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1 Corinthians 14

See commentary, Spiritual Gifts, Love, Worship, 1 Corinthians 12-14   |   See Bible Dictionary   |   Chronologically

Prophecy is commended,

14:1 Follow after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts,

    but especially that you may prophesy.

and preferred before speaking with tongues,

14:2 For he who speaks in another language speaks not to men, but to God;

    for no one understands;

    but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.

14:3 But he who prophesies speaks to men

    for their edification, exhortation, and consolation.

14:4 He who speaks in another language edifies himself,

    but he who prophesies edifies the assembly.

14:5 Now I desire to have you all speak with other languages,

    but rather that you would prophesy.

    For he is greater who prophesies than he who speaks with other languages,

    unless he interprets,

    that the assembly may be built up.

by a comparison drawn from musical instruments.

14:6 But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking with other languages,

    what would I profit you, unless I speak to you

    either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching?

14:7 Even things without life, giving a voice,

    whether pipe or harp,

    if they didnít give a distinction in the sounds,

    how would it be known what is piped or harped?

14:8 For if the trumpet gave an uncertain sound,

    who would prepare himself for war?

14:9 So also you, unless you uttered by the tongue words easy to understand,

    how would it be known what is spoken?

    For you would be speaking into the air.

14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of sounds in the world,

    and none of them is without meaning.

14:11 If then I donít know the meaning of the sound,

    I would be to him who speaks a foreigner,

    and he who speaks would be a foreigner to me.

Both must be referred to edification,

14:12 So also you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts,

    seek that you may abound to the building up of the assembly.

14:13 Therefore let him who speaks in another language

    pray that he may interpret.

14:14 For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays,

    but my understanding is unfruitful.

14:15 What is it then?

    I will pray with the spirit,

    and I will pray with the understanding also.

    I will sing with the spirit,

    and I will sing with the understanding also.

14:16 Otherwise if you bless with the spirit,

    how will he who fills the place of the unlearned

    say the ďAmenĒ at your giving of thanks,

    seeing he doesnít know what you say?

14:17 For you most certainly give thanks well,

    but the other person is not built up.

14:18 I thank my God,

    I speak with other languages more than you all.

14:19 However in the assembly I would rather speak five words with my understanding,

    that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in another language.

14:20 Brothers, donít be children in thoughts,

    yet in malice be babies,

    but in thoughts be mature.

14:21 In the law it is written,

ďBy men of strange languages and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people.

Not even thus will they hear me, says the Lord*

as to their true and proper end.

14:22 Therefore other languages are for a sign,

    not to those who believe, but to the unbelieving;

    but prophesying is for a sign,

    not to the unbelieving, but to those who believe.

14:23 If therefore the whole assembly is assembled together and all speak with other languages,

    and unlearned or unbelieving people come in,

    wonít they say that you are crazy?

14:24 But if all prophesy, and someone unbelieving or unlearned comes in,

    he is reproved by all, and he is judged by all.

14:25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed.

    So he will fall down on his face and worship God,

    declaring that God is among you indeed.

The true use of each is taught,

14:26 What is it then, brothers? When you come together,

    each one of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has another language, has an interpretation.

    Let all things be done to build each other up.

and the abuse taxed.

14:27 If any man speaks in another language,

    let it be two, or at the most three, and in turn;

    and let one interpret.

14:28 But if there is no interpreter,

    let him keep silent in the assembly,

    and let him speak to himself, and to God.

14:29 Let the prophets speak, two or three,

    and let the others discern.

14:30 But if a revelation is made to another sitting by,

    let the first keep silent.

14:31 For you all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted.

14:32 The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets,

14:33 for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.

    As in all the assemblies of the saints,

Women are forbidden to speak in church.

14:34 let your wives keep silent in the assemblies,

    for it has not been permitted for them to speak;

    but let them be in subjection, as the law also says.

14:35 If they desire to learn anything,

    let them ask their own husbands at home,

    for it is shameful for a woman to chatter in the assembly.

14:36 What? Was it from you that the word of God went out?

    Or did it come to you alone?

14:37 If any man thinks himself to be a prophet, or spiritual,

    let him recognize the things which I write to you,

    that they are the commandment of the Lord.

14:38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

14:39 Therefore, brothers, desire earnestly to prophesy,

    and donít forbid speaking with other languages.

14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

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