Brothers and sisters, do not be children [immature, childlike] in your thinking; be infants in [matters of] evil [completely innocent and inexperienced], but in your minds be mature [adults]. It is written in the Law, “BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF FOREIGNERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND NOT EVEN THEN WILL THEY LISTEN TO ME,” says the Lord. Therefore, [unknown] tongues are [meant] for a [supernatural] sign, not to believers but to unbelievers [who might be receptive]; while prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people] is not for unbelievers but for believers. So then, if the whole church gathers together and all of you speak in [unknown] tongues, and outsiders or those who are not gifted [in spiritual matters] or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and an unbeliever or outsider comes in, he is convicted [of his sins] by all, and he is called to account by all [because he can understand what is being said]; the secrets of his heart are laid bare. And so, falling on his face, he will worship God, declaring that God is really among you.
What then is the right course, believers? When you meet together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation (disclosure of special knowledge), a tongue, or an interpretation. Let everything be constructive and edifying and done for the good of all the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be limited to two or at the most three, and each one speaking in turn, and one must interpret [what is said]. But if there is no one to interpret, the one [who wishes to speak in a tongue] must keep silent in church; let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak [as inspired by the Holy Spirit], while the rest pay attention and weigh carefully what is said. But if an inspired revelation is made to another who is seated, then the first one must be silent. For [in this way] you can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone may be instructed and everyone may be encouraged; for the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets [the prophecy is under the speaker’s control, and he can stop speaking]; for God [who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order.
A s [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people),
the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but are to take a subordinate place, as the Law says. If there is anything they want to learn [that is, if they have questions about anything being said or taught], they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to talk in church. Did the word of the Lord originate from you [Corinthians], or has it come to you only [so that you know best what God requires]?
If anyone thinks and claims that he is a prophet [a true spokesman for God] or spiritually astute [filled with and energized by the Holy Spirit], let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment. If anyone does not recognize this [that it is a command of the Lord], he is not recognized [by God].
Therefore, believers, desire earnestly to prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people], and do not forbid speaking in unknown tongues. But all things must be done appropriately and in an orderly manner.