The Priority & Primacy of Love

Last Fall I taught a course on Galatians, so at home we read through Galatians 5:13-26 regularly.  This Spring I’m teaching 1 Corinthians, so we’ve read chapter 13 repeatedly over the last four months.

I must confess (and I’m sure I’m the only one like this) that I tend to think first about how others in my family need to change in order to heed Paul’s exhortations (it’s so obvious how they need to repent!).

But 1 Corinthians 13 has really worked me over, exposing corrupted motivations, attitudes, small habits of selfishness, and speech patterns in need of transformation.

It’s such a brilliantly lovely articulation of the grittiness of love and how it’s embodied in the mundane realities of everyday relationships.

I put the chapter into a document in four translations and have it in my office to read through regularly.  I’ve also been taking notes on some practical ways Paul’s description needs to find its way into my relationships with others in my family.

It’s been a fruitful exercise.

If you’d like it, here’s the document.

3 thoughts on “The Priority & Primacy of Love

  1. Andrew T.

    I assume Paul, in speaking of love, is speaking about the love of God, the exemplar by which all other humanly love is modelled, and relative to, is defective …

    It is a good reference document! Nevertheless, I assume that in speaking of these comparisons, though humanly love should reflect this ‘love of Christ’ perfectly (as we are able), and be modelled upon it, you’re not suggesting we ought to equivocate between the exemplar and the example?

  2. Frank

    This is one of my favorite chapters in the bible! If, and when, we are able to live by it, it can be the most liberating verses in all of scripture! Thanks for sharing the doc, I love Peterson take on it.

  3. Laurence Angell

    Tim: Thanks so much for using Eugene Peterson”s “The Message” Bible translation of 1 Corinthians 13. I use this translation often. I know that some think that it is a paraphrase, but when one looks at the list of translators, it seems to be an accurate translation (as much as a translation can be accurate.) I am learning to read Biblical Greek and I hope to someday be able to read the Greek and Hebrew myself. Until then, I’ll use “The Message” as one of my best sources.

Leave a Reply to Andrew T. Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s