1 Corinthians 13:5dLove…does not keep a record of wrongs

The Greek is «ou logizetai to kakon», literally, ‘does not keep record of wrongs.’ Or, “keeps no log on bad things.” One can see the English word ‘log’ of ‘logistics’ in the Greek root. The phrase is variously rendered as:

Revised Standard Version: (not) resentful
King James Version: thinketh no evil
20th Century New Testament [1898]: never reckons up her wrongs
New English Bible [1961]: Love …keeps no score of wrongs
Phillips Modern English [1963]: does not keep account of evil
New American Standard [1960]: does not take into account a wrong suffered
New Jerusalem Bible: does not store up grievances

The Proverbs taught to <pass over transgression>Proverbs 19:11. The first occurrence of ‘forgiveness’ in the Scriptures is that of the Eternal – Exodus 34:7. The Psalmist describes the Eternal  as <ready to forgive> and the Prophets describe Him as <forgiving in a large way> (Isaiah 55:7)

Perhaps this is one of the hardest challenges in showing love: not only forgiving but also forgetting personal injuries. Yeshua taught us to pray

Matthew 6:9
...forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors 

Then, Yeshua makes the first commentary on the need for forgiveness when he follows with

Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father shall also forgive you

Our Master puts it simply: if we refuse to forgive others we cannot expect forgiveness from the Eternal – Mark 11:25.

Yeshua answered the disciples’ question on how many times we ought to forgive. Peter suggested as much as seven times per day. The Master said, <Up to 77 times> then gave an illustration of such forgiveness in the context of financial indebtedness. (Matthew 18:21-35) Luke 17:3, 4 adds a proviso to this forgiveness: the offending person must come and say, “I am sorry.” Shaul elsewhere counsels “freely forgiving.” – Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13. Even if a sinner has brought the congregation into disrepute and has repented, all are to forgive him or her – 2 Corinthians 2:7, 10.
The mature follower of Yeshua will be characterised by a forgiving disposition who truly forgets offences or sins committed against the person. What is helpful in doing this is not taking oneself so seriously and emptying self of egotism.

#10) 1 Corinthians 13:6aLove… rejoices not in iniquity

The phrase is variously translated as:

New American Standard [1960]: Love…does not rejoice in unrighteousness
Norlie’s Simplified New Testament [1951]: it is never glad when wrong is done
New Testament in Basic English: Love…takes no pleasure in wrongdoing
New English Bible [1961]: Love…does not gloat over other men’s sins
James Moffatt A New Translation [1913]: it is never glad when others go wrong

The idea has two factors:
a) love does not enjoy doing wrong things
b) love never takes delight in evil which befalls others.

Jealousy or envy may be involved here. If someone dislikes another and that person falls into trouble, or misfortune visits, the jealous person may rejoice inwardly over this bad turn of events. This kind of attitude takes many forms. If we find ourselves to be somewhat happy when evil befalls another, we must look inside and see why we feel this way.

#11) 1 Corinthians 13:6bLove…rejoices in the truth

This phrase is variously rendered as:

New Testament a New Translation R A Knox [1943]: Love…rejoices at the victory of truth
Weymouth New Testament: Love…joyfully sides with the truth
Norlie’s Simplified New in the Language of the People [1937]: Love…is
always glad when truth prevails
Beck American Translation [1963]: Love…is happy with the truth

If one harbours envy or jealousy there may be a tendency not to rejoice over this truth. Love causes one to rejoice that the real truth is made known, rather than seeking another untruth about the individual.

#12) 1 Corinthians 13:7aLove) …bears all things

The Greek is «panta stegei», or literally, “(love) covers everything.” The phrase is variously rendered as:

Worrell New Testament: Love…bears all things
Orthodox Jewish Bible: Ahavah (love)…covers all things
Geneva:
Love…suffreth all things
Etheridge New Testament (1849): Love…endureth every thing
Hebraic Roots Bible: quietly covers all things
WMS [Norlie Simplified New Testament – 1937]: Love …it bears up under everything
PME [Phillips Modern English – 1963]: Love…knows no limits to its endurance
WEY [F R Weymouth New Testament – 1902]: Love …can overlook faults
Moffatt New Testament: Love…is always slow to expose.

The Greek «stegei» is rooted in the idea of a roof – Matthew 8:8; Mark 2:24; Luke 7:6
Stegei may convey two meanings:
a) to cover by silence, or keep a confidence; and,
b) to bear up against, or hold out against.

Given the immediate context «stegei» here may mean ‘love covers by silence’ those matters which could be damaging or misunderstood about someone loved. Families do this all the time. So do true and genuine friends who are very reluctant to reveal negative information about a close companion.
Kepha (Peter) exhorts to this kind of love:

1 Peter 4:8
And above all have fervent love for one another, because love covers a great number of sins.

The book of Proverbs teaches the same principle

Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions. 

This thought from the Book of Proverbs is most likely what Shaul has in mind when he says, <Love covers everything>.
On the other hand, many translators prefer the other option: love bears up or endures everything. However, Shaul is to go on in the same breath to state this, “love endures everything.” So, it would appear the former notion of ‘love covering everything’ would be more appropriate.

One of the most unloving things a friend can ever do is reveal a bit of confidential information to those who have no need or right to know it. Such may not be slander, for the subject is truthful, but unknown. It is rather terribly harmful gossip. Many a close friendship has been destroyed by such failures to cover or keep a confidence.

#13) 1 Corinthians 13:7bLove…is always eager to believe the best

This phrase is «panta pisteuei» in Greek. Although it may have more than one meaning, it literally means ‘all believing’. The phrase is variously rendered as:

Norlie Simplified New Testament [1937]: it exercises faith in everything
Diaglott New Testament: Loveall things believes
Berkeley Version in Modern English [1945]: unquenchable faith
James Moffatt New Testament: always eager to believe the best
New English Bible [1961]: there is no limit to its faith
Phillips Modern English [1963]: no limit to its trust
Voice in the Wilderness: covers all things

If the Greek «pisteuei» is viewed more as ‘trust’ then this kind of love always trusts a friend’s truthfulness or honesty. This love is not paranoid, distrusting, or suspicious. There is a certain guilelessness in such a loving person. This person has no agenda, is no manipulator. These loving persons take people as they are without judging them wrongly without strong evidence to the contrary.
Translator James Moffatt may have come the closest: <(love) is always eager to believe the best>. What a Messiah-like attitude to trust and believe that there is some goodness in everyone!

#14) 1 Corinthians 13:7cLove…is always hopeful.

«Panta elpizei» literally means ‘all expecting’. It is variously rendered as:

Alexandria – (Love)…hopes all things
The Alpha and Omega Bible: Love…hopes always 
Berkeley Version in Modern English [1945]: hopes under all circumstances
International Standard version: there is no limit to her{love’s} hope
Norlie Simplified New Testament [1937]: it keeps up hope in everything.

In at least one translation the word “hope” occurs about 150 times. The Bible is a book of Hope. The first use of the word ‘hope’ is by the woman Ruth. (Ruth 1:12) We are not surprised that ‘hope’ occurs most often in the Book of Job (12 times) in the Tanach (wrongly called Old Testament) and in the Letter to the Romans (20 times) in the Nazarene Writings (wrongly called New Testament).

Since the context is love’s characteristics and qualities, this ‘hope’ must be in others. A positive outlook regarding our fellows, particularly those who love us less than others. We continue to hope all will come to maturity in Messiah. Those who have stumbled so as to fall, we continue to hope they will recover if love be applied and prayer continue to be earnest.

This hope may manifest itself in those parents who long for their children to survive life’s blows and that evil enemy, satan the adversary. When Nazarene children become prodigal and wander from the Nazarene path, mother and father continue to hope all will turn out well in the end.

Proverbs 19:18 [Word of Yahweh]
Chasten thy son while there is hope

When this kind of ‘hope’ is missing it becomes very negative. If we do not hope the best for our fellows, then we secretly wish them evil or harm. We want them to fail or stumble. This is satanic thinking. On the other hand the phrase <love hopes always> is a very positive outlook and lacks that anxiety which is corrosive to mind and body.

#15) 1 Corinthians 13:7dLove…endures all things.

The Greek phrase is «panta hupomenei» and its literal meaning is ‘all enduring’. 
The phrase is variously rendered as:

Norlie Simplified New Testament [1937]: it gives us power to endure in anything
Twentieth Century New Testament [1898]: ever patient
Berkeley Version in Modern English [1945]: endures without limit
New Jerusalem Bible: to endure whatever comes
Weymouth New Testament: she{love} is full of endurance
Exegesis Companion Bible: abides all
International Standard Bible [ISV]: never will she{love} fall

Some translations have made it apparent that ‘love’ is being viewed in the feminine – (See Weymouth New Testament and ISV). 

Families must often endure the attitudes or actions of others within the household circle. It takes endurance to continue to love despite the worst. We experience this need for love’s endurance at work, at school, in our daily life. Though Shaul has already mentioned <love is long-suffering {or patient}> this endurance must be something different. If love ever ends, or fails to endure, then it may not have been love in the first place. Agape-love continues to the last breath. It never tires of forgiving others because it does not put itself on such a lofty pedestal. Those with a “short-fuse” simply are not possessed of agape-love, but rather self-centred, egotistical arrogance.

#16) 1 Corinthians 13:8Love…never fails.

The Greek phrase is «agape oudepote ekpiptei», it means ‘love is never lapsing’.
This closing phrase is variously rendered as:

New Jerusalem Bible: love…never comes to an end
W F Beck American Translation [1963]: love…never dies
New English Bible [1961]: love…will never come to an end
James Moffatt New Testament: love never disappears
Confraternity Catholic [1952]: love shall never pass away.

One immediately thinks that of the Eternal 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 <The Eternal is everything to everyone> then the entire universe will be ablaze with love, lacking any hate anywhere. (1 Corinthians 15:28)

Most translators have preferred, <love never fails>. It has been said above that if love ends it was not love to begin with. Yeshua the Nazarene taught that the two greatest commandments involved agape-love:
a) love for the Eternal
b) love for our neighbour
(Matthew 22:34-40)

If one’s love should ever cease, for the Eternal or neighbour, 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 the Eternal because of the reward, then both the principle and the motive are wrong.

Summary

Yeshua said that if we only ‘love those loving us’ we have no reward with the Father. For, even <sinners love sinners who love them> Luke 6:32-36. It is something normal for people to like people who like them. It is easy to love those loving us. The true test for real disciples of the Nazarene is to learn to love those who do not love or like you. According to Yeshua this is demonstrated by several manifestations:
a) praying for those who hate you;
b) doing good to those who treat you as an enemy 
c) give charity and money to even the wicked and ungrateful.
(Read Matthew 5:42-48; Luke 6:32-36)

We have noticed in Shaul’s list of love’s attributes he has not mention those emotional feelings we often associate with the English word ‘love’. Actually, agape-love is based on principle and correct motive, not on emotional feelings. Other Greek words are reserved for tenderness or affection. However, it is easy to see in kindness, patience, and giving a high degree of fellow feeling and even tenderness.

Today we rub elbows daily with people driven by hidden agendas. People who only think of themselves first. People who play games. People who manipulate for selfish reasons. This puts the Nazarene disciple at a disadvantage in a “dog eat dog world.” But then, here is where the test enters. The true disciple will be easily recognisable, even by enemies, by Nazarene love. This will be a living sermon far grander than the most charismatic preacher. Our best praise of the Eternal may be the love we show and thus prove we are disciples of the Nazarene. (John 13:35) It may be accurately said that the love we show is part of our worship –Hebrews 13:15.
With the disciple of the Nazarene love is not a choice, it is a command:

John 15:17 [Lamsa New Testament]
I command these things to you, so that you love one another. 

Source: Nazarene Commentary 2000© by Mark Heber Miller
            Used by permission – Shaun Miller
            Edited by Nazarene Notes

            The verses from The Hebrew Gospels from Sepharad are
            used by permission from the Van Rensburg family
            hebrewgospels.com

                Aramaic-English New Testament – Compiled , edited and translated by Andrew Gabriel Roth

 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture was taken from The Scriptures
Copyright by Institute for Scripture Research.
Used by permission.