Thursday, February 14, 2008

love: ἀγάπη

Today seems good enough for thoughts on love. We’re reading someone else’s Greek mail (from Saul/Paul, dual citizen of Rome and of the Jewish community of remote Tarsus; to a Jewish-Greek assembly called up in Corinth; around 54 CE). We’re reading someone else’s translation into English (from Suzanne McCarthy, who shares with us on one of her blogs her desire “to integrate some of the ideas found in Alter's translation of the Pentateuch, as well as Anne Carson's translations of Sappho”; and she acknowledges “significant input” from “the Good News Bible, the CEV, the TNIV and the Rotherham Bible; 2007 CE).

If with the tongues of humans,
I talk, and even of angels -
but love, I have not,
I am become a timbring gong
or a tinkling cymbal.

And if I have prophesy
and fathom all mysteries
and all knowledge
and if I have faith
to remove mountains

But do not have love

I am nothing.

And if I give away all my belongings
And surrender my body to suffering
for the sake of self glory

But do not have love

I gain nothing.

Love is generosity of spirit
Love is acts of kindness. Kindness in deed is love.

ἐὰν ταῖς γλώσσαις τῶν ἀνθρώπων
λαλῶ καὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων
ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω
γέγονα χαλκὸς ἠχῶν
ἢ κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον

καὶ ἐὰν ἔχω προφητείαν
καὶ εἰδῶ τὰ μυστήρια πάντα
καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γνῶσιν
καὶ ἐὰν ἔχω πᾶσαν τὴν πίστιν
ὥστε ὄρη μεθιστάναι

ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω
οὐθέν εἰμι

κἂν ψωμίσω πάντα τὰ ὑπάρχοντά μου
καὶ ἐὰν παραδῶ τὸ σῶμά μου
ἵνα καυχήσωμαι

ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω
οὐδὲν ὠφελοῦμαι

ἡ ἀγάπη μακροθυμεῖ
χρηστεύεται ἡ ἀγάπη

It does not envy


does not brag
does not puff up
does not act shamefully
does not seek self
does not get irritated
does not find fault

does not delight at injustice
but rejoices along with truth

always sustains
always trusts
always hopes
always supports


never fails.

οὐ ζηλοῖ

ἡ ἀγάπη

οὐ περπερεύεται
οὐ φυσιοῦται
οὐκ ἀσχημονεῖ
οὐ ζητεῖ τὰ ἑαυτῆς
οὐ παροξύνεται
οὐ λογίζεται τὸ κακόν

οὐ χαίρει ἐπὶ τῇ ἀδικίᾳ
συγχαίρει δὲ τῇ ἀληθείᾳ

πάντα στέγει
πάντα πιστεύει
πάντα ἐλπίζει
πάντα ὑπομένει

ἡ ἀγάπη οὐδέποτε πίπτει

Whether prophesies, they will be left aside
or tongues they will end
or knowledge it will be left aside.

For in part we know
and in part we prophesy
but when that which is complete comes the end comes

that which is in part will be left aside.

When I was a child
I talked like a child
I thought like a child
I argued like a child

But when I became an adult
The things of a child I left aside.

Now we see
through the looking glass
in riddles
but then face to face.

Now we know in part
But then we will know
Even as we are known.

As so remain faith, hope and love,
these three things
but the greatest of these



εἴτε δὲ προφητεῖαι καταργηθήσονται
εἴτε γλῶσσαι παύσονται
εἴτε γνῶσις καταργηθήσεται

ἐκ μέρους γὰρ γινώσκομεν
καὶ ἐκ μέρους προφητεύομεν
ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ τὸ τέλειον
τὸ ἐκ μέρους καταργηθήσεται

ὅτε ἤμην νήπιος
ἐλάλουν ὡς νήπιος
ἐφρόνουν ὡς νήπιος
ἐλογιζόμην ὡς νήπιος

ὅτε γέγονα ἀνήρ
κατήργηκα τὰ τοῦ νηπίου

βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι
δι' ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι
τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον

ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους
τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι
καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην

νυνὶ δὲ μένει πίστις ἐλπίς ἀγάπη
τὰ τρία ταῦτα
μείζων δὲ τούτων
ἡ ἀγάπη

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