1 Corinthians and the Record of Wrongs

Does 1 Corinthians 13:5 contradict Biblical judgment? Does the Bible describe two different Gods? In a way, yes, it does.

Some critics of Christianity believe 1 Corinthians 13:5 demonstrates a Biblical contradiction. Here’s the verse in question,

(Love)….doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; (English Revised Version).

It is said that this contradicts Biblical judgment. How can God judge if He doesn’t keep a record of wrongs? We can find the answer by noting that the ancients drew a distinct line between public and private life. This was because the Biblical world was honor-shame oriented rather than guilt-oriented. Since honor was a limited resource, one often had to put on a fake persona in public to survive. Thus, it was acceptable to act inconsistently or even contrarily to one’s private life. I’ll link a video below that explains this in more detail.

1 Corinthians 13:5 talks exclusively to love in a private context as opposed to a public context. Judging, or keeping a “record of wrongs,” would have been understood as God enacting His public role rather than His personal one. Indeed, if God is the creator and sovereign ruler of the universe His formal role as a judge would have been expected. Love, on the other hand, would have been seen as a part of God’s nature, something that would be seen in private. To draw a modern analogy, I can personally forgive someone who has wronged me, but that in no way excludes the possibility of publically reporting him to the authorities if need be.

Some critics simply have the bad habit of rushing to conclusions before taking context into account.

Link 1.