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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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The Greek word agape frequently thus rendered in the Authorized Version of the New Testament (e.g. 1 Corinthians 13 throughout) is that which is more usually translated 'love' in the same version (e.g. John 15 throughout). The translation of the word by 'love' is the more proper, seeing that 'charity' has acquired a signification in our language which limits it to overt acts of beneficence. The Greek word denotes that kindly state of mind or feeling which renders a person full of such goodwill or affectionate regard towards others as is always ready to evince itself in word or action. In short, it describes that state of feeling which the apostle enjoined the Romans () to entertain: 'Be ye kindly affectioned one to another.' This extended meaning of the word explains the pre-eminence which the Apostle assigns to the virtue which it implies over every other Christian grace (I Corinthian 13).





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Charity'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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Thursday, October 29th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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