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1 Corinthians Chapter 14  (Original 1611 KJV Bible)


This is the text and a scan of the actual, original, first printing of the 1611 King James Version, the 'HE' Bible, for 1 Corinthians Chapter 14. The KJV does not get more original or authentic than this. View 1 Corinthians Chapter 14 as text-only. Click to switch to the standard King James Version of 1 Corinthians Chapter 14

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1 Prophecie is commended, 2. 3. 4 and preferred before speaking with tongues, 6 by a comparison drawen from musicall instruments. 12 Both must bee referred to edification, 22 as to their true and proper end. 26 The true vse of each is taught, 27 and the abuse taxed. 34 Women are forbidden to speake in the Church.

1 Follow after charitie, and desire spirituall giftes, but rather that yee may prophesie.

2 For he that speaketh in an vnknowen tongue, speaketh not vnto men, but vnto God: for no man vnderstandeth him: howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.2

3 But he that prophesieth, speaketh vnto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an vnknowen tongue, edifieth himselfe: but hee that prophesieth, edifieth the Church.

5 I would that yee all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is hee that prophesieth, then hee that speaketh with tongues, except hee interprete, that the Church may receiue edifying.

6 Now brethren, if I come vnto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speake to you either by reuelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

Of prophecying, strange tongues, and interpretation.

7 And euen things without life giuing sound, whether pipe or harpe, except they giue a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be knowen what is piped or harped?7

8 For if the trumpet giue an vncertaine sound, who shall prepare himselfe to the battell?

9 So likewise you, except ye vtter by the tongue words easie to be vnderstood, how shall it be knowen what is spoken? for ye shall speake into the aire.9

10 There are, it may bee, so many kindes of voices in the world, and none of them are without signification.

11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voyce, I shall bee vnto him that speaketh, a Barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a Barbarian vnto mee.

12 Euen so ye, forasmuch as yee are zealous of spirituall gifts, seeke that yee may excell to the edifying of the Church.12

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an vnknowen tongue, pray that he may interprete.

14 For if I pray in an vnknowen tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my vnderstanding is vnfruitfull.

15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and wil pray with vnderstanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the vnderstanding also.

16 Else, when thou shalt blesse with the spirit, how shall hee that occupieth the roome of the vnlearned, say Amen at thy giuing of thankes, seeing he vnderstandeth not what thou sayest?

17 For thou verily giuest thankes well: but the other is not edified.

18 I thanke my God, I speake with tongues more then you all.

19 Yet in the Church I had rather speake fiue words with my vnderstanding, that by my voyce I might teach others also, then ten thousand words in an vnknowen tongue.

20 Brethren, bee not children in vnderstanding: how be it, in malice be yee children, but in vnderstanding be men.20

21 In the Law it is written, With men of other tongues, and other lippes will I speake vnto this people: and yet for all that will they not heare me, saith the Lord.21

Of prophecying, strange tongues, and interpretation.

22 Wherfore tongues are for a signe, not to them that beleeue, but to them that beleeue not: But prophesying serueth not for them that beleeue not, but for them which beleeue.

23 If therefore the whole Church be come together into some place, and all speake with tongues, & there come in those that are vnlearned, or vnbeleeuers, will they not say that ye are mad?

24 But if all prophesie, and there come in one that beleeueth not, or one vnlearned: he is conuinced of all, he is iudged of all.

25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest, and so falling downe on his face, hee will worship God, and report that God is in you of a trueth.

26 How is it then brethren? when ye come together, euery one of you hath a Psalme, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a reuelatiō, hath an interpretatiō: Let all things be done vnto edifying.

27 If any man speake in an vnknowen tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course, and let one interprete.

28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keepe silence in the Church, and let him speake to himselfe, and to God.

29 Let the Prophets speake two or three, and let the other iudge.

30 If any thing be reueiled to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.

31 For yee may all prophesie one by one, that all may learne, and all may be comforted.

32 And the spirits of the Prophets are subiect to the Prophets.

33 For God is not the authour of confusion, but of peace, as in all Churches of the Saints.33

34 Let your women keepe silence in the Churches, for it is not permitted vnto them to speake; but they are commanded to bee vnder obedience: as also saith the Law.34

35 And if they will learne any thing, let them aske their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speake in the Church.

36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it vnto you onely?

37 If any man thinke himselfe to be a Prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge, that the things that I write vnto you, are the commandements of the Lord.

38 But if any man bee ignorant, let him be ignorant.

Christ is risen.

39 Wherefore brethren, couet to prophesie, and forbid not to speake with tongues.

40 Let all things be done decently, and in order.


View Wesley's Notes for 1 Corinthians Chapter 14

14:1 Follow after love - With zeal, vigour, courage, patience; else you can neither attain nor keep it. And - In their place, as subservient to this. Desire spiritual gifts; but especially that ye may prophesy - The word here does not mean foretelling things to come; but rather opening and applying the scripture.

14:2 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaks, in effect, not to men, but to God - Who alone understands him.

14:4 Edifieth himself - Only, on the most favourable supposition. The church - The whole congregation.

14:5 Greater - That is, more useful. By this alone are we to estimate all our gifts and talents.

14:6 Revelation - Of some gospel mystery. Knowledge - Explaining the ancient types and prophecies. Prophecy - Foretelling some future event. Doctrine - To regulate your tempers and lives. Perhaps this may be the sense of these obscure words.

14:7 How shall it be known what is piped or harped - What music can be made, or what end answered?

14:8 Who will prepare himself for the battle - Unless he understand what the trumpet sounds? suppose a retreat or a march.

14:9 Unless ye utter by the tongue - Which is miraculously given you. Words easy to be understood - By your hearers. Ye will speak to the air - A proverbial expression. Will utterly lose your labour.

14:11 I shall be a barbarian to him - Shall seem to talk unintelligible gibberish.

14:13 That he may be able to interpret - Which was a distinct gift.

14:14 If I pray in an unknown tongue - The apostle, as he did at #1Cor 14:6|, transfers it to himself. My spirit prayeth - By the power of the Spirit I understand the words myself. But my understanding is unfruitful - The knowledge I have is no benefit to others.

14:15 I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the understanding also - I will use my own understanding, as well as the power of the Spirit. I will not act so absurdly, as to utter in a congregation what can edify none but myself.

14:16 Otherwise how shall he that filleth the place of a private person - That is, any private hearer. Say Amen - Assenting and confirming your words, as it was even then usual for the whole congregation to do.

14:19 With my understanding - In a rational manner; so as not only to understand myself, but to be understood by others.

14:20 Be not children in understanding - This is an admirable stroke of true oratory! to bring down the height of their spirits, by representing that wherein they prided themselves most, as mere folly and childishness. In wickedness be ye infants - Have all the innocence of that tender age. But in understanding be ye grown men - Knowing religion was not designed to destroy any of our natural faculties, but to exalt and improve them, our reason in particular.

14:21 It is written in the Law - The word here, as frequently, means the Old Testament. In foreign tongues will I speak to this people - And so he did. He spake terribly to them by the Babylonians, when they had set at nought what he had spoken by the prophets, who used their own language. These words received a farther accomplishment on the day of pentecost. #Isaiah 28:11|.

14:22 Tongues are intended for a sign to unbelievers - To engage their attention, and convince them the message is of God. Whereas prophecy is not so much for unbelievers, as for the confirmation of them that already believe.

14:23 Yet - Sometimes prophecy is of more use, even to unbelievers, than speaking with tongues. For instance: If the whole church be met together - On some extraordinary occasion. It is probable, in so large a city, they ordinarily met in several places. And there come in ignorant persons - Men of learning might have understood the tongues in which they spoke. It is observable, St. Paul says here, ignorant persons or unbelievers; but in the next verse, an unbeliever or an ignorant person. Several bad men met together hinder each other by evil discourse. Single persons are more easily gained.

14:24 He is convicted by all - who speak in their turns, and speak to the heart of the hearers. He is judged by all - Every one says something to which his conscience bears witness.

14:25 The secrets of his heart are made manifest - Laid open, clearly described; in a manner which to him is most astonishing and utterly unaccountable. How many instances of it are seen at this day! So does God still point his word.

14:26 What a thing is it, brethren - This was another disorder among them. Every one hath a psalm - That is, at the same time one begins to sing a psalm; another to deliver a doctrine; another to speak in an unknown tongue; another to declare what has been revealed to him; another to interpret what the former is speaking; every one probably gathering a little company about him, just as they did in the schools of the philosophers. Let all be done to edification - So as to profit the hearers.

14:27 By two or three at most - Let not above two or three speak at one meeting. And that by course - That is, one after another. And let one interpret - Either himself, #1Cor 14:13|; or, if he have not the gift, some other, into the vulgar tongue. It seems, the gift of tongues was an instantaneous knowledge of a tongue till then unknown, which he that received it could afterwards speak when he thought fit, without any new miracle.

14:28 Let him speak - That tongue, if he find it profitable to himself in his private devotions.

14:29 Let two or three of the prophets - Not more, at one meeting. Speak - One after another, expounding the scripture.

14:31 All - Who have that gift. That all may learn - Both by speaking and by hearing.

14:32 For the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets - But what enthusiast considers this? The impulses of the Holy Spirit, even in men really inspired, so suit themselves to their rational faculties, as not to divest them of the government of themselves, like the heathen priests under their diabolical possession. Evil spirits threw their prophets into such ungovernable ecstasies, as forced them to speak and act like madmen. But the Spirit of God left his prophets the clear use of their judgment, when, and how long, it was fit for them to speak, and never hurried them into any improprieties either as to the matter, manner, or time of their speaking.

14:34 Let your women be silent in the churches - Unless they are under an extraordinary impulse of the Spirit. For, in other cases, it is not permitted them to speak - By way of teaching in public assemblies. But to be in subjection - To the man whose proper office it is to lead and to instruct the congregation. #Gen 3:16|.

14:35 And even if they desire to learn anything - Still they are not to speak in public, but to ask their own husbands at home - That is the place, and those the persons to inquire of.

14:36 Are ye of Corinth either the first or the only Christians? If not, conform herein to the custom of all the churches.

14:37 Or spiritual - Endowed with any extraordinary gift of the Spirit. Let him - Prove it, by acknowledging that I now write by the Spirit.

14:38 Let him be ignorant - Be it at his own peril.

14:39 Therefore - To sum up the whole.

14:40 Decently - By every individual. In order - By the whole church.


1 Corinthians Chapter 14 Sidenote References (from Original 1611 KJV Bible):

2 Gr. heareth
7 Or, tunes.
9 Gr. significant.
12 Gr. of spirite.
20 Gr. perfect or of a ripe age.
21 Esa. 28.11.
33 Gr. tumult, or vnquietnesse.
34 Gen.3.16.

* Courtesy of Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania


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