1 Corinthians 12:31—If coveting is wrong, why does Paul encourage coveting the best gifts?

Problem: One of the Ten Commandments says, “You shall not covet” (Ex. 20:17). Yet Paul encourages the Christian church at Corinth to “covet earnestly the best gifts” (1 Cor. 12:31, kjv).

Solution: “Covet” is used here in the good sense of “earnestly desire” (nkjv), rather than in the bad sense of an unlawful craving of what does not belong to us.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.