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(A) or knowledge(B) or prophecy or word of instruction?(C) 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? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?(D) 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.(E)

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Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,[a] say “Amen”(A) to your thanksgiving,(B) since they do not know what you are saying?

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Footnotes

  1. 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.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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