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Other Ancient Sources

Clement of Alexandria (c.150-211 AD)--Endurance is directed toward future hope. Hope is directed toward the reward and restitution of hope. (cf. Rom 5:4)

Clement of Alexandria--For they have not yet learned that God has provided for His creature (man I mean) food and drink, for sustenance, not for pleasure; since the body derives no advantage from extravagance in viands. For, quite the contrary, those who use the most frugal fare are the strongest and the healthiest, and the noblest; as domestics are healthier and stronger than their masters, and husbandmen than the proprietors; and not only more robust, but wiser, as philosophers are wiser than rich men. For they have not buried the mind beneath food, nor deceived it with pleasures. But love (agape) is in truth celestial food, the banquet of reason. “It beareth all things, endureth all things, hopeth all things. Love never faileth.” (1 Cor. 13:7-8) “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” (Lk. 14:15) But the hardest of all cases is for charity, which faileth not, to be cast from heaven above to the ground into the midst of sauces. And do you imagine that I am thinking of a supper that is to be done away with? “For if,” it is said, “I bestow all my goods, and have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:3) On this love alone depend the law and the Word; and if “thou shalt love the Lord thy God and thy neighbour,” this is the celestial festival in the heavens.

Origen (c.185-c.254)--The moon and the stars have been compelled against their will to be subject to futility, as a result of causes long past; yet in the hope of a future reward they do not do their own will but the will of the Creator, by whom they have been appointed to these duties. (cf. Rom. 8:20)

Origen--The person who does not look at what can be seen but eagerly waits for what cannot be seen is the one who rejoices in hope. (cf. Rom. 12:12)

Origen--Next we must inquire how He said to Peter, “Thou art a stumbling-block unto Me,” (Mt. 16:23) especially when David says, “Great peace have they that love Thy law, and there is no stumbling-block to them.” (Ps. 119:165) For some one will say, if this is said in the prophet, because of the steadfastness of those who have love, and are incapable of being offended, for “love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, love never faileth,” (1 Cor. 13:7-8) how did the Lord Himself, “who upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all that be bowed down,” (Ps. 145:14) say to Peter, “Thou art a stumbling-block unto Me”? But it must be said that not only the Saviour, but also he who is perfected in love, cannot be offended. But, so far as it depends on himself, he who says or does such things is a stumbling-block even to him who will not be offended; unless perhaps Jesus calls the disciple who sinned a stumbling-block even to Himself, as much more than Paul He would have said from love, “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I burn not?” (2 Cor. 11:29) In harmony with which we may put, “Who is made to stumble, and I am not made to stumble?” But if Peter, at that time because of the saying, “God be propitious to Thee, Lord, this shall not be unto Thee,” (Mt. 16:22) was called a stumbling-block by Jesus, as not minding the things of God in what he said but the things of men, what is to be said about all those who profess to be made disciples of Jesus, but do not mind the things of God, and do not look to things unseen and eternal, but mind the things of man, and look to things seen and temporal, (2 Cor. 4:18) but that such still more would be stigmatized by Jesus as a stumbling-block to Him, and because stumbling-blocks to Him, as stumbling-blocks to His brethren also? As in regard to them He says, “I was thirsty and ye gave Me no drink,” (Mt. 25:42) so also He might say, “When I was running ye caused Me to stumble.” Let us not therefore suppose that it is a trivial sin to mind the things of men, since we ought in everything to mind the things of God. And it will be appropriate also to say this to every one that has fallen away from the doctrines of God and the words of the church and a true mind; as, for example, to him who minds as true the teaching of Basilides, or Valentinus, or Marcion, or any one of those who teach the things of men as the things of God.

Cyprian (c.200-258)-- It is the wholesome precept of our Lord and Master: “He that endureth,” saith He, “unto the end, the same shall be saved;” (Mt. 10:22) and again, “If ye continue,” saith He, “in my word, ye shall be truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32) We must endure and persevere, beloved brethren, in order that, being admitted to the hope of truth and liberty, we may attain to the truth and liberty itself; for that very fact that we are Christians is the substance of faith and hope. But that hope and faith may attain to their result, there is need of patience. For we are not following after present glory, but future, according to what Paul the apostle also warns us, and says, “We are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we by patience wait for it.” (Rom. 8:24-25) Therefore, waiting and patience are needful, that we may fulfil that which we have begun to be, and may receive that which we believe and hope for, according to God’s own showing. (A common reading here is “giving” instead of “showing,” scil. “præstante” for “representante.”) Moreover, in another place, the same apostle instructs the righteous and the doers of good works, and them who lay up for themselves treasures in heaven with the increase of the divine usury, that they also should be patient; and teaches them, saying, “Therefore, while we have time, let us labour in that which is good unto all men, but especially to them who are of the household of faith. But let us not faint in well-doing, for in its season we shall reap.” (Gal. 6:9-10) He admonishes that no man should impatiently faint in his labour, that none should be either called off or overcome by temptations and desist in the midst of the praise and in the way of glory; and the things that are past perish, while those which have begun cease to be perfect; as it is written, “The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in whatever day he shall transgress;” (Ezek. 33:12) and again, “Hold that which thou hast, that another take not thy crown.” (Rev. 3:11) Which word exhorts us to persevere with patience and courage, so that he who strives towards the crown with the praise now near at hand, may be crowned by the continuance of patience.

Dionysius of Alexandria (?-264)--But now we do the contrary. For him whom Christ in His goodness seeks when wandering upon the mountains, and calls to Himself when fleeing, and lays upon His shoulders when found at last1, him we resolutely repel when he approaches. Nay, let us not adopt so evil a counsel for our own sake, nor drive the sword into our own heart. For they that endeavour to injure or, on the other hand, to benefit others, may not altogether have the effect they desired upon them, but they do bring about good or evil for themselves and replenish their store either of heavenly virtues or of undisciplined affections. And these taking good angels as their companions and fellow-travellers2, both here and hereafter, in all peace and freedom from every evil, will be allotted the most blessed inheritances for eternity and will ever be with God, the greatest good of all; and those will forfeit at once the peace of God and their own peace, and both here and after death will be handed over to tormenting demons. Let us then not repel those who return, but gladly welcome them and number them with those who have not strayed, and thus supply that which is wanting3 in them.
1 The reference is to Luke 15:4ff and Ezek. 34:6, etc.
2 Dionysius is thinking perhaps of the story in Tobit 5:6, where Raphael becomes the companion of Tobit’s son Tobias on his journey.
3 On the principle that “charity thinketh no evil ... but hopeth all things” (1 Cor. 13): similar but not identical phrases (in words or sense) are found 1 Cor. 16:17; 2 Cor. 9:12; 11:9; Phil. 2:30, and Col. 1:24.

Ambrose (c.340-397)-- It gives a very great impetus to mutual love if one shows love in return to those who love us and proves that one does not love them less than oneself is loved, especially if one shows it by the proofs that a faithful friendship gives. What is so likely to win favour as gratitude? What more natural than to love one who loves us? What so implanted and so impressed on men’s feelings as the wish to let another, by whom we want to be loved, know that we love him? Well does the wise man say: “Lose thy money for thy brother and thy friend.” (Ecclus. 29:10) And again: “I will not be ashamed to defend a friend, neither will I hide myself from him.” (Ecclus. 22:31) If, indeed, the words in Ecclesiasticus testify that the medicine of life and immortality is in a friend; (Ecclus. 6:16) yet none has ever doubted that it is in love that our best defence lies. As the Apostle says: “It beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things; love never faileth.” (1 Cor. 13:7-8)

Ambrosiaster (?-397)--It is clear that since Abraham had no hope of having a son, he believed God and had faith against hope that he would have a son, knowing that with God all things are possible. (cf. Rom. 4:18)

Ambrosiaster--For to despise present sufferings and hindrances and, for the hope of the future, not to give in to pressure has great merit with God. (cf. Rom. 5:3)

Ambrosiaster--That there should be hope in someone who has been tried and tested is perfectly reasonable. (cf. Rom. 5:4)

Ambrosiaster--Hope does not let us down, even though we are considered by evil people to be stupid and naive, because we believe in things which are impossible in this world. For we have in us the pledge of God's love through the Holy Spirit. (cf. Rom. 5:5)

Chrysostom (c.347-407)--Nothing encourages a man to hope for blessing more than the strength of a good character. No one who has led a good life worries about the future. (cf. Rom 5:4)

Chrysostom--For the only thing we brought to God was our faith in the promises of what was to come, and it was in this way that we were saved. If we lose this hope, we lose the one thing which we have contributed to our salvation. (cf. Rom. 8:24)

Chrysostom--There is nothing which makes the soul so courageous and venturesome for anything as a good hope. (cf. Rom. 12:12)

Chrysostom--May you get rid of your heartlessness toward one another and not be cast down by temptations. You will achieve this by abounding in hope. (cf. Rom. 15:13)

Chrysostom--What is, "hopeth all things?" It doth not despair," saith he, "of the beloved, but even though he be worthless, it continues to correct, to provide, to care for him."

Pelagius (c.354-c.418)--We rejoice in the hope that we shall possess the glory of God's children. What we hope for is so great that no one would try it on his own, in case it should be regarded as blasphemy, not as hope, and as something which many people think is unbelievable because of its greatness. (cf. Rom. 5:2)

Pelagius--The hope of things to come casts out all confusion. (cf. Rom. 5:5)

Pelagius--Through the encouragement of the Scriptures we await with great patience the hope which is to come. (cf. Rom. 15:4)

Augustine (354-430)--We rejoice in hope in order to look forward to the rest to come and so conduct ourselves cheerfully in the midst of toils. (cf. Rom. 12:12)

Cyril of Alexandria (c.376-444)--We believe that our bodies also will overcome corruption and death. For the time being this is a hope, because it is not yet present, but it is a future certainty. (cf. Rom. 8:24)

Theodoret of Cyr (c.393-c.457)--Abraham believed against the hope of nature but in the hope of the promise of God. (cf. Rom. 4:18)

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Comments
William Barclay:  Love never ceases to hope. It was the belief of Jesus that no man is hopeless.

Adam Clark was one of the great theologians. At school he was very slow to learn. One day a distinguished visitor paid a visit to the school, and the teacher singled out Adam Clark and said, "That is the stupidest boy in the school."

Before he left the school, the visitor came to Adam Clark and said kindly, "Never mind, my boy, you may be a great scholar some day. Don't be discouraged but try hard, and keep on trying."

The teacher was hopeless, the visitor was hopeful, and--who knows?--it may well have been that word of hope which made Adam Clark what he someday became.

Barnes:  Hopeth all things. Hopes that all will turn out well. This must also refer to the conduct of others; and it means, that however dark may be appearances; how much soever there may be to produce the fear that others are actuated by improper motives or are bad men, yet that there is a hope that matters may be explained and made clear; that the difficulties may be made to vanish; and that the conduct of others may be made to appear to be fair and pure. Love will hold on to this hope until all possibility of such a result has vanished, and it is compelled to believe that the conduct is not susceptible of a fair explanation. This hope will extend to all things--to words, and actions, and plans; to public and to private intercourse; to what is said and done in our own presence, and to what is said and done in our absence. Love will do this, because it delights in the virtue and happiness of others, and will not credit anything to the contrary unless compelled to do so.

BT Internet:  ejlpizw, hope, hope for, hope in, expect.

Adam Clarke:  Hopeth all things.] panta elpizei? When there is no place left for believing good of a person, then love comes in with its hope, where it could not work by its faith; and begins immediately to make allowances and excuses, as far as a good conscience can permit; and farther, anticipates the repentance of the transgressor, and his restoration to the good opinion of society and his place in the Church of God, from which he had fallen.

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible:  hopes all things; that are to be hoped for; hopes for the accomplishment of all the promises of God; hopes for the enjoyment of him in his house and ordinances; hopes for things that are not seen, that are future, difficult, though possible to be enjoyed: hopes for heaven and eternal happiness, for more grace here and glory hereafter; hopes the best of all men, of all professors of religion, even of wicked men, that they may be better and brought to repentance, and of fallen professors, who declare their repentance, and make their acknowledgments; he hopes well of them, that they are sincere, and all is right and will appear so.

John W. Gregson:  It expects nothing but good things. Love is always optimistic.

Matthew Henry:  Charity hopes well of others: hopeth all things. When, in spite of inclination, it cannot believe well of others, it will yet hope well, and continue to hope as long as there is any ground for it. It will not presently conclude a case desperate, but wishes the amendment of the worst of men, and is very apt to hope for what it wishes.

Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown:  hopeth -- what is good of another, even when others have ceased to hope.

BW Johnson:  Hopeth all things. Is hopeful instead of despondent, and hopes for the best. How hard for the loving mother to give up hope for her recreant son!

Steve Lewis:  Hopes all things (elpizo) = to have a confident positive expectation or anticipation of good. The implication is that the person is trusting completely in God, so he does not constantly despair or wallow in negative expectation.

Mark Heber Miller:  (Love) hopes all things.

This phrase is variously rendered: MOF: always hopeful; BER: hopes under all circumstances; WMS: it keeps up hope in everything. In at least one translation the word "hope" occurs about 150 times. The Bible is a book of Hope. The first use of the word "hope" is by the woman Ruth. (Ruth 1:12) We are not surprised that "hope" occurs most often in the Book of Job (12x) in the Hebrew Bible and in the Letter to the Romans (20x) in the Christian Bible.

Since the context is love’s characteristics and qualities, this "hope" must be in others. A positive outlook regarding our fellows, particularly those who love us less than others. We continue to hope all will come to maturity in Christ. Those who have stumbled so as to fall -- we continue to hope they will recover if love be applied and prayer continue to be earnest.

This "hope" may manifest itself in those parents who long for their children to survive life’s blows and that evil enemy, Satan. When Christian children become prodigal and wander from the Nazarene path, mother and father continue to hope all will turn out well in the end. And so, the Proverb, "Chastise your son while there exists hope." (Proverbs 19:18)

When this kind of "hope" is missing it becomes very negative. If we do not hope the best for our fellows, then we secretly wish them evil or harm. We want them to fail or stumble. This is Satanic thinking. On the other hand the phrase "love hopes always" is a very positive outlook and lacks that anxiety which is corrosive to mind and body.

Robertson's Word Studies:  {Hopeth all things} (panta elpizei). Sees the bright side of things. Does not despair.

Bill Turner:  Love hopes all things, it is full of hope in all circumstances, "Panta elpizei."

Hope looks at the character of God as the grounds of its expectation. The victory of hope can be as great as the victory of faith, as can be seen in the case of Abraham, "Who against hope believed in hope." Abraham was strengthened by Divine grace, and a spirit of praise and worship. (Gen. 18:1-15; Rom. 4:17-23) No opposition, temptation, or distress can destroy the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus. There is a dead hope as there is a dead faith, and there is a living hope as well as a living faith. (James 2:14-26 with 1 Pet. 1:3; Prov. 10:28; 11:7,23; Rom. 5:4,25; 15:4,13; Phil. 1:19,20; Col. 1:5,23,27; Titus 1:2; 2:13; Heb. 3:6; 6:11,18,19; 1 Pet. 1:21; 3:15,16; 1 Jn. 3:2,3; 1 Thes. 5:8) When love has very little grounds for faith in a person, because of real dark appearances of sin in their life, love never ceases to hope that the person will get back on the right way, and that truth and goodness will triumph. Christian hope springs out of faith in the character, love and truth of God, and is a present tense reality.

Wesley, Sermon 22:  And when it can no longer believe, then love "hopeth all things." Is any evil related of any man Love hopes that the relation is not true, that the thing related was never done. Is it certain it was -- "But perhaps it was not done with such circumstances as are related; so that, allowing the fact, there is room to hope it was not so ill as it is represented." Was the action apparently undeniably evil Love hopes the intention was not so. Is it clear, the design was evil too -- "Yet might it not spring from the settled temper of the heart, but from a start of passion, or from some vehement temptation, which hurried the man beyond himself." And even when it cannot be doubted, but all the actions, designs, and tempers are equally evil; still love hopes that God will at last make bare his arm, and get himself the victory; and that there shall be "joy in heaven over" this "one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance."

Wesley's Explanatory Notes:  When it can no longer believe well, it hopes whatever may excuse or extenuate the fault which cannot be denied. Where it cannot even excuse, it hopes God will at length give repentance unto life.

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