508-510. Bible > Commentaries > 1 Corinthians 16:14 ... 1 Corinthians 14:1. In the law it is written, By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers will I speak unto this people; and not even thus will they hear me, saith the Lord. 1 Corinthians 14 generates more questions per square inch than just about any other chapter in the New Testament. If there was an interpreter, then others might be permitted to hear both the tongue and the interpretation. But if a revelation be made to another sitting by, let the first keep silence. There is a continuation of the thought of the foolishness of tongue-speaking. But let all things be done decently and in order. But if those who minister, plainly interpret Scripture, or preach the great truths and rules of the gospel, a heathen or unlearned person might become a convert to Christianity. As Kelcy pointed out, "There is good textual authority for rendering this verse as the RSV does: "If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.". Such persons are sincere, to be sure, but sincerely wrong. 14 1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. In a word, all the post-apostolic tongue-speakings for nineteen centuries have not contributed one authentic sentence to the revealed will of God, like that in the New Testament. Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I … This is therefore a call for the Corinthians to stop chasing after tongues and to grow up spiritually. If any man speaketh in a tongue, let it be by two, or at most three, and that in turn; and let one interpret: but if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Paul's use of the gift, it is generally agreed, was either privately or in some missionary effort, there being utterly no word of either in the New Testament. All religious services should be so performed in Christian assemblies, that all may join in, and profit by them. It was this sinful usurpation of their husbands' status as head of the family which was the essence of their wrongdoing. 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). As McGarvey said it: In this connection, see also 1 Corinthians 13:8-11, above. The blunt, dogmatic apostolic answer to tongue-speakings is just this: "but if there be no interpreter!" A very early description of Christian worship stated that "they sang by turns a hymn to Christ as God"; and there can hardly be any doubt that this was true. The three phases of mortal life: babies, children, and men were intended to explain the whole matter of spiritual gifts, belonging as they did to the infancy and childhood age of the church, and not to its maturity. If so, who has ever heard a single word of it? If such an illustration as this has any meaning, it has to be that uninterpreted tongues are as noisy, disagreeable, useless, cacophonous and worthless as a kitten on the keys of a piano. Any use of a tongue in such prayers contravened the purpose of congregational participation in the public prayers; and it is an error, therefore, to suppose that the Holy Spirit was guiding those tongue-speakers to do anything of that kind. An outcome of this production was the New Testament for English Readers (4 vols. " This was addressed to abuses of the formal worship by women of a certain class in an ancient culture. as absolutely sarcastic, meaning that no matter how "well" they thought they were giving thanks, the Holy Spirit was opposed to what they were doing, on the simple grounds that the rest of the congregation would not know "what thou sayest." "This clause belongs to the preceding chapter.". The spiritual gift of prophecy was largely a teaching gift (1 Corinthians 14:3), but also included, at least in some cases, the ability to foretell future events.  Donald S. Metz, Beacon Bible Commentary (Kansas City, Missouri: Beacon Hill Press, 1968), p. 447. Children are apt to be struck with novelty; but do not act like them. " It is clearly evident that the genuine gift of tongues, whether like those at Pentecost or at Corinth, perished with the age of miracles, and that all of the tongue-speaking of this generation is spurious. 14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. As Billy Graham said of tongues in the United States at this present time (March 26,1976), "There is much that is counterfeit ... tongues are no evidence that a person has been baptized in the Holy Spirit. We know there are no authenticated holders of this gift today; and the strong suggestion persists in this whole chapter that there were none of that class in Corinth. No new paragraph begins here, such a division being arbitrary and incorrect. So also ye, since ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may abound unto the edifying of the church. We have already noted that Paul never used the gift in the presence of others, or in church assemblies. Here again the essentially private nature of the true gift of tongues is implicit and demanded by the context. Tongue speakers may not set aside the rules designed to control and eliminate tongues; but it is equally true that churches may not set aside the limitations imposed upon women in the realm of authority, in evangelism, and in holding offices of authority in the church. Language plain and easy to be understood, is the most proper for public worship, and other religious exercises. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? The genuine gift (at Corinth) was never exercised by Paul, who surely had the gift (1 Corinthians 14:18), in public assemblies of the church, at least as far as the record goes, and based upon his stated refusal to use it at Corinth (1 Corinthians 14:6ff). 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."  Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Holy Bible (New York: Carlton and Porter, 1831), Vol. Here are a few of the questions I have received over the years and the answers I attempted to provide. As to prophesying, two or three only should speak at one meeting, and this one after the other, not all at once. The office of the evangelist is one of authority in the name of God; and as DeHoff expressed it: What is said of women being elders, deacons or evangelists is also true of their being "preachers" in any sense whatever; because it is the duty of all preachers to be evangelists, even if their preaching sometimes gives little evidence of respecting their commission. They are a sign of judgment, as the unknown tongues of the Assyrians were in Isaiah’s day. To suppose that the Holy Spirit was actually guiding those ostentatious leaders of the public prayers, or songs, so that they were doing so in tongues, is absolutely an impossibility. 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. " All of Paul's tongue-speaking was apparently done in private devotions. Religious exercises in public assemblies should have this view; Let all be done to edifying. It is a proof that a people are forsaken of God, when he gives them up to the rule of those who teach them to worship in another language. 6. Before dealing with this as it may be applied in all generations, it should first be observed that the primary meaning has to be, "Do not let the women speak in tongues under any circumstances." Paul's method of doing so was a marvel. However, there is another force operative in the tongue-speakings of post-apostolic times, and that is satanic instigation. Therefore, we view Paul's words, "Verily givest thanks well? Those who speak with tongues should interpret that others may be edified, 1 Corinthians 14:18-22; What benefit may accrue from this in the public assemblies, 1 Corinthians 14:23-28. Women may not be evangelists. Commentaries for 1 Corinthians Chapter 14 Prophecy preferred to the gift of tongues. Only the possibility that they might have it is indicated. What is it then, brethren? " It should be remembered, however, that the disappearance of apostolic miracles has removed the necessity of confusion with regard to tongue-speaking. 1 Corinthians 14:39,40 An exhortation … He begins the chapter, I. As Lipscomb said with reference to this and 1 Corinthians 14:15: The inference that must be made from this and the next verses is that the tongue-speakers had even taken over the songs and prayers of the public worship! As McGarvey said, "To understand the passage we should know the ignorance, garrulity and degradation of Oriental women. 1. Psalm ... probably refers to a song, or hymn composed by the worshiper during the previous week, or at least one he had learned. Certainly the fact is plain enough that there was a POSSIBILITY of no such interpreter being present; and therefore Paul gave the order that if none indeed was present, tongues were not to be used under any circumstances (1 Corinthians 14:28-28). This mingling of the true (even though perverted as to purpose and use) tongues with the false is evidently the reason for Paul's tenderness in dealing with this sin. Thus Pat gets it from Shirley, Tom gets it from Mabel, etc., just like Adam took the forbidden fruit from the hands of Eve. ). 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. 1 Corinthians 14:16 The Greek word for inquirer is a technical term for someone not fully initiated into a religion; also in verses 23 and 24. Tongues in a church are not a sign of God's blessing at all, any more than the foreign tongue of the invader was a blessing of God in Jerusalem, but just the opposite! Bruce gave the probable explanation thus: If Paul had not possessed the gift, some of his critics would have responded merely by saying, "Well, you know nothing about it." There were no hymn books or congregational singing, except tunes sung in unison; and four-part harmony had not been invented. For the prime example of this, see under Mark 16:18 in the Gospel of Mark, and comment in my Commentary on Mark, pp. Since we today are dealing with a far different situation, it is proper to speak much more plainly of those bastard tongues at Corinth. In view here is the almost total uselessness of this gift in the area of instructing the church, even the true gift. (1-2) Receiving the collection. Below is the whole commentary on 1 Corinthians 14 from Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible commentary that is related to speaking in tongues i.e. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and exhortation, and consolation. As it was, Paul's possession of the gift superlatively enabled him to pour a pitcher of ice water over the whole practice. Prophesying, that is, explaining Scripture, is compared with speaking with tongues... View the entire commentary. There seems to be a contradiction between 1 Corinthians 14:22 and 1 Corinthians 14:23-25. ii. Was God the author of it? 1 Corinthians 14:21 Isaiah 28:11,12; 1 Corinthians 14:34 Or peace. 9. or came it from you alone? It is simply incredible that the people affecting to speak in tongues could really imagine that they are doing any good. Why then should intelligent people bother with it, or be impressed with it, or make any excuses whatever for it? Or of teaching ... refers to ordinary teaching of what was learned from others, orally or through study of their writings. Greater is the teacher than the tongue-speaker. Uninterpreted tongues will cause outsiders to say, "Ye are mad."SIZE>. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. When the apostle exhorts Christian women to seek information on religious subjects from their husbands at home, it shows that believing families ought to assemble for promoting spiritual knowledge. Would it not make Christianity ridiculous to a heathen, to hear the ministers pray or preach in a language which neither he nor the assembly understood? This refers to the true gift of tongues as manifested in Corinth and has the information that it was PRIVATELY utilized. Question 1: Hey Pastor Paul! Tongue ... would mean, not the counterfeited non-sensical "utterings" of the fakers, but the real gift (with the great big IF stated in 1 Corinthians 14:29, IF there was an interpreter). Unspectacular it was difficult to distinguish the valid gift ( of tongues duly interpreted assemblies should have this view let! 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