Cessationism in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12

Donald G. McDougall | May 21, 2010

Looking at the setting of 1 Corinthians 13 first in 1 Corinthians as a whole and then in the setting of 1 Corinthians 12:14 is the beginning of an investigation of cessationism in 1 Cor 13:8-12. Next comes a study of 1 Cor 13:8-11 in the context of 1 Corinthians 13. The following step is an investigation of the terms used in 1 Cor 13:8-11, including prophecies, knowledge, and tongues. At that point the study addresses the subject of the cessation of gifts spoken of in 1 Cor 13:8-10, followed by attention given to “tongues shall cease.” The time of the cessation of the gifts in 1 Cor 13:10 is next for consideration, a time that depends heavily on the meaning of teleios in that verse. The term means “mature” in that instance, referring to a maturation that would come to the church. Then comes a tracing of the argument’s progression in 1 Cor 13:8-11. The whole discussion of the gifts’ cessation is part of the emphasis of chapter 13 on the supremacy of love, a factor that should always be in mind in a discussion of cessation. First Cor 13:8-12 intertwines revelation, cessation, and maturation with cessation and maturation coming at a related point in time, but speaking of the cessation of revelatory gifts at the time the church matures.

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