1 Thessalonians 5:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Do not treat prophecies with contempt

New Living Translation
Do not scoff at prophecies,

English Standard Version
Do not despise prophecies,

Berean Study Bible
Do not treat prophecies with contempt,

Berean Literal Bible
Do not despise prophecies,

New American Standard Bible
do not despise prophetic utterances.

King James Bible
Despise not prophesyings.

Christian Standard Bible
Don't despise prophecies,

Contemporary English Version
or ignore prophecies.

Good News Translation
do not despise inspired messages.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don't despise prophecies,

International Standard Version
Do not despise prophecies.

NET Bible
Do not treat prophecies with contempt.

New Heart English Bible
Do not treat prophecies with contempt,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Do not reject prophecy.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't despise what God has revealed.

New American Standard 1977
do not despise prophetic utterances.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Despise not prophecies.

King James 2000 Bible
Despise not prophesying.

American King James Version
Despise not prophesyings.

American Standard Version
despise not prophesyings;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Despise not prophecies.

Darby Bible Translation
do not lightly esteem prophecies;

English Revised Version
despise not prophesyings;

Webster's Bible Translation
Despise not prophesyings.

Weymouth New Testament
Do not think meanly of utterances of prophecy;

World English Bible
Don't despise prophesies.

Young's Literal Translation
prophesyings despise not;
Study Bible
Christian Living
19Do not extinguish the Spirit. 20Do not treat prophecies with contempt, 21but test all things. Hold fast to what is good.…
Cross References
Acts 13:1
In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (a childhood companion of Herod the tetrarch), and Saul.

1 Corinthians 11:4
Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.

1 Corinthians 14:31
For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.

1 John 4:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Treasury of Scripture

Despise not prophesyings.

1 Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despises, despises not man, but God, who has also …

Numbers 11:25-29 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spoke to him, and took of …

1 Samuel 10:5,6,10-13 After that you shall come to the hill of God, where is the garrison …

1 Samuel 19:20-24 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company …

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on …

1 Corinthians 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.

1 Corinthians 12:10,28 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another …

1 Corinthians 13:2,9 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, …

1 Corinthians 14:1,3-6,22-25,29-32,37-39 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that …

Ephesians 4:11,12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; …

Revelation 11:3-11 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy …

(20) Despise not prophesyings.--The highest outward or charismatic manifestation of this inward fire was the gift of "prophecy" (1Corinthians 12:28; 1Corinthians 14:1; 1Corinthians 14:5; 1Corinthians 14:39), which was an inspired and inspiring preaching, The despondency of the Thessalonians led them not only to quench the fervour of the Holy Ghost in their own bosoms, but to turn a cold and disparaging ear to the sanguine "prophets" who preached to them, the effect of which insensibility was to "quench the Spirit" by degrees in the prophets also. It is because of this double effect of gloominess, inward upon themselves, and outward upon others, that the command, "Quench not," occurs between the exhortation to thanksgiving and the warning not to despise prophecy. This seems to be the most natural way of accounting for the present warning, but there are two other main interpretations:--(1) It is said that what tempted the Thessalonians to disparage prophecy was their fascination for the more showy gift of tongues. It is true that such was the case at Corinth, and not unnaturally so; and at first sight it seems as if, in 1Corinthians 14:1, "spiritual gifts" were contrasted with "prophecy" as two separate classes, thus giving some ground for Bishop Words-worth's interpretation of our present passage--viz., that 1Thessalonians 5:19 refers to the gifts of tongues, miracles, &c., in something of the same contrast with "prophecy" in 1Thessalonians 5:20 as may be found in 1Corinthians 14:39. But, on the other hand, it seems more likely that in 1Corinthians 14:1 prophecy is not contrasted with the spiritual gifts there specified as a separate class, but selected from among them: "It is all very well to covet spiritual gifts as a whole, but it would be better to aim more particularly at that one--prophecy--which is the greatest:" just so here, "Do not quench the Spirit, in whatever direction it may blaze up; but especially do not disparage preaching." Besides, there is nothing to prove that the Thessalonians were dazzled by the more brilliant gifts: and it accords better with the context to suppose that the fault to be corrected in them was not a light sensationalism, but a tendency to damp all ardour alike. (2) Others suppose that the Thessalonians had had experience of persons who had abused the gift of prophecy, and therefore were disposed to suspect and dislike prophecy altogether. This view gains support from 2Thessalonians 2:2, and also from the command in 1Thessalonians 5:21 to test, and retain only what stood the test. There is no particular ground for contradicting this view; but it is unnecessary, and does not carry on the thought so connectedly.

Verse 20. - Despise not prophesyings. This refers to the miraculous gift of prophecy possessed by the primitive Church. And by prophesyings here we are to understand, not the prediction of the future, but inspired discourse, conducive to the instruction and edification of the Church. "By the term 'prophesying,'" observes Calvin, "I do not understand the gift of foretelling the future, but the science of interpreting Scripture, so that a prophet is an interpreter of the will of God." This useful gift, it would seem, was apt to be despised, and the inferior miraculous gift of tongues to be preferred before it (1 Corinthians 14:1-3). Despise not prophesyings. Or "prophecies"; the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the first coming of Christ, concerning his person, office, and work, his obedience, sufferings, and death, his resurrection from the dead, ascension and session at God's right hand; for though all these are fulfilled, yet they have still their usefulness; for by comparing these with facts, the perfections of God, his omniscience, truth, faithfulness, wisdom, &c. are demonstrated, the authority of the Scriptures established, the truths of the Gospel illustrated and confirmed, and faith strengthened; and besides, there are many prophecies which regard things to be done, and yet to be done under the Gospel dispensation, and therefore should not be set at nought, but highly valued and esteemed: also the predictions of Christ concerning his own sufferings and death, and resurrection from the dead, and what would befall his disciples afterwards, with many things relating to the destruction of Jerusalem, his second coming, and the end of the world, these should be had in great esteem; nor should what the apostles foretold concerning the rise of antichrist, the man of sin, and the apostasy of the latter days, and the whole book of the Revelations, which is no other than a prophecy of the state of the church, from the times of the apostles to the end of the world, be treated with neglect and contempt, but should be seriously considered, and diligently searched and inquired into. Yea, the prophecies of private men, such as Agabus, and others, in the apostle's time, and in later ages, are not to be slighted; though instances of this kind are rare in our times, and things of this nature should not be precipitantly, and without care, given into: but rather prophesyings here intend the explanation of Scripture, and the preaching of the word, and particularly by persons who had not the gift of tongues, and therefore men were apt to despise them; see 1 Corinthians 13:2. Just as in our days, if persons have not had a liberal education, and do not understand Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, though they have ministerial gifts, and are capable of explaining the word to edification and comfort, yet are set at nought and rejected, which should not be. 20. prophesyings—whether exercised in inspired teaching, or in predicting the future. "Despised" by some as beneath "tongues," which seemed most miraculous; therefore declared by Paul to be a greater gift than tongues, though the latter were more showy (1Co 14:5).5:16-22 We are to rejoice in creature-comforts, as if we rejoiced not, and must not expect to live many years, and rejoice in them all; but if we do rejoice in God, we may do that evermore. A truly religious life is a life of constant joy. And we should rejoice more, if we prayed more. Prayer will help forward all lawful business, and every good work. If we pray without ceasing, we shall not want matter for thanksgiving in every thing. We shall see cause to give thanks for sparing and preventing, for common and uncommon, past and present, temporal and spiritual mercies. Not only for prosperous and pleasing, but also for afflicting providences, for chastisements and corrections; for God designs all for our good, though we at present see not how they tend to it. Quench not the Spirit. Christians are said to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire. He worketh as fire, by enlightening, enlivening, and purifying the souls of men. As fire is put out by taking away fuel, and as it is quenched by pouring water, or putting a great deal of earth upon it; so we must be careful not to quench the Holy Spirit, by indulging carnal lusts and affections, minding only earthly things. Believers often hinder their growth in grace, by not giving themselves up to the spiritual affections raised in their hearts by the Holy Spirit. By prophesyings, here understand the preaching of the word, the interpreting and applying the Scriptures. We must not despise preaching, though it is plain, and we are told no more than what we knew before. We must search the Scriptures. And proving all things must be to hold fast that which is good. We should abstain from sin, and whatever looks like sin, leads to it, and borders upon it. He who is not shy of the appearances of sin, who shuns not the occasions of it, and who avoids not the temptations and approaches to it, will not long keep from doing sin.
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