“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”
King James Version (KJV)
13:1 Though I speak with all the tongues - Which are upon earth, and with the eloquence of an angel. And have not love - The love of God, and of all mankind for his sake, I am no better before God than the sounding instruments of brass, used in the worship of some of the heathen gods. Or a tinkling cymbal - This was made of two pieces of hollow brass, which, being struck together, made a tinkling, but very little variety of sound.
1Co 13:1 The Greatest of All Things SUMMARY OF I CORINTHIANS 13: Christian Love Better Than Miraculous Gifts. The Nature of Love and Its Action. All the Miraculous Gifts Shall Pass Away, but Love Endureth. Forever. All Human Knowledge Imperfect and Transient. But Faith, Hope, and Love Eternal. Of the Three, Love Is the Greatest. Meyer says of this chapter: ``This praise of love, almost a psalm on love it might be called, is as rich in its contents drawn from deep experience as in rhetorical truth, fullness and power, grace and simplicity.'' Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels. In 1Co 12:8-10 Paul has spoken of spiritual gifts, one of which was to speak in tongues. "A more excellent way" (1Co 12:31) is now to be shown. Hence, various spiritual gifts are taken up and shown to be useless and vain without love. And have not charity. "Love", in the Revised Version. If he spoke not only with the tongues of men, but even those of angels, it would be, without love, [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. An empty sound. The latter was a brazen basin, which was beaten. The sounds of these instruments would not be musical.