Commentators M-Z
Heinrich Meyer:  ou perperEUetai] she boasts not, practises no vaunting. See Cicero, a[2065] Att. i. 14; Antonin. v. 5, and Gatak. in loc[2066]; also Winer, Beitr. zur Verbess. d. neutest. Lexicogr. p. 5 ff. Comp PERperos in Polyb. xxxii. 6. 5, xl. 6. 2; Arrian. Epict. iii. 2. 14.

Mark Heber Miller:  (Love) does not brag.

The Greek is OU PERPEREUETAI and is variously translated: KJV: vaunteth not itself; PME: it is neither anxious to impress; MOF: love makes no parade; TCNT: never boastful. The word is unique to this verse. As with jealousy, there is a good form of bragging or boasting and a bad form. The difference is dependent on the object of this boasting or bragging.

Proverbs 27:1, "Do not make your boast about the next day, for you do not know what a day will give birth to." This is echoed by James 4:13-16, "Come, now, you who say: ‘Today or tomorrow we will journey to this city and will spend a year there, and we will engage in business and make profits,’ whereas you do not know what your life will be tomorrow. For you are a mist appearing for a little while and then disappearing. Instead, you ought to say: 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.' But now you take pride in your self-assuming brags. All such taking of pride is wicked." On this basis the bragging or boasting--which is not out of love--may be characterized by materialistic boasts which ignore God.

Twice Paul quotes Jeremiah 9:23, 24 to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 1:28-31 says, "God chose the ignoble things of the world and the things looked down upon, the things that are not, that he might bring to nothing the things that are, in order that no flesh might boast in the sight of God ... that it may be just as it is written: 'He that boasts, let him boast in the Lord [YHWH].' And, 2 Corinthians 10:17-18, "’But he that boasts, let him boast in the Lord [YHWH].’ For not the one who recommends himself is approved, but the man whom the Lord recommends."

Jeremiah 9:23-24 writes about a good and bad form of bragging or boasting, "This is what Jehovah has said: ‘Let not the wise man brag about himself because of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man brag about himself because of his mightiness. Let not the rich man brag about himself because of his riches. But let the one bragging about himself brag about himself because of this very thing, the having of insight and the having of knowledge of me." Jeremiah lists some of those areas in which even worshippers of God might find themselves bragging or boasting: wisdom or intelligence (or, educational background); personal strength, health or physical fitness; and, riches or material possessions. On the other hand if one is to boast or brag it ought to be in the realm of spiritual insight (characterized by humility) and knowing God in a personal relationship.

In the spirit of Paul’s description of love as not bragging, it is often the case that a mature and qualified Christian must remain silent and not give the impression of bragging. For example, a group might discuss how often some have read the Bible and one knows they have read the Bible more often--it is best to remain silent. Even if pressured for an answer, it may be best to decline to answer, perhaps with, "Not enough."

Skip Moen:  ou perpereutai [Love] is not boastful. The word (from perperos) is related to arrogance in speech. It suggests bragging, exaggerating and asserting oneself. It is egotistical speech. This is the only occurrence of the word in the New Testament and is quite possibly a word that Paul created. With that in mind, it is important to ask, "Why would Paul make up this word. What was so important about this idea that he had to create a word to fit it?" This is especially significant when there are other words in Greek that could have been used for "boastful" (kauchaomai, for example, is a word that Paul uses quite often).

Set in proximity to the word zeloi, we should notice that the basis of this characteristic is found in the same Old Testament formula that supplied the rich heritage of the previous words.

One of the central proclamations of the Decalogue is the proper respect for the sovereignty of God. The first three commandments concern the relationship of authority that God exercises over Man. God is the only God. No relationship to any other supreme authority is tolerated or endorsed. God’s exclusivity is backed by His jealous guardianship of this relationship. The third idea associated with God’s authority is found in the expression, "You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain". The Hebrew word here is shaw. It suggests vanity, worthlessness and falsehood. While it certainly covers the current understanding of profanity, it also suggests that taking God’s name in vain implies thinking lightly of His stature, that is, not showing the proper respect for God’s rightful authority. This extension is supported by the LXX translation of shaw with epi mataio ("thoughtlessly").

If we recall that there is both a proper and an improper use of zeloi, we will find that the same idea is true of perpereutai. There is a tradition in the Old Testament where the idea of "boasting" is quite properly applied to God. The Hebrew word is halal and it is used extensively in the Psalms to describe exultation and praise of God. Here halal is actually an obligation placed on the believer to affirm God’s full authority and supremacy. Praise of God in this sense is proper "boasting" in the Lord. There is no element of self-aggrandizement or egotism. In fact, proper boasting is exactly the opposite since proper boasting is the acknowledgement that God is the unique and sole object worthy of worship.

Any speech or act that lessens the authority and supremacy of God violates the commandment to not take God’s name in vain. This is much more than showing respect. God wants us to live on the basis of His rightful authority. This is a commandment that is for our own good because it reminds us of our necessary and essential dependency on the Creator of Life. It positions us so that we are in the right relationship with God. Improper boasting is sin because egotism replaces God with our own image. Perpereutai is the equivalent of blasphemy.

God’s character is grounded in truth. God cannot abide the inflation of the truth any more than He can partake in the omission of truth through lies. Blasphemy is the attempt to replace the truth of God with a false assertion about myself. No wonder Paul tells us that Love is never boastful. Love reflects God’s essential character. To act with egotistical boastfulness is to deny who God is. Love never boasts because Love honors God.

The practice of love replaces the typically human trait of seeking self-aggrandizement by allowing God’s character of truthfulness to flow through us.

Once again we see that Paul is making a point about a state of being in opposition to the result of acting. This quality of love is not accomplished by some mental discipline but rather by recognizing that no human being, most of all me, replaces God’s sovereignty. If I love God, I will never blaspheme because I will never treat God as less than God. My boasting will be always of His majesty and grace, never of my selfish ego. If I boast of myself, I blaspheme against God. This is a matter of my heart, not of disciplined control of my words. I must recognize God as my God, the Ruler of my life, if I am going to have a heart purified of selfish desire to proclaim my rights and power. Without a heart change, perpereutai will show itself in my life no matter how carefully I control my words. Perpereutai is a state of mind that Love cannot allow.

We must take care not to be confused with this language. Because human sinfulness seeks justification, rationale and excuse, we are likely to interpret the negative proposition about love as a command. In other words, instead of reading "Love boasts not", we read "If I am a loving person, I will not boast". From this understanding, it is a short step to the conclusion "I don’t really boast, therefore I am a loving person." We want to convert a quality into an activity in order that we may measure (and find acceptable) our own status.

But the force of this phrase has little to do with the activity of bragging or (perhaps more palatably) thinking well of myself. This phrase is a statement about the final truth of love’s character. It is a universal view of the standard, emanating from a holy God. And in the end, all of our justifications, all of our rationalizations, all of our excuses, are just that: boasting. Why? Because the truth is that we are in the business of self-supporting justification. We may not proclaim our worth before the world in the self-righteous style of the media’s characterization of moral failure. We may consider ourselves humble, and be viewed that way by others. But God’s love says something different. Held up to that mirror, our personalities are thoroughly riddled with attempts to earn credit we most assuredly do not deserve. Our moral acts, our good deeds, our charitable thoughts – all of these are stockpiled in the internal bank account that we use to convince ourselves that we are really just fine. This is the ultimate arrogance. It denies God’s holy judgment of our true condition. It plays havoc with our spiritual renewal. It is blasphemy. It is not love.

The truth is the recognition of our utter failure to be what God intended us to be. The truth is our final, complete and ultimate moral bankruptcy. The truth is that the only thing we have that is really ours is our sin. Everything else is a gift – and even this we have spoiled.

Love is not boastful because love recognizes the true human condition, guilty and repentant. Love can embrace another’s wrong because it was first my own wrong. A fellowship of the forgiven is the only honest characterization of human relationships. And forgiveness means that we depend entirely on God’s gift of grace. Grace makes boasting impossible. Paul has given us a commandment of the Decalogue rewritten in the framework of the Savior – "a new commandment I give unto you, that you love".

Robert E. Neighbour:  Love is not proud. Even when the life, prompted by love, does accomplish something great for the Lord, it never vaunteth itself. ...

Love seeketh not the praise of men; love desires not the best seats in the synagogue; love never delights in being called of men Rabbi, Rabbi. Love lives for the Beloved, seeketh His honor, His praise, His glory. It makes itself of no reputation.

W. Robertson Nicoll:  The verb [1984] perperEUetai (parallel [1985] in form to chre-stEUetai) occurs only in Marc. Anton., v., 5 besides, where it is rendered ostentare se (the Vulgate [1986] perperam se agit rests on mistaken resemblance) to show oneself off: PERperos, used by Polybius and Epictetus, signifies braggart, boastful (see Gm [1987], s.v.), its sense here.--He who is envious (ze-l.) of superiority in others is commonly ostentatious (perp.) of superiority assumed in himself, and arrogant (phys) towards inferiors.

Jose L.S. Nogales:  El amor no presume (oú perpereúetai). No tiene vana-gloria o jactancia arrogante de la propia valía. La vanidad construye sobre el cimiento de la falta de realismo, la carencia de sustancia y la escasez de solidez. La vanidad presuntuosa es inútil, infructuosa, insubsistente, Poco durable e inestable. Poco realista, pues no acompasa el sentimiento del propio valor y necesaria autoestima, con el sentido ecuánime de la inherente defectividad, la inclinación al mal y la tendencia al egoísmo. No se vana-gloria, consciente de ser causa de sufrimiento de aquellos a quienes ama y por quienes es amado. El amor no presume, pues tiene esas justas medidas de autoestima y de sentido de la propia falibilidad. Sabe que vale, pero también que puede fracasar e inducir el dolor.

John Piper:  We all love to be made much of. We like to be admired. We like it when people notice our successes and miss our failures. We like it when we hear people say nice things about us. But we don't like it when people make fun of us or criticize us or laugh at us or humiliate us.

So we have developed strategies for minimizing our failures and maximizing our successes. We tend to draw attention to the one and cover over the other. There are crude ways of doing this like overt bragging and boasting and developing a certain cocky swagger or talking with a kind of devil-may-care conceit or an in-your-face kind of arrogance. In fact in America we have turned the vice of bragging into a virtue of entertainment.

But there are also more subtle, refined, acceptable ways of expressing our pride--like bringing the conversation back again and again to ourselves and what we've done, or even more subtly by constantly talking about our woundedness or our sadness, and about how badly things have gone for us. Self-pity and boasting are both forms of pride: one is pride in the heart of the weak, and the other is pride in the heart of the strong.

Now Paul says, "Love does not brag and is not arrogant." That is, it does not speak much about itself ...

Matthew Poole:  Vaunteth not itself; he doth not prefer himself before others, ambitiously glorying or boasting, and acting rashly to promote his own glory and satisfy his own intemperate desires or lusts.

Ray Pritchard:  Fourth, love does not boast. It does not brag, is not pompous or conceited. It has no exalted opinion of itself. It is not eager to gain the applause of others.

The Greek word translated "boast" means something like "windbag." It has within it the idea of the person who must continually talk about himself in order to impress others.

Sometimes we would be better off saying nothing at all. Once upon a time, a turtle wanted to spend the winter in Florida but he knew he could never walk that far. He convinced a couple of geese to help him, each taking one end of a piece of rope, while he clamped his vise-like jaws in the center. The flight went fine until someone on the ground looked up in admiration and asked, "Who in the world thought of that?" Unable to resist the chance to take credit, the turtle opened his mouth to shout, "I did-"

Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep your mouth shut.

Ron Ritchie:  Jesus does not boast about himself, nor did he boast about himself on earth, but was and still is pleased to glorify his Father (John 6:37-38).

A.T. Robertson:  Vaunteth not itself (ou perpereuetai). From perperos, vainglorious, braggart (Polybius, Epictetus) like Latin "perperus". Only here in N.T. and earliest known example. It means play the braggart. Marcus Anton. V. 5 uses it with areskeuomai, to play the toady.

Charles Simeon:  Pride: “Charity vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemly”—

These three may properly be classed under the head of pride. The word which is translated “vaunteth not itself,” is in the margin translated. “is not rash:” and this perhaps is somewhat nearer to the original; which imports, that charity is not inconsiderate, insolent, and over-bearing. This is nearly allied with a conceit of one’s own attainment, and naturally leads to a violation of all that respect which is due to age, and station, and legitimate authority.

Yet to what an extent do these evils exist! how headstrong, how self-opinionated, how presumptuous are youth in general, especially where they can give vent to their dispositions without restraint! But love is modest, sober, temperate: it pays a just deference to the sentiments of others; and willingly submits to the dictates of maturer age, and riper judgment.

If then we speak and act without a due consideration of what others may think, or a proper regard to what others may feel, or in any way that does not befit our age, our rank, our character, we violate the duties of charity; which teaches us to “esteem others better than ourselves [Note: Philippians 2:3],” and to guard with all possible care against every thing that may give just offence [Note: 1 Corinthians 10:32.], or weaken the influence of our exertions for the good of others. In a word, real charity will lead us to “prefer others in honour before ourselves [Note: Romans 12:10.],” and to take on all occasions the lowest place [Note: Luke 14:10.].

Hamilton Smith:  "Love is not insolent and rash." The flesh is aggressive, rashly pushing itself into prominence. Love is not self-assertive, but rather retiring and reticent.

Ray Stedman:  Next on Paul's list is boastfulness: "Love is not jealous or boastful." Oftentimes we are not patient because we cannot wait to listen to others. We are so anxious to brag about ourselves so they can begin to admire us. But that must be surrendered for love to appear.

Richard L. Strauss:  To vaunt means to brag or boast. ...

Sometimes we feel that we have been unusually sweet or have done something particularly wonderful. We long to be complimented, but the compliment never comes. Our feelings become hurt, and we start to rehearse what we’ve done in order to get the praise we crave. This is not love, for love does not boast. It may have been a lack of love that withheld the compliment in the first place, but each of us will answer to God for ourself--not for our mate.

R.A. Torrey:  vaunteth not itself, or, is not rash.
1 Samuel 25:21, 22; 1 Samuel 25:33, 34; 1 Kings 20:10, 11; Psalms 10:5; Proverbs 13:10; 17:14; 25:8-10; Ecclesiastes 7:8, 9; 10:4; Daniel 3:19-22.

John Trapp:  Vaunteth not itself] With the scorn of others. Arrianus saith, that he is perperos, that blameth others and is restless in himself. Such a one was Timon of old and Laurentius Valla of late.

Bill Turner, Divine Agape Love:  LOVE DOES NOT VAUNT ITSELF. IT DOES NOT BRAG, BOAST, OR DISPLAY ITSELF." "Ou perpereuetai."

"Vaunteth not itself" is "ou 3756 perpereuetai 4068", and is derived from “perperos,” braggart. It only occurs here in the New Testament. It means to play the braggart. Love does not brag, love is not boastful, love is humble and of a contrite spirit. If a person manifests all nine gifts of the Holy Spirit they are humble and not arrogant if they are controlled by love. If there has been a real manifestation of spiritual power, or some really gracious and kind act, there should be a genuine humility. To make an arrogant claim for love, means that we have little love, and no humility. The loving Christian will not parade his achievements, spiritual blessings or conquests in an egotistical way. Spiritual arrogance and pride, and their companion, self-importance, are very undesirable qualities of character that should have no part in the Christian's life. They are seen in their true light by the following considerations.

  1. Spiritual gifts are indeed GIFTS, they are unearned and unmerited.
    They are not because of our righteousness; they are "charismata," i.e. "gifts of grace." Rom. 11:6, 20; Deut. 9:4; 1 Cor. 12:4, 9, 31. These gifts are not our manifestations; they are the manifestations of the Holy Spirit graciously channelled through us. In 1 Cor. 4:4, 7, we read, "What hast thou that thou hast not received?" All our natural abilities are given to us; they are only left for us to develop. However, with spiritual gifts we cannot even claim credit for development, these heavenly gifts come to us through the grace of God, and very often without us expecting them. The thing that will ensure a profitable working of these heavenly gifts is love and humility, not pride and arrogance.
  2. We should realise that it was our sins that crucified our Saviour.
    These gifts are only available to us because the Lord Jesus died for us; they are the outflow of Calvary. So when we think of our spiritual blessings and gifts we should have tears of gratitude over the wonderful grace and love of God, not spiritual arrogance. The gifts of the Spirit are precious gifts from a crucified and risen Saviour. Let us remember our great spiritual need, past, present, and future, and how it took the death of our Saviour to meet it, and we shall never be boastful. We can never repay our dear Lord Jesus for the gifts of His grace, past, present and future, and this tremendous fact of our continual and eternal indebtedness to Christ and our heavenly Father, should keep us humble and contrite.
  3. The great need around us should cause us to take our eyes off ourselves, and drive us to seek for those needs.
    We need so much more than we have, if we are to meet the great needs of the world, and there can be no sense of arrival, self-satisfaction, self-importance, or pride, in the light of the world's needs. The aim of love is the blessing of others, not its own importance or advantage.
  4. Pride is the arch foe of the Christian.
    Pride dies the hardest of all the works of the flesh, but it is by far the most dangerous. It is something that can attack all of us, and we need to take care and remember that it was this sin that destroyed Lucifer, and it will destroy us if we allow it to reign in our lives. To be proud over our gifts is quite wrong and it is really very foolish, for it is the Holy Spirit and His gifts that meet the need of the hour, not the human personality. It is our privilege to be a channel of blessing.
The fact that spiritual arrogance, pride and boastfulness are mentioned, shows that it is possible for these to be in us. Indeed, this is the continual butt of the Devil. Pride is the last thing to go in the Christian, and so we need to take care. A Christian may have great struggles with their heart, but to allow pride and egoism is very dangerous, we must humble ourselves before God. Satan came to the Lord Jesus and said, "Cast yourself down from the Temple before the people and the religious leaders." Satan was saying, among other things, "You show them that you are the Messiah and have a great and powerful miraculous ministry, if you claim to be God's Son." If the Devil had the impertinence to tempt his Creator to spiritual pride, we can expect similar appeals to our pride. Great power and great spiritual revelation can result in a constant appeal to our pride, and pride can hammer incessantly at one's heart, if one is greatly used of God. This is particularly true when people, in their ignorance, start to give someone the praise that is only due to God; we have to really warn them against this and to direct them to give all the glory to the Lord. Paul said that he was getting over-exalted with the great amount of spiritual revelation that he enjoyed, "a thorn in the flesh" was the cure for this condition. 2 Cor. 12:7, 8. This was certainly something very nasty; I feel that it was the tremendous persecution that Paul received, for in the Old Testament "thorns in the flesh" were people who troubled Israel. Numb. 33:55; Judges 2:3; 2 Cor. 12:10; 11:23-28; Ex. 28:24. The Lord can deflate us if we are proud or boastful. The thing to do is what Paul learned to do; we should "serve the Lord with all humility of mind and many tears." Acts 20:19.

This vaunting spirit is the spirit of the powers of darkness, "Simon made out that he was a great one," Acts 8:9, and he wanted to obtain God’s power so that he could vaunt himself even more, and so Peter gave him a great warning and rebuke for it. Our message is not that we are great, but that we have a great and wonderful Saviour and a great, gracious and lovely heavenly Father. God exalts the humble and puts down the proud, so we should be very careful, or we can lose all that we have, or have some severe discipline from the Lord that will bring us to our senses. We boast when we feel superior to other people, but we do not possess any superiority over other Christians, any blessing that we may have is entirely the result of the grace of God. Let us rejoice in the peacock’s feathers that God gives to us, but let us humbly thank God for them. Love does not try to parade its beauty, or what it has done, or show people what it can do. Love is meek and lowly in heart. Let us keep little in our own eyes, and when God gives us some peacock's feathers, let us be humble peacocks and give God all the glory.

Bill Turner, The More Excellent Way of Agape Love:  Love does not vaunt itself, it does not brag, or display itself.

"Vaunteth not itself," is "ou perpereuetai," the present middle of "perpereuomai," to brag, to boast ostentatiously; from "perperos," braggart. Paul is speaking of a loud talking, presumptuous, ostentatious, arrogant braggart. Paul said, "What hast thou that thou hast not received." 1 Cor. 4:7. Every good gift, ability, achievement, spiritual blessing, and conquest; arises from God, and "agape" love humbly and contritely recognises this. The present tense shows that "agape" love always refuses to brag and boast. This vaunting pride destroyed Lucifer, the light bringer, and turned him into Satan, the prince of darkness; it will also destroy us if we allow it into our beings. Is. 14:12-20; Ezek. 28:12-20. This vaunting spirit is the spirit of the powers of darkness. Acts 8:9. It has no place among the children of God. If God gives us peacock's feathers, let us be humble and give God all the glory. Love is never anxious to impress others with its gifts and achievements.

Bob Utley:  "ni jactancioso"--El raro término se refiere a la autoadulación personal, percibido por los demás como un fanfarrón o charlatán. En la literatura griega se relaciona a menudo con el orgullo intelectual y ampuloso o con la jactancia.

Marvin R. Vincent:  Vaunteth (perpereuetai). From perperos a braggart. Used of one who sounds his own praises. Cicero introduces a compound of the word in one of his letters to Atticus, describing his speech in the presence of Pompey, who had just addressed the senate on his return from the Mithridatic war. He says: "Heavens! How I showed off (eneperpereusamhn) before my new auditor Pompey," and describes the various rhetorical tricks which he employed.

John Wesley, Sermon 22:  Love ou perpereuetai, not "vaunteth not itself", which coincides with the very next words; but rather, (as the word liikewise properly imports,) "is not rash" or "hasty" in judging; it will not hastily condemn any one. It does not pass a severe sentence, on a slight or sudden view of things: It first weighs all the evidence, particularly that which is brought in favour of the accused. A true lover of his neighbour is not like the generality of men, who, even in cases of the nicest nature, see a little, presume a great deal, and so jump to the conclusion. No: he proceeds with wariness and circumspection, taking heed to every step; willingly subscribing to that rule of the ancient heathen, (o where will the modern Christian appear!) I am so far from lightly believing what one man says against another, that I will not easily believe what a man says against himself. I will always allow him second thoughts, and many times counsel too.

Sermon 139:  It follows, "Love vaunteth not itself;" or rather, is not rash or hasty in judging: For this is indeed the true meaning of the word. As many as love their neighbour for God's sake, will not easily receive an ill opinion of any to whom they wish all good, spiritual as well as temporal. They cannot condemn him even in their heart without evidence; nor upon slight evidence neither; nor, indeed upon any, without first, if it be possible, having him and his accuser face to face, or at the least acquainting him with the accusation, and letting him speak for himself. Every one of you feels that he cannot but act thus, with regard to one whom he tenderly loves. Why, then, he who doth not act thus hath not love.

Daniel Whedon:  Vaunteth not itself--Brags not of personal superiorities, false or real.

J.B. Wilkinson: We think we need not love God less, nor our neighbour less, by a little harmless talking of ourselves. But we do. We rob God, because in vaunting we forget that it all comes from Him, and we cannot possibly have anything whatever to vaunt or to boast of. We rob our neighbour because, unconsciously perhaps, we put him in a lower position than ourselves, and look down upon him, or we may make him envious of us. And we rob ourselves, because we deprive ourselves of the reward of any good we may have done. The grace of charity is deprived of its bloom, or indeed of its fruit, by vaunting or boasting.

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