This is just where Mr Thompson goes off the track, seemingly unaccustomed to how Paul makes his arguments. It's easy to misunderstand Paul's use of the first person perspective, during which we think he is speaking autobiographically.
Originally Posted by Jemand
For instance, he speaks with the first person perspective in the following sentence.
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
While his statement is certainly true of himself, it's also and at the same time, universally true of most everyone. Most people grow up. Most people become adults. Sometimes we act like a child, but for the most part all of us eventually grow up and act like an adult. He doesn't intend to be autobiographical here, as if this was his unique experience. He is using the first person, active voice, to bring the utmost clarity to his argument, and to invite the reader into the picture. When Paul says, "When I was a child . . ." He means, "when we all were children . . ." What he says about himself, all of us adults can say the same thing about ourselves. He means to draw his readers to a conclusion based on a common connection. "I'm an adult and you are an adult. Right?" That's how Paul often makes his case -- inviting the reader to participate.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
Again, here Mr. Thompson has assumed that Paul is speaking autobiographically since he is couching his argument in the first person. He seems to think, as many readers do, that when Paul says, "I know in part . . ." he is talking about himself, that is, "I Paul, know in part." Having mistakenly understood Paul to be speaking autobiographically, saying that HE knows in part, Mr. Thompson understands Paul's next statement autobiographically as if Paul is saying, "In some future time, I Paul, will know fully." This has naturally lead Mr. Thompson to assume that Paul refers to himself when he says, "We (myself included) see in a mirror darkly . . ."
But Paul isn't speaking autobiographically. He is using the first person perspective to indicate the universal person, which is why he so easily and readily switches back and forth between the first person singular "I" and the first person plural "we." "For WE see in a mirror dimly . . .", and "now I know in part . . ." The two are interchangeable. " . . . but now I (not Paul exclusively, but any reader) know in part, but then I (not Paul exclusively, but any reader) will know fully. The mistake Mr. Thompson and others make is to assume that since Paul is speaking from the first person perspective about a time in the future, that the event of being fully known hasn't taken place for him personally. It's easy to make this mistake if I misunderstand the terms "now" and "then" in terms of time.
The incorrect assumption:
NOW = At the present time or moment:
THEN = Some time in the future
Paul means to say:
NOW = the present condition or circumstance
ThEN = the change in conditions or circumstances.
This is how he seems to hear Paul
at the present time or moment I know in part, but at some time off in the future I will know fully
In my opinion, Paul is saying,
when I am giving a prophecy without Love, I know in part, but when I give a prophecy with Love I will know fully . . . When I (the reader) don't have love, I know in part, and when I (the reader) have love, I know fully as I am known by others.