Love as Interpretive Virtue

There is much in Paul’s description of ‘love’ in 1 Corinthians 13.4-12 that could be taken on in our work as interpreters. Attentiveness and thoroughness requires patience, our claims to know require humility for we know only in part, we should not become arrogant or insist that we have interpreted the text right. Have a read and see what you think.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

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