Miracles Have Ceased

I Corinthians 13:8-10 reads “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” It is clear from thus that the miraculous was to cease at some point in time; the only debate is when?

The text says prophecy, tongues, and (miraculous) knowledge would cease “when that which is perfect is come.” But what is “that which is perfect”? We must determine that from context.

A piece of an apple would come from a whole/complete apple, not an orange. A full gas tank is the completion of a partially filled gas tank. Likewise the “perfect” or complete in I Cor 13:8-10 is going to be of the same nature as the part already identified by the context. And thankfully the “part” is identified for us.

Verse 9 says “we know in part, and we prophecy in part.” Prophecy and (miraculously obtained) knowledge were both means by which God revealed his New Covenant law in parts and pieces in the first century. So the “perfect” of this context would naturally be the means by which God revealed his New Covenant law in whole, that is, in its entirety. That would be the New Testament completely revealed and all written down in one place for us (the Bible).

So this passage is teaching that once the New Testament text/canon was completed, once we have the whole New Testament revelation, there is no need for further revelation, or miraculous confirmation of that revelation. Once the Bible was completed, by God’s design – miracles stopped.

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