Commentators A-L
Henry Alford:  perperEUetai] The word occurs in Cicero ad Attic. i. 14: ‘Di boni! quomodo eperpereuSAme-n novo auditori Pompeio!’ and Marc(59) Antonin. 1 Corinthians 13:5; aresKEUesthai, kai perperEUesthai, k. toSAUta rhipTAzesthai te- psyCHE-. Among the examples in Wetst. of PERperos and perPEReia, is a good definition from Basil: ti ESti to perperEUesthai; pan ho me- diA CHREIan, alLA diA kallo-pisMON perilamBANetai perperEIas Echei kate-goRIan. And the Etymol. Mag.,— anTI tou, mataiOUtai, atakTEI, katePAIretai meTA blakEIas epaiROmenos. The nearest English expression would perhaps be 'displays not itself'.

Thomas Aquinas:  Then when he says, is not arrogant, he shows that charity makes one avoid evils by which one is disarranged in himself. First, as to passions; secondly, as to choice (v. 5b).

William Barclay:  Love is no braggart. There is a self-effacing quality in love. True love will always be far more impressed with its own unworthiness than with its own merit. In Barrie's story Sentimental Tommy used to come home to his mother after some success at school and say, "Mother, am I no' a wonder?" Some people confer their love with the idea that they are conferring a favour. But the real lover cannot ever get over the wonder that he is loved. Love is kept humble by the consciousness that it can never offer its loved one a gift which is good enough.

Barnes & Murphy:  Vaunteth not itself. (perpereuetai, from perperos, a boaster, braggart. --Robinson.) The idea is that of boasting, bragging, vaunting. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Bloomfield supposes that it has the idea of acting precipitously, inconsiderately, incautiously; and this idea our translators have placed in the margin, "he is not rash." But most expositors suppose that it has the notion of boasting, or vaunting of one's own excellences or endowments. This spirit proceeds from the idea of superiority over others; and is connected with a feeling of contempt or disregard for them. Love would correct this, because it would produce a desire that they should be happy--and to treat a man with contempt is not the way to make him happy; love would regard others with esteem--and to boast over them is not to treat them with esteem; it would teach us to treat them with affectionate regard--and no man who has affectionate regard for others is disposed to boast of his own qualities over them. Besides, love produces a state of mind just the opposite of a disposition to boast. It receives its endowments with gratitude; regards them as the gift of God; and is disposed to employ them not in vain boasting, but in purposes of utility, in doing good to all others on as wide a scale as possible. The boaster is not a man who does good. To boast of talents is not to employ them to advantage to others. It will be of no account in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, comforting the sick and afflicted, or in saving the world. Accordingly, the man who does the most good is the least accustomed to boast; the man who boasts may be regarded as doing nothing else.

Joseph Beet:  Nor do we vaunt ourselves: i.e. parade before them any supposed superiority of our own. For boasted superiority separates; whereas love unites.

Brian Bell:  Love does not parade itself!

  1. Love doesn’t brag or boast! - "Love makes no parade!"
    1. When I was 5 years old, Mr. Prenevost used to have all the kids on the block go home & get pots & pans, & we’d parade up & down the street.
    2. How often I’ve done that with my “love”.
    3. When a man begins to boast, he is advertising his emptiness & his ignorance.
  2. The Lord Jesus never “showed off”!
  3. “True love will always be far more impressed w/its own unworthiness than its own merit!”
  4. “The real lover cannot ever get over the wonder that he is loved!”
    1. I can see this 2 ways: One with the Lord, the other w/Kelly!
    2. The Lord - Why does the Lord love me…I know me.
    3. Kelly - My 1st date with her...I couldn’t believe she’d go out with me (popular cheer leader type/me the wanna be jock/surfer/party’r)
    4. When I get frustrated w/either of these relationships, that truth is a great reminder! – Then my love is kept humble!
  5. Q: How about you? Are you boastful, conceited, proud?

Joseph Benson:  Love vaunteth not itself - Greek, ou perpereuetai, acteth not rashly, as the expression is translated by many critics, following Phavorinus. Indeed, to render it as our translators do, is to make it signify the same thing with the next clause. The lover of God and mankind does not hastily condemn any one; never passes a severe sentence on a slight or sudden view of things. Nor does he act or behave in a violent, headstrong, or precipitate manner.

Jim Bomkamp: 
‘love does not brag’:

  1. Strong’s Greek Dictionary has the following definition for this word translated ‘brag’:
    1. To boast one's self
    2. A self display, employing rhetorical embellishments in extolling one's self excessively
  2. When a person brags, I believe that it is because he doesn’t realize how much God truly loves him.
  3. A bragging man tries to make himself look better than he thinks he actually is. He does this so that people will like or accept him because of his having achieved some special status or feat. However the very thing that he hopes to gain he doesn’t get, the acceptance and being liked by others. Bragging you see causes people to be pushed away from us.
  4. Braggers are always making you aware of their achievements and or how they can do something better than others. These people have never realized that true greatness is something that is a gift from God anyway, and that it is God who should get all of the praise and glory. When you think about it there is nothing that anyone has that didn’t come from God in the first place, therefore knowing that how could anyone brag about anything?
  5. If we were to be like Christ we would want in love to praise others and not ourselves and our own feats and achievements.
  6. The one who brags does this because he doesn’t realize in his own experience the “agape” love that God has for him.

Alan Carr:  Vaunteth Not Itself - Literally, this phrase means "does not make a parade". Love does not brag! It does not draw attention to itself or to what it is doing. A person who must be the center of attention and is hurt when he is not is not walking in love!

Adam Clarke:  Charity vaunteth not itself
ou perpereuetai
This word is variously translated; acteth not rashly, insolently; is not inconstant, &c. It is not agreed by learned men whether it be Greek, Latin, or Arabic. Bishop Pearce derived it from the latter language; and translates it, is not inconstant. There is a phrase in our own language that expresses what I think to be the meaning of the original, does not set itself forward -- does not desire to be noticed or applauded; but wishes that God may be all in all.

Stephen J. Cole:  Selfless love does not brag and is not arrogant. These ugly twins are related. They both stem from selfishness and are the flip side of jealousy. “Jealousy is wanting what someone else has. Bragging is trying to make others jealous of what we have. Jealousy puts others down; bragging builds us up” (John MacArthur, Jr., The Mac Arthur New Tes tament Commentary, 1 Corinthians [Moody Press], p. 341). Bragging is an outward manifestation of pride.

The braggart tries to impress others of his great accomplishments in order to make himself look good: “After all I’ve done for you, and you treat me this way!” But love isn’t trying to build up me; love is trying to build up the other person. Love is humble. The humble, loving person is aware that everything he has is an undeserved gift from God (1 Cor. 4:7). So he doesn’t boast, but thankfully uses what God has given to serve others.

F.C. Cook:  perperEUetai seems to mean 'does not show off, makes no display.' If physiOUtai also is in middle voice, as is most probable, it may be rendered, being a word of some coarseness, 'does not swell and swagger'. These predicates of charity present the negative side of humility: they imply an instinctive shrinking from all false glitter, pompous bluster, strutting in borrowed plumes, from exaggerated words, looks, tone, style; in short, a rooted hatred of seeming to be more than one is.

J. Cross: Charity endeavours to conceal its good works as the sea conceals its pearls and the earth its gold. It is not the ambitious sunflower that lifts its gaudy head on high, and expands its inodorous petals to the broad light of the noon; but the unobtrusive violet that hides its delicate beauty in the bank of a shady brook, and from its green seclusion perfumes the dewy twilight. Intent only on doing good, it cares nothing for the applause of the world, and seeks to build no temple to its own fame. Aming only at blessing others, it is comparatively a small matter whether it win another's blessing or incur another's curse. It sends no herald to announce its advent, blows no trumpet to proclaim its purpose, unfurls no banner to catch the eye of the world, saith to no son of Rechab, "Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord"; but, like its Divine example, goes about doing good, without causing its voice to be heard in the street, or letting the left hand know what the right hand doeth; and like those holy and blessed creatures who minister to the heirs of salvation and shed a thousand blessings from wings unseen, it conceals its beneficent agency even from its beneficiaries. King Hezekiah lost his royal treasures by an ostentatious display of them to the Assyrian embassy; and tells us that virtues, like precious stones, must be concealed to be kept; for if we display them publicly, we lose them, and vain-glory is the one thief that has robbed many of their treasure laid up in heaven. But this celestial visitant in the abodes of men carries her jewels in a safe casket — hides them in her own heart, while she herself lies hidden in the secret place of the Most High, and abides secure under the shadow of the Almighty.

A. Donnan: Charity does not boast of its connections, and talk of the dignity of its family, the lustre of its ancestors, the fortune and rank of its relations, and its intercourse with the great; as little does it magnify itself on account of its external possessions, and set forth in lofty terms its own riches, its credit and interest among men, its power and authority over others. Neither does it vaunt of its personal accomplishments and exalt itself above those whom it seems to excel in point of learning and knowledge, of wit and courage, of dexterity and address, or of beauty and strength. It does not even boast of its own good deeds, and take undue praise to itself from the things it has done and the actions it has performed. In every case charity forbids us to seek our own gratification in the diminution of that of our neighbour whom we should love as ourselves. It modestly declines to talk concerning itself, and avoids every subject in conversation which tends to elevate its own merit, and to place that of another in an inferior point of view.

Henry Drummond:  And then, after having learned all that, you have to learn this further thing, Humility -- to put a seal upon your lips and forget what you have done. After you have been kind, after Love has stolen forth into the world and done its beautiful work, go back into the shade again and say nothing about it. Love hides even from itself. Love waives even self-satisfaction. "Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up."

Joseph Exell:  Humble. "Charity vaunteth not herself, is not puffed up." Nothing is more offensive than that spirit of assumption which "pats one on the back," and patronises as though it were an embodiment of the wisdom of all the ages.

Exell & Spence:  Vaunteth not itself. The meaning would probably be most nearly expressed by the colloquialism, does not show off. It does not, for instance, "do its alms before men to be seen of them" (Matthew 6:1). The Latin perperus, which is from the same root as this word, means "a braggart," or "swaggerer." Cicero, speaking of a grand oratorical display of his own before Pompey, says to Atticus, "Good heavens! how I showed myself off (eneperpereuSAme-n) before my new hearer, Pompeius!" ('Ad. Art.,' 1:14).

Lee Gatiss:  Love ou perpereuetai does not cause envy in others by boasting about its own achievements.

John Gill:  Charity vaunteth not itself: is not ostentatious, a proud boaster; either of what he has, the things of nature, as wisdom, riches, honour, strength -- or spiritual gifts; or of what he does, since what such an one does, he does from a principle of love, and with a view to the glory of God, and not to be seen of men, or to gain their esteem and applause: or is not rash, and precipitant; does not run headlong into measures, to promote his own honour and interest, without considering what will be the consequence of things; nor is he rash with his mouth, or hasty with his lips, to utter anything unbecoming before God or men. The Arabic version renders it, "does not speak deceitfully"; or hypocritically, for nothing is more contrary to true genuine love than this; the Syriac version renders it, "is not tumultuous"; noisy and seditious: such an one is not troublesome in a commonwealth, nor does he go into parties and factions in churches, but is all the reverse.

Frederic Louis Godet:  With envy, which bears on the advantages of others, there is naturally connected boasting in regard to one's own. The word perperEUesthai is of unknown origin. Perhaps it is an onomatopoeia, the reduplication of the first syllable expressing vain boasting, or perhaps it is connected with PEra (beyond), and denotes the act of transgressing the just measure. It has also been derived from the Latin "perperam" (proeter operam). The ancient commentators sometimes take it for the vice of precipitancy, sometimes for that of boastfulness. Others, affectation, petulance, or frivolity (see Edwards). The most probable meaning is that of ostentation. It is easy to understand from the passages 12:14-17 and 21-26, the application of these first two terms to the state of the Church of Corinth. The inconsiderate use of the dictum: "All things are lawful for me" (6:12; 10:23), serves also to explain the second. Hence the transition to inflation, as the inward source of the two preceding evils.

John W. Gregson:  It boasts not nor does it talk of loving; it just loves and does not brag. It is never conceited.

Matthew Henry:  Charity subdues pride and vain-glory; It vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, is not bloated with self-conceit, does not swell upon its acquisitions, nor arrogate to itself that honour, or power, or respect, which does not belong to it. It is not insolent, apt to despise others, or trample on them, or treat them with contempt and scorn. Those who are animated with a principle of true brotherly love will in honour prefer one another, Romans 12:10. They will do nothing out of a spirit of contention or vain-glory, but in lowliness of mind will esteem others better than themselves, Philippians 2:3. True love will give us an esteem of our brethren, and raise our value for them; and this will limit our esteem of ourselves, and prevent the tumours of self-conceit and arrogance. These ill qualities can never grow out of tender affection for the brethren, nor a diffusive benevolence. The word rendered in our translation vaunteth itself bears other significations; nor is the proper meaning, as I can find, settled; but in every sense and meaning true charity stands in opposition to it. The Syriac renders it, non tumultuatur--does not raise tumults and disturbances. Charity calms the angry passions, instead of raising them. Others render it, Non perperàm et perversè agit--It does not act insidiously with any, seek to ensnare them, nor tease them with needless importunities and addresses. It is not froward, nor stubborn and untractable, nor apt to be cross and contradictory. Some understand it of dissembling and flattery, when a fair face is put on, and fine words are said, without any regard to truth, or intention of good. Charity abhors such falsehood and flattery. Nothing is commonly more pernicious, nor more apt to cross the purposes of true love and good will.

H.A. Ironside:  "[Love] vaunteth not itself." In plain English, "love never brags." Love never exalts itself or its ability; it never tries to draw attention to itself.

Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown:  vaunteth not--in words, even of gifts which it really possesses; an indirect rebuke of those at Corinth who used the gift of tongues for mere display.

B.W. Johnson:  Vaunteth not itself. Does not ostentatiously boast of superiority.

S. Lewis Johnson:  And so he says, love does not parade itself. Now, this verb can be rendered to behave as a braggart or as a windbag. As you well know, those of you who are Cowboy rooters - and there are a number in this audience who are - you know that one of the things that football players are filled with these days, which probably a generation ago was not quite as obvious as today, but football cornerbacks say to wide receivers hoping, for example, to stir them and upset them so they might not keep their mind on catching the ball, and so that they constantly talk trash they call it. Doesn’t mean anything. It’s just talk that you are trying to upset the opposite team. Love does not parade itself, does not behave as a braggart, does not behave as a windbag.

Now, we have that in Corinth. We don’t have that talking trash because Christians don’t talk trash as a rule. Very rarely does a Christian ever break down and really curse a fellow Christian. It has been done, of course, but that very rarely happens. What he does is a better class of being a windbag. The Corinthians were good at that. I am of Paul, I am of Cephas, I am of Apollos - I am of Apollos, that great preacher. Peter, just a fisherman. I am of Apollos. The people who appreciate Apollos are the one’s who understand the finer things of life. Or I am of Paul and so forth. So one can see the application even of that to the situation in Corinth.

J.H. Jowett: No, where there is no envy there will be no vaunting of oneself, no self-glorifying. It is the envious folk who are the swaggerers. Envy always forces a man into self assertion. Envy leads a man to disparage another, and the disparagement is always directed to the commendation of himself. If you listen to an envious person, who is engaged in disparaging another, you will find that the whole process is a glorification of himself. There is nothing like envy for puffing us up. Envy vaunts itself by slighting others. I have heard a man speak very critically and disparagingly of the electric light, pointing out its irregularity and its defects, but then he was a large shareholder in gas companies! And I think this has its moral application. Our envy leads us to speak disparagingly of other people's excellences, in order that we may vaunt ourselves.

Keith Krell:  Love does not brag. The root word for "brag" in Greek is very picturesque and is closest to our English word, "wind-bag." Love is not an egotistical blowhard. Love is not big-headed but big-hearted. This means the more loving you become, the less boasting you need to do. The greater your spiritual gifts, the less prone you should be to brag. After all, the gifts you have been graciously given are from God. When you and I brag, we are demonstrating our insecurity and spiritual immaturity. Paul states that bragging is the converse of biblical love. Hence, we should pursue Christ so that we will be humble before Him and others.

Paul Kretzmann:  Love makes no self-display, carefully avoids vaunting, boasting, magnifying its own real or supposed advantages; ostentation of superiority, especially of supposed superiority, is the very opposite of love.

Lange & Schaff:  Love vaunteth not itself. perpereuetai is onomatopoetic ["and comes from the old Latin word perperus, a braggart.--See Polybius xxxii. 6,5: xl. 6, 2;" Stanley]. It means to show off one's self--to cut a swell, make a display, especially with false pretences, to talk big, to swagger. Next we have an allusion to the inward ground of all such conduct: is not puffed up.

Cornelius a Lapide:  Does nothing wrongly. Perversely, wantonly, maliciously. Some interpret the Greek, "does not chatter idly"; Vatablus, "does not flatter"; Clement (Paedag. c. ii.), "does not paint her face or adorn her head overmuch". "For worship," says Clement, "is said to act unseemly which openly shows superfluity and usefulness; for excessive striving after adornment is opposed to God, to reason, and to charity." Cajetan interprets the word: "is not inconstant"; Theophlact, "is not headstrong, fickle, rash, stubborn"; Ephrem, "is not riotous". Theophylact again, "doth not exalt itself." So also S. Basil seems to interpret it. "What," he asks, "does this word (perpereuetai) mean?" which the Latin translator of Basil renders: "What do we mean by being boastful and arrogant without cause?" He replies: "That which is assumed not from necessity but for the sake of superfluous adornment, incurs the charge of unseemliness." But from these words it is evident that the translator has not followed the mind of S. Basil and that Basil did not mean boasting and foolish arrogance, but painting and excessive adornment, as did Clement of Alexandria in the place just cited. Best of all, Chrysostom understands it: "Charity is not forward or wanton, as is the carnal love of lascivious men, wanton women, and harlots." Whence Tertullian (de Patientia, c. xii.) says, "Charity makes not wanton."

Steve Lewis:  Love does not brag (perpereuomai) = to boast about one's own greatness; to display one's self prominently. This kind of attitude is often produced by a sense of superiority over others, and it expresses itself through feelings of contempt or disregard for others. But God's kind of love would regard others with value and respect.

J.J. Lias:  vaunteth not itself] The word here used is derived from the Latin perperus, vicious, boastful. Both this and the next sentence have reference to the manner in which excellencies he actually possesses are regarded by one imbued with the spirit of love. Cf. Romans 12:3.

John Lyth: 

    1. Assumption.
    2. Vanity.
  2. THEIR OFFENSIVENESS. They imply —
    1. Contempt for.
    2. Disregard of the feelings and claims of others.
    1. Is humble in spirit and deportment.
    2. Willingly offends none.

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