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1 Corinthians 14 :: New International Version (NIV)

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Intelligibility in Worship

Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:1 - Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:2 - For anyone who speaks in a tongue[fn] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:3 - But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:4 - Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:5 - I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[fn] but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues,[fn] unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:6 - 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 or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:7 - 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?
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:8 - Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:9 - 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.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:10 - Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:11 - 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.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:12 - So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:13 - For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:14 - For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:15 - So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:16 - Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,[fn] say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying?
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:17 - You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:18 - I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:19 - But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:20 - Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:21 - In the Law it is written: “With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me,

says the Lord.”[fn]

Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:22 - Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:23 - 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?
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:24 - 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,
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:25 - as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

Good Order in Worship

Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:26 - What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:27 - If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:28 - If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:29 - Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:30 - And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:31 - For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:32 - The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:33 - For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:34 - Women[fn] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:35 - 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.[fn]
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:36 - Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:37 - If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:38 - But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.[fn]
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:39 - Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 14:40 - But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
NIV Footnotes
Or in another language; also in verses 4, 13, 14, 19, 26 and 27
Or in other languages; also in verses 6, 18, 22, 23 and 39
Or in other languages; also in verses 6, 18, 22, 23 and 39
The Greek word for inquirer is a technical term for someone not fully initiated into a religion; also in verses 23 and 24.
Isaiah 28:11,12
Or peace. As in all the congregations of the Lord’s people, 34 women
Or peace. As in all the congregations of the Lord’s people, 34 women
In a few manuscripts these verses come after verse 40.
Some manuscripts But anyone who is ignorant of this will be ignorant

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the NIV Preface.

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