New International Version
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
King James Bible
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
Darby Bible Translation
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part:
World English Bible
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;
Young's Literal Translation
for in part we know, and in part we prophecy;
1 Corinthians 13:9 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For we know in part - We have here but little knowledge even of earthly, and much less of heavenly, things. He that knows most knows little in comparison of what is known by angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. And as we know so very little, how deficient must we be if we have not much love! Angels may wonder at the imperfection of our knowledge; and separate spirits may wonder at the perfection of their own, having obtained so much more in consequence of being separated from the body, than they could conceive to be possible while in that body. When Sir Isaac Newton had made such astonishing discoveries in the laws of nature, far surpassing any thing that had been done by all his predecessors in science from the days of Solomon; one of our poets, considering the scantiness of human knowledge when compared with that which is possessed by the inhabitants of heaven, reduced his meditations on the subject to the following nervous and expressive epigram: -
Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal man explain all nature's law,
Admired such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And show'd our Newton as we show an ape.
These fine lines are a paraphrase from a saying of Plato, from whom our poet borrows without acknowledging the debt. The words are these: ανθρωπον ὁ σοφωτατος προς θεον πιθηκος φανειται· "The wisest of mortals will appear but an ape in the estimation of God." Vid. Hipp. Maj. vol. xi. p. 21. Edit. Bipont.
We prophesy in part - Even the sublimest prophets have been able to say but little of the heavenly state; and the best preachers have left the Spirit of God very much to supply. And had we no more religious knowledge than we can derive from men and books, and had we no farther instruction in the knowledge of God and ourselves than we derive from preaching, our religious experience would be low indeed. Yet it is our duty to acquire all the knowledge we possibly can; and as preaching is the ordinary means by which God is pleased to instruct and convert the soul, we should diligently and thankfully use it. For we have neither reason nor Scripture to suppose that God will give us that immediately from himself which he has promised to convey only by the use of means. Even this his blessing makes effectual; and, after all, his Spirit supplies much that man cannot teach. Every preacher should take care to inculcate this on the hearts of his hearers. When you have learned all you can from your ministers, remember you have much to learn from God; and for this you should diligently wait on him by the reading of his word, and by incessant prayer.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
'Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 13. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three....'--1 COR. xiii. 8, 13. We discern the run of the Apostle's thought best by thus omitting the intervening verses and connecting these two. The part omitted is but a buttress of what has been stated in the former of our two verses; and when we thus unite them there is disclosed plainly the Apostle's intention …
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)
Now, and Then
Charity and Loneliness.
Revival in the Home
1 Corinthians 8:2
Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.
1 Corinthians 13:10
but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
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