Wherefore let him that speaketh in a tongue pray that he may interpret. It should be carefully noted that what was true of the counterfeit tongues in this respect was also true of any genuine tongues exercised without an interpreter's presence to tell what was said. Follow after love; yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. Who is the author of such confusion? As to the speaking in an unknown tongue, if another were present who could interpret, two miraculous gifts might be exercised at once, and thereby the church be edified, and the faith of the hearers confirmed at the same time. In a word, these four verses lay down practically the same rules for the prophets as those applying to those having the tongues (of either kind). No man today could need any such confirmation because the New Testament makes it clear that all believers who repent and are baptized into Christ enjoy the promise of the sacred Scriptures that they will in consequence of their obedience and subsequently to their obedience receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38ff); and that word is all the confirmation that any true believer really needs. 1 Corinthians 2:14 “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” Explanation and Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:14. Furthermore, Paul's speaking in tongues "more than ye all" is tremendously significant. What is it then? Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. But he does not exclude intuition and emotion; cf. (15-25) Disorders from vain display of gifts; (26-33) and from women speaking in the church. Not so much their voices being heard in a Christian assembly, but the rejection of lawful authority, is the thing suggested by Paul's statement that the Law of Moses forbade it. Note the following: (a) And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel ... which departed not from the temple ... and spake of him (Christ) to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38). It is not the subjective understanding of the participant that is meant, but the objective purpose of conveying understanding to others. Despite this forbearance, there never was a church anywhere which could practice tongue-speakings while observing Paul's rules, which inevitably diminished them to the vanishing point; and which, after the cessation of miraculous gifts, eliminated them altogether. The whole tenor of the Bible, therefore, forbids the arbitrary enforcement of Paul's "Let your women keep silent" beyond the theater of its first application. This probably means that, even if another heard it, he would not be able to understand it; and it appears that the speaker also could not understand it, unless he had the gift of interpretation. Perhaps Paul is saying that tongues are indeed a sign to unbelievers, but not a positive sign. Revelation ... is a reference to the words of an inspired, miraculously endowed teacher who had "the gift of prophecy" as used in this chapter. See comment on this in my Commentary on Romans, pp. Follow after love; yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. Every true follower of Christ will rather desire to do good to others, than to get a name for learning or fine speaking. Anna spoke openly in the temple to everybody; and all Israel went "up to Deborah" for judgment. What about the woman whose husband is an ignoramus, an unbeliever, or an open enemy of God and all religion; should she comply with this rule? Reproved by all, ... judged by all ... has reference to the power of a decently ordered service featuring intelligible speakers to move the unregenerated to accept the gospel, as stated in the next verse. 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 you. It has been produced by people who earnestly desire to do it, and who have been led to believe it is Scriptural because of the inaccurate and misleading words in many of the "translations" of the New Testament in vogue today. Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:15-25 (Read 1 Corinthians 14:15-25) There can be no assent to prayers that are not understood. Well, there it is! This would have made for shorter services, since the probable result was that they could run through the maximum number of three rather quickly under those rules! Thus Pat gets it from Shirley, Tom gets it from Mabel, etc., just like Adam took the forbidden fruit from the hands of Eve. No advantage can be reaped from the most excellent discourses, if delivered in language such as the hearers cannot speak or understand. Love is a better thing to practice than speaking in tongues. The only way that even an apostle could benefit his hearers was by preaching to them. His conscience might be touched, the secrets of his heart might be revealed to him, and so he might be brought to confess his guilt, and to own that God was present in the assembly. This requirement alone demanded the omission of tongues from all church services. The women under consideration in this order were married, nothing whatever being said of widows, spinsters or the unmarried; and they were also ignorant, as indicated by "if they would learn anything." For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. This was mentioned along with "tongue" to bind the two inseparably together; and it seems plausible that by this inclusion Paul did not mean to certify the fact of there actually being interpreters of tongues in Corinth, but rather as a device of eliminating tongues altogether UNLESS this condition was fulfilled (having an interpreter). (1 Corinthians 14:1), Follow after love ... seems to connect with what was said in 1 Corinthians 13. The Spirit of Christ can never contradict itself; and if their revelations are against those of the apostle, they do not come from the same Spirit. Many in all ages have prostrated themselves before God in worship and in prayers, and the admissibility of this as legitimate is plain enough in this verse. The fact of Paul's calling it a "sign" for believers instead of saying that it was merely for the benefit of believers indicates that the miraculous endowment of certain teachers in the primitive church is in view. It does just the opposite of converting unbelievers, with the result that they turn aside in disgust, as Paul stated in the very next verse. speaking in an unknown tongue to you of another foreign country. (1-5) The unprofitableness of speaking in unknown languages. (a) Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her (Exodus 15:20). 1Cr 14:1-5. The unprofitableness of speaking in unknown languages. If this does not condemn the whole monstrous aberration, then how on earth could it be condemned? Paul's admonition that they should pray to be able to interpret is, on the contrary, a declaration that they could not interpret. Verse 14. Again from McGarvey: Of course, the gift of prophecy is no longer found in the church; but again to quote McGarvey: McGarvey's comment written during the previous century cannot be set aside as a mere catering to current trends. So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? The frequency in this chapter of that condition coming into view, always with the uncertainty of "may" or "if" connected with it, strongly suggests that there might not have been very many interpreters at Corinth. He simply issued apostolic orders that would inevitably, if followed, diminish and destroy the bastard gift, while at the same time cautioning "not to forbid to speak in tongues" (1 Corinthians 14:39). Read 1 Corinthians 14 commentary using John Gill's Exposition of the Bible. Certainly not! Certainly not! So also ye, since ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may abound unto the edifying of the church. This is the verse, beyond all others, that is supposed to take the lid off tongue-speaking and to legitimatize it for all generations; but this cannot be. Every preacher or evangelist is commanded to "Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" (1 Timothy 4:2). 1 Corinthians 16 – A Collection and a Conclusion A. Paul's appeal here to the Old Testament proves this. As McGarvey said it: In this connection, see also 1 Corinthians 13:8-11, above. 1 Corinthians 14:34-38 Women are forbidden to speak there. God never teaches men to neglect their duties, or to act in any way unbecoming their age or station. Until it is affirmed that she should, it is a sin to make this rule universal. Under no circumstances let the women do it (1 Corinthians 14:34), interpreter or no interpreter. 1 Corinthians 14 generates more questions per square inch than just about any other chapter in the New Testament. It is not permitted unto them to speak ... 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