1 Corinthians 13:8 - Why does Paul use different verbs?

Ben Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Wed Nov 24 12:16:08 EST 1999

On Tue 23 Nov 1999 (15:36:35), rinerd at hotmail.com wrote:
> I am writing an exegetical paper on 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 and I noticed
> that Paul uses KATARGHQHSONTAI for both PROFHTEIAI and GNWSIS. Yet, for
> GLWSSAI he uses the verb PAUSONTAI.  I was wondering if anyone has
> done any research concerning Paul's purpose in changing verbs.

 Dear Dwayne,

 Prophecy is the Gift which Paul rated the highest; whereas Tongues and
 Words of Knowledge are the ones the Corinthians most prided themselves on.
 GNWSIS is GNWSEIS in some MSS (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, G-London),
 assimilating all three to the Plural number. Is GNWSIS for LOGOS GNWSEWS
 (ch 12:8)?  If so, hence the Singular number.

 KATARGEW does not mean so much "to set aside, make ineffective" as
 "to put an end to", compare verse 11, KATHRGHKA TA TOU NHPIOU.
 Prophesyings and esoteric Gnosis will be abolished, put away, finished,
 (passive voice) by a sovereign act of God.

 Tongues however will 'stop of themselves' (middle). Some think this means
 that the Curse of the Tower of Babel will be lifted, and all will speak one
 language, the language of Zion; but the majority think that it is the Gift
 of Ecstatic Utterance that will cease. For himself, Paul would far rather
 speak five words in clear language, than a thousand words in an
 unintelligible babble (ch 14:19). The insensitive use of Tongues was
 bringing the Church and the Gospel into disrepute (ch 14:23).

 Love, hH AGAPH, on the other hand, "will never 'fall'" OUDEPOTE [EK]PIPTEI.
 Another verb to compare with KATARGHQHSONTAI and PAUSONTAI. All the Gifts
 are ephemeral and will fade away; only Love is forever.
 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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