John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 13:13 - 13:13

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John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 13:13 - 13:13


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1Co 13:13. Νυνὶ δὲ μένει, but now abideth) This is not strictly said of duration; for these three things do not meet in it; since faith is terminated in sight, and hope in joy, 2Co 5:7; Rom 8:24 : love alone continues, 1Co 13:8 : but it refers to their value, in antithesis to prophecy, etc., in this sense: On calculating accounts [on weighing the relative values] these three things are necessary and sufficient; let only these three stand; these exist; these abide, nothing more. A man may be a Christian without prophecy, etc., but not without faith, hope, love. Comp. on the verb, μένω, I abide, Rom 9:11; 1Co 3:14; 2Co 3:11; Heb 13:1. Faith is directed to God; hope is in our own behalf; love is towards our neighbour. Faith is properly connected with the economy of the Father; Hope with the economy of the Son; Love with the economy of the Holy Ghost, Col 2:12; Col 1:27; Col 1:8. And this too is the very reason of the order in which these three things are enumerated. νυνὶ, now, has the effect of an epitasis[121] [and shows what are the especial duties of us travellers on the way to the heavenly city.-V. g.]-τρία, three) only. Many are not necessary. Paul often refers to these three graces. Eph 1:15; Eph 1:18; Php 1:9-10; Col 1:4-5; Col 1:22, note; 1Th 1:3; 1Th 5:8; 2Th 1:3-4; Tit 1:1-2; Heb 6:10, etc. Sometimes he mentions both faith and love, sometimes faith [by itself] denoting by synecdoche the whole of Christianity, 1Th 3:6; 1Th 3:5. In a wicked man we find infidelity, hatred, despair.-ταῦτα, these) Heb. הם, i.e. are, viz. greater than prophecies, etc.-ΜΕΊΖΩΝ, greater) the greatest, of these, of the three. He not only prefers love to prophecy, but even to such things as excel prophecy. Love is of more advantage to our neighbour, than faith and hope by themselves: comp. greater, 1Co 14:5. And God is not called faith or hope absolutely, whereas He is called love.

[121] An emphatic addition augmenting the force.-Append.