Such lovely words…I had this beautiful image on my profile for the longest…. One night, I wanted to read the surrounding passage for this verse. So I flipped to 1 Corinthians 13:4, and I could NOT find that verse in my Bible! I went back to my profile again, just to make sure I had the right verse, and it said 1 Corinthians 13:4. I’m thinking–is there a typo in this image?! Then I grabbed my mom’s small God’s Promises book, and I found the same, “Love is patient, Love is kind” verse–and it said 1 Corinthians 13:4. I was trippin’–How could that verse NOT be in my Bible?!! So when I read what my Bible had, it read: 1 Corinthians 13
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,”
No wonder I didn’t recognize it! And Wait a minute…”Charity” is replaced with “Love“?
Then I saw the letters NIV for the image (meaning New International Version), and my Bible was the King James Version.
That one-word change was a major interpretation difference for me. When the verse said “love,” I thought of a friendship or relationship kind of love…but when I read the word “charity,” I thought of a “love” that extends to everyone, your fellow man–not just people you know. I felt so misled…
This discovery happened a few years ago not long after I became a born again believer. Now, thanks to great study tools on the internet, the original Hebrew and Greek words are available for the King James Version on sites like findaverse.com and blueletterbible.org. When I looked up the original word for love or charity, “agape,” I learned that “charity” was too limited to describe agape and “love” was too broad, as agape is one of 4 types of love (storge, eros, phileo, & agape). Some may argue that “love” in the modern versions is a better translation for agape than “charity.” That argument would have convinced me to use various Bible versions for my study….until I found out 2 key characteristics about King James Version:
1) The KJV is a word-for-word translation unlike many of the modern Bible versions, which are paraphrased translations. This is why thou, thee, and ye’s are necessary because the current English doesn’t distinguish between you-singular and you-plural like the Old English and most other languages. This may not seem to be a big deal until the issue of who God is talking to or addressing comes up. I’ve had some major revelations from this seemingly minor grammatical issue.
2) The KJV has italicized words indicating which words the translators added to make sense of the passage but were not in the original Hebrew or Greek text. The modern versions do NOT indicate what’s added or changed. Sometimes, the italicized words only dealt with syntax by adding simple linking verbs and pronouns. But others times, it was words that the translators thought should be there, when they did not understand the deeper meaning of what they were translating. You will be amazed at how different some of the passages would read when you omit the italicized words.
Given those 2 characteristics of the KJV and my previous experience, I considered the KING JAMES VERSION as my own personal preference…BUT I had NO idea how the alterations in the newer versions were FAR MORE SERIOUS than a “charity” to “love” change. Continue to Part 2 to find out just how serious….
In His Love,