1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly…”.
At the time the KJV was written, “glass” ( or looking glass) meant mirror . The Greek word that the KJV translates “glass” means “mirror,” and that is the way all modern translations read.
However, the literal translation “mirror” can give the wrong impression. Today’s mirrors are so clear that we see a very good image in them, so saying we see a poor reflection, or a dim reflection, does not seem to make sense.
To understand the verse properly we must realize that at the time of Paul, the glass mirrors we have today had not been invented. In Paul’s day, and for centuries later, mirrors were generally bronze or brass that had been pounded flat and polished. The best reflection a person could get from a bronze mirror was dark and distorted, and that is the point the Bible is making: the best knowledge we have today is unclear and distorted—not crisp and clear like in today’s glass mirrors.
We could translate the verse something like, “now we see in a bronze mirror, darkly,” but many people may never have heard of a bronze mirror. It seems best to use the word “mirror,” and explain the verse more fully in study notes.