1If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. 2If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fulness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. 3If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.
4Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; 5it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. 6Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; 7it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.
8Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail.
9For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; 10but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear.
11When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me.12Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.
13In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.
All scriptures are from the JERUSALEM BIBLE Copyright© 1966, 1967, 1968 by Darton, Longmand & Todd LTD and Doubleday and Co. Inc. All rights reserved.