1 Corinthians 14:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
It's the same for you. If you speak to people in words they don't understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space.

English Standard Version
So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air.

New American Standard Bible
So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.

King James Bible
So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the same way, unless you use your tongue for intelligible speech, how will what is spoken be known? For you will be speaking into the air.

International Standard Version
In the same way, unless you speak an intelligible message with your language, how will anyone know what is being said? You'll be talking into the air!

NET Bible
It is the same for you. If you do not speak clearly with your tongue, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
So you also, if you will say words in languages and you will not translate, how will anything be known that you say, for you yourselves will be as one who is speaking to the air.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In the same way, if you don't speak in a way that can be understood, how will anyone know what you're saying? You will be talking into thin air.

Jubilee Bible 2000
So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue a clear and definite word, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

King James 2000 Bible
So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for you shall speak into the air.

American King James Version
So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for you shall speak into the air.

American Standard Version
So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking into the air.

Douay-Rheims Bible
So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue plain speech, how shall it be known what is said ? For you shall be speaking into the air.

Darby Bible Translation
Thus also *ye* with the tongue, unless ye give a distinct speech, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking to the air.

English Revised Version
So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking into the air.

Webster's Bible Translation
So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will speak into the air.

Weymouth New Testament
And so with you; if with the living voice you fail to utter intelligible words, how will people know what you are saying? You will be talking to the winds.

World English Bible
So also you, unless you uttered by the tongue words easy to understand, how would it be known what is spoken? For you would be speaking into the air.

Young's Literal Translation
so also ye, if through the tongue, speech easily understood ye may not give -- how shall that which is spoken be known? for ye shall be speaking to air.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

14:6-14 Even an apostle could not edify, unless he spoke so as to be understood by his hearers. To speak words that have no meaning to those who hear them, is but speaking into the air. That cannot answer the end of speaking, which has no meaning; in this case, speaker and hearers are barbarians to each other. All religious services should be so performed in Christian assemblies, that all may join in, and profit by them. Language plain and easy to be understood, is the most proper for public worship, and other religious exercises. Every true follower of Christ will rather desire to do good to others, than to get a name for learning or fine speaking.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - Words easy to be understood; rather, distinguishable speech. Ye shall speak; rather, ye shall be (all the time) speaking. Into the air. Mere pulses of useless inarticulate breath, spoken ins Blaue hinein. Philo has the word aeromuthos one who speaks to the wind.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

So likewise you, unless ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood,.... This is an accommodation of the foregoing similes to the case in hand: for as unless there is a distinction of notes and tunes, it cannot be music, nor it cannot be known what is piped or harped; and unless the trumpet gives a certain sound, none can know when to prepare himself for the battle; so unless in the public ministry and service a language is spoken, and words made use of, which are understood without difficulty:

how shall it be known what is spoken? the subject matter of the discourse, prayer, or psalm, will be all lost, and therefore cannot be for edification, exhortation, or comfort:

for ye shall speak into the air; into which such words are resolved, and the use and benefit of them, as to others, cease with the breath, by which they are delivered: any part of divine service performed in such a way is all in vain, and to no purpose; it is all lost labour, it is beating the air, and talking to the wind. This condemns the practice of the Papists, performing divine service in a language not understood by the common people; and exposes the folly of those, who are fond of a florid style, of bombast words, great swelling words of vanity in their public discourses: this is only speaking into the air, with regard to the vulgar, whose edification should be consulted: and as the end of the Gospel ministry is public usefulness and edification, plainness of speech, words easy to be understood, should be used; such as are apt and fit to convey the true idea of things to people in common; these are the acceptable words, which the wise preacher, who is desirous of doing good to the souls of men, will seek out, and studiously make use of.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. So … ye—who have life; as opposed to "things without life" (1Co 14:7).

by the tongue—the language which ye speak in.

ye shall speak—Ye will be speaking into the air, that is, in vain (1Co 9:26).

1 Corinthians 14:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Prophecy and Tongues
8For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 9:26
Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.

1 Corinthians 14:10
Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.
Treasury of Scripture

So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for you shall speak into the air.

easy. Gr. significant.

1 Corinthians 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, …

for.

1 Corinthians 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that …

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Alphabetical: air also anyone are be by clear For how intelligible into is it just know known saying So speak speaking speech spoken that the tongue Unless utter what will with words you your

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