Other Ancient Sources
Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215)--Paul does not merely describe the spiritual man as being characterized by suffering wrong, rather than doing wrong. Rather, Paul teaches that a Christian does not keep count of injuries.

Origen (c.185-c.254)--If some people think it is wrong to do evil but not wrong to repay it, it may be just but it is still a similar sin, or in my opinion, even a worse one. For the one who does evil to begin with may perhaps not realize that what he has done is wrong. But the one who repays evil and who is moved by thoughts of revenge has already admitted that he knew it was wrong to do it. (cf. Rom 12:17)

Ambrosiaster (fl. 366-384)--Evil works against itself, and when it is overcome it thinks that it has won! Our enemy acts in such a way as to divert us from our purpose, looking for an opportunity to make us sin. Therefore if we are provoked by him and do not reply in kind, we overcome him with good. Therefore we do not resist, ... (cf. Rom. 12:21)

Chrysostom (c.344/354-407)--Paul means this: As far as possible, play your part and give nobody, either Jew or Gentile, any cause for fighting. But if you see the faith suffering anywhere, do not put harmony above truth. Make a noble stand, even to the point of death. (cf. Rom. 12:17)

Augustine (354-430)--The rule of love is that one should wish his friend to have all the good things he wants to have himself and should not wish the evils to befall his friend which he wishes to avoid himself. He shows this benevolence to all men. No evil must be done to any. Love of one's neighbor works no evil. Let us then love even our enemies as we are commanded, if we wish to be truly unconquered. (cf. Rom. 13:10)

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William Barclay:  Love does not store up the memory of any wrong it has received. The word we have translated store up (logizesthai) is an accountant's word. It is the word that is used for entering up an item in a ledger so that it will not be forgotten. That is precisely what so many pople do. One of the great arts in life is to learn what to forget.

A writer tells how "in Polynesia, where the natives spend much of their time in fighting and feasting, it is customary for each man to keep some reminders of his hatred. Articles are suspended from the roofs of their huts to keep alive the memory of their wrongs--real or imaginary." So many people nurse their wrath to keep it warm; they brood over their wrongs until it is impossible to forget them. Christian love has learned the great lesson of forgetting.

Barnes' Notes on the N.T.:  Thinketh no evil. That is, puts the best possible construction on the motives and the conduct of others. This expression also is comparative. It means that love, or that a person under the influence of love, is not malicious, censorious, disposed to find fault, or to impute improper motives to others. It is not only "not easily provoked," not soon excited, but it is not disposed to think that there was any evil intention even in cases which might tend to irritate or exasperate us. It is not disposed to think that there was any evil in the case; or that what was done was with any improper intention or design; that is, it puts the best possible construction on the conduct of others, and supposes, as far as can be done, that it was in consistency with honesty, truth, friendship, and love. The Greek word (\~logizetai\~) is that which is commonly rendered impute, and is correctly rendered here thinketh. It means, does not reckon, charge, or impute to a man any evil intention or design. We desire to think well of the man whom we love; nor will we think ill of his motives, opinions, or conduct, until we are compelled to do so by the most irrefragable evidence. True religion, therefore, will prompt to charitable judging; nor is there a more striking evidence of the destitution of true religion, than a disposition to impute the worst motives and opinions to a man.

St. John Chrysostom, Homily 33:  And he said not, "worketh no evil," but, "not even thinketh;" i.e., so far from contriving any evil, she doth not even suspect it of the beloved. How then could she work any, ...who doth not even endure to admit an evil surmise[?]

Adam Clarke:  Thinketh no evil] oulogizetai to kakon? "Believes no evil where no evil seems." Never supposes that a good action may have a bad motive; gives every man credit for his profession of religion, uprightness, godly zeal, &c., while nothing is seen in his conduct or in his spirit inconsistent with this profession. His heart is so governed and influenced by the love of God, that he cannot think of evil but where it appears. The original implies that he does not invent or devise any evil; or, does not reason on any particular act or word so as to infer evil from it; for this would destroy his love to his brother; it would be ruinous to charity and benevolence.

Henry Drummond, "The Greatest Thing In The World":  Hence it is not enough to deal with the Temper. We must go to the source, and change the inmost nature, and the angry humors will die away of themselves. Souls are made sweet not by taking the acid fluids out, but by putting something in—a great Love, a new Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Christ, the Spirit of Christ, interpenetrating ours, sweetens, purifies, transforms all. This only can eradicate what is wrong, work a chemical change, renovate and regenerate, and rehabilitate the inner man. Will-power does not change men. Time does not change men.

Therefore, "Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."

Some of us have not much time to lose. Remember, once more, that this is a matter of life or death. I cannot help speaking urgently, for myself, for yourselves. "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones, which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." That is to say, it is the deliberate verdict of the Lord Jesus that it is better not to live than not to love. It is better not to live than not to love.

Guilelessness and Sincerity may be dismissed almost without a word. Guilelessness is the grace for suspicious people. The possession of it is

You will find, if you think for a moment, that the people who influence you are people who believe in you. In an atmosphere of suspicion men shrivel up; but in that atmosphere they expand, and find encouragement and educative fellowship.

It is a wonderful thing that here and there in this hard, uncharitable world there should still be left a few rare souls who think no evil. This is the great unworldliness. Love "thinketh no evil," imputes no motive, sees the bright side, puts the best construction on every action. What a delightful state of mind to live in! What a stimulus and benediction even to meet with it for a day! To be trusted is to be saved. And if we try to influence or elevate others, we shall soon see that success is in proportion to their belief of our belief in them. The respect of another is the first restoration of the self-respect a man has lost; our ideal of what he is becomes to him the hope and pattern of what he may become.

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible:  thinketh no evil; not but that evil thoughts are in such a man's heart, for none are without them; though they are hateful, abominable, and grieving to such as are partakers of the grace of God, who long to be delivered from them: but the meaning is, either that one possessed of this grace of love does not think of the evil that is done him by another; he forgives, as God has forgiven him, so as to forget the injury done him, and remembers it no more; and so the Arabic version reads it, "and remembers not evil"; having once forgiven it, he thinks of it no more; or he does not meditate revenge, or devise mischief, and contrive evil against man that has done evil to him, as Esau did against his brother Jacob; so the Ethiopic version, by way of explanation, adds, "neither thinks evil, nor consults evil"; or as the word here used will bear to be rendered, "does not impute evil"; reckon or place it to the account of him that has committed it against him, but freely and fully forgives, as God, when he forgives sin, is said not to impute it; or such an one is not suspicious of evil in others, he does not indulge evil surmises, and groundless jealousies; which to do is very contrary to this grace of love.

John W. Gregson:  "thinketh (logizetai) or considers no evil;"

"Love often thinks of evil. To be otherwise is to be naive. But love does not spend all of its time in thinking about evil". ... Love thinks no evil; it does not keep a ledger of wrongs to repay later.

Matthew Henry:  Charity thinks no evil. It cherishes no malice, nor gives way to revenge: so some understand it. It is not soon, nor long, angry; it is never mischievous, nor inclined to revenge; it does not suspect evil of others, ou logizetai to kakon--it does not reason out evil, charge guilt upon them by inference and innuendo, when nothing of this sort appears open. True love is not apt to be jealous and suspicious; it will hide faults that appear, and draw a veil over them, instead of hunting and raking out those that lie covered and concealed: it will never indulge suspicion without proofs, but will rather incline to darken and disbelieve evidence against the person it affects. It will hardly give into an ill opinion of another, and it will do it with regret and reluctance when the evidence cannot be resisted; hence it will never be forward to suspect ill, and reason itself into a bad opinion upon mere appearances, nor give way to suspicion without any. It will not make the worst construction of things, but put the best face that it can on circumstances that have no good appearance.

Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown:  thinketh no evil -- imputeth not evil [ALFORD]; literally, "the evil" which actually is there (Pr 10:12; 1Pe 4:8). Love makes allowances for the falls of others, and is ready to put on them a charitable construction. Love, so far from devising evil against another, excuses "the evil" which another inflicts on her [ESTIUS]; doth not meditate upon evil inflicted by another [BENGEL]; and in doubtful cases, takes the more charitable view [GROTIUS].

BW Johnson:  Thinketh no evil. The idea of the Revision is that love does not keep a record of evil rendered so as to return it.

Steve Lewis:   Does not take into account a wrong suffered (logizomai) = to keep a record of offenses. This term was actually an accounting or bookkeeping term, so it has the idea of keeping a detailed history or inventory of wrongs -- who did what to whom, and when and how. Not to keep such a record means that we will have short memories of wrongs that were committed against us, and this can only be accomplished by practicing true forgiveness.

Mark Heber Miller:  (Love) does not keep account of the injury.

The Greek is OU LOGIZETAI TO KAKON, literally, "does not keep record of wrongs." Or, "keeps no log on bad things." One can see the English word "log" of "logistics" in the Greek root. The phrase is variously rendered: RSV: (not) resentful; KJV: thinketh no evil; MON: bears no malice; TCNT: never reckons up her wrongs; NEB: love keeps no score of wrongs; PME: does not keep account of evil; NAS: does not take into account a wrong suffered; WMS; never harbors evil thoughts; BECK: it does not plan to hurt anyone; NJB: does not store up grievances.

The Proverbs taught to "pass over transgression." (Proverbs 19:11) The first occurrence of "forgive" in the Bible is that of God. (Exodus 34:7) The Psalmist describes God as "ready to forgive" and the Prophets describe Him as "forgiving in a large way." (Isaiah 55:7)

Perhaps this is one of the hardest challenges in showing love: not only forgiving but also forgetting personal injuries. The Nazarene taught us to pray, "Forgive the debts of others." (Matthew 6:9) Or, let go, relieve those indebted to us. Then, Jesus makes the first commentary on the need for forgiveness when he follows with: "For if you forgive others their trespasses your heavenly Father will forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14) Our Lord puts it simply: if we refuse to forgive others we cannot expect forgiveness from God. (Mark 11:25)

The Nazarene answered the disciples’ question on how many times we ought to forgive. Peter suggested as much as seven times per day. The Lord said, "Up to 77 times" then gave an illustration of such forgiveness in the context of financial indebtedness. (Matthew 18:21-35) Luke 17:3, 4 adds a proviso to this forgiveness: the offending person must come and say, "I am sorry." Paul elsewhere counsels "freely forgiving." (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13) Even if a sinner has brought the congregation into disrepute and has repented, all are to forgive him or her. (2 Corinthians 2:7, 10)

Some persons go through life with a little book in their head. This log contains all the injuries they have suffered at the hands of others. In a heated argument they will bring out this book and recite chapter and verse of all the wrongs done against them. These persons are not loving and therefore really hateful. The mature Christian will be characterized by a forgiving disposition who truly forgets offenses or sins committed against the person. What is helpful in doing this is not taking oneself so seriously and emptying self of egotism.


“Taketh not account of evil” “ou logizetai 3049, to kakon” 2556. It is derived from “logos” 3056, and means, to count up, to take account of as in a ledger or notebook. "The evil," “to 3588, kakon” 2556, done to love, but love cancels the debt and settles the account. Love does not store up in the memory a catalogue of wrongs received, injuries done, or manifestations of the Spirit that were misused. Love does not meditate upon evil inflicted by others, or compile records or statistics of failures and sins in fellow Christians. Love does not harbour grievances, or brood over injuries. Love is not critical over genuine manifestations of the Holy Spirit, it holds fast to that which is good. 1Thes.5v19-21. The Greek word that is used is an accountant’s word; it is the word that is used to describe the keeping of an account in a ledger of every item that the person wants to remember. In God's business there is no place for keeping an account of injuries received, or imagined, or of the errors, mistakes and excesses of others. Love finds no sense of superiority or satisfaction in the faults of others, and does not keep a record of a person's failings with this end in view.

Christian love learns to forgive, forget and pass over the faults of others. In Polynesia the natives keep articles suspended from the roofs of their dwellings to remind themselves of the wrongs done to them by their enemies, and so they keep the hatred of their enemies alive. Love does not do this kind of thing, love prays for its enemies, and for those who make mistakes and fall into sin and error, the Lord Jesus told us to pray for those that despitefully use us. This aspect of love follows on from the last quality of love that Paul mentioned, i.e. anger. Love does not have outbursts of anger, or keep that anger burning by cherishing the real or imaginary wrongs committed. The only purpose of this kind of malice of heart is to deprecate another's character, and it shows as an unforgiving spirit. The Lord Jesus warned us in Mt.18v21-35. that people who harbour an unforgiving spirit can expect the most severe discipline from God. Mt.6v15. In saying these things, I do not mean to say that we should ignore wrongs that are done in the church, or neglect church discipline. If you have offended someone, it is your duty to ask for their forgiveness. Mt.5v23,24. If we have been offended it is our duty to approach the person concerned personally, then with witnesses if there is no repentance, and finally the matter must come before the church, which has the responsibility to discipline rebellious members.

Wilful sin must not be allowed in the church, the church must use the authority that Christ has given to its discipline members. Mt.18v15-22. Mt.16v18,19. Jn.20v21-23. 1Cor.5v1-5,11-15. Eph.5v11. However, where there is repentance there must always be forgiveness. Lk.17v3,4. 2Cor.2v4-11. If the church fails to carry out the procedure of discipline that Christ laid down in Mt.18v15-22., Christ can, and may, discipline the offender Himself, this can even result in the death of a Christian. 1Cor.5v5. 11v27-32. If we do not put matters right here on earth, we shall have to answer for it at the judgement seat of Christ. Rom.14v10-13. The injured party should be humble and perform positive acts of kindness to the person who has injured them, so that repentance is made much easier. Gal.6v1. Rom.12v14-21. 1Cor.1v10. Christians should not settle disputes between one another by means of unbelievers in courts of law. 1Cor.6v1-8. So we can see that sin and discord must be dealt with, but once there has been reconciliation and forgiveness, all should be forgiven and forgotten and the church should be knit together in perfect love.

We dare not keep a record of what God has forgiven and forgotten for future reference and criticism. Compiling statistics for the purpose of criticism and self-aggrandisement, can only arise when we fail to consider ourselves and our needs. Mt.5v22-26. 7v1-5. We should consider others better than ourselves, not worse, and if there is an obvious need for correction, it should be done in a proper spirit. Phil.2v3. Gal.6v1. When Paul corrected people it was from the attitude that he was "less than the least of the saints." Eph.3v8. 1Tim.1v15. Love does not meditate upon people’s faults, or their injuries with a critical attitude. In the diatribes against the Pentecostal experience, people have done the very thing that 1Cor.13v5. condemns. To justify their unbelief in the Pentecostal experience, even Christian men have gone to amazing lengths to compile cases of fanaticism and failure, and they have criticised genuine moves of the Holy Spirit by maligned and perverted reporting.

To strengthen their weak arguments some have felt it necessary to magnify out of all proportion the excesses of a small minority of "Pentecostal failures" or "fringe fanatics" of the Pentecostal movement. But what Christian group has no spiritual failures? Even the apostolic band could be looked upon as "not of God" by this method of examination. Christ was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and forsaken by all, and the Bible tells us of many good men who have failed God. The Bible tells us to sorrow over the fall of a brother and help to restore him, not to compile a record of his failures for the purpose of exciting public contempt. Gal.6v1. Mt.5v44-48. 7v1-5. What a fearful judgement awaits those who attack the gifts that Christ has given to His Church, by unchristian means! The Lord Jesus warned that it was the very worst form of blasphemy to ascribe the works of the Holy Spirit to Satan. Mk.3v22-30. One is very thankful that many Christians in all denominations are seeking and receiving the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit, and that in many circles the old prejudices are becoming a thing of the past. Love does not impute evil motives to another Christian's actions, nor is it suspicious of their character or actions. Love puts the best construction and interpretation on actions that look doubtful in a Christian bother or sister.

Robertson's Word Studies:  {Taketh not account of evil} (ou logizetai to kakon). Old verb from logos, to count up, to take account of as in a ledger or note-book, "the evil" (to kakon) done to love with a view to settling the account.

BT Internet:  logizomai, reckon, count, credit, suppose

Either, 'does not keep a record of wrongs', or, 'does not think evil'--i.e. always imputes best motives. Bruce thinks the reference is to determination to pay someone back in their own coin.

kako", h, on, evil, bad, wrong, harm

The Theologian: The Internet Journal for Integrated Theology:  Ou logizetai to kakon--Touchiness leads to the making of lists and an unforgiving attitude. This would hit home forcefully to a Church like the one in Corinth, which was riddled with factions, each no doubt taking note of how the others reacted. "The man who loves does not compile a dossier about his neighbour."

Bill Turner:  Love thinks no evil, is not mindful of wrongs.

"Logizetai," is the present middle passive indicative of "logizomai," to count, to set down as a matter of account, as in a ledger. Love does not keep an account of wrongs done to it, or scores to be paid back. Love does not have outbursts of anger, or keep that anger burning, by cherishing real or imaginary records of the failures and sins of fellow Christians. Christians with "agape love will love their enemies, even if they do not like them or their ways; and prays with genuine concern for those that despitefully use it. Mt.5v43-48. Lk.6v26-28. 23v33,34. Acts.8v51-60. Love does not compile or settle accounts with people. It finds no sense of superiority or satisfaction in the faults of others. Those who harbour a bitter unforgiving spirit can expect severe discipline from God. Mt.5v21-26. 18v21-35. Mk.11v25,26.

Injuries and emotional wounds caused by hurtful words and actions should be dealt with immediately and not allowed to fester, and where there is repentance there must be whole-hearted forgiveness. Mt.5v23,24. Lk.17v3,4. If the Church fails to follow Christ's procedure of discipline laid down in Mt.18v15-22., then the Lord Jesus personally disciplines His loved ones. 1Cor.11v27-32. It is better to put matters right now than to have to do it at Christ's judgement seat. Rom.14v10-13. The injured party should be humble and perform positive acts of kindness to the person who has injured them, so that repentance and reconciliation is made much easier. Gal.6v1. Rom.12v14-21. 1Cor.1v10. Phil.2v3. Eph.3v8. 1Tim.1v15.

Vincent's Word Studies:  Thinketh no evil (ou logizetai to kakon). Lit., reckoneth not the evil. Rev., taketh not account of. The evil; namely, that which is done to love. "Love, instead of entering evil as a debt in its account-book, voluntarily passes the sponge over what it endures" (Godet).

Wesley's Explanatory Notes:  Love thinketh no evil--Indeed it cannot but see and hear evil things, and know that they are so; but it does not willingly think evil of any; neither infer evil where it does not appear. It tears up, root and branch, all imagining of what we have not proof. It casts out all jealousies, all evil surmises, all readiness to believe evil.

Wesley, Sermon 22:  Love prevents a thousand provocations which would otherwise arise, because it "thinketh no evil." Indeed the merciful man cannot avoid knowing many things that are evil, he cannot but see them with his own eyes, and hear them with his own ears. For love does not put out his eyes, so that it is impossible for him not to see that such things are done; neither does it take away his understanding, any more than his senses, so that he cannot but know that they are evil. For instance: When he sees a man strike his neighbour, or hears him blaspheme God, he cannot either question the thing done, or the words spoken, or doubt of their being evil. Yet, ou logizetai to kakon. The word logizetai, "thinketh," does not refer either to our seeing and hearing, or to the first and involuntary acts of our understanding; but to our willingly thinking what we need not; our inferring evil, where it does not appear; to our reasoning concerning things which we do not see; our supposing what we have neither seen nor heard. This is what true love absolutely destroys. It tears up, root and branch, all imagining what we have not known. It casts out all jealousies, all evil surmisings, all readiness to believe evil. It is frank, open, unsuspicious; and, as it cannot design, so neither does it fear, evil.

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