1 Corinthians13:3

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and if I give away all my possessions and even deliver my body [to] _____ so that I may boast,

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but do not have sacrificial love, I have gained nothing.


and if God gives me the gift of extreme generosity to the point that I give away everything I own, and if God gives me the gift of martyrdom where I deliver my body to  – you name it, any form of martyrdom, which would cause others to think highly of me, but do not have sacrificial love, I have gained nothing.


1: "That I may boast”:

The earliest manuscripts seem to have a word left out followed by “in order that I may boast.” Many of us are familiar with the King James which reads “to be burned,” instead of “that I may boast.” Actually there is only a two letter difference between the Greek verb meaning “to be burned” and the Greek verb meaning “that I may boast.” So it was a very small change in Greek but I don’t think it was an accident; I think it was a purposeful change by a copyist. There are several reasons why the familiar King James reading is not the most desirable one in this case. 1) The King James is based on the Byzantine texts, a set of manuscripts that were copied very late, in fact they were not even the earliest Greek manuscripts available at that time. Therefore it is not surprising that the verb “that I may boast” has stronger textual support among early manuscripts than does “to be burned.” 2)  It is easy to see how Paul could have written something that left out a word in order to allow his readers to insert whatever seemed fitting for their situation, but as persecution of Christians became more systematic and wide-spread, a copyist changed it to what he knew was true for all Christians (in the Roman Empire) – “the flames”  in place of “that I may boast.” However, it is very difficult to imagine Paul writing about a specific type of persecution which in his day was nonexistent or rare, “flames,” and later a copyist changing the word flames in order to leave the options open even as the very thing that Paul wrote became the norm. 3) If Paul wrote something ambiguous, the copyists of the Greek New Testament were likely to change it in order to help Paul out and make his meaning clear according to what they thought his intent was. This freedom to change things was true of Greek copyists, but not of Hebrew copyists of the Old Testament. Therefore, an ambiguous reading is more likely to have been the original than a clear reading. 4) the Greek verb found in the Byzantine text, “to be burned,” is in a future subjunctive form, something which was not used in New Testament times but came into use later. Therefore, the verb form that some think was part of this passage and meant “to be burned” is an impossibility in light of language history; it had to have been added by a copyist at a later date.