The Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians
[ 1] F OLLOW after love; yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
[ 2] For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth; 1 but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
[ 3] But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and exhortation, 2 and consolation.
[ 4] He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth 3 himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth 4 the church.
[ 5] Now I would have you all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy: and greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
[ 6] But now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching?
[ 7] Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
[ 8] For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war?
[ 9] So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking into the air.
[ 10] There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and no 5 kind is without signification.
[ 11] If then I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh will be a barbarian unto 6 me.
[ 12] So also ye, since ye are zealous of spiritual 7 gifts, seek that ye may abound unto the edifying of the church.
[ 13] Wherefore let him that speaketh in a tongue pray that he may interpret.
[ 14] For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
[ 15] What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
[ 16] Else if thou bless with the spirit, how shall he that filleth the place of the 8 unlearned say the Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he knoweth not what thou sayest?
[ 17] For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 9
[ 18] I thank God, I speak with tongues more than you all:
[ 19] Howbeit in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
[ 20] Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men. 10
[ 21] In the law it is written, By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers will I speak unto this people; and not even thus will they hear me, saith the Lord.
[ 22] Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to the unbelieving: but prophesying is for a sign, not to the unbelieving, but to them that believe.
[ 23] If therefore the whole church be assembled together and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will they not say that ye are mad?
[ 24] But if all prophesy, and there come in one unbelieving or unlearned, he is reproved 11 by all, he is judged by all;
[ 25] the secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among 12 you indeed.
[ 26] What is it then, brethren? When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
[ 27] If any man speaketh in a tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and that in turn; and let one interpret:
[ 28] but if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
[ 29] And let the prophets speak by two or three, and let the others discern. 13
[ 30] But if a revelation be made to another sitting by, let the first keep silence.
[ 31] For ye all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted; 14
[ 32] and the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets;
[ 33] for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
[ 34] let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law.
[ 35] And if they would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home: for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church.
[ 36] What? was it from you that the word of God went forth? or came it unto you alone?
[ 37] If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.
[ 38] But 15 if any man is ignorant, let him be ignorant.
[ 39] Wherefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
[ 40] But let all things be done decently and in order.
Gr. Note 1. heareth. [ back]
Or, Note 2. comfort. [ back]
Gr. Note 3. buildeth up. [ back]
Gr. Note 4. buildeth up. [ back]
Or, Note 5. nothing is without voice. [ back]
Or, Note 6. in my case. [ back]
Gr. Note 7. spirits. [ back]
Or, Note 8. him that is without gifts: and so in ver. 23, 24. [ back]
Gr. Note 9. builded up. [ back]
Gr. Note 10. of full age, Comp. ch. 2. 6. [ back]
Or, Note 11. convicted. [ back]
Or, Note 12. in. [ back]
Gr. Note 13. discriminate. [ back]
Or, Note 14. comforted. [ back]
Many ancient authorities read Note 15. But if any man knoweth not, he is not known, Comp. ch. 8. 3. [ back]