Prophecy and Tongues
1Pursue love, and #1 Cor. 12:31; 14:39desire spiritual gifts, #Num. 11:25, 29but especially that you may prophesy. 2For he who #Acts 2:4; 10:46speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3But he who prophesies speaks #Rom. 14:19; 15:2; 2 Cor. 10:8; 12:19; Eph. 4:12, 29edification and #1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:9; 2:15; Heb. 3:13; 10:25exhortation and comfort to men. 4He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
Tongues Must Be Interpreted
6But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by #1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 1:17revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? 7Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? 8For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? 9So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. 11Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. 12Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
13Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may #1 Cor. 12:10interpret. 14For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. #Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing #Ps. 47:7with the understanding. 16Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” #Deut. 27:15–26; 1 Chr. 16:36; Neh. 5:13; 8:6; Ps. 106:48; Jer. 11:5; 28:6; 1 Cor. 11:24; Rev. 5:14; 7:12at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.
18I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Tongues a Sign to Unbelievers
20Brethren, #Ps. 131:2; (Matt. 11:25; 18:3; 19:14); Rom. 16:19; 1 Cor. 3:1; Eph. 4:14; Heb. 5:12, 13do not be children in understanding; however, in malice #(Matt. 18:3; 1 Pet. 2:2)be babes, but in understanding be mature.
21#John 10:34; 1 Cor. 14:34In the law it is written:
#Is. 28:11, 12“With men of other tongues and other lips
I will speak to this people;
And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,”
says the Lord.
22Therefore tongues are for a #Mark 16:17sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. 23Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, #Acts 2:13will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report #Is. 45:14; Dan. 2:47; Zech. 8:23; Acts 4:13that God is truly among you.
Order in Church Meetings
26How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, #1 Cor. 12:8–10; 14:6has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. #1 Cor. 12:7; (2 Cor. 12:19)Let all things be done for edification. 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29Let two or three prophets speak, and #1 Cor. 12:10let the others judge. 30But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, #(1 Thess. 5:19, 20)let the first keep silent. 31For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32And #1 John 4:1the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, #1 Cor. 11:16as in all the churches of the saints.
34#1 Tim. 2:11; 1 Pet. 3:1Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the #Gen. 3:16law also says. 35And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
36Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37#2 Cor. 10:7; (1 John 4:6)If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. 38But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39Therefore, brethren, #1 Cor. 12:31; 1 Thess. 5:20desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40#1 Cor. 14:33Let all things be done decently and in order.