1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
The Christian Bible is an amalgam of all previous religions, made compatible (roughly) with each other and simplified to a crowd-pleasing level.
This is one reason that Christianity is growing worldwide: it is the simplest form of the message which is shared among the wise of all religious Traditions.
(This leads us to ask: is it esoteric wisdom, or a particular tradition, which conveys meaning?)
However, the Bible is also a translation of a translation of many translations, even before the texts were incorporated into the Bible.
This is one reason why Christian Biblical scholarship is as intense as the Jewish variant: to understand much of this stuff, you need to have a broad background in philosophy and history.
It seems to me however that the above passage gets love wrong. It could well be entitled "Love Makes You an Anal Doormat" and sent to all the Irish priests with voracious pedophiliac fingers.
Love is the ability to do what is necessary to make goodness in life.
Sometimes, that includes evil acts -- frequently, in fact. If you want to defend your land, you must kill; if you do not defend, many die or are enslaved. If you want to stop criminals, you must beat, shoot and jail them and deny their self-expression. C'est la vie.
Good and evil together make reality.
There is no escaping evil. Or hatred.
For they are essential to love.