1 Corinthians 14:7
New International Version
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?

New Living Translation
Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody.

English Standard Version
If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played?

Berean Study Bible
Even in the case of lifeless instruments, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone recognize the tune they are playing unless the notes are distinct?

Berean Literal Bible
Even lifeless things giving a sound, whether the flute or harp, unless they give distinction to the sounds, how will it be known what is being piped or being harped?

New American Standard Bible
Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp?

King James Bible
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

Christian Standard Bible
Even lifeless instruments that produce sounds--whether flute or harp--if they don't make a distinction in the notes, how will what is played on the flute or harp be recognized?

Contemporary English Version
If all musical instruments sounded alike, how would you know the difference between a flute and a harp?

Good News Translation
Take such lifeless musical instruments as the flute or the harp--how will anyone know the tune that is being played unless the notes are sounded distinctly?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Even inanimate things that produce sounds--whether flute or harp--if they don't make a distinction in the notes, how will what is played on the flute or harp be recognized?

International Standard Version
In the same way, lifeless instruments like the flute or harp produce sounds. But if there's no difference in the notes, how can a person tell what tune is being played?

NET Bible
It is similar for lifeless things that make a sound, like a flute or harp. Unless they make a distinction in the notes, how can what is played on the flute or harp be understood?

New Heart English Bible
Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they did not give a distinction in the sounds, how would it be known what is piped or harped?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For even inanimate things which give sound, whether a flute or harp, if they make no distinction between one tone and another, how will anything that is played or anything that is harped be known?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Musical instruments like the flute or harp produce sounds. If there is no difference in the notes, how can a person tell what tune is being played?

New American Standard 1977
Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And even things without life giving sound, whether flute or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is played or harped?

King James 2000 Bible
And even things without life which give sound, whether flute or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is played?

American King James Version
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

American Standard Version
Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Even things without life that give sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction of sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped ?

Darby Bible Translation
Even lifeless things giving a sound, whether pipe or harp, if they give not distinction to the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

English Revised Version
Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

Webster's Bible Translation
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

Weymouth New Testament
Even inanimate things--flutes or harps, for instance--when yielding a sound, if they make no distinction in the notes, how shall the tune which is played on the flute or the harp be known?

World English Bible
Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they didn't give a distinction in the sounds, how would it be known what is piped or harped?

Young's Literal Translation
yet the things without life giving sound -- whether pipe or harp -- if a difference in the sounds they may not give, how shall be known that which is piped or that which is harped?
Study Bible
Prophecy and Tongues
6Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7Even in the case of lifeless instruments, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone recognize the tune they are playing unless the notes are distinct? 8Again, if the trumpet sounds a muffled call, who will prepare for battle?…
Cross References
1 Samuel 10:5
After that you will come to Gibeah of God, where the Philistines have an outpost. As you approach the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place, preceded by harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres, and they will be prophesying.

Matthew 11:17
We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.'

1 Corinthians 14:6
Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?

1 Corinthians 14:8
Again, if the trumpet sounds a muffled call, who will prepare for battle?

Treasury of Scripture

And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

things.

1 Corinthians 13:1
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

except.

1 Corinthians 14:8
For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

Numbers 10:2-10
Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps…

Matthew 11:17
And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

sounds.







Lexicon
Even in the case of
ὅμως (homōs)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3676: Yet, nevertheless, even. Adverb from the base of homou; at the same time, i.e. notwithstanding, yet still.

lifeless
ἄψυχα (apsycha)
Adjective - Nominative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 895: Lifeless, inanimate. Lifeless, i.e. Inanimate.

instruments,
διδόντα (didonta)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 1325: To offer, give; I put, place. A prolonged form of a primary verb; to give.

such as
εἴτε (eite)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1535: And if, whether. From ei and te; if too.

[the] flute
αὐλὸς (aulos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 836: A flute, pipe. From the same as aer; a flute.

or
εἴτε (eite)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1535: And if, whether. From ei and te; if too.

harp,
κιθάρα (kithara)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2788: A harp, lyre. Of uncertain affinity; a lyre.

how
πῶς (pōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 4459: Adverb from the base of pou; an interrogative particle of manner; in what way?; also as exclamation, how much!

will [anyone] recognize
γνωσθήσεται (gnōsthēsetai)
Verb - Future Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1097: A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' in a great variety of applications and with many implications.

[the tune]
τὸ (to)
Article - Nominative Neuter 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.

they are playing
δῷ (dō)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1325: To offer, give; I put, place. A prolonged form of a primary verb; to give.

unless
ἐὰν (ean)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1437: If. From ei and an; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.

the
τοῖς (tois)
Article - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

notes
φθόγγοις (phthongois)
Noun - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5353: A sound. From phtheggomai; utterance, i.e. A musical note.

are distinct?
διαστολὴν (diastolēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1293: Distinction, difference, separation. From diastellomai; a variation.
(7) And even things without life.--The pipe and harp were the best-known instruments, and the principle just laid down of the inutility of sounds unless they be distinctive is illustrated by reference to them. Whether it was a harp or a pipe which was being played you could not know unless each gives a distinct sound of its own. The point here is not, as the English seems to suggest, that there must be a difference in tune, so as know what is being piped or harped--that illustration comes in in the next verse--but that each instrument has its own peculiar sound.

Verse 7. - Even things without life giving sound. Even musical instruments - flute or harp - dead instruments as they are, must be so played as to keep up the distinction of intervals, without which the melody is ruined and the tune is unrecognizable. Much more is this the ease with the human voice.

"How sour sweet music is,
When time is broke and no proportion kept!"
The indiscriminate use of the tongue is here compared to the dissonance of jarring and unmodulated instrumental sounds, In harmony there must be due sequence and intervals of sound. 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.
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Alphabetical: a anyone as be being case distinction do either Even flute harp how if in is it know known lifeless make not notes of on or played produce producing sound sounds such that the there they things tones tune unless what will Yet

NT Letters: 1 Corinthians 14:7 Even things without life giving a voice (1 Cor. 1C iC 1Cor i cor icor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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