1 Corinthians 14:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

King James Bible
Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

Darby Bible Translation
Follow after love, and be emulous of spiritual manifestations, but rather that ye may prophesy.

World English Bible
Follow after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

Young's Literal Translation
Pursue the love, and seek earnestly the spiritual things, and rather that ye may prophecy,

1 Corinthians 14:1 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Follow after charity - Pursue love 1 Corinthians 13:1; that is, earnestly desire it; strive to possess it; make it the object of your anxious and constant solicitude to obtain it, and to be influenced by it always. Cultivate it in your own hearts, as the richest and best endowment of the Holy Spirit, and endeavor to diffuse its happy influence on all around you.

And desire spiritual gifts - I do not forbid you, while you make the possession of love your great object, and while you do not make the desire of spiritual gifts the occasion of envy or strife, to desire the miraculous endowments of the Spirit and to seek to excel in those endowments which he imparts; see the note at 1 Corinthians 12:31. The main thing was to cultivate a spirit of love. Yet it was not improper also to desire to be so endowed as to promote their highest usefulness in the church. On the phrase "spiritual gifts," see the note at 1 Corinthians 12:1.

But rather that ye may prophesy - But especially, or particularly desire to be qualified for the office of prophesying. The apostle does not mean to say that prophecy is to be preferred to love or charity; but that, of the spiritual gifts which it was proper for them to desire and seek, prophecy was the most valuable. That is, they were not most earnestly and especially to desire to be able to speak foreign languages or to work miracles; but they were to desire to be qualified to speak in a manner that would be edifying to the church. They would naturally, perhaps, most highly prize the power of working miracles and of speaking foreign languages. The object of this chapter is to show them that the ability to speak in a plain, clear, instructive manner, so as to edify the church and convince sinners, was a more valuable endowment than the power of working miracles, or the power of speaking foreign languages.

On the meaning of the word "prophesy," see the note at Romans 11:6. To what is said there on the nature of this office, it seems necessary only to add an idea suggested by Prof. Robinson (Greek and English Lexicon, under the article, Προφήτης Prophētēs), that the prophets were distinguished from the teachers (διδάσκαλοι didaskaloi), "in that, while the latter spoke in a calm, connected, didactic discourse adapted to instruct and enlighten the hearers, the prophet spoke more from the impulse of sudden inspiration, from the light of a sudden revelation at the moment (1 Corinthians 14:30, ἀποκάλυφθη apokalupthē), and his discourse was probably more adapted, by means of powerful exhortation, to awaken the feelings and conscience of the hearers." The idea of speaking from "revelation," he adds, seems to be fundamental to the correct idea of the nature of the prophecy here referred to. Yet the communications of the prophets were always in the vernacular tongue, and were always in intelligible language, and in this respect different from the endowments of those who spoke foreign languages.

The same truth might be spoken by both; the influence of the Spirit was equally necessary in both; both were inspired; and both answered important ends in the establishment and edification of the church. The gift of tongues, however, as it was the most striking and remarkable, and probably the most rare, was most highly prized and coveted. The object of Paul here is, to show that it was really an endowment of less value, and should be less desired by Christians than the gift of prophetic instruction, or the ability to edify the church in language intelligible and understood by all, under the immediate influences of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 14:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Here is the Sum of My Examination Before Justice Keelin, Justice Chester, Justice Blundale, Justice Beecher, Justice Snagg, Etc.
After I had lain in prison above seven weeks, the quarter-sessions were to be kept in Bedford, for the county thereof, unto which I was to be brought; and when my jailor had set me before those justices, there was a bill of indictment preferred against me. The extent thereof was as followeth: That John Bunyan, of the town of Bedford, labourer, being a person of such and such conditions, he hath (since such a time) devilishly and perniciously abstained from coming to church to hear Divine service,
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

The Miracle of Tongues.
"If any man speak in an (unknown) tongue, . . . let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him speak to himself, and to God."-- 1 Cor. xiv. 27, 28. The third sign following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit consisted in extraordinary sounds that proceeded from the lips of the apostles--sounds foreign to the Aramaic tongue, never before heard from their lips. These sounds affected the multitude in different ways: some called them babblings of inebriated men; others heard in them the great
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Ten Reasons Demonstrating the Commandment of the Sabbath to be Moral.
1. Because all the reasons of this commandment are moral and perpetual; and God has bound us to the obedience of this commandment with more forcible reasons than to any of the rest--First, because he foresaw that irreligious men would either more carelessly neglect, or more boldly break this commandment than any other; secondly, because that in the practice of this commandment the keeping of all the other consists; which makes God so often complain that all his worship is neglected or overthrown,
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Spiritual Gifts.
"But desire earnestly the greater gifts. And a still more excellent way show I unto you." --1 Cor. xii. 31 (R.V.). The charismata or spiritual gifts are the divinely ordained means and powers whereby the King enables His Church to perform its task on the earth. The Church has a calling in the world. It is being violently attacked not only by the powers of this world, but much more by the invisible powers of Satan. No rest is allowed. Denying that Christ has conquered, Satan believes that the time
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Cross References
1 Samuel 10:5
"Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying.

1 Corinthians 12:1
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.

1 Corinthians 12:31
But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 13:2
If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 14:22
So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.

1 Corinthians 14:24
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;

1 Corinthians 14:39
Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues.

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