By Pete Hamilton
Charity or Love?
Question No. 3 of Wilson Casey’s “Test Your Faith” quiz in the Extra section of the Aug. 18 issue of The Roanoke Times asked which virtue was cited as the greatest in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: “Faith,” “Love,” “Charity” or “Tithes”? The correct answer was listed as “Charity.” The reference is, of course, to I Corinthians 13:13. While the King James Version uses the word “charity,” most modern translations use the word “love.” Hence, there were actually two correct answers to the question.
While this might seem to be a trivial matter, I believe that the distinction between these two words is often misunderstood. I recognize that many Christians who are rather fundamental in their beliefs reject the modern biblical translations in favor of the King James Version. I Corinthians 13:13 is one of the reasons sometimes cited for this preference. As I probe the reasoning for this, the meaning of the word “charity” becomes critical.
Hamilton is retired and lives in Rockbridge County.