1 Corinthians 14:5

“I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

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.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but {even} more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

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.
- American Standard Version (1901)

Now though it is my desire for you all to have the power of tongues, it would give me more pleasure to be hearing the prophet's word from you; for this is a greater thing than using tongues, if the sense is not given at the same time, for the good of the church.
- Basic English Bible

Now I desire that ye should all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy. But greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, unless he interpret, that the assembly may receive edification.
- Darby Bible

I would that ye all spoke in languages, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh in languages, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
- Webster's Bible

I should be right glad were you all to speak in `tongues,' but yet more glad were you all to prophesy. And, in fact, the man who prophesies is superior to him who speaks in `tongues,' except when the latter can interpret in order that the Church may get a blessing.
- Weymouth Bible

Now I desire to have you all speak with other languages, but rather that you would prophesy. For he is greater who prophesies than he who speaks with other languages, unless he interprets, that the assembly may be built up.
- World English Bible

And Y wole, that alle ye speke in tungis, but more that ye prophecie. For he that prophecieth, is more than he that spekith in langagis; but perauenture he expoune, that the chirche take edificacioun.
- Wycliffe Bible

and I wish you all to speak with tongues, and more that ye may prophecy, for greater is he who is prophesying than he who is speaking with tongues, except one may interpret, that the assembly may receive edification.
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for 1 Corinthians 14:5


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


People's Bible Notes for 1 Corinthians 14:5


1Co 14:5 Greater [is] he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues. Greater, because he serves the church best. Unless the tongues were interpreted, they were an unmeaning sound to the church, while he who prophesied, instructed and built up. NOTE.--Concerning this gift of tongues, there is considerable confusion among commentators. Some have held that it was a sort of rhapsody under the influence of the Spirit in no earthly language. Others have held that it was a gift of the knowledge of foreign languages to the early Christians to enable them to preach the gospel to all nations. Neither view appears to be correct. (1) Undoubtedly there was a manifestation of the gift of tongues on the Day of Pentecost. Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Greeks, Romans, heard in their own language (Ac 2:8-11). (2) It was not a gift of the "knowledge" of a foreign language, for the speaker did not understand his own words (1Co 14:13,14). (3) It was a gift, not for exercise in the church, but a "sign to them that believe not" (1Co 14:22). When they heard the gospel message in a tongue which the speaker did not understand, but in their own tongue (as on the Day of Pentecost), their wonder was excited, and many would confess that it was the work of God.

Discussion for 1 Corinthians 14:5

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