How can I share with you what is on my heart today? Last week I just told you the story of my afternoon before writing my post. Should I this time rightaway dive into plain explanations or arguments?
Another possibility might be attempting to write a poem or something of the kind. Well to be honest this would be somewhat challenging to me. English is not my mother tongue. I may have some command of the English language. Yet in really important matters I often prefer to consult a dictionary.
Now poetry or lyrics would probably require a lot of careful analizing shades of meanings of words that I employ. In a poem you will often use some imagery too. I would have to try this in my own language. In a foreign language it will require some doing.
Now on this blog so far I have had a number of posts dealing with 1 Corinthians chapter 12. Here St. Paul is speaking rather plainly and openly.
Chapter 13 is different. There are some lyrical elements in this passage.
As we have read verse 1 before you may ask: Why does Paul not frankly say what he thinks? The literary genre of this chapter differs from that of the previous chapter.
In German theology there is a technical term for chapter 13. We call it a song of love. (Unfortunately I don’t know the exact translation or the corresponding term in English theology.)
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1 KJV).
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but hae not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV).
What strange terminology: tongues of men and of angels. What does Paul mean by that? Then he speaks of sounding brass or some maybe not all that melodic cymbal. Couldn’t he just use words that can be easily understood?
Paul is being poetic: Love is a mystery. Love is not a subject that we want to learn about in concise language of a dictionary.
Words about love that are lyrical may stir our imagination. This kind of language might appeal to our emotions. A love song can be inspiring.