1 Corinthians13:1

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If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have sacrificial love,

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I have become  loud, reverberating

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bronze or a clanging

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If God gives me the ability to speak in any human language or even in the language of angels, but I do not show sacrificial love to others, my speaking in those languages is just a lot of loud noise with no meaning, or at best a noise that sounds nice but still has no meaning.



This is the kind of love that sees something in others worth investing in, even if no one else sees it. It is willing to act in a self-sacrificing manner in order to help the other person. It is the giving kind of love; it seeks the good of others without emotion and without wanting anything in return.

2: “loud, reverberating”:

This is their word for “loud noise.” When context calls for it, this word is rendered “roar.” It is the verbal form of the word from which we get our word “echo.” The focus of this word is that the sound being produced is “loud.”


“Clanging” is an onomatopoetic word in Greek that sounds like someone is trying to imitate a clanging noise with his tongue; it is transliterated into English as “alaladzon.”


Cymbal”: We get our word for cymbal from this Greek word. It means a hollowed basin made of brass; when two of these were struck against each other, they produced the sound we know as cymbals.


There are many ways to apply “the love chapter” to our relationships, and these have been made clear by everyone who preaches from it. I do not wish to minimize those points at all for they are real, powerful, and important. I trust you will find my translation, paraphrase and footnotes to be helpful in bringing more light and power to the topic of relationships. However, the purpose behind my comments about this passage will be to point out its connection to the topic of spiritual gifts and especially to speaking in tongues.

You will notice as we go through this chapter, that the topic of tongues is brought up several times.

Love must be a key component of spiritual gifts because those gifts must be exercised in a way that puts others first – in love. Paul has already brought up this point in 12:7.