After reading a discussion on the above mentioned verse, I am still left with a question.

Doesn't the context determine that, "perfect" [2. teleios (τέλειος, 5046), “complete, perfect,” from telos, “an end,” is translated “of full age” in Heb. 5:14, KJV (RV, “fullgrown man”).] should be understood simply to mean "mature" or "complete"?

I can't see any other thread answering this particular aspect.

Looking at the context in brief:

1 Cor 12 - Gifts are for the edification of the Body, are to be used correctly, and are dispensed as the Holy Spirit determines.

1 Cor 13 - the governing principle for any gifts (indeed, any behaviour), is love.

1 Cor 13:8-13 (esp. Vs 8-10) 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

  • Isn't the apostle arguing that maturity (which ultimately is Christ-likeness - Rom. 8:29), does away with immaturity and is known by its characteristics of love? (Vs 4-7).


References: The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Co 13:8–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Vol. 2, pp. 19–20). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

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    This is an interesting question, but it looks like we’ve discussed it a few times. If you have a question that is distinct from these, please edit to make that clear or ask another question.
    – Susan
    Oct 6, 2015 at 6:49
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    Thanks Susan. Still learning the ropes here. I think my question differs significantly as I am trying to get at the contextual meaning of "perfect" without biasing it with the oft debated "cessationist" and "completed revelation" arguments. I am quite certain that these lines of reasoning are straw-man arguments that have the effect of preventing us from seeing the simple truth in the text. Does that make sense?
    – L. Letcher
    Oct 6, 2015 at 8:42
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    Even with the edits I'm having trouble seeing how this question is really unique. Whether or not to open the related cessation can of worms or not is up to answers depending on how they think it factors into the text, but the basic question about what the word means in context seems to have been asked already. On the other hand it sounds like you have a very definite answer in mind. Perhaps what you mean to do is answer one of those other questions? If you think the extant answers are straw-men, why not posit an answer that you think isn't?
    – Caleb
    Oct 6, 2015 at 14:25
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    Did you happen to see my answer to a different question posted last night? Although not the main thrust of my argument on that question, I do conclude Paul has in mind spiritual maturity when referring to "the perfect". If this gets reopened, I'll post an answer explaining more fully, or otherwise I'll post that same answer on the "duplicate" question.
    – ThaddeusB
    Oct 6, 2015 at 14:47


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