1 Corinthians 14:2
New International Version
For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.

New Living Translation
For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won't be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious.

English Standard Version
For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.

Berean Study Bible
For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries in the Spirit.

Berean Literal Bible
For the one speaking in a tongue speaks not to men, but to God. For no one hears, but in the Spirit he utters mysteries.

New American Standard Bible
For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.

King James Bible
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

Christian Standard Bible
For the person who speaks in another tongue is not speaking to people but to God, since no one understands him; he speaks mysteries in the Spirit.

Contemporary English Version
If you speak languages that others don't know, God will understand what you are saying, though no one else will know what you mean. You will be talking about mysteries that only the Spirit understands.

Good News Translation
Those who speak in strange tongues do not speak to others but to God, because no one understands them. They are speaking secret truths by the power of the Spirit.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the person who speaks in another language is not speaking to men but to God, since no one understands him; however, he speaks mysteries in the Spirit.

International Standard Version
For the person who speaks in a foreign language is not actually speaking to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands him, because he is talking about secrets by the Spirit.

NET Bible
For the one speaking in a tongue does not speak to people but to God, for no one understands; he is speaking mysteries by the Spirit.

New Heart English Bible
For the one who speaks in another language speaks not to people, but to God; for no one understands; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For whoever speaks in languages does not speak to men, but he is speaking to God, for no man understands what he speaks, but by The Spirit he speaks mysteries.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When a person speaks in another language, he doesn't speak to people but to God. No one understands him. His spirit is speaking mysteries.

New American Standard 1977
For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not unto men, but unto God, for no one understands him, even though by the Spirit he speaks mysteries.

King James 2000 Bible
For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not unto men, but unto God: for no man understands him; but in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

American King James Version
For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God: for no man understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

American Standard Version
For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth; but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For he that speaketh in a tongue, speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man heareth. Yet by the Spirit he speaketh mysteries.

Darby Bible Translation
For he that speaks with a tongue does not speak to men but to God: for no one hears; but in spirit he speaks mysteries.

English Revised Version
For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth; but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

Webster's Bible Translation
For he that speaketh in an unknown language, speaketh not to men, but to God: for no man understandeth him; yet in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

Weymouth New Testament
For he who speaks in an unknown tongue is not speaking to men, but to God; for no one understands him. Yet in the Spirit he is speaking secret truths.

World English Bible
For he who speaks in another language speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.

Young's Literal Translation
for he who is speaking in an unknown tongue -- to men he doth not speak, but to God, for no one doth hearken, and in spirit he doth speak secrets;
Study Bible
Prophecy and Tongues
1Earnestly pursue love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 2For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, encouragement, and comfort.…
Cross References
Mark 16:17
And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

1 Corinthians 12:10
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in various tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:28
And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, and those with gifts of healing, helping, administration, and various tongues.

1 Corinthians 13:1
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:2
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 14:18
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.

1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a psalm or a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. All of these must be done to build up the church.

1 Corinthians 14:27
If anyone speaks in a tongue, two, or at most three, should speak in turn, and someone must interpret.

Treasury of Scripture

For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God: for no man understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

he that.

1 Corinthians 14:9-11,16,21,22
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…

Genesis 11:7
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

Genesis 42:23
And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.

understandeth.

Acts 22:9
And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

howbeit.

1 Corinthians 2:7,10
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: …

1 Corinthians 13:2
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 15:51
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,







Lexicon
For
γὰρ (gar)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1063: For. A primary particle; properly, assigning a reason.

he who
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

speaks
λαλῶν (lalōn)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2980: A prolonged form of an otherwise obsolete verb; to talk, i.e. Utter words.

in a tongue
γλώσσῃ (glōssē)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1100: The tongue; by implication, a language.

does not speak
λαλεῖ (lalei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2980: A prolonged form of an otherwise obsolete verb; to talk, i.e. Utter words.

to men,
ἀνθρώποις (anthrōpois)
Noun - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.

but
ἀλλὰ (alla)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

to God.
Θεῷ (Theō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

Indeed,
γὰρ (gar)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1063: For. A primary particle; properly, assigning a reason.

no one
οὐδεὶς (oudeis)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3762: No one, none, nothing.

understands [him];
ἀκούει (akouei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 191: To hear, listen, comprehend by hearing; pass: is heard, reported. A primary verb; to hear.

he utters
λαλεῖ (lalei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2980: A prolonged form of an otherwise obsolete verb; to talk, i.e. Utter words.

mysteries
μυστήρια (mystēria)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3466: From a derivative of muo; a secret or 'mystery'.

in the Spirit.
πνεύματι (pneumati)
Noun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.
(2) For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue.--Better, For he that speaketh in a tongue. The word "unknown" is not in the original, but it has been inserted in connection with the word tongue "all through this chapter, so as to make the various passages seem to be consistent with the theory that the gift of tongues was a gift of languages. This is not the place to enter into the question of what particular external manifestation of this gift was evidenced on the Day of Pentecost. (See Acts 2:1-13.) Still, believing that the gift of tongues here spoken of is identical with the gift of tongues which was first bestowed at Pentecost, I would say that the phenomena described as occurring then must be explained by the fuller and more elaborate account of the nature of the gift which is given to us here. Against the theory that the gift was one of a capacity to speak various languages we have three considerations. (1) The word dialectos, which is repeatedly used to express languages (Acts 1:19; Acts 2:6; Acts 2:8; Acts 21:40; Acts 22:2; Acts 26:14), is never used by St. Paul or by the author of the Acts in reference to the utterances of those who possessed the gift of tongues, but the other word, glossa, which is, literally, the physical organ of speech--as if the utterances were simply sounds that proceeded from it. (2) There is no trace whatever of this knowledge of languages having been ever used for the purpose of preaching to those who spoke foreign languages. The language of the Lycaonians was evidently not understood by the Apostles when they were addressed in it (see Acts 14:11), and they did not speak in it. That the hearers at Pentecost said they heard those who were filled with the Spirit "speak in our own language" would only imply, either that the outpouring on Pentecost had for the moment a miraculous effect, which immediately ceased, or that "all the various elements of Aramaic and Hellenistic speech, latent in the usual language of the time, were quickened, under the power of this gift, into a new life, sometimes intelligible, sometimes unintelligible to those who heard it, but always expressive of the vitality and energy of the Spirit by which it was animated." (3) The description of the gift in this chapter is utterly inconsistent with it being a gift of languages. The gift was the result of a quickened spiritual power by the action of the Holy Ghost (see also Acts 2:4; Acts 10:44-46; Acts 19:6); it poured itself forth in wild, impassioned utterances, which were sometimes mistaken for delirium (1Corinthians 14:23); and these were the expressions, not of thoughts, but of feelings, unintelligible always, if uninterpreted, to the listener, and sometimes to the utterer himself.

It is to be observed that very notable spiritual phenomena, not unlike what are recorded here, accompanied many periods of great spiritual revival. The histories of the early work of Wesley and Whitfield, and of Irving--to take examples in England alone--afford some very remarkable illustrations. The general subject of the first part of this chapter (1Corinthians 14:1-25) is the Gift of Tongues, and is thus dealt with:--

I.PROPHECY IS SUPERIOR TO THE GIFT OF TONGUES (1Corinthians 14:2-11)

Because (1)Tongues are the means of communion between the individual and God, whereas prophecy is communion with other men (1Corinthians 14:2-3).

(2)Tongues do yourself good; prophecy does good to others (1Corinthians 14:4-6).

This truth is illustrated (a) by the variety of musical instruments (1Corinthians 14:7); (b) by the distinction of musical notes (1Corinthians 14:8-9); (c) by the varieties of human language (1Corinthians 14:10-11).

II.PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE FOREGOING (1Corinthians 14:11-19).

(1)What the aim and object of the Christians should be (1Corinthians 14:12-13).

(2)His own example (1Corinthians 14:14-19).

III.FURTHER APPEAL TO THEIR INTELLIGENCE AS TO THIS TRUTH (1Corinthians 14:21-25).

(1)The Old Testament teaches the same principle (1Corinthians 14:21-22).

(2)The gift of prophecy is a means of spreading Christianity, and the gift of tongues is not (1Corinthians 14:23-25).

In the spirit he speaketh mysteries.--The utterances come, not from his mind, but from his spirit, stirred by the Holy Spirit; and he speaks mysteries unintelligible to others.

Verse 2. - In an unknown tongue. The interpolation of the word "unknown" in our Authorized Version is quite unjustifiable, and shows the danger of giving way to the bias of mere conjectures. Probably it is this word, not found in the original, which has given rise to the perplexing, unhistoric, and unwarranted theory that "the gift of tongues" was a power of speaking in foreign languages. Speaketh not unto men. Because, as a rule, no one understands anything that he says. The word literally means "hears." It may, perhaps, imply that no special attention was given to those who gave way to these impulses of utterance. The whole of this chapter proves in a most striking way the close analogy between "the tongue" and the impassioned soliloquies of inarticulate utterance which were poured forth in tones of thrilling power among the Montanists, and in modern times among the Irvingites. In the spirit. It is uncertain whether this means "in his own spirit," or "in the Spirit of God," i.e. as a result of inspiration. Probably the former (John 4:24; Romans 8:13, etc.). Perhaps, however, the two imply the same thing. The spirit is the one Divine part of our human being, and when a man is a true Christian his spirit is in union with, is as it were lost in, the Spirit of God. St. Paul recognizes the true tongue - for it might be simulated by hysteria and even by mere physical imposture - as a result of inspiration, that is, of the overpowering dominance of the human spirit by a supernatural power. Nevertheless, he points out the extreme peril of yielding to or self inducing these emotions public, or in leaving them uncontrolled. Mysteries. Secrets revealed possibly to him, but unrevealed by this strange "tongue" to others. 14:1-5 Prophesying, that is, explaining Scripture, is compared with speaking with tongues. This drew attention, more than the plain interpretation of Scripture; it gratified pride more, but promoted the purposes of Christian charity less; it would not equally do good to the souls of men. What cannot be understood, never can edify. No advantage can be reaped from the most excellent discourses, if delivered in language such as the hearers cannot speak or understand. Every ability or possession is valuable in proportion to its usefulness. Even fervent, spiritual affection must be governed by the exercise of the understanding, else men will disgrace the truths they profess to promote.
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