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1 Corinthians 14

14
Of speaking with tongues
1I told you to desire the greatest gifts, and that is why I bid you earnestly to pursue love, but of those other spiritual things of which I have spoken, in my opinion the best, the most useful, is prophecy or preaching. 2-4And why? Because it instructs and builds and strengthens. To utter a spiritual language known only to God is to hold converse indeed with God, to allow the Spirit itself to utter its own mysteries, and that is good. 5I would have you all to speak with such tongues as that; but this spiritual language, the tongue of God, needs interpretation; and through that interpretation man is blessed with something that comforts, consoles, and builds him up. 6-7Prophecy does this, interpreting to others the language of heaven, and building the Church on earth. Therefore is it a greater gift to prophesy than to speak the new tongues of the Spirit, for such words make the Church. The new tongues require interpretation. I shall be no help to you unless I reveal something to you, increase your knowledge of things divine, and act as a prophet and teacher. All tongues and languages and voices on earth have meaning. 8Even the trumpet, made of brass merely, can summon men to battle, the flute and the pipe can move men most variously. But what if their sounds be not understood? What if their stops and notes be so uncertainly handled that there is no recognition of their meaning? Who will arm himself then for the fray? 9-10And of the different languages which men talk, there is not one which is without meaning and interpretation. We call those “foreign” tongues which we cannot understand, and them that speak them “foreigners.” So it is with the language of heaven, the tongue that the Spirit speaks with spiritual utterings.
To speak with the understanding is of first importance
11It sounds strange and barbarous in the ears of those who do not understand it. It needs interpretation, and for those who understand it not, you do but speak into the air, not into their minds. 12-13If you be anxious and desirous for proofs of your spirituality, for the gifts and wonders of the Spirit and its activities, then let this desire for an overflowing measure of it in your hearts end always in the furthering of that great spiritual goal, the aim, as I have said, of all the operations of the Spirit, the building up of the Church, of the infinite body of the Christ. 14To that end pray and sing, bless and give thanks. 15If I pray with the mind as well as the Spirit, and sing with understanding as well as ecstasy, and interpret to the mind and consciousness the tongue of the Spirit which I utter, then is that great purpose fulfilled. 16Then will those who hearken to your blessing and giving of thanks say Amen to it. For the demands of the understanding have been fulfilled. 17But if you give thanks with spiritual voices only, in a language unknown to those who fill the place of the humble listeners and the congregation, however well you do it, the church is not fulfilled and is not edified. 18My brethren, this language of the Spirit utters itself richly in me, and in more frequent and fuller tones than in all of you, 19yet would I rather speak five words with the understanding that can help my brother than ten thousand in a language which he does not know. 20My brethren, you have become as little children in this world, but be not children in understanding, but children only in evil. This speaking with tongues, you say, is a sign, a miracle. 21Yes, God says, “With other lips and a strange tongue will I speak to this people, and yet will they not hearken to me.” (Is. xxviii. 11-12) 22They are a sign to those who have no faith, and a sign that is not accepted. 23In your own midst, when the whole church is gathered together as one, what need then of such strange and startling signs? 24For then are heard the voices of understanding that build the perfect church, psalm, and teaching, revelation, tongues and their interpretation; and when one from without enters this reasonable temple of worship, 25the thoughts of his own heart are laid bare to him, he is convicted and judged and made to cry out in his own soul, “surely God is in you” (Is. xlv. 14).
The need for orderliness
26To this great aim let all your worship tend; let psalm, teaching, revelation, tongues and their interpretation be subject to order and arrangement, and so help to build the church. 27Let not more than two or three at most speak with tongues simultaneously, and let these utterances of the Spirit invariably be interpreted and let them not be too long. 28Without interpretation there must be no speaking with tongues. Let him who feels this ability commune with himself and with God, and be silent in his ecstasy, unless he can make his meaning clear. 29Let not more than two or three members speak as prophets voicing the divine, 30and let the rest listen in silence, and distinguish carefully the truth of the words spoken; and where one or other is moved by revelation to speak, give place to him and let the first be silent. 31-32For everyone of you, and not a few only, is able to prophesy, and to do this for the good of all, for there is nothing unruly in the spirit of prophecy. It is subject to him who has the understanding of it, 33and in the churches of God all is order and peace. There is no disorder in the divine being. 34Therefore also the women are not to speak in your assemblies. This is the tradition of the law, and it must be still observed. You may think otherwise, you may even be doing otherwise in your churches. But it is forbidden. 35-38Are you the originators and only recipients of the Gospel? Did it not come first to me, and through me to you? And I tell you that the Lord has given a commandment about these things. Perhaps you do not understand it or recognise it? Then you show yourselves to be without the pale of God's ruling and guidance. Woman can learn and question and speak at home, not in public now. 39Then desire this gift of teaching and prophecy above all others, and allow the speaking with tongues, 40but let everything be done in an orderly and rational manner.

1 Corinthians 14

14
Prophecy: A Superior Gift
1Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy. 2For the person who speaks in another language # 1Co 12:10 is not speaking to men but to God, since no one understands him; however, he speaks mysteries in the Spirit. # Or in spirit, or in his spirit 3But the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. 4The person who speaks in another language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church. 5I wish all of you spoke in other languages, but even more that you prophesied. The person who prophesies is greater than the person who speaks in languages, unless he interprets so that the church may be built up.
6But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in other languages, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you with a revelation # 1Pt 4:13 or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7Even inanimate things that produce sounds — whether flute or harp # Rv 5:8; 14:2; 15:2 — if they don’t make a distinction in the notes, how will what is played on the flute or harp be recognized? 8In fact, if the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will prepare for battle? # Nm 10:9; Is 58:1; Jr 4:19; Ezk 33:3-6; Jl 2:1 9In the same way, unless you use your tongue for intelligible speech, how will what is spoken be known? For you will be speaking into the air. 10There are doubtless many different kinds of languages in the world, and all have meaning. # Lit and none is without a sound 11Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner # Gk barbaros = in Eng a “barbarian.” To a Gk, a barbaros was anyone who did not speak Gk. to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. 12So also you — since you are zealous # Nm 25:13; Gl 1:14 for spiritual gifts, # Lit zealous of spirits ; spirits = human spirits, spiritual powers, or the Holy Spirit # Ps 51:11; Lk 11:34; Jn 1:33; Ac 2:4; Rm 8:9; Gl 5:25; Ti 3:5; 1Jn 4:1; Rv 3:22 seek to excel in building up the church.
13Therefore the person who speaks in another language should pray that he can interpret. 14For if I pray in another language, my spirit # Ps 51:12 prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. # Gl 5:22; Ti 3:14 15What then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with my understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with my understanding. 16Otherwise, if you praise with the spirit, # Or praise by the Spirit how will the uninformed person # Lit the one filling the place of the uninformed say “Amen” # Ps 72:19; Rv 22:21 at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17For you may very well be giving thanks, but the other person is not being built up. 18I thank # Rm 1:8 God that I speak in other languages more than all of you; 19yet in the church I would rather speak five words # Mt 12:37 with my understanding, in order to teach others also, than 10,000 words in another language.
20Brothers, don’t be childish in your thinking, but be infants in regard to evil and adult in your thinking. # Ps 131:2; Is 28:9; Mt 18:3; Rm 16:19; Eph 4:14; Heb 5:12-13 21It is written in the law:
I will speak to these people
by people of other languages
and by the lips of foreigners,
and even then, they will not listen to Me, # Is 28:11-12 # Is 28:11-12
says the Lord. 22It follows that speaking in other languages is intended as a sign, # Lit that languages are for a sign not for believers but for unbelievers. But prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23Therefore, if the whole church assembles together and all are speaking in other languages and people who are uninformed or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24But if all are prophesying and some unbeliever or uninformed person comes in, he is convicted by all and is judged by all. 25The secrets of his heart will be revealed, and as a result he will fall facedown and worship God, proclaiming, “God is really among you.” # Is 45:14; Zch 8:23
Order in Church Meetings
26What then is the conclusion, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one # Other mss add of you has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, another language, or an interpretation. # 1Co 12:10 All things must be done for edification. 27If any person speaks in another language, there should be only two, or at the most three, each in turn, and someone must interpret. 28But if there is no interpreter, that person should keep silent in the church and speak to himself and to God. 29Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should evaluate. # 1Jn 4:1 30But if something has been revealed to another person sitting there, the first prophet should be silent. 31For you can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone may learn and everyone may be encouraged. # Lk 16:25 32And the prophets’ spirits are under the control of the prophets, 33since God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
As in all the churches of the saints, # Eph 6:18 34the women # Other mss read your women should be silent in the churches, # 1Tm 2:11-12; 1Pt 3:1 for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. 35And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands # Mt 1:19; 1Pt 3:1 at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting. 36Did the word of God originate from you, or did it come to you only?
37If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, he should recognize that what I write to you is the Lord’s command. 38But if anyone ignores this, he will be ignored. # Other mss read he should be ignored 39Therefore, my brothers, be eager # Nm 25:13; Gl 4:17 to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in other languages. 40But everything must be done decently # Rm 13:13 and in order.