Monthly Archives: June 2014

1 Corinthians Chapter 14:26-40

This will conclude Chapter 14. It’s a fairly long section.

26 Τί οὖν ἐστιν, ἀδελφοί; ὅταν συνέρχησθε, ἕκαστος ψαλμὸν ἔχει, διδαχὴν ἔχει, ἀποκάλυψιν ἔχει, γλῶσσαν ἔχει, ἑρμηνείαν ἔχει: πάντα πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν γινέσθω.

So what is it, brothers? When you come together, each has his own psalm, she has her own teaching, she has her own revelation, he has his own tongue, he has his own interpretation, let all become towards the building (presumably of the Community).

First,  I alternated he/she pronouns in the spirit of inclusiveness. I have been very remiss in doing this, largely because the Greek default setting is “he”, just as it is in Latin and the Romance languages with which I am familiar (Spanish and French). One can argue that I am contravening my precept about giving as literal a translation as possible, and that argument would be accurate. But, sometimes, you gotta break the rules a bit. It is exactly this sort of solid adherence to the strict rule that has maintained hurtful attitudes even into the 21st Century. I mean, really.

As for content: Paul started this letter discussing divisions in the Community; we’ve picked up the topic a couple of times since then; now, this seems to be something of a climax for the topic. Here what Paul is describing what sounds like a collection of individuals, that scarcely be called a community, let alone a Community. Each has her/his own psalm, teaching, and revelation. And why is this? It is due to speaking in tongues. Recalling that Paul has called this a gift of the spirit, and has told us that he does this on occasion, we have really gotten the sense that Paul does not see speaking in tongues as doing anything beneficial to the Community. Quite the opposite. Instead, it seems a source of division.

We–well, I–have been reviewing Paul’s attitude towards tongues; I’ve been discussing it for some time, because Paul has been talking about it for some time. It has gotten to the point where I’ve nearly lost the forest for the trees. Or the one tree of speaking in tongues. But look at the forest. Everyone has their own psalm, teaching, and revelation. How does this happen? To answer this, let’s keep in mind that speaking in tongues generally signifies what we have come to call an ‘ecstatic’ religious experience, meaning that the worshiper enters into the Spirit–as Paul describes it. 

Now, in very broad, and very general terms there are two sources of religious experience. The first is the passing along of orthodox doctrine that is tended by a professional priest-caste. This was how the ancient religions of Mesopotamia and Egypt worked. This is how Judaism worked, with the priests–often, if perhaps not exclusively–hereditary worked. This is how the Catholic Church operated–or, at least, this was their paradigm and their ideal–in the later Middle Ages. This is a corporate and collective practice of religious ritual, where all members are participating in more or less the same way. The second source of religious experience is the direct participation of the individual in the divine; this is what is usually meant by ‘ecstatic’ religion. Another term for this is ‘mysticism’. While the corporate governing body is, in theory, in favour of supporting the individual’s direct religious experience, in practice such corporate bodies are sometimes hostile to such personal experiences because they circumvent the religious establishment. This, to some degree makes the professional priests largely unnecessary. Which means their livelihood is at stake.

We have a well-documented example of what happens when mysticism becomes popular, in the sense that a large number of the members of the orthodox community start to practice ecstatic/mystical rituals. This occurred in the later Middle Ages when mysticism did indeed start to become popular, at least among a significant number of highly-placed clergy. This mystical movement had a big impact on Luther–and we know how that turned out for the corporate body of the erstwhile Catholic Church. What happened was that the Papacy became covertly–if not overtly–hostile to the mystical movement, condemning some of the more well-known mystics as heretics.

Is this what is happening here? At some point in the early-mid Second Century, what had become the Church hierarchy started to take active steps against Christians who claimed that they had experienced a new revelation. Often these revelations introduced new ideas into the thought of the Church, or at least introduced new interpretations of older ideas. Marcion is perhaps the most notable example. The effect of this is that Christian teaching became less homogeneous, and lack of homogeneity often leads to schism and then actual splitting into separate sects. This is what happened in the 16th Century. 

So the question we have to ask here is whether speaking in tongues was the ultimate root-cause of the different teachings that had introduced divisions into the Community. I will leave a fuller discussion of this to the Chapter summary. For now, it’s enough to ask the question.

26 Quid ergo est, fratres? Cum convenitis, unusquisque psalmum habet, doctrinam habet, apocalypsim habet, linguam habet, interpretationem habet: omnia ad aedificationem fiant.

27 εἴτε γλώσσῃ τις λαλεῖ, κατὰ δύο ἢ τὸ πλεῖστον τρεῖς, καὶ ἀνὰ μέρος, καὶ εἷς διερμηνευέτω:

Whether someone speaking in tongues, according to two (persons) or at most to three, and per each in turn, let one interpret what is said. 

Hmmm. If two or three, and no more than three should be speaking in tongues, only one is to interpret. Is this a method by which Paul is seeking to maintain something of a unity of interpretation? A way of preventing, to some degree at least, the introduction of novel, or multiple ideas about what it means to be a follower of Jesus?

27 Sive lingua quis loquitur, secundum duos aut ut multum tres, et per partes, et unus interpretetur;

28 ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ᾖ διερμηνευτής, σιγάτω ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ, ἑαυτῷ δὲ λαλείτω καὶ τῷ θεῷ.

But if there is no interpreter, let him keep peace in assembly, both to himself and to God.

Again, this sounds like Paul is trying to put a lid on novel interpretations. If you don’t know what is said, don’t say anything.

28 si autem non fuerit interpres, taceat in ecclesia, sibi autem loquatur et Deo.

29 προφῆται δὲ δύο ἢ τρεῖς λαλείτωσαν, καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι διακρινέτωσαν:

But two or three prophets, let them speak, and let the others  judge:

Comment deferred.

29 Prophetae duo aut tres dicant, et ceteri diiudicent;

30 ἐὰν δὲ ἄλλῳ ἀποκαλυφθῇ καθημένῳ, ὁ πρῶτος σιγάτω.

But if a thing has been revealed by another having been seated, let the first keep (his) peace.

Keep in mind this concept of something being revealed. I think this ties in with Paul and the revelation of the gospel that he received not through any human intermediary, but directly from God.

30 quod si alii revelatum fuerit sedenti, prior taceat.

31 δύνασθε γὰρ καθ’ ἕνα πάντες προφητεύειν, ἵνα πάντες μανθάνωσιν καὶ πάντες παρακαλῶνται,

For through one all can prophesy, so that all may learn and all may be comforted/exhorted.

The last word can mean either ‘comfort’ or ‘exhort’. Despite the Vulgate, the KJV chose ‘comfort’; my three modern cribs chose ‘exhort’. Which goes better with ‘learn’? I suppose it would be ‘exhort’. This seems to be a very clear instance of what I’ve been calling consensus translations. What does the word mean in this context? Make a case and there you are.

31 Potestis enim omnes per singulos prophetare, ut omnes discant, et omnes exhortentur;

32 καὶ πνεύματα προφητῶν προφήταις ὑποτάσσεται:

And the spirits of prophets are put under prophets:

This is very interesting. First, in the verb << ὑπο-τάσσω >>, the second half (after the hyphen that separates the prepositional prefix from the main verb) is the same word that gives us “syntax”. So, the spirits of prophets are literally arranged under prophets. Note, however, that this is generally translated as ‘subject to’, in the sense, I suppose, that the spirits are controlled by prophets. In fact, the NIV renders this as ‘controlled by prophets’, actually adding the words ‘controlled by’ for additional clarity. Back to this in a moment.

Second, the spirits of prophets? This is, I believe, the first time that we’ve seen ‘spirit’ referring to anything really connected to a human. IOW, humans have spirits. Here we are taking the first step to the idea of a soul. So this is a really significant usage of this word. 

Finally, what does this actually mean? The spirits of prophets are arranged under prophets? Or subject to prophets? Or subject to control by prophets? Are the spirits different from the prophets? Are the prophets with the spirits different from the prophets to whose control they are subject (although it would seem like this would have to be true).  Curious, I looked to see what Monsieur Calvin had to say about this. He takes it to mean that the second set of prophets are the ones in V 29-30; that the one who does prophecy is then subject to the opinion of others. This, he says, is not the proper reading, because this would imply that the action of the Spirit (as in Holy) would be subjected to human judgement. In a sense, he’s right, but I think that doesn’t fit in with what we’ve been discussing here.

In this section, we’ve been talking about the problems that can be caused by the inspiration of an individual by the Spirit/spirit. This leads to a state of continued revelation which, while admirable in one way, can cause problems for a body of orthodox beliefs. However, if the utterances of these prophets, who are speaking out during the assembly (“church” is grossly anachronistic for this period), are then considered by the others assembled, or at least by those who have prophesied, or do prophesy, then we have a means of determining something of a ‘majority-rules orthodoxy’. 

This has huge implications for the Quest for the Historical Jesus (QHJ). I mentioned this when discussing Mark: there was no single set of Jesus’ sayings. He would have been heard by many people and repeated by many people, and many of these repetitions would not have agreed with the others. There was no single strand of Jesus tradition. This is something that the QHJ folk completely overlook. Theirs is a textual argument, not an historical one. Yes, they talk about separate traditions showing up in Matthew and Luke, but they believe it’s possible to trace the texts back to a single, definitive (more or less) form. I disagree. I disagree vehemently. However, we’ve already had one very long digression; let’s leave this here as merely long.

32 et spiritus prophetarum prophetis subiecti sunt;

33 οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἀκαταστασίας ὁ θεὸς ἀλλὰ εἰρήνης. Ὡς ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῶν ἁγίων,

For God is not of confusion but peace. As in all the Communities of the holy,

Comment deferred

33 non enim est dissensionis Deus sed pacis. Sicut in omnibus ecclesiis sanctorum,

34 αἱ γυναῖκες ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις σιγάτωσαν, οὐ γὰρ ἐπιτρέπεται αὐταῖς λαλεῖν: ἀλλὰ ὑποτασσέσθωσαν, καθὼς καὶ ὁ νόμος λέγει.

the women in the assembly, be silent, for they are not permitted to speak to others; but let them be arranged under (here, clearly ‘subject to’) [but subject to whom not specified] accordingly as the Law says.

So, while the Law may be disregarded on dietary restrictions, it must be followed when it comes to women keeping silent. I guess Paul feels able to pick and choose which parts of the Law are still operative. This says a lot about how he approaches the regulation of the Community.

Now, here’s a thought. Paul has built up this case against speaking in tongues, and now against unregulated prophecy, over a large section of this chapter. This indicates, IMO, that he believes it important that the case be strong and convincing, so that peace may be maintained in this Community, and among others. God is of peace, after all, not confusion. But here’s a thought: is all of this directed, specifically, at women? Are they the ones who are speaking gibberish, calling it ‘tongues’, and trying to introduce innovation into the Community? Perhaps an innovation such as women having at least a voice, if not an equal voice to that of men?

I don’t think this is an outrageous proposal.

34 mulieres in ecclesiis taceant, non enim permittitur eis loqui; sed subditae sint, sicut et Lex dicit.

35 εἰ δέ τι μαθεῖν θέλουσιν, ἐν οἴκῳ τοὺς ἰδίους ἄνδρας ἐπερωτάτωσαν, αἰσχρὸν γάρ ἐστιν γυναικὶ λαλεῖν ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ.

But if they (women, presumably) wish to learn something, in the house let them ask their own husband, for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the assembly.

It’s shameful. Now, discussing the a-la-carte approach to the Law, it must be said that, while the dietary restrictions set Jews apart, this attitude towards women fit right in. For most Classical-era Greeks, the best thing that could be said about one’s wife was that nothing could be said about her. She didn’t make waves, didn’t get uppity, she knew her place. Now, the legend is that Socrates’ wife Xanthippe (that we know her name is remarkable) was a bit of a hen-pecker, but being married to a ne’er do well like Socrates would have its problems. And the Spartans believed that the girls should train along side the boys so that they could produce healthier babies. But, overall, selecting this piece of the Law would have set well with many pagans.

35 Si quid autem volunt discere, domi viros suos interrogent; turpe est enim mulieri loqui in ecclesia.

36 ἢ ἀφ’ ὑμῶν ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐξῆλθεν, ἢ εἰς ὑμᾶς μόνους κατήντησεν;

Or, from you the word of God comes out, or to you alone did it come?

Implies very strongly that the women of this Community were trying to liberate themselves from some of these strictures.

Now, what does this mean? Where did these women get these ideas about being full participants in the worship? Was this a specifically Jesus-follower idea? It’s very tempting to see this as an indication that Jesus had a message about equality–which is true, to some extent, in the gospels–and so that women joined the new religion as a means of attaining a higher level of status. But then, Roman women, relative to other women in the ancient Mediterranean, had a degree of freedom and standing in the Law. So was it something that Jesus preached? Or was it something that the Romans practiced?

It was probably both. But this is a very clear indication that we cannot look inside the text of the NT alone for what was happening within the Community of Corinth.

36 An a vobis verbum Dei processit aut in vos solos pervenit?

37 Εἴ τις δοκεῖ προφήτης εἶναι ἢ πνευματικός, ἐπιγινωσκέτω ἃ γράφω ὑμῖν ὅτι κυρίου ἐστὶν ἐντολή:

If someone seems to be a prophet, or a spiritual person, let it be known what I have written you that it is the commandment of the lord:

Comment deferred

37 Si quis videtur propheta esse aut spiritalis, cognoscat, quae scribo vobis, quia Domini est mandatum. 

38 εἰ δέ τις ἀγνοεῖ, ἀγνοεῖται.

If someone does not know, let him not be known.

Basically, this seems to be an admonition not to speak unless you know what you’re talking about. The implication, of course, is that a woman cannot know what she’s talking about, so she should keep quiet.

38 Si quis autem ignorat, ignorabitur.

39 ὥστε, ἀδελφοί [μου], ζηλοῦτε τὸ προφητεύειν, καὶ τὸ λαλεῖν μὴ κωλύετε γλώσσαις:

So in this way, brothers (but not sisters?), be zealous about prophesy (literally, ‘to prophecy’), and do not hinder speaking in tongues.

Comment deferred

39 Itaque, fratres mei, aemulamini prophetare et loqui linguis nolite prohibere;

40 πάντα δὲ εὐσχημόνως καὶ κατὰ τάξιν γινέσθω.

But let all be well arranged, and according to (‘proper’ is implied) order.

40 omnia autem honeste et secundum ordinem fiant.

So the end lesson is that, neither prophecy nor speaking in tongues should be discouraged; but they must be done properly. That is, they must be done by men.

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1 Corinthians Chapter 14:13-25

Sorry for the gap in posts. I’m on family vacation, and the WiFi is spotty. So Chapter 14 continues.

13 διὸ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ προσευχέσθω ἵνα διερμηνεύῃ.

So let the one speaking in tongues (lit = ‘a tongue’) pray, in order to translate.

Bit of a question here: does the one speaking in tongues know what s/he is saying?  The implication here is that perhaps not. Else, why would it be be necessary to pray in order to provide the interpretation? We have seen before that Paul apparently believes in prayer as a means of communication with God, as a means of obtaining understanding by way of divine revelation*. Is this another example?

[*Explicitly, 7:12, the discussion about marriage. Implicitly, especially Chapter 5, when he comes up with his strictures on sexual morality.]

13 Et ideo, qui loquitur lingua, oret, ut interpretetur.

14 ἐὰν [γὰρ]προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ, τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται, ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν.

[ Forif we pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is fruitless.

If we needed it, more evidence that tongues were not necessarily–and most likely were not–understood by the person hearing. It seems, from this, that even the person speaking did not understand what s/he was saying.

14 Nam si orem lingua, spiritus meus orat, mens autem mea sine fructu est.

15 τί οὖν ἐστιν; προσεύξομαι τῷ πνεύματι, προσεύξομαι δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ: ψαλῶ τῷ πνεύματι, ψαλῶ δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ.

So what is it? I will pray in the spirit, I will pray in the mind; I will sing with the spirit, I will sing with my mind.

This is kind of interesting from a philosophical, or perhaps ontological perspective. In these past two verses he is contrasting the spirit and the mind; ergo, they are not the same thing. I think we moderns tend to conflate the spirit and the mind, as the non-corporeal part of us. For the Greeks–and so, it seems, for Paul–the two are not the same. 

Which leads to another question: to what degree was the spread of Greek language and thought responsible for the appearance of some of these ideas in Jewish thought? If Paul spoke Greek as a native language, then some cross-fertilization was inevitable. One of the ontological arguments for a soul is that there is a word for it, so it must denote something (I didn’t say it was a powerful argument). So when Jews started running into words like spirit and soul and such, did they start to assume that these words denoted something? Just because they were words? 

15 Quid ergo est? Orabo spiritu, orabo et mente; psallam spiritu, psallam et mente.

16 ἐπεὶ ἐὰν εὐλογῇς [ἐν] πνεύματι, ὁ ἀναπληρῶν τὸν τόπον τοῦ ἰδιώτου πῶς ἐρεῖ τὸ Ἀμήν ἐπὶ τῇ σῇ εὐχαριστίᾳ, ἐπειδὴ τί λέγεις οὐκ οἶδεν;

If  when you pray in the spirit, the one filling of the place of the individual how does one say ‘Amen’ upon your blessing, if what you say you do not know? 

The English is pretty tortured, but the gist is that praying is not effective if neither your audience nor you understand what is being said.

16 Ceterum si benedixeris in spiritu, qui supplet locum idiotae, quomodo dicet “ Amen! ” super tuam benedictionem, quoniam quid dicas nescit?

17 σὺ μὲν γὰρ καλῶς εὐχαριστεῖς, ἀλλ’ ὁ ἕτερος οὐκ οἰκοδομεῖται.

On the one hand, you pray beautifully, but (on) the other you do not build.

Essentially, form over content. It all sounds very nice, and the speaking in tongues sure sounds impressive, but there is no substance to any of it. It is all rather vain, as in the sense of ‘in vain’.

17 Nam tu quidem bene gratias agis, sed alter non aedificatur.

18 εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ, πάντων ὑμῶν μᾶλλον γλώσσαις λαλῶ:

I thank God, (that) I speak in tongues more than all of you.

OK, this is a bit odd. I get that Paul is, more or less, saying that speaking in tongues is really not a wonderful gift. It sounds nice, but whatever is said is not understood. As a result, there is little positive good that comes out of it. So in this verse he’s not so much talking up his gift of tongues as he is relieved that this ‘gift’ has not been more common among the Corinthians. 

This is odd for several reasons. And I use “odd” in the broadest sense: it provokes curiosity. Not so long ago, Paul was describing speaking in tongues as one of the gifts of the spirit (Holy or not; at this point, I prefer not). Since then, he’s been on a bit of a diatribe that seems to be minimizing the benefit of this ‘gift’; it really doesn’t do either the listener nor the speaker nor the Community much good, since no one knows what is being said. So, basically, what’s the point? But it’s also odd because it seems that Paul does this to some extent. This is a gift which has been given to Paul.

Now I don’t particularly want to go all psychoanalytical here, because a) I’m not particularly qualified to do so; and b) I don’t particularly see the point. However, we could discuss what William James called the “variety of religious experiences”. Before, we saw that Paul appeared to be one who prayed and then received revelation; here, he is telling us that he is prone to ecstatic religious moments, manifested by speaking in tongues. Think of this in terms of his conversion–the “Road to Damascus” moment that apparently didn’t happen on the road to Damascus, but was nonetheless a momentous experience that obviously (IMO) changed Paul’s entire outlook on life, which led to an entire change in life. But then, in Galatians he bragged about being a Hebrew among Hebrews, and the most zealous of his age cohort. So he was a man prone to strong religious conviction and action. So that he had a lightning-bolt conversion, and followed this up with speaking in tongues should not surprise us. This was how Paul was built, pretty much from the get-go. Or, it certainly preceded his conversion to the Christ. 

18 Gratias ago Deo, quod omnium vestrum magis linguis loquor;

19 ἀλλὰ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ θέλω πέντε λόγους τῷ νοΐ μου λαλῆσαι, ἵνα καὶ ἄλλους κατηχήσω, ἢ μυρίους λόγους ἐν γλώσσῃ.

But in the community I wish to speak five words, so that I will also instruct others, (rather) than a myriad words in tongues.

The Greek ‘myriad’ literally means 10,000. But, just in case you haven’t been paying attention, speaking in tongues is not a particular benefit. So five plain words are better than 10,000 in a language no one understands. I believe this came after Confucius’ famous “a picture is worth 10,000 words”. 

19 sed in ecclesia volo quinque verba sensu meo loqui, ut et alios instruam, quam decem milia verborum in lingua.

20 Ἀδελφοί, μὴ παιδία γίνεσθε ταῖς φρεσίν, ἀλλὰ τῇ κακίᾳ νηπιάζετε, ταῖς δὲ φρεσὶν τέλειοι γίνεσθε.

Brothers, do not be childish in the understanding, but you are childish in your bad ways, but by understanding you are completed.

Not entirely sure how this follows. Change of subject?

20 Fratres, nolite pueri effici sensibus, sed malitia parvuli estote; sensibus autem perfecti estote.

21 ἐν τῷ νόμῳ γέγραπται ὅτι Ἐνἑτερο γλώσσοις καὶ ἐν χείλεσιν ἑτέρων λαλήσω τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ, καὶ οὐδ’ οὕτως εἰσακούσονταί μου, λέγει κύριος.

In the law it is written that “In other tongues / and with other lips I will speak to this people / and not in this way will they hear me,” says the lord.

No doubt this goes to the heart of Judaism, but once again we have the motif of the people that do not, or cannot follow their Lord God. Now, in this case, does  this refer back to those members of the Community who don’t follow by virtue of their not understanding due to speaking in tongues? 

21 In lege scriptum est:  “In aliis linguis et in labiis aliorum / loquar populo huic, / et nec sic exaudient me”, / dicit Dominus.

22 ὥστε αἱ γλῶσσαι εἰς σημεῖόν εἰσιν οὐ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἀπίστοις, ἡ δὲ προφητεία οὐ τοῖς ἀπίστοις ἀλλὰ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν.

In this way the tongues are signs, not to the believers, but to the non-believers, but prophecy (is a sign) not to the unbelievers but to the believers.

This is interesting: speaking in tongues is for non-believers. Does this mean that it’s sort of showy, gets attention, but, ultimately, it does nothing to enhance the faith of those who believe? Actually, yes. This is what he’s been telling us, about how speaking in tongues doesn’t build the community.  Prophecy, OTOH, does build the Community. Both are gifts of the spirit, but prophecy seems to carry more significance.

22 Itaque linguae in signum sunt non fidelibus sed infidelibus, prophetia autem non infidelibus sed fidelibus.

23 Ἐὰν οὖν συνέλθῃ ἡ ἐκκλησία ὅλη ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ πάντες λαλῶσιν γλώσσαις, εἰσέλθωσιν δὲ ἰδιῶται ἢ ἄπιστοι, οὐκ ἐροῦσιν ὅτι μαίνεσθε;

So if the Community should come together, the whole as the same one, and all speak in tongues, but will laymen or non-faithful come in they ask if you are mad? 

He doesn’t ask if the laymen will understand; the assumption is, clearly, that they will not. Rather than hearing other languages, they will hear babble, and this will prompt them to question the collective sanity of the Community. Further evidence, I think.

BTW: the word translated as “laymen” would transliterate as ‘idiot’. I believe we’ve discussed this: in Greek, it means ‘an individual who keeps to himself and doesn’t participate in the government’. So it came to mean someone who didn’t have anything to say, which then evolved into ‘someone who’s not very bright’. But it also meant ‘someone without specific knowledge’; so, here it becomes ‘layman’.

23 Si ergo conveniat universa ecclesia in unum, et omnes linguis loquantur, intrent autem idiotae aut infideles, nonne dicent quod insanitis?

24 ἐὰν δὲ πάντες προφητεύωσιν, εἰσέλθῃ δέ τις ἄπιστος ἢ ἰδιώτης, ἐλέγχεται ὑπὸ πάντων, ἀνακρίνεται ὑπὸ πάντων,

If everyone prophecies, someone faithless or a layman may come  in, he is convicted by all, he will be judged by wall.

So, once again, prophecy is superior to speaking in tongues.

24 Si autem omnes prophetent, intret autem quis infidelis vel idiota, convincitur ab omnibus, diiudicatur ab omnibus,

25 τὰ κρυπτὰ τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ φανερὰ γίνεται, καὶ οὕτως πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον προσκυνήσει τῷ θεῷ, ἀπαγγέλλων ὅτι Ὄντως ὁ θεὸς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστιν.

The hidden things of one’s heart will become apparent, and in this way falling upon the face in obeisance to the Lord, announcing that “In reality, God is in you.”

25 occulta cordis eius manifesta fiunt; et ita cadens in faciem adorabit Deum pronuntians: “ Vere Deus in vobis est! ”.

And the effect of prophecy is salubrious; that of speaking in tongues…well, not so much.

1 Corinthians 14:1-12

Chapter 14 begins.

1 Διώκετε τὴν ἀγάπην, ζηλοῦτε δὲ τὰ πνευματικά, μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε.

Pursue love, emulate things spiritual, but better that you prophesize.

Here we are with << ζηλοῦτε >> once again. It really means envy. Or it can mean envy. From the Latin, it provides the root of ’emulate’. The idea is to want something to the point of envy, so that you will contend for it by imitating the person you envy. So there are a lot of different ways to take this. The choice of most of my crib translations is ‘desire’; this works only if you keep in mind that this word can include sexual desire as well. Otherwise, the word is a bit too bland in English. Most of the potential intensity has been watered down with overuse.

As for content, we’re back on the spiritual track. So if you think of ‘desiring’ spiritual things in the sense of passion, you get an idea of the intensity with which Paul is telling the Community to become spiritual.

1 Sectamini caritatem, aemulamini spiritalia, magis autem, ut prophetetis.

2 ὁ γὰρ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις λαλεῖ  ἀλλὰ θεῷ, οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἀκούει, πνεύματι δὲ λαλεῖ μυστήρια:

For the one speaking in tongues is not speaking to men, but to God, for no one hears, but by the spirit one speaks the mysteries.

That’s an interesting take on speaking in tongues. I’ve always kind of wondered about that: why speak in tongues if no one is going to understand you?  Now, a question: does the idea of speaking to God like this sound like something Jews would believe in, or at least accept as possible? Yes, God spoke to Moses, and to the prophets, but I don’t get the sense that people did much talking with God by the First Century. In which case, is this mostly a pagan sensibility? But then, I don’t get the sense that pagans were speaking with gods all that often, either. Or is this part of the “Pater Noster” revolution? The new approach that Jesus and/or Paul helped bring into the world?

2 Qui enim loquitur lingua, non hominibus loquitur sed Deo; nemo enim audit, spiritu autem loquitur mysteria.

3 ὁ δὲ προφητεύων ἀνθρώποις λαλεῖ οἰκοδομὴν καὶ παράκλησιν καὶ παραμυθίαν.

The prophesying speaks to men for edification and exhortation and comfort.

When I say “edify”, I mean that rather literally, since that is what the Greek word literally means. It means ‘edify’, as in, ‘erect an edifice’. Note that the Latin is ‘aedificationem’, which pretty much sounds like what it is. Somehow, in the interim–at least in English–it went from ‘erecting an edifice’, to ‘instructing’.  

So the question is, ‘what does it mean here?’ That is, I think, truly a good question. Obviously, this is a figurative use, but in what way? A building up of…what? By putting it into the modern sense of ‘edify’ as in, ‘to teach/provide a positive example/lesson’ is anachronistic, I believe. But, honestly, I’m not sure how to take this, in this particular instance. But, to be honest, in this case, I don’t think it truly makes that much difference. It’s a nice logic puzzle to keep academics arguing back and forth, but it’s at least borderline moot.

3 Qui autem prophetat, hominibus loquitur aedificationem et exhortationem et consolationes.

4 ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ ἑαυτὸν οἰκοδομεῖ: ὁ δὲ προφητεύων ἐκκλησίαν οἰκοδομεῖ.

The one speaking in a tongue builds himself; the one prophesying builds the assembly.

Is this a clue? Perhaps the use of ‘to build’ is literal after all? Or, sort of figuratively literal? Here it seems like it should be taken as ‘building’ as in ‘making stronger’ as in, ‘stronger in faith’ perhaps? 

But to the main point. Speaking in tongues, apparently, has little benefit for the Community as a whole. By doing so, one speaks with God, and builds oneself. OTOH, prophecy, builds the Community by…how exactly? Providing information for all? By demonstrating the power of God to give prophecy, just as healing or working miracle would do? Seems like it’s something like that.

4 Qui loquitur lingua, semetipsum aedificat; qui autem prophetat, ecclesiam aedificat.

5 θέλω δὲ πάντας ὑμᾶς λαλεῖν γλώσσαις, μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε: μείζων δὲ ὁ προφητεύων ἢ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσαις, ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ διερμηνεύῃ, ἵνα ἡ ἐκκλησία οἰκοδομὴν λάβῃ.

I wish all of you to speak in tongues, but better in order to prophecy; To prophecy is better than speaking in tongues, out of if not you should interpret, so that the assembly should receive building.

or–

I wish all of you to speak in tongues, but better in order to prophecy; To prophecy is better than speaking in tongues, unless you interpret, so that the Community should be strengthened. 

As warned, I’m providing very literal translations. This one, however, requires some interpreting; perhaps I’m speaking in tongues? “Literalese”? And I think ‘strengthened’ is a good substitute for ‘building’. I think that mostly captures the thrust of the original without being overly literal.

Now, this is interesting: he wishes everyone could speak in tongues? Well, that is, I think, being over-literal again. What he’s wishing is that all members of the Community should receive one of the gifts of the spirit. Prophecy would be preferable, but speaking in tongues is acceptable–so long as one provides the translation. Which is an interesting point: a translation is needed.

Finally, << ἐκκλησία >> This word literally means ‘a calling out’. It became the standard term for the political assembly of the people in Athens during the years of the democracy. So the first iteration I translated as ‘assembly’. However, this word, in English, has overt political overtones, just as it did in Greek, or for a lot of Greeks. Perhaps this had been loosened somewhat by Paul’s time, when the Assembly of Athens was three hundred years dead. It transliterates as ‘ekklesia’, or ‘ecclesia’. As such, it’s the root of ‘ecclesiastical’, and of the words iglesia and iglese. So it came to mean ‘church’. And, in fact, that is how most English translations render it in this passage. However, that is horribly anachronistic. “Church” is too fraught with additional meanings for the word to be used here without drastically colouring the implications for modern readers. Since “assembly” is too political, I’ve chosen “Community”. While a Latin root, I believe it gets the sense across without too much undue influence. It’s not really political, and it’s not a church, so I think this captures the spirit of the original. I’ve been using the term “Community” for some time now, without fully explaining the word behind it. My apologies.

5 Volo autem omnes vos loqui linguis, magis autem prophetare; maior autem est qui prophetat, quam qui loquitur linguis, nisi forte interpretetur, ut ecclesia aedificationem accipiat.

6 Νῦν δέ, ἀδελφοί, ἐὰν ἔλθω πρὸς ὑμᾶς γλώσσαις λαλῶν, τί ὑμᾶς ὠφελήσω, ἐὰν μὴ ὑμῖν λαλήσω ἢ ἐν ἀποκαλύψει ἢ ἐν γνώσει ἢ ἐν προφητείᾳ ἢ [ἐν] διδαχῇ;

But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will  I benefit you, if  I do not speak to you either in revelation or in knowledge or in prophecy or in teaching?

What I’m really getting here is that the whole idea of speaking in tongues implies that the listeners did not, at least generally, understand what the person speaking was saying. Now, I have to ask: if this is true, then what, really, was the point? Now, let’s think of this in relation to the famous description in Acts of the events of Pentecost, when the Holy Sprit (as it surely was by then; or, perhaps not?) allowed, or enabled the Eleven to speak in tongues so that the whole varied assembly of Jews of different linguistic backgrounds all hear Peter and the rest speaking in the hearers’ own language. What I am getting from these passages is that the Pentecost story is a much later development. That, by the time “Luke” got around to writing that story, the idea of speaking in tongues had mutated from what Paul describes here, to the idea of the Pentecost story. Or, more likely, that the author of Acts came up with this explanation of ‘speaking in tongues’ to create a purpose for the gift. By that I mean that he conceived of a set of circumstances in which speaking in tongues–and being understood by those hearing–carried a real benefit. Because think about it: Paul may have been a native Greek speaker; this would have been an immediate and compelling reason why he became the Apostle to the Gentiles: because Jerusalem Community spoke Aramaic, and the overwhelming majority of Gentiles did not. Most non-Jews in the eastern Mediterranean, OTOH, did speak at least a smattering of Greek. And the people of Corinth–native speakers of Greek–would probably not have spoken another language. Educated Romans of the period–like Pilate–would have been essentially bilingual in Latin and Greek, but they would not have spoken, as a rule, any of the languages of the subject people they ruled. So, given that most people were monolingual, what is the benefit of speaking in tongues?

The answer is that there is none. Paul flatly tells us so here. What’s good is speaking in tongues if you do not translate? He could impart great revelations, he says here, but what is the point if he’s speaking in a tongue that no one understands? And this would mean, essentiall, any language that was not Greek. The problem posed by speaking in tongues is not solved until Acts.  

6 Nunc autem, fratres, si venero ad vos linguis loquens, quid vobis prodero, nisi vobis loquar aut in revelatione aut in scientia aut in prophetia aut in doctrina?

7 ὅμως τὰ ἄψυχα φωνὴν διδόντα, εἴτε αὐλὸς εἴτε κιθάρα, ἐὰν διαστολὴν τοῖς φθόγγοις μὴ δῷ, πῶς γνωσθήσεται τὸ αὐλούμενον ἢ τὸ κιθαριζόμενον;

In the same way, the soul-less sounds being given, whether the flute or the kithera, if  the difference to the sounds is not given, how will you know the fluting or the harping?

Q.E.D. This is exactly the point that I just made. If you don’t know, how do you distinguish the flute from the kithera (harp)? Or if you don’t know the language, how do you know what is being said? Answer: you don’t.

7 Tamen, quae sine anima sunt vocem dantia, sive tibia sive cithara, nisi distinctionem sonituum dederint, quomodo scietur quod tibia canitur, aut quod citharizatur?

8 καὶ γὰρ ἐὰν ἄδηλον σάλπιγξ φωνὴν δῷ, τίς παρασκευάσεται εἰς πόλεμον;

And for if  the trumpet should give an uncertain soud, who will prepare themselves towards battle (lit = ‘war’)

The metaphor continues.

8 Etenim si incertam vocem det tuba, quis parabit se ad bellum?

9 οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς διὰ τῆς γλώσσης ἐὰν μὴ εὔσημον λόγον δῶτε, πῶς γνωσθήσεται τὸ λαλούμενον; ἔσεσθε γὰρ εἰς ἀέρα λαλοῦντες.

In this way you because of the the tongues do not give understood speech (speech that is understood), how is it known what is said? For you will be speaking in the air.

or–

Because, in this way, if you do not say what is understandable because of the language you speak, how will anyone know what you said? For you will be blowing empty air.

That seems pretty clear. Don’t think I need to add anything. 

9 Ita et vos per linguam nisi manifestum sermonem dederitis, quomodo scietur id, quod dicitur? Eritis enim in aera loquentes.

10 τοσαῦτα εἰ τύχοι γένη φωνῶν εἰσιν ἐν κόσμῳ, καὶ οὐδὲν ἄφωνον:

How many, would you guess, races of languages are there in the world? And not one is without a voice.

10 Tam multa, ut puta, genera linguarum sunt in mundo, et nihil sine voce est.

11 ἐὰν οὖν μὴ εἰδῶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς φωνῆς, ἔσομαι τῷ λαλοῦντι βάρβαρος καὶ ὁ λαλῶν ἐν ἐμοὶ βάρβαρος.

So if I do not know the power of the voice. we, by the speaking, will be babblers, and the one speaking to me will be a babbler.

I am very deliberately translating << βάρβαρος <>> (which transliterates to ‘barbaros’–‘barbarian’) as ‘babbler’ because that is what the Greek word means. It does not mean ‘barbarian’ as we understand the word. At root, it means someone who does not speak Greek, so their language sounds like someone saying ‘bar-bar-bar’; in short, like someone babbling. There was no implication of cultural inferiority: the Greeks applied it both to Egyptians and Persians, both of whom they recognised as highly evolved culturally. The Romans applied it to the Germans, who definitely were less advanced culturally, and that is where it acquired our connotations.

11 Si ergo nesciero virtutem vocis, ero ei, qui loquitur, barbarus; et, qui loquitur, mihi barbarus.

12 οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς, ἐπεὶ ζηλωταί ἐστε πνευμάτων, πρὸς τὴν οἰκοδομὴν τῆς ἐκκλησίας ζητεῖτε ἵνα περισσεύητε.

In this way you also, when you are zealous of spiritual things, towards which you seek to build the assembly/community in order that you prosper.

12 Sic et vos, quoniam aemulatores estis spirituum, ad aedificationem ecclesiae quaerite, ut abundetis.

There isn’t much more to be said about this, I think. I’ve made my point, and it’s been borne out pretty effectively, I believe, through the text. 

Summary 1 Corinthians Chapter 13

Of all that we’ve read so far, this chapter is by far the most cohesive. It feels very much like a unit, all dealing with the same theme: ‘agape’. As a result, on the one hand, the message and the meaning of this chapter are very straightforward and very obvious. I had little or nothing to add in the way of interpretation or comment. Given that the term ‘agape’ not well attested outside of the NT, we could spend a lot of time talking about what ‘agape’ love means; but to do so would be to admit that we missed the point. Paul tells us what he thinks ‘agape’ means. That is precisely what the chapter is about: Paul is defining the term for us.

So, given the apparent non-complexity of the topic, and the fact that this is all about Paul’s conception of divine love, what is there to say? To answer, I refer back to Ernest Hemingway. His stories are so simple in form that it’s very easy to breeze through it and then at the end say, ‘well not much to that, was there?’, thereby missing the whole point of the story. And so it would be easy to do that with this chapter. We could read it, marvel at the beauty of the imagery and of the thoughts conveyed and then go about our business, completely missing the point.

In the chapter, I mentioned that this word ‘agape’ was not found in profane authors, that its use was limited largely to the NT. Consider that for a moment or two. It means that Paul more or less invented this term.  As the author of the earliest parts of the NT, he set the stage for those who came after. Put this with the fact that the chapter is basically a definition of the word, and we come to realise that in this chapter, Paul ushered a brand- new concept of love into the world. I’m surely not the first person to make that observation, but I’m just as sure that I’ve never come across it, in print or in person. I’ve heard selections of this passage countless times, but no one has remarked on the novelty of it. Paul had to spend the entire chapter defining the word because the idea expressed had not existed prior to this chapter being written. We don’t need to know what Liddell & Scott think about the word; Paul tells us what ‘agape’ means very, very clearly.

I’ve read Classics; mostly historical writing, but I’ve read other things as well. In my opinion and in my, admittedly limited,  experience, in the Meditations, Marcus Aurelius perhaps comes closest to expressing something like this sort of love. In the end, however, he is talking about ‘philos-love’, the love that you attach as a prefix to wisdom, or humankind, or stamp collecting. IOW, it’s not at all the same thing as Paul is describing. The love in Marcus Aurelius is too detached and too bloodless. So this leads to the next point. In reading about the QHJ, I’ve come across theories that Jesus’ central message was eschatological, dealing with the end times he was predicting. Or, I’ve read that he was a Cynic sage in the mold of Diogenes, traveling about and spouting wisdom sayings which were neatly–if fictitiously–collected in “Q”. What I haven’t seen much discussed is the possibility that Jesus’ message was about this kind of ‘agape-love’. Why is that? Thinking about it we only vague allusions to it, perhaps, in Mark, with Jesus hanging with the tax-collectors in a very forgiving way. But the underlying concept of ‘agape-love’ is buried pretty effectively, so all we get are those hints. But think for a moment. Do we get the Cynic stuff, and the end-times stuff because they fit ever-so-well into the context of the times? They do, remarkably well. But maybe that is precisely the problem.

In discussing the Baptist, I suggested that John fit too well into the context of one of the varieties of Judaism that were current in the First Century. Because he fit so well into this thought-world, he lacked a wider appeal and so became something of a footnote while there are millions of Christians alive today. Why? Why Jesus, and not John, or any of the others that Josephus mentions, or someone like Apollonius of Tyana? My suggestion is that they have all faded into the background because they can be explained in terms of that background, in terms of their times. People heard them, or witnessed their wonders, and then promptly forgot them. Jesus, OTOH, they remembered. And I would suggest that the reason Jesus was remembered is due to the fact that his message was something so novel it startled people.

If you are a speaker of English, living in the US, and you meet someone new with the surname of Smith or Johnson, it’s often hard to recall the name later precisely because it is so usual. Someone with a name like Frazergrast, OTOH, will stick in your memory. Just so, I suggest, Jesus stuck out because he said something unusual. If the Lord’s Prayer, the Pater Noster, was truly Jesus’ signature piece–and this is a big ‘if’–then maybe this chapter is the working-out of the message of Jesus. This is the explanation of what Jesus meant when he said ‘our father’.

“Love is patient, love is kind”…even a century later, Marcus Aurelius had nothing comparable to this, and the Stoics were the ones who invented the idea of universal sibling-hood. Jesus took that a step–or two or three–further and crossed into truly novel territory. And in this chapter, perhaps, we get Paul explaining Jesus’ message. the message of  “our father”. We’ll return to this idea when we get to the relevant part of Matthew.

1 Corinthians Chapter 13 (in toto)

Chapter 13 is quite short, so we’ll consider as a single unit. As there are sixteen chapters in this letter, we are, numerically, three-quarters of the way through.  Of course, there is no real significance to this, but it is gratifying to see progress towards an end.

1 Ἐὰν ταῖς γλώσσαις τῶν ἀνθρώπων λαλῶ καὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, γέγονα χαλκὸς ἠχῶν ἢ κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον.

If in the tongues of men I speak, and of angels, but I do not have love, I become I sound like brass or tinkle like cymbals.

No doubt this is the most popular and most recognized passage in all of Paul. How many times have I heard this read at weddings? And justifiably so, because it is a beautiful piece of writing. The thought is wonderful, and quite possibly encapsulates what a lot of people think when they think of Christianity. Or, at least, it is what I think of and I wish it came more to the mind of others.

Now a word about << ἀγάπη >>. Of course the word means ‘love’; but which love? Well, it’s not sexual desire; that is ‘eros’. It’s not brotherly love, or dispassionate love, like the love of wisdom or of stamp collecting. That is philo-, as in Philadelphia, or philo-sophia, or phila-tely. It’s some other kind of love. One thing I did not realize is that this is largely a word of the NT. It does not appear in the works of profane ancient authors, per Liddell and Scott. The Latin translation is “caritas”, which comes from the word for heart. The Greek root for heart is “kardio”. The Latin is what gives us our word ‘charity’, and I think that’s probably a pretty good start. In fact, the KJV renders this as ‘charity’. Unfortunately, ‘charity’ has come to mean the assistance one gives to the poor; however, I think that is a good sense. We give because we love our fellow humans and wish to assist them.

I would really like to say that this is what Paul had in mind when he wrote this. Unfortunately, I cannot do that, because I don’t actually know that. No one really knows that. The best we can do, I think, is go back to the KJV, and trace the development of the word ‘charity’. This is a Christian word, and it has come to be defined in terms of later Christian thought on this.

1 Si linguis hominum loquar et angelorum, caritatem au tem non habeam, factus sum velut aes sonans aut cymbalum tinniens.

2 καὶ ἐὰν ἔχω προφητείαν καὶ εἰδῶ τὰ μυστήρια πάντα καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γνῶσιν, καὶ ἐὰν ἔχω πᾶσαν τὴν πίστιν ὥστε ὄρη μεθιστάναι, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, οὐθέν εἰμι.

And if I have prophecy, and I know all the mysteries and all the knowledge, and if I have all the faith as to move mountains, and I do not have love, I am nothing.

Just a quick comment: “mysteries” here does not mean the whodunit sort of thing. We’ve come across this before; it’s the term for religious rites, kept secret except to the initiated. So he’s saying if he’s a devotee of all the ancient mystery religions, such as Isis worship, or the Eleusynian mysteries, or any of the many others, and he’s been initiated into their secret rites, he’s still nothing without love.

2 Et si habuero prophetiam et noverim mysteria omnia et omnem scientiam, et si habuero omnem fidem, ita ut montes transferam, caritatem autem non habuero, nihil sum.

3 κἂν ψωμίσω πάντα τὰ ὑπάρχοντά μου,καὶ ἐὰν παραδῶ τὸ σῶμά μου ἵνα καυχήσωμαι, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, οὐδὲν ὠφελοῦμαι.

And if I feed all that I have, and if I give over my body in order to be burned, and I do not have love, I am not profited.

I don’t know if I need to comment further on this. The meaning is so plain, and has been made so clear through so many repetitions, that I doubt I can add much to this.

3 Et si distribuero in cibos omnes facultates meas et si tradidero corpus meum, ut glorier, caritatem autem non habuero, nihil mihi prodest.

4 Ἡ ἀγάπη μακροθυμεῖ, χρηστεύεται ἡ ἀγάπη, οὐ ζηλοῖ, [ἡ ἀγάπη] οὐ περπερεύεται, οὐ φυσιοῦται,

Love is patience; love is kind; it is not contentious (lit = ‘it does not compete’), love is not vain, it is conceited.

Just about the Greek: first, note that ‘love is patience’, not ‘patient’.  Second, the ‘love is kind’ and ‘love is vain’ should be rendered as verbs. Love is not kinding; love is not vaining. But that doesn’t work in English. And “love does not compete” is probably a reading that you’ve never quite encountered, but that really is the sense of the word. We’ve run across it before: it can mean envy, or jealousy, or even to emulate someone. But the ’emulation’ is done in order to compete with them. Hence, ‘love does not compete’.  I changed it to ‘it is not contentious’ because that does get the sense of the original, even at the expense of a little rigour.

4 Caritas patiens est, benigna est caritas, non aemulatur, non agit superbe, non inflatur,

5 οὐκ ἀσχημονεῖ, οὐ ζητεῖ τὰ ἑαυτῆς, οὐ παροξύνεται, οὐ λογίζεται τὸ κακόν,

It is not ambitious, it does not seek the things that are its own, it does not provoke, it does not think bad thoughts.

I may not have much to say for the rest of this…

5 non est ambitiosa, non quaerit, quae sua sunt, non irritatur, non cogitat malum,

6 οὐ χαίρει ἐπὶ τῇ ἀδικίᾳ, συγχαίρει δὲ τῇ ἀληθείᾳ:

It does not delight in wrong, it celebrates the truth.

6 non gaudet super iniquitatem, congaudet autem veritati;

7  πάντα στέγει, πάντα πιστεύει, πάντα ἐλπίζει, πάντα ὑπομένει.

It bears all, it believes all, it hopes all, it sustains all.

7 omnia suffert, omnia credit, omnia sperat, omnia sustinet.

8 Ἡ ἀγάπη οὐδέποτε πίπτει. εἴτε δὲ προφητεῖαι, καταργηθήσονται: εἴτε γλῶσσαι, παύσονται: εἴτε γνῶσις, καταργηθήσεται.

Love never falls, when there are prophecies, they will be made ineffective; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be ineffective.

8 Caritas numquam excidit. Sive prophetiae, evacuabuntur; sive linguae, cessabunt; sive scientia, destruetur.

9 ἐκ μέρους γὰρ γινώσκομεν καὶ ἐκ μέρους προφητεύομεν:

For from the part we know, and in part we prophecy;

9 Ex parte enim cognoscimus et ex parte prophetamus;

10 ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ τὸ τέλειον, τὸ ἐκ μέρους καταργηθήσεται.

For when the completion comes, those of the part  will be destroyed.

<< τέλειον >> literally means ‘the end’. Hence, ‘teleology’ is the study of end times. By extension, it can mean ‘completion’, and by further extension, it can mean ‘perfection’. This is how it’s usually rendered. I just wanted to retain some of the more basic meaning of the word. The idea is that those who are only partial, who have not been completed, or perfected, will be actively destroyed. Here we are on track towards the idea of the sinners going to Hell. The idea is that the imperfect ones will not be saved, or will not enter the life; so, logically, they will be destroyed. But the idea is still very vague. 

10 cum autem venerit, quod perfectum est, evacuabitur, quod ex parte est.

11 ὅτε ἤμην νήπιος, ἐλάλουν ὡς νήπιος, ἐφρόνουν ὡς νήπιος, ἐλογιζόμην ὡς νήπιος: ὅτε γέγονα ἀνήρ, κατήργηκα τὰ τοῦ νηπίου.

When we were children, we spoke as children, we understood as children, we thought as children; when I became a man, I put away the things of children.

11 Cum essem parvulus, loquebar ut parvulus, sapiebam ut parvulus, cogitabam ut parvulus; quando factus sum vir, evacuavi, quae erant parvuli.

12 βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι’ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον: ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

For we look now through a glass in an enigma, then (we will see) face to face; now I know in part, then we will know also as I am known.

I’ve seen this as ‘through a glass and darkly’. If you transliterate <<αἰνίγμα>>, you get ‘ainigmati’, or ‘anigma’.

12 Videmus enim nunc per speculum in aenigmate, tunc autem facie ad faciem; nunc cognosco ex parte, tunc autem cognoscam, sicut et cognitus sum.

13 νυνὶ δὲ μένει πίστις, ἐλπίς, ἀγάπη, τὰ τρία ταῦτα: μείζων δὲ τούτων ἡ ἀγάπη.

Now remain these three things, faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.

13 Nunc autem manet fides, spes, caritas, tria haec; maior autem ex his est caritas.