Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Location

Van Wylen Library, Hope College, Holland, MI


This lecture argues that "through a glass darkly" is a poor translation of a phrase from 1 Corinthians 13:12 and asks how and why the translators of the King James Bible chose it. It locates the origins of the phrase in the Geneva Bible and in the scholarly and theological climate of Calvin's Geneva. In a wider perspective of how this verse has been translated and interpreted, this phrase illustrates larger transitions from medieval to modern and from Catholic to Protestant theological thinking. The best modern English translation of 1 Corinthians 13:12a would be "We see now through a mirror in an enigma..."