The Significance of Words
Occurring twenty-eight times in the Bible the word Charity is used, it is unique in respect to its rendering. Modern versions of the Bible have replace this incredibly significant word with the word ‘Love’, but is ‘Charity’ just love? Does God not also know how to say ‘Love’ in his book?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16a)
Yes, Love is in his vocabulary but what is ‘Charity’ and why is it used in the Bible in the famous ‘Love’ chapter of 1 Corinthians 13? Because its expression is even deeper than Love. It is originally a French word that refers to ‘Dearness’, ‘Kindness’, ‘Benevolence’ and ‘Love’.
Charity is uniquely only used in the New Testament, and only ever used as an expression between the children of the Lord, believers in Christ. We hold each other dear just as we are held by Christ. Remember, people named their children ‘Charity’, not Love.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (1 Cor 13:4-7)
Charity is not a word so easily replaced, it is so significant. The greek word it is represented by is Agape, in all understanding of the word it certainly means love, but as everything in the Bible what matters is the context.
The 47+ translators of the Authorised Version of the Bible, all of them having read and considered the words in their original placements no less than 14 times each, unanimously accepted it as the most perfect understanding of the word in its respective contexts. Having agreed, and before final publication, the AV was sent to Churches far and wide prior to its presentation to the king, the Churches of England having opportunity to comment, until final publication and presentation.
It is a wonderful word that expresses not only the dearness of believers, but Love in action to all.
Pr Edi Giudetti.