1 Corinthians 14:1-19English Standard Version (ESV)
Prophecy and Tongues
14 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
6 Now, brothers,[a] if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played?8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air.10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning,11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider[b] say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll gain access to a vast digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads to minimize distractions from God's Word. Try it free for 30 days!