Re: "Perfect"?

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Mon Oct 30 1995 - 18:26:37 EST


>My question:
>What is the greek word for "perfect" in the verse below and what does it mean?
>I Corinthians 13:10
>"But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall
>be done away."
The Greek term there is TO TELEION. Literally it means something like "that
which has arrived at its TELOS (goal)." The term thus describes that which
is or does to the best degree what it or he/she was meant to be or do. A
sword that is TELEIOS kills well, a person who is TELEIOS is a moral human,
who lives as he or she should. In Eph 4:13 the goal of ministry is that the
church should arrive EIS ANDRA TELEION, i.e. be that which corresponds to
what Christ has done. The church thus is no longer immature, blown about by
everyk new gust of teaching, but lives out the truth (AHQEUONTES, an
unusual verb to say the least!).

In context in 1 Cor TO TELEION is that which is the opposite of infantile,
of wrong thinking, of blurred vision: it is seeing face to face, of knowing
as we are known, etc. (cf. 1 Cor 13:11-12.

This is at least a start on an answer. I'm sure yu will hear more.

Ed Krentz

Edgar Krentz, New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Tel.: 312-256-0752; (H) 312-947-8105

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