1 Corinthians Chapters
1 Make love your aim; but be eager, too, for spiritual gifts, and especially for prophesying.
2 Those who speak in a tongue speak to God, but not to other people, because nobody understands them; they are speaking in the Spirit and the meaning is hidden.
3 On the other hand, someone who prophesies speaks to other people, building them up and giving them encouragement and reassurance.
4 Those who speak in a tongue may build themselves up, but those who prophesy build up the community.
5 While I should like you all to speak in tongues, I would much rather you could prophesy; since those who prophesy are of greater importance than those who speak in tongues, unless they can interpret what they say so that the church is built up by it.
6 Now suppose, brothers, I come to you and speak in tongues, what good shall I do you if my speaking provides no revelation or knowledge or prophecy or instruction?
7 It is the same with an inanimate musical instrument. If it does not make any distinction between notes, how can one recognise what is being played on flute or lyre?
8 If the trumpet sounds a call which is unrecognisable, who is going to get ready for the attack?
9 It is the same with you: if you do not use your tongue to produce speech that can be readily understood, how can anyone know what you are saying? You will be talking to the air.
10 However many the languages used in the world, all of them use sound;
11 but if I do not understand the meaning of the sound, I am a barbarian to the person who is speaking, and the speaker is a barbarian to me.
12 So with you, as you are eager to have spiritual powers, aim to be rich in those which build up the community.
13 That is why anybody who speaks in a tongue must pray that he may be given the interpretation.
14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit may be praying but my mind derives no fruit from it.
15 What then? I shall pray with the spirit, but I shall pray with the mind as well: I shall sing praises with the spirit and I shall sing praises with the mind as well.
16 Otherwise, if you say your blessing only with the spirit, how is the uninitiated person going to answer 'Amen' to your thanksgiving, without understanding what you are saying?
17 You may be making your thanksgiving well, but the other person is not built up at all.
18 I thank God that I speak with tongues more than any of you;
19 all the same, when I am in the assembly I would rather say five words with my mind, to instruct others as well, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
20 Brothers, do not remain children in your thinking; infants in wickedness-agreed, but in your thinking grown-ups.
21 It says in the written Law: In strange tongues and in a foreign language I will talk to this nation, and even so they will refuse to listen, says the Lord.
22 So then, strange languages are significant not for believers, but for unbelievers; whereas on the other hand, prophesying is not for unbelievers, but for believers.
23 Suppose that, if the whole congregation were meeting and all of them speaking in tongues, and some uninitiated people or unbelievers were to come in, don't you think they would say that you were all raving?
24 But if you were all prophesying when an unbeliever or someone uninitiated came in, he would find himself put to the test by all and judged by all
25 and the secrets of his heart revealed; and so he would fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is indeed among you.
26 Then what should it be like, brothers? When you come together each of you brings a psalm or some instruction or a revelation, or speaks in a tongue or gives an interpretation. Let all these things be done in a way that will build up the community.
27 If there are to be any people speaking in a tongue, then let there be only two, or at the most three, and those one at a time, and let one of these interpret.
28 If there is no interpreter, then let each of them be quiet in the assembly, and speak only to himself and God.
29 Let two prophets, or three, speak while the rest weigh their words;
30 and if a revelation comes to someone else who is sitting by, the speaker should stop speaking.
31 You can all prophesy, but one at a time, then all will learn something and all receive encouragement.
32 The prophetic spirit is to be under the prophets' control,
33 for God is a God not of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of God's holy people,
34 women are to remain quiet in the assemblies, since they have no permission to speak: theirs is a subordinate part, as the Law itself says.
35 If there is anything they want to know, they should ask their husbands at home: it is shameful for a woman to speak in the assembly.
36 Do you really think that you are the source of the word of God? Or that you are the only people to whom it has come?
37 Anyone who claims to be a prophet, or to have any spiritual powers must recognise that what I am writing to you is a commandment from the Lord.
38 If anyone does not recognise this, it is because that person is not recognised himself.
39 So, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not suppress the gift of speaking in tongues.
40 But make sure that everything is done in a proper and orderly fashion.