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Tongues and Prophecy

14 Follow after love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in an unknown tongue does not speak to men, but to God. For no one understands him, although in the spirit, he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification and exhortation and comfort. He who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I desire that you all speak in tongues, but even more that you prophesy. For greater is he who prophesies than he who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edification.

Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you by revelation or knowledge or prophesying or doctrine? Even when things without life give sound, whether flute or harp, how will it be known what is played unless they give a distinction in the sounds? If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for the battle? So also you, unless with the tongue you speak words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you shall speak into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the speech, I shall be a barbarian to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a barbarian to me. 12 So, seeing that you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that you may excel to the edifying of the church.

13 Let him who speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, when you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the unlearned say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, seeing he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18 I thank my God that I speak in tongues more than you all. 19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking; rather be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the law it is written:

“With men of other tongues
    and other lips
I will speak to this people;
    but even then they will not hear Me,”[a]
        says the Lord.

22 So tongues are for a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers. But prophesying does not serve unbelievers, but believers. 23 Therefore if the whole church assembles in one place and all speak with tongues, and those who are unlearned or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy and there comes in one who does not believe or one unlearned, he is convinced by all and judged by all. 25 Thus the secrets of his heart are revealed. And so falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

All Things to Be Done in Order

26 How is it then, brothers? When you come together, every one of you has a psalm, a teaching, a tongue, a revelation, and an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him remain silent in the church, and let him speak to himself and to God.

29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 If anything is revealed to another that sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

34 Let your women remain silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak. They are commanded to be under obedience, as the law also says. 35 If they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

36 What? Did the word of God come from you? Or did it come to you only? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that what I am writing you is a command of the Lord. 38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

39 Therefore, brothers, eagerly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.