1 Corinthians 14
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Prophecy: A Superior Gift
14 Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy. 2 For the person who speaks in another language(A) is not speaking to men but to God, since no one understands him; however, he speaks mysteries in the Spirit.[a] 3 But the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. 4 The person who speaks in another language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church. 5 I 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.
6 But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in other languages, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you with a revelation(B) or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 Even inanimate things that produce sounds—whether flute or harp(C)—if they don’t make a distinction in the notes, how will what is played on the flute or harp be recognized? 8 In fact, if the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will prepare for battle?(D) 9 In 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. 10 There are doubtless many different kinds of languages in the world, and all have meaning.[b] 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner[c] to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. 12 So also you—since you are zealous(E) for spiritual gifts,[d](F) seek to excel in building up the church.
13 Therefore the person who speaks in another language should pray that he can interpret. 14 For if I pray in another language, my spirit(G) prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.(H) 15 What 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. 16 Otherwise, if you praise with the spirit,[e] how will the uninformed person[f] say “Amen”(I) at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may very well be giving thanks, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank(J) God that I speak in other languages more than all of you; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words(K) with my understanding, in order to teach others also, than 10,000 words in another language.
20 Brothers, don’t be childish in your thinking, but be infants in regard to evil and adult in your thinking.(L) 21 It is written in the law:
says the Lord. 22 It follows that speaking in other languages is intended as a sign,[h] not for believers but for unbelievers. But prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 Therefore, 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? 24 But if all are prophesying and some unbeliever or uninformed person comes in, he is convicted by all and is judged by all. 25 The secrets of his heart will be revealed, and as a result he will fall facedown and worship God, proclaiming, “God is really among you.”(N)
Order in Church Meetings
26 What then is the conclusion, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one[i] has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, another language, or an interpretation.(O) All things must be done for edification. 27 If any person speaks in another language, there should be only two, or at the most three, each in turn, and someone must interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, that person should keep silent in the church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should evaluate.(P) 30 But if something has been revealed to another person sitting there, the first prophet should be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone may learn and everyone may be encouraged.(Q) 32 And the prophets’ spirits are under the control of the prophets, 33 since God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
As in all the churches of the saints,(R) 34 the women[j] should be silent in the churches,(S) for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands(T) at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting. 36 Did the word of God originate from you, or did it come to you only?
37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, he should recognize that what I write to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But if anyone ignores this, he will be ignored.[k] 39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager(U) to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in other languages. 40 But everything must be done decently(V) and in order.
- 1 Corinthians 14:2 Or in spirit, or in his spirit
- 1 Corinthians 14:10 Lit and none is without a sound
- 1 Corinthians 14:11 Gk barbaros = in Eng a “barbarian.” To a Gk, a barbaros was anyone who did not speak Gk.
- 1 Corinthians 14:12 Lit zealous of spirits; spirits = human spirits, spiritual powers, or the Holy Spirit
- 1 Corinthians 14:16 Or praise by the Spirit
- 1 Corinthians 14:16 Lit the one filling the place of the uninformed
- 1 Corinthians 14:21 Is 28:11-12
- 1 Corinthians 14:22 Lit that languages are for a sign
- 1 Corinthians 14:26 Other mss add of you
- 1 Corinthians 14:34 Other mss read your women
- 1 Corinthians 14:38 Other mss read he should be ignored
1 Corinthians 14
New International Version
Intelligibility in Worship
14 Follow the way of love(A) and eagerly desire(B) gifts of the Spirit,(C) especially prophecy.(D) 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a](E) does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them;(F) they utter mysteries(G) by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening,(H) encouraging(I) and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue(J) edifies(K) themselves, but the one who prophesies(L) edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[b] but I would rather have you prophesy.(M) The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues,[c] unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.(N)
6 Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation(O) or knowledge(P) or prophecy or word of instruction?(Q) 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?(R) 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me.(S) 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit,(T) try to excel in those that build up(U) the church.
13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.(V) 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays,(W) but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit,(X) but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing(Y) with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,[d] say “Amen”(Z) to your thanksgiving,(AA) since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.(AB)
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.(AC)
22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy,(AH) however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?(AI) 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets(AJ) of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”(AK)
Good Order in Worship
26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters?(AL) When you come together, each of you(AM) has a hymn,(AN) or a word of instruction,(AO) a revelation, a tongue(AP) or an interpretation.(AQ) Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.(AR) 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
29 Two or three prophets(AS) should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.(AT) 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.(AU) 33 For God is not a God of disorder(AV) but of peace(AW)—as in all the congregations(AX) of the Lord’s people.(AY)
34 Women[f] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak,(AZ) but must be in submission,(BA) as the law(BB) says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.[g]
36 Or did the word of God(BC) originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet(BD) or otherwise gifted by the Spirit,(BE) let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.(BF) 38 But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.[h]
- 1 Corinthians 14:2 Or in another language; also in verses 4, 13, 14, 19, 26 and 27
- 1 Corinthians 14:5 Or in other languages; also in verses 6, 18, 22, 23 and 39
- 1 Corinthians 14:5 Or in other languages; also in verses 6, 18, 22, 23 and 39
- 1 Corinthians 14:16 The Greek word for inquirer is a technical term for someone not fully initiated into a religion; also in verses 23 and 24.
- 1 Corinthians 14:21 Isaiah 28:11,12
- 1 Corinthians 14:34 Or peace. As in all the congregations of the Lord’s people, 34 women
- 1 Corinthians 14:35 In a few manuscripts these verses come after verse 40.
- 1 Corinthians 14:38 Some manuscripts But anyone who is ignorant of this will be ignorant