1 Corinthians 14:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.

New Living Translation
Dear brothers and sisters, don't be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind.

English Standard Version
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

New American Standard Bible
Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.

King James Bible
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Brothers, don't be childish in your thinking, but be infants in regard to evil and adult in your thinking.

International Standard Version
Brothers, stop being childish in your thinking. Be like infants with respect to evil, but think like adults.

NET Bible
Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking. Instead, be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
My brethren, do not be children in your intellects, but be infants in evil and be fully mature in your intellects.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, don't think like children. When it comes to evil, be like babies, but think like mature people.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Brothers, be not children in understanding, howbeit in malice be ye children; but in understanding be perfect.

King James 2000 Bible
Brethren, be not children in understanding: but in malice be children, but in understanding be men.

American King James Version
Brothers, be not children in understanding: however, in malice be you children, but in understanding be men.

American Standard Version
Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Brethren, do not become children in sense: but in malice be children, and in sense be perfect.

Darby Bible Translation
Brethren, be not children in [your] minds, but in malice be babes; but in [your] minds be grown [men].

English Revised Version
Brethren, be not children in mind: howbeit in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men.

Webster's Bible Translation
Brethren, be not children in understanding: yet in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

Weymouth New Testament
Brethren, do not prove yourselves to be children in your minds. As regards evil, indeed, be utter babes, but as regards your minds prove yourselves to be men of ripe years.

World English Bible
Brothers, don't be children in thoughts, yet in malice be babies, but in thoughts be mature.

Young's Literal Translation
Brethren, become not children in the understanding, but in the evil be ye babes, and in the understanding become ye perfect;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

14:15-25 There can be no assent to prayers that are not understood. A truly Christian minister will seek much more to do spiritual good to men's souls, than to get the greatest applause to himself. This is proving himself the servant of Christ. Children are apt to be struck with novelty; but do not act like them. Christians should be like children, void of guile and malice; yet they should not be unskilful as to the word of righteousness, but only as to the arts of mischief. It is a proof that a people are forsaken of God, when he gives them up to the rule of those who teach them to worship in another language. They can never be benefitted by such teaching. Yet thus the preachers did who delivered their instructions in an unknown tongue. Would it not make Christianity ridiculous to a heathen, to hear the ministers pray or preach in a language which neither he nor the assembly understood? But if those who minister, plainly interpret Scripture, or preach the great truths and rules of the gospel, a heathen or unlearned person might become a convert to Christianity. His conscience might be touched, the secrets of his heart might be revealed to him, and so he might be brought to confess his guilt, and to own that God was present in the assembly. Scripture truth, plainly and duly taught, has a wonderful power to awaken the conscience and touch the heart.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - Be not children in understanding; rather, in your minds. Your tendency to overvalue glossolaly shows you to be somewhat childish. It is remarkable that this is the only verse of the New Testament in which the common Greek word "mind" (phren) occurs. Howbeit in malice be ye children; better, but in wickedness be babes. The Authorized Version misses the climax involved in the change of the word. The Christian should always be childlike (Matthew 11:25; Matthew 19:4), but never childish (1 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:14). Be men; rather, become or prove yourselves full-grown; literally, perfect.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Brethren, be not children in understanding,.... There are some things in children in which it is reproachful for believers to be like them; as nonproficiency in knowledge, want of capacity to receive, bear, and digest strong meat; levity, fickleness, and inconstancy, unskilfulness in the word, deficiency of knowledge, want of understanding, not of things natural, but spiritual and evangelical; which is the more aggravated, since their understandings were opened and enlightened; an understanding was given them; the Spirit of God, as a spirit of understanding, was bestowed on them; they had the Scriptures, which are able to make wise unto salvation, and the man of God perfect; and also the ministers of the Gospel to explain divine truths to them; and many had been a long time in the school of Christ, and might have been teachers of others; and yet; after all, were children in understanding, and needed to be taught the first principles of the oracles of God. The apostle here has chiefly reference to the gift of speaking with tongues, these Corinthians were so desirous of; which when they had it, was only to talk like children; and for them to prefer it to other gifts, which were more useful and beneficial, discovered their judgment to be but the judgment of children; and if they desired this, and made use of it for ostentation, it showed a childish vanity, from which the apostle here dissuades:

howbeit in malice be ye children: in other things it is commendable to imitate children, and be like them; as in innocence and harmlessness of conversation; to be meek, modest, and humble, free from pride and vain glory; to be without guile and hypocrisy, without rancour and bitterness, envying and malice, but tender hearted, and ready to forgive. This the apostle recommends:

but in understanding be men; or "perfect", of ripe and full age, who have their senses exercised to discern between good and evil, "a man", says Aben Ezra (p), in our language, signifies , "one full of knowledge", as in Exodus 10:11. It is not perfection of justification that is here meant, for babes in Christ are as perfect in this sense as grown men; nor a perfection of sanctification, for there is no such thing as this in any in this life; there is a perfection of sanctification in Christ, and of parts in everyone that is a new creature; and as that denotes sincerity and uprightness, it is in all that have known the grace of God in truth; but then these are each of them as true of new born babes, young converts, as of older Christians, and strong men: but of knowledge and understanding in divine things; which though it is imperfect in the best, yet in some it is in greater perfection than in others; who may, in a comparative sense, be said to be perfect, or men of full age, who are arrived to a considerable ripeness and maturity of spiritual knowledge; and this is what believers should be pressing after, and desirous of, and make use of all proper methods, such as reading, hearing, and praying, to attain unto.

(p) Comment. in Psal. xxxvii. 23.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. Brethren—an appellation calculated to conciliate their favorable reception of his exhortation.

children in understanding—as preference of gifts abused to nonedification would make you (compare 1Co 3:1; Mt 10:16; Ro 16:19; Eph 4:14). The Greek for "understanding" expresses the will of one's spirit, Ro 8:6 (it is not found elsewhere); as the "heart" is the will of the "soul." The same Greek is used for "minded" in Ro 8:6.

men—full-grown. Be childlike, not childish.

1 Corinthians 14:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
Prophecy and Tongues
19however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. 21In the Law it is written, "BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME," says the Lord.…
Cross References
Psalm 131:2
But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.

Jeremiah 4:22
"My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good."

Matthew 18:3
And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Mark 10:15
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Luke 18:17
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Romans 1:13
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

Romans 16:19
Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

1 Corinthians 14:19
But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.

Ephesians 4:13
until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:14
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.

Hebrews 5:12
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!

Hebrews 5:13
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

1 Peter 2:2
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
Treasury of Scripture

Brothers, be not children in understanding: however, in malice be you children, but in understanding be men.

not.

1 Corinthians 3:1,2 And I, brothers, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to …

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, …

Psalm 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for your testimonies …

Isaiah 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: …

Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad to all men. I am glad therefore …

Ephesians 4:14,15 That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried …

Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge …

Hebrews 5:12,13 For when for the time you ought to be teachers…

Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us …

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus …

malice.

Psalm 131:1,2 Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise …

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord …

Matthew 18:3 And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become …

Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that he which …

Mark 10:15 Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God …

1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may …

but.

Psalm 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for your testimonies …

men. Gr. perfect, or, of a ripe age.

1 Corinthians 2:6 However, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the …

Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in …

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