I Cor 13:8-10 - Mixing Apples and Oranges
I Corinthians 13:8-10 reads “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” A contrast between the “part” and the “perfect” (complete) is being made in this text. Let me illustrate something we can learn from that contrast …If Fred offered Ethel a piece of an apple, and Ethel replied, "no thank you, I want a whole one," would Ethel be asking for a whole apple, or for a whole orange? Ethel would be asking for a whole apple, not necessarily for the same apple that the piece offered came from, but a whole apple nonetheless. How would Fred know Ethel wanted a whole apple and not a whole orange? Because the whole would be of the same nature as the part.Similarly in I Cor 13:8-10 - the perfect (complete or whole) is being contrasted with the part. The existence of this contrast indicates that the whole must be of the same nature as the part. Since the parts are the means by which they received the revelation of God's will in parts (not a partial second coming of Christ), and since the whole must be of the same nature as the parts, then the whole (the perfect) must be the means by which we receive the revelation of God's will in whole, that is, the completed New Testament law. Since the New Testament has been completed (perfected), and since the parts were to be "done away" when the perfect came, therefore the parts (the miraculous gifts including tongues and prophecy) have been done away.