If anyone can wean his fellow liberal Christians from their historic habit of denigrating Paul, it is Wills, whose translation of Chapter 13 of First Corinthians, tying Paul tightly to Jesus as a preacher of love, is characteristically fresh and gripping. The last six verses read: “Love will never go out of existence. Prophecy will fail in time, languages too, and knowledge as well. For we know things only partially, or prophesy partially, and when the totality is known, the parts will vanish. It is like what I spoke as a child, knew as a child, thought as a child, argued as a childâ€”which, now I am grown up, I put aside. In the same way we see things in a murky reflection now, but shall see them full face when what I have known in part I know fully, just as I am known. For the present, then, three things matterâ€”believing, hoping, and loving. But supreme is loving.”
I may need to read this book. It’s been years since I studied Paul in college (with a relatively ‘liberal’ professor who, unlike the stereotypes this reviewer refers to, was very balanced on Paul). I constantly find myself in conversations with friends and family over the New Testament and references to Paul’s letters. I guess a refresher wouldn’t hurt. Plus I completely love Garry Wills’ writing.