CHARITY

There is perhaps no passage in the Bible which is better known than that famous verse in the first letter to the church in Corinth, "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." Whether charity is the best translation of the original, or whether the revisers of 1885 were well advised in adopting the word love, is no mere matter of scholarship. The variation between the two contains a deep metaphysical lesson which the superficial reader is apt to pass over. One of the greatest Greek scholars of our own times has pointed out that the Greek word has a peculiar religious ethical meaning. It was a perception of this which induced the revisers of 1611 to reject Tyndale's rendering of love and return to Wyclif's adoption of the word charity.

The fact is that the Jacobean translators perceived something that was quite clear to the greatest thinker of their age, perhaps of any age, that "because of the indifferencie and aequiuocation of the word Loue with impure Love," it had failed to express the meaning of the apostle. Unfortunately, the revisers could not impart to those without ears to hear, their own spiritual perception of what the change meant. Just as the true sense of love had been lost in the physical sense, so the true sense of charity was, in turn, lost in the material act of almsgiving, so impossible is it for the human mind to regard things metaphysically. Faced with this narrowed vision of the Christ, the revisers of 1885 returned to the rendering of Tyndale, of Cranmer, and of Geneva. It is only necessary to quote perhaps the most perfect extant translation of the passage to show what the materialization of the apostle's wonderful words has lost to humanity:—

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APPLIED TRUTH
May 3, 1913
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