1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
sounding brass (v.1) — probably a gong
faith (v.2) — the gift of faith (1 Corinthians 12:9), not saving faith
mountains (v.2) — could by symbolizing obstacles and difficulties
bestow all my goods (v.3) — the gift of helps (1 Corinthians 12:28)
Voluntarily submitting to burning and the banging of gongs and cymbals may be references to pagan rituals.
to be burned (v.3) — There’s some manuscript evidence that this should read “that I may glory.”
Without love, I have nothing to offer, I gain nothing in return and I have no value.