Amplified Bible

1 Corinthians 14

Prophecy a Superior Gift

1Pursue [this] love [with eagerness, make it your goal], yet earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual gifts [to be used by believers for the benefit of the church], but especially that you may [a]prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people]. For one who speaks in an unknown tongue does not speak to people but to God; for no one understands him or catches his meaning, but by the Spirit he speaks mysteries [secret truths, hidden things]. But [on the other hand] the one who prophesies speaks to people for edification [to promote their spiritual growth] and [speaks words of] encouragement [to uphold and advise them concerning the matters of God] and [speaks words of] consolation [to compassionately comfort them]. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church [promotes growth in spiritual wisdom, devotion, holiness, and joy]. Now I wish that all of you spoke in unknown tongues, but even more [I wish] that you would prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater [and more useful] than the one who speaks in tongues, unless he translates or explains [what he says], so that the church may [b]be edified [instructed, improved, strengthened].

Now, believers, if I come to you speaking in unknown tongues, how will I benefit you unless I also speak to you [clearly] either by revelation [revealing God’s mystery], or by knowledge [teaching about God], or by prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], or by instruction [teaching precepts that develop spiritual maturity]? Yet even lifeless things, whether flute or harp, when producing a sound, if they do not produce distinct [musical] tones, how will anyone [listening] know what is piped or played? And if the [war] bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? So it is with you, if you speak words [in an unknown tongue] that are not intelligible and clear, how will anyone understand what you are saying? You will be talking into the air [wasting your breath]! 10 There are, I suppose, a great many kinds of languages in the world [unknown to us], and none is lacking in meaning. 11 But if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will [appear to] be a [c]foreigner to the one who is speaking [since he knows exactly what he is saying], and the one who is speaking will [appear to] be a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you, since you are so very eager to have spiritual gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in ways that will build up the church [spiritually].

13 Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may [be gifted to] translate or explain [what he says]. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive [because it does not understand what my spirit is praying]. 15 Then what am I to do? I will pray with the [d]spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will pray with the mind [using words I understand]; I will sing with the spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will sing with the mind [using words I understand]. 16 Otherwise if you bless [and give thanks to God] in the spirit only, how will any outsider or someone who is not gifted [in spiritual matters] say the “Amen” [of agreement] to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough [in a way that God is glorified], but the other person [who does not understand you] is not edified [and spiritually strengthened since he cannot join in your thanksgiving]. 18 I thank God that I speak in [unknown] tongues more than all of you; 19 nevertheless, in public worship I would rather say five understandable words in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue [which others cannot understand].

Instruction for the Church

20 Brothers and sisters, do not be children [immature, childlike] in your thinking; be infants in [matters of] evil [completely innocent and inexperienced], but in your minds be mature [adults]. 21 It is written in the Law, “By men of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, and not even then will they listen to Me,” says the Lord. 22 Therefore, [unknown] tongues are [meant] for a [supernatural] sign, not to believers but to unbelievers [who might be receptive]; while prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people] is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So then, if the whole church gathers together and all of you speak in [unknown] tongues, and outsiders or those who are not gifted [in spiritual matters] or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and an unbeliever or outsider comes in, he is convicted [of his sins] by all, and he is called to account by all [because he can understand what is being said]; 25 the secrets of his heart are laid bare. And so, falling on his face, he will worship God, declaring that God is really among you.

26 What then is the right course, believers? When you meet together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation (disclosure of special knowledge), a tongue, or an interpretation. Let everything be constructive and edifying and done for the good of all the church. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be limited to two or at the most three, and each one speaking in turn, and one must interpret [what is said]. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, the one [who wishes to speak in a tongue] must keep silent in church; let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak [as inspired by the Holy Spirit], while the rest pay attention and weigh carefully what is said. 30 But if an inspired revelation is made to another who is seated, then the first one must be silent. 31 For [in this way] you can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone may be instructed and everyone may be encouraged; 32 for the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets [the prophecy is under the speaker’s control, and he can stop speaking]; 33 for God [who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order.

As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people),

34 the [e]women should be silent in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but are to take a subordinate place, as the Law says. 35 If there is anything they want to learn [that is, if they have questions about anything being said or taught], they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a [f]woman to talk in church. 36 Did the word of the Lord originate from you [Corinthians], or has it come to you only [so that you know best what God requires]?

37 If anyone thinks and claims that he is a prophet [a true spokesman for God] or spiritually astute [filled with and energized by the Holy Spirit], let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment. 38 If anyone does not recognize this [that it is a command of the Lord], he is not recognized [by God].

39 Therefore, believers, desire earnestly to prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people], and do not forbid speaking in unknown tongues. 40 But all things must be done appropriately and in an orderly manner.

  1. 1 Corinthians 14:1 In both the Old and the New Testaments, prophets are divinely inspired to foretell the future in the process of delivering God’s word to the people. Paul is saying to the Corinthians that all gifts are worthy and necessary (cf 12:11, 18, 29, 30), but that they should give the gift of prophecy the highest priority (cf Deut 18).
  2. 1 Corinthians 14:5 Lit receive edification.
  3. 1 Corinthians 14:11 Lit barbarian, i.e. one who did not speak Greek; especially a person from an uncivilized region whose speech could not be readily translated.
  4. 1 Corinthians 14:15 May refer to Paul’s spirit, the Holy Spirit, or the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  5. 1 Corinthians 14:34 When used elsewhere in the New Testament, in specific reference to a woman (cf Eph 5:22; Col 3:18; Titus 2:4, 5; 1 Peter 3:1, 5), this word refers to a married woman, so these admonitions (vv 34, 35) may be directed primarily to the wives of believing husbands.
  6. 1 Corinthians 14:35 Paul does not comment on unmarried women; they probably have to abide by the prohibition against speaking out in church as well, and ask questions outside the service.

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

哥林多前书 14


1你们要追求爱,也要切慕属灵的恩赐,尤其是做先知讲道的恩赐。 人说方言,是对上帝说的,并非对人说的,因为没有人听得懂,他是在心灵里述说各样的奥秘。 但先知讲道是对人讲的,为了要造就、鼓励、安慰人。 说方言只是造就自己,但做先知讲道是造就教会。 我希望你们都能够说方言,不过,我更希望你们都能做先知讲道。说方言的不如做先知讲道的重要,除非把方言翻译出来,使教会得造就。

弟兄姊妹,如果我到你们那里只说方言,不讲解有关上帝的启示、知识、预言、教导,我对你们有什么益处呢? 就连没有生命的箫和琴,如果发出的声音杂乱无章,谁能知道所吹所弹的是什么曲子呢? 如果号声不清楚,谁会预备打仗呢? 同样,除非你们讲出清楚的信息,不然听见的人怎能明白呢?那岂不等于对空气说话吗? 10 世上有各种语言,却没有一种是毫无意义的。 11 如果有人对我说话,我却不明白他的语言,我们彼此就成了语言不通的人。 12 你们也是一样,既然渴慕属灵的恩赐,就应该多多追求造就教会的恩赐。

13 所以说方言的人应当祈求能把方言翻译出来。 14 如果我用方言祷告,那是我的灵在祷告,但我的悟性没有发挥作用。 15 那么,我该怎么做呢?我要用灵祷告,也要用悟性祷告;我要用灵歌唱,也要用悟性歌唱。 16 否则,如果你在聚会中用方言[a]来感恩,在座不懂方言的人不明白你在说些什么,怎能在你感恩的时候说“阿们”呢? 17 你的感恩表达得固然美好,无奈不能造就别人。

18 感谢上帝,我说方言比你们众人都多。 19 但在教会中我宁可用悟性说五句教导人的话,胜过说万句别人不懂的方言。

20 弟兄姊妹,你们的思想不要像小孩子,要长大成熟,但在罪恶的事上要像婴孩。 21 律法书上记载:


22 由此可见,讲方言不是显给信徒的标记,而是显给非信徒的标记;但先知讲道是显给信徒的标记,不是显给非信徒的标记。 23 所以,如果你们在聚会中,全体信徒都说方言,偶然有不懂方言的人或非信徒进来,他们岂不会说你们全都疯了吗? 24 但如果你们都做先知讲道,偶然有非信徒或是不懂方言的人进来,他会醒悟到自己的罪,良心受到谴责, 25 心中的秘密也会显露出来,便会俯伏敬拜上帝,说:“上帝真的在你们当中!”


26 那么,弟兄姊妹,你们该怎么做呢?你们聚会的时候,不管是唱诗、教导、讲启示、说方言或翻译方言,都应该是为了造就人。 27 如果有人要说方言,应当只限于两个人,最多三个,要轮流说,而且要有人把它翻译出来。 28 如果没有人翻译,说方言的人就当在聚会中闭口不言,只向自己和上帝说。

29 做先知讲道的也应该限于两三个人,其他的人应当慎思明辨。 30 但如果上帝的启示临到在座的其他人,正在讲的人要停下来, 31 这样大家都可以轮流讲道,人人都可以得到教导和勉励。 32 先知的灵受先知控制, 33 因为上帝不是叫人混乱的上帝,而是赐人平安的上帝。

34 正如圣徒的各教会一样,妇女[b]在聚会中要保持安静,因为她们不可以发言,总要顺服,正如律法书所说的。 35 如果她们想要学什么,可以在家问自己的丈夫,因为妇女在聚会中发言是可耻的。 36 难道上帝的道是出自你们哥林多人吗?难道上帝的道单单传给了你们吗? 37 如果你们当中有人自认为是先知或属灵的人,他就应该知道我现在所写的是主的命令。 38 如果有人对此视而不见,不必理会他。

39 所以,我的弟兄姊妹,你们要切慕做先知讲道,也不要禁止说方言。 40 但无论做什么事,都要按规矩,有次序。

  1. 14:16 本处“方言”希腊文是“灵”。
  2. 14:34 妇女”也可译为“妻子”。