Prophecy a Superior Gift
1Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2For 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. 3But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. 4One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 6But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? 7Yet 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? 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. 11If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me. 12So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church. 13Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15What is the outcome then? I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also; I shall sing with the spirit and I shall sing with the mind also. 16Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified. 18I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 19however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Instruction for the Church
20Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be babes, but in your thinking be mature. 21In the Law it is written, “BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME,” says the Lord. 22So 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. 23If therefore the whole church should assemble together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
26What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and let one interpret; 28but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. 29And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, let the first keep silent. 31For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
34Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. 36Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only?