Breaking Down 1 Corinthians 14:1

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

Much of what is in our (English) Bible is often not as vibrant as the original Greek. Here, in 1 Cor 14:1, the word “pursue” is translated from the Greek diōkō, meaning “to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire, to chase, to run after.” The word “love” is actually the Greek word agapē, which is a “non-self-serving, compassionate love.” The term “desire earnestly” (zēloō) means “to burn with zeal, to strive after.”

With all that in mind, we see that Paul is instructing believers to, in a sense, chase after and acquire deeply compassionate love (for our neighbors), do whatever it takes to receive spiritual gifts (which we receive not for ourselves, but others), especially the gift of prophesy (to speak forth by divine inspirations, to predict).

The spiritual gifts Paul is referencing here, he describes in 1 Cor 12 and 14; he dedicates chapter 13 to describing (agapē) love. Very good reading, unless you’re a cessationist


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