Wednesday, June 01, 2016

1 Corinthians 13 (A Modern Translation)

To my regular readers: I'll try to have Scene 6 of my verse play up for next Wednesday. For now, this is what I have to offer, an idea I've toyed with for awhile:

(Image: 1 Corinthians 13 from the 4th-century manuscript Codex Vaticanus)
What follows is a satirical rendering of 1 Corinthians 13 (famously known as "the Love Chapter," and often read at weddings--you can read the real version here), as it would be translated if we were making it fit the most irresponsible notions of "love" at large in our culture today. I tried to make it whimsically humorous, but if it's even close to being true of our society, then it might be more sad than funny. 

1 Corinthians 13
1 If I post witty memes that make you smile, even if I don’t have love, I’m still the most interesting person in your Facebook feed. If I’m smart enough to win every debate in the comments section, and can do it without love, well, that’s as it should be. If I donate a little bit here and there, and sometimes volunteer for a good cause, even if without love, I still feel better about myself.

Love is instantaneous; love makes me feel good. It wants the best, claims the best, and, quite simply, is the best. Love thirsts for more; it fills the center spotlight; it's quick to stand up for its rights; it keeps score so it can know when the game is up. Love embraces even my dark side and never imposes beliefs or rules on me. It always permits, always tolerates, always fluctuates, and always keeps the back door open in case I need a way out.

Love never really commits. So where there are covenants, they will cease; where there are vows, they will be stilled; where there is intentional communication, it will pass away. For we only know each other in part and we commit to each other in part, 10 but after a few years of living together, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I decided that youth is too precious a thing to throw away, and I decided to live like a child forever. 12 For we can’t really know anyone through and through, not even ourselves; someday, maybe, we’ll be centered and content. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, and who wouldn’t love me then?

13 And now these three remain: tolerance, self-actualization, and love. And the most exciting of these is love.