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What Love Must Be and Cannot Be

1 Corinthians 13 (English Standard Version)


1 Corinthians 13

The Way of Love

 1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have(A) prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith,(B) so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3(C) If I give away all I have, and(D) if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing. 4(E) Love is patient and(F) kind; love(G) does not envy or boast; it(H) is not arrogant 5or rude. It(I) does not insist on its own way; it(J) is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6it(K) does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but(L) rejoices with the truth. 7(M) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,(N) endures all things.

 8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For(O) we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but(P) when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For(Q) now we see in a mirror dimly, but(R) then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as(S) I have been fully known.

 13So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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