1 Letter to the Corinthians
Gifts of prophecy and tongues
1 Strive, then, for love and set your hearts on spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 The one who speaks in tongues does not speak to people, but to God, for no one understands him; the spirit makes him say things that are not understandable. 3 The prophet, instead, addresses all people to give them strength, encouragement and consolation. 4 He who speaks in tongues strengthens himself, but the prophet builds the Church.
5 Would that all of you spoke in tongues! But better still if you were all prophets. The prophet has an advantage over the one speaking in tongues, unless someone explains what was spoken, so that the community may profit. 6 Suppose, brothers and sisters, I go to you and I speak in tongues, of what use will it be to you if I do not bring you some revelation, knowledge, prophecy or teaching?
7 When someone plays the flute, or harp, or any musical instrument, if there are not tones and notes, who will recognize the tune? 8 And if the bugle call is not clear, who will get ready for battle? 9 The same with you. If your words are not understood, who will know what is said? You will be talking to the moon. 10 There are many languages in the world, and each of them has meaning, 11 but if I cannot find any meaning in what is said, I be come a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker to me.
12 As you set your heart on spiritual gifts, be eager to build the Church and you will receive abundantly. 13 Because of this, those who speak in tongues should ask God for the ability to explain what they say.
14 When I am praying in tongues, my spirit prays, but my mind remains idle. 15 What shall I do, then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with my mind. I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind. 16 If you praise God only with your spirit, how will the ordinary person add the “Amen” to your thanks giv ing, since the outsider has not under stood what you said? 17 Your thanksgiving was indeed beautiful, but it was useless for others.
18 I give thanks to God because I speak in tongues more than all of you, 19 but when I am in the assembly, I prefer to say five words from my mind, which may teach others, than ten thousand words in tongues.
20 Brothers and sisters, do not remain as children in your thinking. Be like infants in doing evil, but mature in your thinking. 21 God says in the Law: I will speak to this people through those talking other tongues and through lips of foreigners, but even so they will not listen to me. 22 So, speaking in tongues is significant for those who refuse to believe, not for those who believe, while proph ecy is a sign for those who believe, not for those who refuse to believe.
23 Yet imagine that the whole Church is gathered together and all speak in tongues when unbelievers and un informed people enter. What will they think? That you are crazy. 24 Instead, suppose that each of you speaks as a pro phet; as soon as an unbeliever or an uninformed person enters, all of you call him to account and disclose his most secret thinking. 25 Then, falling on his face, he would be urged to worship God and declare that God is truly among you.
26 What then shall we conclude, brothers? When you ga ther, each of you can take part with a song, a teaching, or a revelation, by speaking in tongues or interpreting what has been said in tongues. But let all this build up the Church.
27 Are you going to speak in tongues? Let two or three, at most, speak, each in turn, and let one interpret what has been said. 28 If there is no interpreter, hold your tongue in the assembly and speak to God by yourself.
29 As for the prophets, let two or three speak, with the others commenting on what has been said. 30 If a revelation comes to one of those sitting by, let the first be silent. 31 Even all of you could prophesy, one by one, for the in struction and encouragement of all. 32 The spirits speaking through prophets are submitted to prophets, 33 because God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.
34 (Let women be silent in the assemblies, as in all the churches of the saints. They are not allowed to speak. Let them be submissive as the Law commands. 35 If there is anything they desire to know, let them consult their hus bands at home. For it is shame ful for a woman to speak in Church.)
36 Did the word of God, perhaps, come from you? or did it come only to you? 37 Anyone among you who claims to be a prophet or a spiritual person, should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38 If he does not recognize that, God will not recognize him.
39 So, my friends, set your hearts on the gift of proph ecy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 How ever, everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.