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Henry Alford:  pist.] viz. without suspicion of another.

Thomas Aquinas:  Then when he says: believes all things, he shows how charity makes one do the good in relation to God. This is done especially through the theological virtues which have God for their object. In addition to charity the other two, as will be said below, are faith and hope. Therefore, in regard to faith he says: believes all things, namely, which are divinely revealed. “Abraham believed God and it was reputed to him as righteousness” (Gen 15:6). But to believe all things said by men is lightheadedness, as it says in Sir (19:4): “One who trusts others too quickly is light-minded.”

William Barclay:  Love is completely trusting. This characteristic of love has a twofold aspect.

  1. In relation to God it means that love takes God at His word, that it believes absolutely in His promises, that it can take every promise which begins "Whosoever" and say, "That means me." It is the love which springs from the faith which "bets its life that there is a God."
  2. In relation to our fellow men it means the love which always believes the best about other people. It is always true that we make people what we believe them to be. If we act in such a way that we show that we do not trust people, that we regard them with suspicion, we make them untrustworthy. If we act in such a way that we show people that we trust them absolutely, unless they are lost to honour, we make them trustworthy.
When Arnold became headmaster of Rugby he instituted a completely new way of doing things. Before him, school had been a terror and a tyranny. Arnold called the boys together and told them that there was going to be much more liberty and much less flogging. "You are free," he said, "but you are responsible--you are gentlemen. I intend to leave you much to yourselves, and put you upon your honour, because I believe that if you are guarded and watched and spied upon, you will grow up knowing only the fruits of servile fear; and when your liberty is finally given you, as it must be some day, you will not know how to use it."

The boys found it difficult to believe. When they were brought before him they continued to make the old excuses and to tell the old lies.

"Boys," he said, "if you say so, it must be true--I believe your word."

The result was that there came a time in Rugby when boys said, "It is a shame to tell Arnold a lie--he always believes you."

He believed in them and he made them what he believed them to be. Love ennobles even the ignoble by believing the best.

Barnes & Murphy:  Believeth all things. The whole scope of the connexion and the argument here requires us to understand this of the conduct of others. It cannot mean that the man who is under the influence of love is a man of universal credulity; that he makes no discrimination in regard to things to be believed; and is as prone to believe a falsehood as the truth; or that he is at no pains to inquire what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong. But it must mean, that in regard to the conduct of others, there is a disposition to put the best construction on it; to believe that they may be actuated by good motives, and that they intend no injury; and that there is a willingness to suppose, as far as can be, that what is done is done consistently with friendship, good feeling, and virtue. Love produces this, because it rejoices in the happiness and virtue of others, and will not believe the contrary except on irrefragable evidence.

Brian Bell: 

  • 3.16. Love believes all things!
    • 3.16.1. Love takes God at His word!
    • 3.16.2. Love always believes the best about other people.
      • 3.16.2.1. Not that love is easily deceived. Nor love is blind.
      • 3.16.2.2. It means love is not basically suspicious.
      • 3.16.2.3. It takes the kindest view of others in every circumstance, as long as it possibly can!

John Albert Bengel:  pisteuei, believes) as he covers the evil deeds of his neighbour, which are apparent, so he believes the good, which is not apparent.

Joseph Benson:  Believeth all things — Puts the most favourable construction on every thing, and is ever ready to believe whatever may tend to the advantage of any one’s character.

BT Internet:  pisteuw, have faith, have confidence in.

John Calvin:  Love believeth all things — not that the Christian knowingly and willingly allows himself to be imposed upon — not that he divests himself of prudence and judgment, that he may be the more easily taken advantage of — not that he unlearns the way of distinguishing black from white. What then? He requires here, as I have already said, simplicity and kindness in judging of things; and he declares that these are the invariable accompaniments of love. The consequence will be, that a Christian man will reckon it better to be imposed upon by his own kindness and easy temper, than to wrong his brother by an unfriendly suspicion.

Alan Carr:  2. V. 7 Believeth All Things - Love always places the best possible interpretation on everything that happens. It does not always seek the most negative answer, but it believes that good will triumph in any situation. Basically, love trusts, love believes and love has confidence in the one loved.

Adam Clarke:  Believeth all things -- panta pisteuei -- Is ever ready to believe the best of every person, and will credit no evil of any but on the most positive evidence; gladly receives whatever may tend to the advantage of any person whose character may have suffered from obloquy and detraction; or even justly, because of his misconduct.

Stephen J. Cole:  Selfless love believes all things. The NIV translates, “Love always trusts.” This does not mean gullibility; it does mean that love is not suspicious and doubting of the other person’s character and motives without good reason, even if his actions offended you. If trust has been broken, then it needs to be earned again, step by step. But love believes the other person is innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent. If there is a problem, love doesn’t jump immediately to blame the other person.

In the family, trust shows itself by not grilling the other person about every detail of his story, like an attorney cross-examining a defendant. It means believing in your kids, expressing confidence in them. I’m thankful that my parents trusted me as a teenager; it made me want to live up to that trust. One of my friends had parents who did not trust him, and he lived up to their distrust! Sometimes you will get ripped off when you trust, but love persists in trusting.

F. C. Cook:  believeth all things.] Not here the weakness of credulity, but the guilelessness of a simple and unsuspecting mind, which is itself based upon an unblemished life, for according to the proverb, "Evil doers, evil thinkers." It is the innocency of Love that "delightedly believes Divinities, being itself divine."

Joseph Exell:  9. Trustful. “Believeth all things.” Not that the charitable man is credulous, but he “thinketh no evil,” i.e., when the conduct of others is concerned he always believes the best report.

Exell & Spence:  Believeth all things. Takes the best and kindest views of all men and all circumstances, as long as it is possible to do so. It is the opposite to the common spirit, which drags everything in deteriorem partem, paints it in the darkest colours, and makes the worst of it. Love is entirely alien from the spirit of the cynic, the pessimist, the ecclesiastical rival, the anonymous slanderer, the secret detractor.

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible:  believeth all things; that are to be believed, all that God says in his word, all his truths, and all his promises; and even sometimes in hope against hope, as Abraham did, relying upon the power, faithfulness, and other perfections of God; though such a man will not believe every spirit, every preacher and teacher, nor any but such as agree with the Scriptures of truth, the standard of faith and practice; nor will he believe every word of man, which is the character of a weak and foolish man; indeed, a man of charity or love is willing to believe all the good things reported of men; he is very credulous of such things, and is unwilling to believe ill reports of persons, or any ill of men; unless it is open and glaring, and is well supported, and there is full evidence of it; he is very incredulous in this respect.

John W. Gregson:  Love does not look with suspicion upon others.

Matthew Henry:  Wisdom may dwell with love, and charity be cautious. But it is apt to believe well of all, to entertain a good opinion of them when there is no appearance to the contrary; nay, to believe well when there may be some dark appearances, if the evidence of ill be not clear. All charity is full of candour, apt to make the best of every thing, and put on it the best face and appearance; it will judge well, and believe well, as far as it can with any reason, and will rather stretch its faith beyond appearances for the support of a kind opinion; but it will go into a bad one with the utmost reluctance, and fence against it as much as it fairly and honestly can.

Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown:  believeth all things -- unsuspiciously believes all that is not palpably false, all that it can with a good conscience believe to the credit of another. Compare Jas 3:17, "easy to be entreated"; Greek, "easily persuaded."

BW Johnson:  Believeth all things. Is not distrustful and suspicious.

S. Lewis Johnson:  Love believes all things. Ah, gullibility? No, no, not gullibility, not ill-founded suspicions, but we do put the most favorable construction, if we possibly can by the power of the Holy Spirit, upon things that are ambiguous to us. That’s precisely what this means, believes all things, not gullibility. We don’t believe false doctrine. If a doctrine is false, we don’t believe false doctrine. But when things are unclear, ambiguous, we do not accept ill-founded suspicions. We, again, look to the Lord for the result that flows out of it.

Cornelius a Lapide:  Believeth all things, i.e., charity is not suspicious, but readily gives credence to others where it can prudently believe without danger of error. ... Charity ... believes and is persuaded of the best about its neighbour, .... So Chrysostom and the Greeks. Anselm, S. Thomas, and Lyra explain the words differently. Charity makes us believe what ought to be believed, ...; for otherwise in some cases that saying of Seneca is true, "It is a vice to believe everything and a vice to believe nothing." So also S. Augustine explains it; ... "Everyone who devoutly bears rightly believes, and every one who rightly believes hopes for somewhat, and he who hopes perseveres, lest he should lose hope".

Steve Lewis:  Believes all things (pisteuo) = to place one's faith or trust in the fact that God is in control of all things. Love is able to trust that the unexplained things in a relationship may have a positive explanation. It cannot mean that a loving person is always gullible or that he should believe things that are obviously false. It must mean that in interpersonal relationships the loving person believes the best about another, at least until the other person might prove to be untrustworthy.

J.J. Lias:  believeth all things] “Not that a Christian should knowingly and willingly suffer himself to be imposed upon; not that he should deprive himself of prudence and judgment, so that he may be the more easily deceived; but that he should esteem it better to be deceived by his kindness and gentleness of heart, than to injure his brother by needless suspicion.” Calvin. “It is always ready to think the best; to put the most favourable construction on anything; is glad to make all the allowance for human weakness which can be done without betraying the truth of God.” Dr Coke. Similarly Erasmus and Wesley.

Heinrich Meyer:  Opposite of a distrustful spirit; bona fides towards one’s neighbour in all points.

Mark Heber Miller:  (Love) believes all things.

This phrase may have more than one meaning. The phrase is variously rendered: WMS: it exercises faith in everything; BER: unquenchable faith; MOF: always eager to believe the best; NEB: there is no limit to its faith; PME: no limit to its trust. If the Greek PISTEUEI is viewed more as "trust" then this kind of love always trusts a friend’s truthfulness or honesty. This love is not paranoid, distrusting, or suspicious. There is a certain guilelessness in such a loving person. This person has no agenda, is no manipulator. These loving persons take people as they are without judging them wrongly without strong evidence to the contrary.

Translator James Moffatt may have come the closest: "(love) is always eager to believe the best." What a Christ-like attitude to trust and believe that there is some goodness in everyone.

Matthew Poole:  believeth all things that are good of his brother, so far is he from being credulous to his prejudice;

Ray Pritchard:  To “believe all things” means that love believes the best that is possible as long as that can be done. Love gives the benefit of the doubt. It takes people at their highest and best-not at their lowest and worst.

As I write these words, the presidential campaign is still not decided. And with each passing day, Americans become a bit more cynical about the whole political process. One day this man has won, the next day the other man has won. How will either man ever gain the trust of the entire nation? How will we “believe all things” when the election itself has been sullied and soiled by so many lawsuits, charges, rumors, accusations, and premature victory celebrations?

We live in an increasingly cynical age. If a person gives a large sum of money to a worthy charity, there is sure to be someone who mutters under his breath, “What’s the catch? What’s in it for him?” I’m not suggesting that love equals naive gullibility. Love must always be guarded by wisdom on one hand and discernment on the other. True love won’t be taken in again and again by a con artist. At some point love says, “Enough is enough.” But it is also useful to remember that even in a court of law, the accused person is always “innocent until proven guilty.” Love says, “I am willing to wait for the evidence to come in before making my decision. I choose to give you the benefit of the doubt as long as there is reason to do so.” Some of us treat our loved ones in nearly the opposite way: “You are guilty until you prove you are innocent.”

I do not tire of repeating that people tend to become what we believe them to be. They either live up to or down to your expectations. If you treat a man as trustworthy, he will strive to prove himself worthy of your trust. If you tell a child, “Take a big swing. You can hit that ball,” he’ll go to the plate and swing like Babe Ruth. If you treat your wife as if she is the most beautiful woman in the world, she will be transformed before your very eyes.

That’s what Jesus did. To vacillating Simon, he said, “You are a rock.” To a prostitute, he said, “Your sins are forgiven.” To a woman caught in adultery, he said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” It is the simple power of believing the best and not the worst about people.

Love believes the best as long as it can be believed. Many of you will recognize the name of Dr. E.V. Hill, longtime pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. He is one of the foremost preachers in America. Many men have heard him speak at Promise Keepers rallies in various cities. When he was a young man, he married Jane Carruthers, a young lady who came from a very aristocratic family. By his own testimony, he says that many eyebrows were raised that such a refined woman would marry a man who grew up in poverty. Shortly after they were married, E. V. convinced his wife that he should buy a gas station. She warned him that he didn’t know anything about running a gas station and they would lose all their money. Time proved the wisdom of her words. Eventually the day came when he told her that he had lost the gas station and all the money they had invested in it. Her response was simple: “I’ve been doing some calculating. If you had been a smoker and a drinker, we would have lost that much money anyway, so I figure it’s six of one and a half-dozen of the other. Let’s just forget about it and move on.” With those words she was saying to her chastened husband, “I still believe in you.”

Not too many weeks later, E. V. Hill came home to discover that his wife had prepared a lovely candlelight dinner. Thinking this would be a romantic evening together, he made some humorous comment and then went to the bathroom to wash his hands. When he flipped on the light switch, nothing happened. Then the truth hit home. When he sat down at the table, he wife started crying and said, “I know you’ve been working hard but we didn’t have any money to pay the electric bill so they turned off the electricity. I thought we’d just have a candlelight dinner tonight.”

Dr. Hill’s wife died a few years ago. At her funeral, Dr. Hill declared that she was the reason he had been so successful. Everything he had accomplished, he owed to his wife who in the darkest days never stopped believing in him. He noted that she could have said, “I’ve never been in this situation before. I was raised in the home of Dr. Carruthers and we never had our lights cut off.” But she didn’t say anything like that. Instead she said, “Somehow or other we will get these lights on. Let’s eat by candlelight.”

What a difference it makes when we believe in those around us. What a difference it makes when husbands and wives, and parents and children, and teachers and students, and friends and co-workers, and church members truly believe in each other. What a difference it makes in the dark moments of life when you can say to those you love, “I believe in you and no matter what happens, we’re going to make it through this thing together.”

Robertson's Word Studies:  {Believeth all things} (panta pisteuei). Not gullible, but has faith in men.

Hamilton Smith:  Love “believes all things”. The flesh is ever suspicious. Love is unsuspecting and ready to believe good when there is no direct evidence to the contrary, even in the presence of much that may raise doubts.

Richard L. Strauss:  ‘“Love believes all things.” This does not mean that love is gullible, but that it is beyond suspicion, doubt, and mistrust. True love eliminates the third degree: “Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? Why couldn’t you get home sooner?” Some women protest when they hear that love believes all things. “But he’s lied to me so many times; I just can’t believe him anymore.” Maybe you can’t believe him, but you can believe that God will use your love for him and your trust in him to change his life. Love keeps on believing.

R.A. Torrey:  believeth, Psalms 119:66

Bill Turner:  Love believeth all things, it has no limit to its faith and trust, "Panta pisteuei."

Love is not gullible, but it does not give people up as hopeless when the evidence is heavily against them. (Prov. 14:15; 1 Thes. 5:12) Even when there are dark signs in a person's life, love gives themselves to believing prayer on their behalf, and trusts God to bring them through. Love also has a perfect trust in the Word, love and provision of God. Phil.1v6. Faith based on love is a present tense reality, and it is an infectious faith that encourages others to trust in God. Heb.3v13.

Bob Utley:  - "…todo lo cree" En este contexto implica "tener una mejor opinión de los demás" o "dar a algún cristiano el beneficio de la duda". Siempre debe mantenersela fe (cf. Gálatas 5:22).

John Wesley, Notes:  Believeth all things--Puts the most favourable construction on everything, and is ever ready to believe whatever may tend to the advantage of any one character.

John Wesley, Sermon 22:  Love "believeth all things." It is always willing to think the best; to put the most favourable construction on everything. It is ever ready to believe whatever may tend to the advantage of any one's character. It is easily convinced of (what it earnestly desires) the innocence or integrity of any man; or, at least, of the sincerity of his repentance, if he had once erred from the way. It is glad to excuse whatever is amiss; to condemn the offender as little as possible; and to make all the allowance for human weakness which can be done without betraying the truth of God.

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