Love and Charity?

February 02, 2004


Halley Suitt has decided to type in 1 Corinthians 13 in a number of different English translations and a couple of other versions as well. I approve.

Oddly enough, her version of the King James replaces "charity" with "love." I don't know why.

I always preferred charity as the English translation of agape. Her French translation uses charité. The word is most famously associated with John Winthrop's A Model of Christian Charity (modern spelling), a sermon about the role of love as the glue holding together an organic society predicated on inequality of station and commonality of purpose.

I was struck by her choice simply because, as Kenneth Cmiel points out in Democratic Eloquence one of the great complaints about the Revised Bible of the late 19th century was that it replaced the King James' "charity" with the modern "love." The two words have very different connotations and very different constellations of meaning and reference; Charity is a fine hortatory name for a daughter, but few of us would name a child Love.

I wonder if Halley copied her extracts from a web source?

Posted by Red Ted at February 2, 2004 10:42 AM | TrackBack