Does the word completeness in 1 Corinthians 13:10 refer to the Bible?   1 Cor 13:10 – but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.


There has been much debate about this.  I certainly will not settle this debate by my response to you.  To me, I believe that he is stating a truism which has many potential applications.   It is true, in general, that when the perfect (complete mature, Greek teleos) appears, then the imperfect (incomplete, immature) disappears or becomes unnecessary.   Does this apply to the Scripture?   When the scripture was complete, does this mean that the need for prophecy and new revelation has ended?   I would say that this is a possible application of the passage.   However, I am a bit skeptical that Paul intended to specifically apply the concept that when the perfect arrives the imperfect passes away to the end of prophecy.   He MIGHT mean this.   The context even allows for this, as he talked earlier about “even if I speak in the tongues of angels…”   He is talking specifically about the miraculous gifts being replaced by love.  So it is possible he does specifically have the disappearance of prophecy and its replacement by the completed Scripture in mind.   I would say even perhaps more than 50/50 that he has this in mind.  What I would NOT do is use this as a proof text that we no longer have speaking in tongues and prophecy.   I think we should use other passages to “prove” this.

John Oakes

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