Now, brothers,[a] if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some (A)revelation or knowledge or prophecy or (B)teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And (C)if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 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 (D)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 (E)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; (F)I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will (G)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 (H)“Amen” to (I)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.

20 Brothers, (J)do not be children in your thinking. (K)Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be (L)mature. 21 (M)In the Law it is written, (N)“By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign[c] not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, (O)will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 (P)the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, (Q)falling on his face, he will worship God and (R)declare that God is really among you.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 14:6 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 20, 26, 39
  2. 1 Corinthians 14:16 Or of him that is without gifts
  3. 1 Corinthians 14:22 Greek lacks a sign

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