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1 Corinthians 12-14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Diversity of Spiritual Gifts

12 Now concerning what comes from the Spirit:[a] brothers, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you used to be led off to the idols that could not speak. Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person.[b] A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial:

to one is given a message of wisdom
through the Spirit,
to another, a message of knowledge
by the same Spirit,
to another, faith by the same Spirit,
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10 to another, the performing of miracles,
to another, prophecy,
to another, distinguishing between spirits,
to another, different kinds of languages,
to another, interpretation of languages.

11 But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.

Unity Yet Diversity in the Body

12 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 So the body is not one part but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. 19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 Now there are many parts, yet one body.

21 So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. 24 But our presentable parts have no need of clothing. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. 26 So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. 28 And God has placed these in the church:

first apostles, second prophets,
third teachers, next miracles,
then gifts of healing, helping,
managing, various kinds of languages.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets?
Are all teachers? Do all do miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healing?
Do all speak in other languages?
Do all interpret?

31 But desire the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way.

Love: The Superior Way

13 If I speak human or angelic languages
but do not have love,
I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy
and understand all mysteries
and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith
so that I can move mountains
but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,
and if I give my body in order to boast[d]
but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.
But as for prophecies,
they will come to an end;
as for languages, they will cease;
as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
For we know in part,
and we prophesy in part.
10 But when the perfect comes,
the partial will come to an end.
11 When I was a child,
I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I put aside childish things.
12 For now we see indistinctly,[e] as in a mirror,[f]
but then face to face.
Now I know in part,
but then I will know fully,
as I am fully known.
13 Now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love.

Prophecy: A Superior Gift

14 Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy. For the person who speaks in another language is not speaking to men but to God, since no one understands him; however, he speaks mysteries in the Spirit.[g] But the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. The person who speaks in another language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church. I wish all of you spoke in other languages, but even more that you prophesied. The person who prophesies is greater than the person who speaks in languages, unless he interprets so that the church may be built up.

But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in other languages, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you with a revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 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? In fact, if the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will prepare for battle? In the same way, unless you use your tongue for intelligible speech, how will what is spoken be known? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different kinds of languages in the world, and all have meaning.[h] 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner[i] to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. 12 So also you—since you are zealous for spiritual gifts,[j] seek to excel in building up the church.

13 Therefore the person who speaks in another language should pray that he can interpret. 14 For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with my understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you praise with the spirit,[k] how will the uninformed person[l] say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may very well be giving thanks, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in other languages more than all of you; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, in order to teach others also, than 10,000 words in another language.

20 Brothers, don’t be childish in your thinking, but be infants in regard to evil and adult in your thinking. 21 It is written in the law:

I will speak to these people
by people of other languages
and by the lips of foreigners,
and even then, they will not listen to Me,[m]

says the Lord. 22 It follows that speaking in other languages is intended as a sign,[n] not for believers but for unbelievers. But prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 Therefore, if the whole church assembles together and all are speaking in other languages and people who are uninformed or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24 But if all are prophesying and some unbeliever or uninformed person comes in, he is convicted by all and is judged by all. 25 The secrets of his heart will be revealed, and as a result he will fall facedown and worship God, proclaiming, “God is really among you.”

Order in Church Meetings

26 What then is the conclusion, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one[o] has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, another language, or an interpretation. All things must be done for edification. 27 If any person speaks in another language, there should be only two, or at the most three, each in turn, and someone must interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, that person should keep silent in the church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should evaluate. 30 But if something has been revealed to another person sitting there, the first prophet should be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone may learn and everyone may be encouraged. 32 And the prophets’ spirits are under the control of the prophets, 33 since God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women[p] should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting. 36 Did the word of God originate from you, or did it come to you only?

37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, he should recognize that what I write to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But if anyone ignores this, he will be ignored.[q] 39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in other languages. 40 But everything must be done decently and in order.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 12:1 Or concerning spiritual things, or spiritual gifts
  2. 1 Corinthians 12:6 Lit God acts all things in all
  3. 1 Corinthians 12:13 Or with, or in
  4. 1 Corinthians 13:3 Other mss read body to be burned
  5. 1 Corinthians 13:12 Or indirectly
  6. 1 Corinthians 13:12 Ancient mirrors were normally made out of polished metals and were not as clear as modern ones.
  7. 1 Corinthians 14:2 Or in spirit, or in his spirit
  8. 1 Corinthians 14:10 Lit and none is without a sound
  9. 1 Corinthians 14:11 Gk barbaros = in Eng a “barbarian.” To a Gk, a barbaros was anyone who did not speak Gk.
  10. 1 Corinthians 14:12 Lit zealous of spirits; spirits = human spirits, spiritual powers, or the Holy Spirit
  11. 1 Corinthians 14:16 Or praise by the Spirit
  12. 1 Corinthians 14:16 Lit the one filling the place of the uninformed
  13. 1 Corinthians 14:21 Is 28:11-12
  14. 1 Corinthians 14:22 Lit that languages are for a sign
  15. 1 Corinthians 14:26 Other mss add of you
  16. 1 Corinthians 14:34 Other mss read your women
  17. 1 Corinthians 14:38 Other mss read he should be ignored

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