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Charity

Although "charity" has come to mean "help to the needy," it originally meant love i.e. care, caress, cherish and charity all originated from the same word which meant to love. Hence the reason that some translations of the Holy Bible use "charity" where others use "love" e.g.

"1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned" (1 Timothy 1:5 KJV)

"1:5 whereas the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith" (1 Timothy 1:5 RSV)

Acts of "charity" without love are not true charity:

"13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity [i.e. love], it profiteth me nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:3 KJV)

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity"

Interestingly, the apostle Paul included in this teaching on charity / love his humble admission that he was not perfect in knowledge - an act of "charity" toward others.

The Ten Commandments

"13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels [see Do You Speak In Tongues?], and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

13:2 And though I have the gift of Prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come [see Perfection], then that which is in part shall be done away. 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." (Acts 13:1-13 KJV)

Fact Finder: Is love / charity the basis of all that is good?
See The Two Great Commandments


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