27. (1.27) TO THE PALACE EUNUCH PHARISMANIUS.
I understand that it is said that you are interested in the divine books and that you make an appropriate use of their testimonies in every circumstance, but that you are a covetous man, furiously grabbing for yourself from the lives of others. I am extremely astonished that this assiduous reading has not blessed you with the divine love, a love which should have modified your former behaviour, something which not only prevents us from desiring the goods of others, but further prescribed us to distribute our own goods. So, when you read, understand, or, if you do not understand, read!
Which is to say that, even if I have the ability to quote the Scriptures right and left without ever doing violence to their context and with a keen awareness of their historical meaning, but have no love, I am nothing (cf., of course, I Corinthians 13, and also our friend James McGrath’s 1 Corinthians 13 paraphrased for academics).