Happy Heralds, Inc

“THAT WHICH IS PERFECT”

by Dr. Fred Wittman

9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come,

then that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:9,10 KJV).

TO WHAT DOES “PERFECT” REFER

Does “perfect” refer to “Christ” as posed in the letter cited the introductory blurb on the web? Or does “perfect” refer to something else? How important is it to be so concerned about this matter? What did The Holy Spirit intend the Corinthians and ourselves to understand what He meant by moving Paul to use τὸ τέλειον (tóh téhleh-eeohn) translated as ‘perfect’? Is it possible to be sure what The Holy Spirit meant by moving Paul to state it in this way?

If we are to agree together correctly about this or any matter concerning Scripture, it is absolutely necessary to believe in and hold to the doctrine of inspiration which states that The God by means of His Holy Spirit controlled (God breathed) ‘the holy men of God’ who wrote the initial record of The God’s Word without error so that it was perfect and contained the exact words that The Father intended to be written in the original languages (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21).

The best way to begin is firstly to ascertain the meaning and grammar of an obscure meaning of a word or phrase and then to see if the author of the Book used it elsewhere in The Book in which that word or phase is recorded. Other uses of that word or phrase that the author used may give further insight into its meaning. Secondly, consider the syntax and context in which it is used. Thirdly, consider how it is used elsewhere in the New Testament, if at all, for further insight to its scope of meaning. Then fourthly, consider where the text is located in the light of the progressive revelation in The God’s Word. Finally, consider the culture of the people at the time to which the passage pertains and how that applies to the present day reader. These five steps are necessary to be followed in order to be sure to understand the precise way this grammatical form of this word is used by The Holy Spirit.

THE MEANING OF THE TERM USED

The Greek phrase translated “that which is perfect” is τὸ τέλειον (téhleh-eeohn), a nominative neuter articular adjective used as a substantive which means “perfectly complete or fully mature” indicating completion, full maturity, or perfection according to context. This substantival adjective, which serves as the subject of the verb, derives from the Greek verb τελειόω (tehleh-ee-óh-ō) which means “to make perfect” or “to perfectly complete.” Τελειόω (tehleh-ee-óh-ō) is cognate to τελέω (tehléh-ō), which means to finish, to pay in full (a debt which is owed). Τέλειον (téhleh-eeohn) in 1 Corinthians 13:10 is this same adjective used as a substantive with the article τὸ (tóh). The verse in which τὸ τέλειον (tóh téhleh-eeohn) is used is better precisely translated thusly,

But whenever the perfectly complete thing[that which is impersonal] come, at that time what |is| by means of portions shall be negated[made ineffective]” (1 Cor. 13:10 APT).

Thus the proper, accurate, and precise translation of the neuter term substantiates that τὸ τέλειον (tóh téhleh-eeohn) does not refer to a person and therefore not toChrist.

Grammar

Τέλειον (téhleh-eeohn) is neuter in gender and not masculine which would be absolutely necessary if “Christ” is to be understood as the meaning that The Holy Spirit intended to convey. It is contrary to the basic rules of Greek grammar to use a neuter adjective or substantive to relate to a masculine noun, much less to a person that is designated by the masculine gender. According to A MANUAL GRAMMAR OF THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT by H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey published by The Macmillan Co., Toronto, Ontario, 1955, “The adjective agrees with the noun it qualifies in gender, number, and case” (p. 116). A further comment relative to the problem before us is found under the heading “(2) The Adjective Used as a Noun . . . c. The neuter singular is ordinarily used as an abstract noun” (p. 119). The adjective in question is both singular and neuter and is used as a substantive in comparison with another neuter substantive and refers to something abstract or impersonal to both substantives being compared. In addition Blass, Debrunner, and Funk recorded in A GRAMMAR OF THE NEW TESTAMENT under the heading THE ARTICLE WITH ADJECTIVES USED AS SUBSTANTIVES. 263. . . . (1) “The neuter sing. is used in an individual sense of a particular definite thing or act: . . . . (2) Peculiar to Paul . . . is the use of a neuter sing. adjective like an abstract . . .” (p. 138). Thus it is apparent that the singular neuter adjective whether substantive or not refers to an abstract object and not to a person.

Thus the rules of Greek grammar governing the singular neuter adjective substantiate that the term τὸ τέλειον (tóh téhleh-eeohn) is not a person but an abstract object, therefore it cannot be referring toChrist.



Furthermore the comparison in the sentence is between two singular neuter adjective substantives. “That which is in part” is the translation of τὸ ἐκ μέρους (tóh ehk mérous). These two neuter substantives (one a articular substantive neuter adjective, the other an articular neuter noun, a substantive, are placed in comparison, therefore the gender is matched and so the translation must also match in gender.

Thus the rules of Greek grammar concerning the comparative substantive relationship, both comparatives must be between substantives of the same gender, therefore “that which is perfect” and “that which is in part” both being neuter, sustains the fact that τὸ τέλειον is not a person therefore not Christ.

Therefore that which is perfect is not Christ!

Christ,’ ‘Lord,’ and ‘Jesus’ are all masculine nouns both in English and in Greek. “That which is perfect” is neuter, not a person but a thing, an object, an abstract which is impersonal. But “Christ” is a person. Thus on the basis of the Greek grammar in light of the above cited rules, it is proper to conclude that ‘perfect’ does not refer to a person but to an object, an abstract, or an impersonal concept. Therefore on the basis of these three grammar rules, the context CANNOT be referring to The Lord Jesus Christ, Who is a person, but rather refers to something that is impersonal.

It is not enough, just to prove that an interpretation is not and cannot be true and accepted. It is obligatory for the one rejecting an interpretation to propose an acceptable alternate explanation based upon Scripture and to offer reasons for the correct understanding and proper examination before acceptance. Therefore we must proceed methodically and further examine the Scripture in order to arrive at the proper interpretation and meaning of “perfect” which The Holy Spirit intended to be understood after all pertinent Scriptures to the exact term are considered.

CONSIDER THE SYNTAX AND THE CONTEXT

The second step to proper hermeneutics is to consider the syntax followed by the context.

Syntax

The Greek verb that is used in the sentence with τὸ τέλειον (tóh téhleh-eeohn) is ἔλθῃ (éhlthay), a third person singular culminative aorist subjunctive meaning ‘come’ with the conjunction ὅταν (hótahn) that means ‘when’ or ‘whenever.’ Together these indicate completion in some future time. The subject of this verb is the neuter phrase τὸ τέλειον (tóh téhleh-eeohn). The only use of the aorist that fits this context is the culminative use. Since it is a culminative aorist verb with a neuter subject and with the conjunction ὅταν (hótahn), it indicates that whenever the action occurs that action is completed or if a process that action has ended and in either case the action shall not be repeated. In this case the process relates to that which is perfect and when It comes the comparative action shall not be continued or repeated. If, as has been stated in the letter above, it refers to “Christ” in coming again, then the syntax and grammar indicate that He shall come once and not come again thereafter.

But that would be a contradiction to Scripture which teaches that The Lord Jesus Christ will come back in the air the first time to take His Bride, The True Church with Him. And at least seven years later He will come back again. This time he shall return to Earth with His Bride, The True Church and all His Holy Angels to smite the nations gathered at Armageddon (Rev. 16:16; 19:11- 20:4), and to set up His Millennial Kingdom (Mt. 25:31-46) to reign for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4-6). Therefore the syntax disallows the interpretation of that which is perfect to be Christ for two reasons:

(1) the neuter subject with the culminative aorist does not allow the subject to repeat the coming.  And

(2) if the syntax is disregarded, Scripture contradicts Itself. This negates the doctrine of the Inspiration of Scripture which holds Scripture to be a perfect record of The Written word of The God.

Note the Context!

The immediate context (1 Cor. 13) is dealing with abstract concepts of communication in relation to supernatural gifts that are contrasted with love. The only person mentioned in the chapter is the writer, Paul. He referred to himself in relation to the supernatural spiritual gifts in verses 1-3. Then he described love in verses 4-8a, and indicated the passing away of three supernatural gifts in verses 8b-10. He referred to himself again in the immediate context (v. 11) to illustrate The Truth which he is teaching, namely, that when maturity is reached that which pertains and contributes to the period of immaturity is put away.

Since the immediate context concerns the abstract concept of communication, not the concrete image of a person, therefore the context disallows the interpretation of that which is perfect” to be Christ.

Also there is no mention of The Christ in the greater context. As a matter of fact The Christ is not mentioned from verse 12:7 throughout the whole passage dealing with spiritual gifts until after verse 15:2 when Paul changed the subject to The Gospel and The Resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore there is no reason to inject “Christ” into verse 10 unless it is to make it fit a preconceived theology and helps substantiate that erroneous doctrine.

Since the immediate context and the greater context both make no mention of Christ at all nor any other person than the writer himself, nor is Christ. implied in either the immediate context or the greater context, therefore τὸ τέλειον (tóh téhleh-eeohn) must not be referring to Christ contextually.

THE TERM USED ELSEWHERE

Paul used τέλειον (téhleh-eeohn) translated ‘perfect’ anarthrously (without the article) in a different grammatical setting as a masculine adjective to mean ‘perfectly complete’ in the sense of maturity of the saints as sons of The God (the Greek word for son is masculine) in the context in both Ephesians 4:13 and in Colossians 1:28. Since the form in these two texts is masculine and relates to those completely maturing in Christ, obviously these texts do not assist us in our goal of understanding the use of the neuter adjectival substantive ‘perfect’ and to what ‘perfect’ refers.

But The Holy Spirit led Paul to use the exact same articular (with the article) neuter form as in 1 Corinthians 13:10 in Romans 12:2 in reference to the good and acceptable and perfect (perfectly complete) Will of The God. The exact same neuter form is used two other times in The New Testament. James used τέλειον (téhleh-eeohn) anarthrously (without the article) twice, first in 1:17,18 James used τέλειον (téhleh-eeohn) in reference to every good and perfect gift of The God. This term embraces all of The God’s gifts, including The Word of Truth which is The Word of The God. Again in 1:25, James used τέλειον (téhleh-eeohn) anarthrously to refer to The Word of God as the ‘Perfectly Complete Law.’ Although in this text the neuter article follows τέλειον (téhleh-eeohn), it is not used to specify ‘perfect’, but rather it is used to identify which Law it is to which the author is referring, not The Old Testament Law that fails to give freedom to the worshippers that obey It, but the “Perfectly Complete Law” is the one providing freedom to those who obey It. This “Perfectly Complete Law” then is The Perfect Word of The God.

The context from 1:22-25 relates to The Word of The God. These three references (Rom. 12:2; Jas. 1:17,18; and 1:22-25) in addition to 1 Corinthians 13:10 are the only occurrences of this term in this form in The New Testament. The will of The God or The Word of The God is referred to in each context. The Will of The God is made known through The Word of The God. When The Lord Jesus came into the world as a male Baby He stated that He came to do The Will of The God (Hebrews 10:5-10) and called It The New Testament or The New Covenant (cf. 8:6,7; 9:15-20). In these passages it is readily seen That The Holy Spirit closely links The Will of The God with The Word of The God. Thus it is concluded that Paul referred to The Word of God in 1 Cor. 13:10 when he wrote “That Which is Perfect” or more precisely “The Perfectly Complete Thing.”

This concept fits the context of 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. Verses 8 and 9 concern the means of communicating the knowledge and Will of The God to The Church through miraculous supernatural gifts, which was only in part by part or portion by portion. Verse 10 indicates that which was ‘in part’ or ‘in portion’ shall be done away. Verse 8 states that prophecies shall fail or come to an end and knowledge shall vanish away (shall also come to an end). Both verbs are passive indicating that there shall be action upon them to cease. The God will cause them to cease! The verb ‘cease’ applying to tongues or rather languages is in middle voice. Of themselves tongues or languages shall come to an end (gradually fade away). But prophecy and knowledge “shall be done away” when “that which is perfect” i.e. The Complete and Perfect Word of The God is come.

The immediate contextual concept of the process of maturity from immaturity and Paul’s illustration of such proper behavior in verse 11 infers the proper meaning is The Word of God. This is substantiated with Paul’s reference in Roman’s and the emphasis in context made by James (Rom. 12:2; Jas. 1:17,18,25).

What about 1 John 1:1-4

After citing all this grammar, syntax and consideration of other passages where the Greek word translated ‘perfect’ was used, most likely someone will raise the question, What about 1 John 1:1-4, where the neuter relative pronoun (hóh) is repeatedly used?

The relative pronoun is not so limited as the adjective and the substantival participle are. There are some exceptions with the neuter relative (hóh). Blass, Debrunner, and Funk in A GREEK GRAMMAR OF THE NEW TESTAMENT recorded under the heading AGREEMENT IN GENDER, “In explanatory phrases Koine employs the neuter . . . , a formulaic phrase used without reference to the gender of the word explained or to that of the word which explains--a usage which is perhaps strengthened by the Latin . . .” (p. 73:132. (2)). But further consideration of 1 John 1 reveals that the word “of” before “the preposition” is περὶ (pehrée), the preposition which means ‘concerning’ or ‘pertaining to’ The Word of Life. Thus the περὶ (pehrée) removes the description from the person of The Christ to the repeated (hóh) = ‘that which’ what pertains to The Christ. Therefore ‘that which’ is neuter because John is explaining what he is writing about in relation to or pertaining to The Word of Life, Who is The Christ. Then John summed up his description with another neuter word, ταῦτα (taûtah) = “these things” we write to you. Therefore the repeated use of (hóh) refers to ‘these things’ which pertain to The Lord Jesus Christ, i.e. His body, His form, His words, and His life. In no way can (hóh) be attributed to the whole person of The Lord Jesus Christ for two reasons: one, because of the grammatical use of the neuter gender; and two, because of the use of the preposition περὶ (pehrée), which means ‘concerning’ or in this case ‘pertaining to’ but does not directly relate to the whole person to which the statement pertains. Therefore the grammar regarding 1 John 1:1-4 prohibits interpreting or understanding the neuter relative to be identified as the whole person of The Lord Jesus Christ and it results in what Paul called “deceitfully adulterating The Word of The God” (2 Cor. 4:2 APT).

This brings us to the next step which is vital to Proper Hermeneutics or Interpretation of Scripture: consider the context of the text in the light of the Progressive Revelation found throughout The God’s Word.

THE CONTEXT IN LIGHT OF THE PROGRESSIVE REVELATION IN THE GOD’S WORD!

Consider the era and under which Covenant that is in force during which the text was written and the era to which the text refers. Was it before or after:

the Abrahamic Covenant and The God’s Promise To Abraham (2107 A. C. {After Creation} or 2020 B.C.);

or  after Law was given by Moses (c. 2508 A.C. or 1619 B.C.) but before the death, burial, and resurrection-ascension of The Lord Jesus Christ and Pentecost (4156 A.C. or A.D. 33);

or  after Pentecost but before The Lord Jesus Christ returns in the air for His Bride, The Church;

or  during The Seven Year Tribulation period;

or  during The Millennial Reign of The Lord Jesus Christ;

or  thereafter into Eternity.

The majority of what is recorded in the Gospels until Pentecost relates to the time of The Law, but the prophetic parables and prophecies spoken by The Lord Jesus Christ during this era pertain to a future generation and era. All of this has been given for The Regenerated Saints belonging to The True Church by which to profit through learning and heeding the lessons that these Scriptures teach (1 Cor. 10:6-11; Rom. 15:4).

6Now these~ things became types[patterns] for us, in order for ourselves not to be ones passionately lusting after evil~& things, according as those also passionately lusted[Num. 11:4,5]. 7In fact stop becoming& idolaters according as some of them! [Even as] it stands written,[Ex. 32:6] The people sat down to eat and to drink and they rose up to pay[childishly play and dance] idolatrous homage. 8In fact let us not even commit sexual immorality according as some of them committed sexual immorality and twenty-three thousand[Num. 25:1-9 LXX] fell in one day! 9Let us not even test out[in order to prove] The Christ according as some of them also tested[in order to prove]! And they were utterly destroyed by the snakes[Num. 21:5,6]. 10In fact stop murmuring, according as some of them also murmured[Num. 14:2,3,27-37]! And they were utterly destroyed by the terminator[Num. 14:26-35; 26:64,65]. 11Now all these things were types customarily befalling those, but they are written[Rom. 15:4] for[to the face of] admonition to us, unto whom the ends of the ages attain” (1 Cor 10:6-11 APT).

For as many~ things as were written before were written before for the purpose of our own /teaching, in order that through the patient endurance and the comfort of The Scriptures we have The Hope” (Rom. 15:4 APT).

Then The New Testament Scriptures, Acts through Revelation chapter three were directly given for this present Church Age. But Revelation 4:1-20:3 directly relates to the seven year Tribulation period, while Revelation 20:4-10 relates to The Millennium. The events of the end of time and entering into Eternity are described by Revelation 20:11 to 22:5, while Chapter 22:6-21 relates to the conclusion of Revelation (Apocalypse) by the Saint, John the Theologian {the title on the Head of the Scroll} and the last spoken words of The Lord Jesus Christ Himself to John (c. A.D. 100).

In the beginning years of The Church (A.D. 33-55) when the knowledge of The God and His will were limited with only The Old Testament and the addition of a few New Testament writings (James, Matthew, 1 and 2 Thessalonians and possibly The Gospel according to Luke) available, The God used supernatural manifestations through gifted men to be apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers (Eph. 4:7-16) to communicate The Truth of The God and His will by means of preaching and teaching, prophesying, some in their native language (tongue) and some in the language (tongue) of the hearers, while some performed miracles. These gifted men were being inspired by The Holy Spirit to communicate through The Written Word of The God and the oral precepts which were received from The Holy Spirit were spoken to The Church until The Written Word of The God was complete and perfect. As The Church was immature in those first twenty-five to seventy-seven years. The Church was passing through this period of immaturity, at the time The First Epistle to Corinthians by Paul the Apostle was written in A.D. 56. The God was still using the supernatural gifts of: languages (speaking and interpreting), prophecy, miracles, curings, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, etc. through gifted men (1 Cor. 12:1-11 cf. Eph. 4:8,11) during those years of immaturity.

But when The Perfect Word of The God was complete, maturity was achieved through it and those things ‘in part’ or ‘by portions’ were done away. Since The Perfect Word of The God was complete there was no further need for the early means of communication from The God. In fact, when The Word of The God was completed through John, The Lord Jesus Christ Himself instructed John to include a curse upon any and all who would dare to add further prophecy or revelation or take away from what was written which would include making any change therein (Revelation 22:16,18,19).

16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in...18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Revelation 22:16,18,19).

Therefore to change the use of the neuter in The Perfect Record of Scripture to refer to The Person of The Lord Jesus Christ Who is masculine is to take away from The God’s intended meaning when The God’s Word was written as well as to add to the intended meaning by substituting that abstract concept which belongs to His Person. This altering or adulterating The Word Of The God results in invoking The God’s curse positively, that is to endure the plagues written in The Book of Revelation which include everlasting torture in the Lake of Fire, as well as negatively that is to insure that one’s name is not in The Book of Absolute Life.

This indictment of those who would add prophecy to the completed prophecy of Revelation (22:18,19) confirms the completion of The Word of God and the teaching that the gift of prophecy no longer exists.

This brings us to the last step which is very important to Proper Hermeneutics or Interpretation of Scripture. It is most important to consider the culture of the people living at the time to whom it was written and to whom the passage initially pertained and how that applies to the present day reader.

CONSIDER THE CULTURE OF THE PEOPLE TO WHOM IT WAS WRITTEN

At the time The First Epistles to Corinthians by Paul The Apostle was written, Corinth was a cosmopolitan city with a population of c. 550,000 consisting of Greeks, Romans, and Jews with a synagogue, temples to worship the various gods of the Romans as well as the Greeks, and the prominent secret mystery religions. By A.D. 50 the Jewish population had recently increased by an influx of immigrants banished from Rome by Claudius Caesar. Corinth was not only a political center, but also a commercial center for traffic passing through the Mediterranean Sea from East westward and from West eastward. It also was a religious center and a sports center known for its wealth, luxury, learning, Isthmian games, vice, and gross immorality with over a thousand temple prostitutes. As a religious center Corinth was noted for its idolatry, immoral temple worship, and mystery religions with their rites and celebrations.

These mystery religions, which were so prominent in Corinth, engaged in secret rites and celebrations that were known only to and practiced by those who were initiated into them by baptism. The participants were entitled to pass mystically through death into immortal life in union with their savior-god and were guaranteed blissful immortality. Paul did not condone the teaching of those who practiced baptism for the dead, but only used the practice as an argument for believing in the resurrection and life beyond the grave.

One can easily recognize the similarity of this counterfeit religion to certain aspects of the life in The Lord Jesus Christ, especially in the false concept of the result of baptism as well as the false Christianity becoming more popular as it is being so profusely propagated currently throughout the world. It was in this Corinthian cultural setting in which Paul encountered the Corinthians that he made inroads for The Gospel and congregated converts with backgrounds from all walks of life and religious, social, philosophical, and ethnic influence. Thus he brought to bear upon the young local congregation at Corinth, comprised of Romans and Jews as well as Greeks bringing various false doctrine with them: the Greeks with their idolatry, immorality in temple worship, and especially their mystery religions with some similarities to Christianity; the Romans with their idolatry and embracing and toleration of all deities, cults, and religious doctrine; and the Jews with their insistence to adhere to The Mosaic Law. Paul had to cope with all this as he taught The God’s Word and The New Life in The Lord Jesus Christ as found in the limited written Perfect Record of Scripture available at that time to them.

It is especially important to consider how incorrect doctrine and practices can creep in and contaminate The Word of The God if culture is not considered and understood in connection with interpretation of Scripture which writings spread over several millenniums and how culture affects The Scripture meaning.

The brother of The Lord Jesus Christ, James wrote to those Jews of The Church that were scattered abroad, who belong to The Church of The Lord Jesus Christ, calling them brethren or brothers, were to be separate from culture of the world. He indicated that those who were friends of the world were adulterers and adulteresses and at enmity with The God (Jas. 1:1-2a; 4:1-5). Paul, understood only to well that the congregation at Corinth was composed of people with backgrounds from three cultural groups: Greeks, Romans, and Jews, each with different customs. Paul elaborated on what James wrote in this regard and emphasized that the culture of The Church of The Christ is different. It is made up of new creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17) which form a new culture based upon spiritual Truths. He expressed that when Jesus called for humans to follow Him (Lk. 9:23-25), in essence He was requiring disciples to abandon aspects of culture that conflict with obedience to Him and His Word.

Sometimes culture is blamed for Truths which are difficult to accept. However, to do so is to ignore the new life in Christ which is different from the culture of the Jews and the Gentiles in many aspects. Paul wrote to the Philippians that our citizenship is in Heaven not on Earth and that many professing believers are walking as enemies of the cross of The Christ, who habitually mind Earthly things (Phil. 3:18-20) and will miss out on Heaven.

Due to their living in such culture it was easy for the Corinthians to get hung up on the use, abuse, and misuse of the supernatural gifts. Paul dealt with such avid misuse and eager striving to obtain for and edify their ego with that which would soon pass away instead of seeking that which will benefit saints and build up (edify) The Church. And whether humans recognize it or not, these miraculous spiritual gifts did pass away when The Perfect Word of The God was complete so that The Perfect record contained all that The God determinedly willed for The True Church to have available for teaching (doctrine), inner conviction, correcting, and for discipline in righteousness0 (2 Tim. 3:16 APT).

REASONS WHY “PERFECT” REFERS TO THE WORD OF GOD

There are eleven good reasons to understand and believe that “perfect” does not refer to The Lord Jesus Christ but to The Word of The God and to assure our hearts that this is what Paul meant.

1. The proper, accurate, and precise translation of the neuter term from which “perfect” is translated substantiates that it does not refer to a person and therefore not to “Christ.”

2. The rules of Greek grammar governing the singular neuter adjective substantiate that the term τὸ τέλειον (tóh téhleh-eeohn) from which “perfect” is translated is not a person but an abstract, impersonal object, therefore cannot be referring to “Christ.”

3. The rules of grammar concerning the grammatical comparative relationship between “that which is perfect” and “that which is in part” sustains it.

4,5. The syntactical use of the culminative aorist verb disallows the interpretation of “that which is perfect” to be “Christ” for two reasons:

4. The neuter subject with the culminative aorist does not allow the subject to repeat the coming, but Scripture indicates that He is coming again in the air for His Church and at least seven years later will come back to Earth with His Church.

5. If the syntax is disregarded, Scripture contradicts Itself. This negates the doctrine of the Inspiration of Scripture which holds Scripture to be a perfect record of The Written word of The God.

6. The immediate context and the greater context both make no mention of “Christ” at all., nor is He implied in either the immediate context or the greater context, therefore τὸ τέλειον (tóh téhleh-eeohn) must not be referring to “Christ” contextually.

7. The immediate context concerns the abstract concept of communication not the concrete image of a person.

8. The greater context contains no mention of Christ nor any other person than the writer, nor does it imply ‘Christ’ in any way.

9. The immediate contextual concept of the process of maturity from immaturity and Paul’s illustration of such proper behavior in verse 11 infers the proper meaning is The Word of God (Rom. 12:2; Jas.1:4; 1:17-25).

10. The use of τέλειον (téhleh-eeohn) in two other Scriptures refers to or alludes to The Word of God and supports this meaning.

11. The indictment of those who would add prophecy to the completed prophecy of Revelation (22:18,19) confirms the completion of The Word of God and the teaching that the gift of prophecy no longer exists.

With such a preponderance of evidence can there be any doubt that Paul intended that the Corinthians who were hung up on the use, abuse, and misuse of the supernatural gifts should understand that these miraculous gifts would pass away or cease when The Perfect Word of The God would be complete?

A paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:10 might read, “But when The Perfect Word of God is come, then prophecy and knowledge which are in part (portions) shall no longer exist.”

3/11/2010 DFW


| |understood   $singular   &plural   /the  0no article  +masculine  ~neuter
[ ]basic meaning  / \ manuscripts divided   ^femine


Return to the Doctrine/Ecclesiology page...
OR
Return to the Papers page...

Send e-mail to Info@HappyHeralds.org
Last modified: April 19, 2010