I was provided the translation at this link as a reading. The wording there is:

Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them. If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophesy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, peice by peice, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but I am without love, it will do me no good whatever. Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.

Two things stand out here:

  • the use of the word "eloquence", which only appears in one (non-matching) translation on biblestudytools.com
  • the repeated mispelling of the word "peice"!

A google search for 12:31-13:8 corinthians "peice by peice" reveals that multiple places on the internet have copied this translation from somewhere, while a google search for 12:31-13:8 corinthians "eloquence of men" finds a significant number of results, supposedly dating back to february 2001 (although google seems to be dating some pages in obviously incorrect ways).

  • There are quite a few unverifiable, self - proclaimed "the most accurate transactions" are floating in the cyberspace, creating confusion, and interjecting doubts into the mind of many, ultimately undermines the Authority of the Scripture. I would like to remind all of us that we stay away from those. Biblehub.com is a good place to start. Try for your self.
    – Sam
    Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 3:06

1 Answer 1


Where did this translation of 1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:8 originate?

Doing a Google search for the phrase "If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels" led me to a parallel bible verse comparison page from BibleGateway. This page shows only three instances of the word "eloquence":

  1. J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
    The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.
  2. The Message (MSG)
    Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
  3. The Passion Translation (TPT)
    The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018, 2020 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc.
    Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Other than the Phillips translation, the use of "eloquence" in this verse is quite recent. While not completely inaccurate, the use of the word "eloquence" does fit within what Paul is saying. Paul, in essence, is telling his readers that what we say may seem convincing but if it is said with love then it would be even more persuasive.

As to the issue of the repeated "peice", none of the translations above have the word, even properly spelled. It may be an obscure translation that was used at one time and has been copied and pasted from one site to another. That same passage appears on several websites for readings at weddings.

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