Spiritual Gifts: Intelligibility
1 Corinthians 14:1-25
Issue 9: Spiritual Gifts (part 3)
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Published October 5th, 2021; Updated October 5th, 2021
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1 Corinthians 14:1-25
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Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
Διώκετε τὴν ἀγάπην,
Be pursuing love,
Command
ζηλοῦτε δὲ τὰ πνευματικά,
and be seeking the spiritual (gifts),
μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε.
but rather that you would be prophesying.
Adversative of 1b
For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.
ὁ γὰρ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις λαλεῖ ἀλλὰ θεῷ•
For the one speaking a language is not speaking to men but to God;
Reason #1 for 1c
οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἀκούει,
for no one is understanding,
Reason for 2a
πνεύματι δὲ λαλεῖ μυστήρια•
but he is speaking mysteries in the spirit
Contrast to 2b
On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.
ὁ δὲ προφητεύων ἀνθρώποις λαλεῖ
But the one prophesying is speaking to me
Reason #2 of 1c (Contrast 2a)
οἰκοδομὴν καὶ παράκλησιν καὶ παραμυθίαν.
for edification and exhortation and encouragement.
The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.
ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ ἑαυτὸν οἰκοδομεῖ•
The one speaking in language is edifying himself;
Reason #3 of 1c
ὁ δὲ προφητεύων ἐκκλησίαν οἰκοδομεῖ.
but the one prophesying is edifying the church.
Contrast of 4a
Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
θέλω δὲ πάντας ὑμᾶς λαλεῖν γλώσσαις,
Now I am desiring (that) all you to be speaking a language,
Kernel #2; Inference of 1-4
μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε•
but even more that you would prophesy;
μείζων δὲ ὁ προφητεύων ἢ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσαις
and greater is the one who is prophesying than the one who is speaking languages
ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ διερμηνεύῃ,
aside from except he is translating,
Qualification for 15c
ἵνα ἡ ἐκκλησία οἰκοδομὴν λάβῃ.
in order that the church would receive edification.
Purpose of 15d
Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?
Νῦν δέ, ἀδελφοί, ἐὰν ἔλθω πρὸς ὑμᾶς γλώσσαις λαλῶν,
But now, brothers, if I would come to you speaking in languages,
Condition of 6b
τί ὑμᾶς ὠφελήσω
what will I profit you
Kernel #2
ἐὰν μὴ ὑμῖν λαλήσω ἢ ἐν ἀποκαλύψει ἢ ἐν γνώσει ἢ ἐν προφητείᾳ ἢ [ἐν] διδαχῇ;
except if I would speak in revelation or in knowledge or in prophesying or in teaching?
If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played?
ὅμως τὰ ἄψυχα φωνὴν διδόντα, εἴτε αὐλὸς εἴτε κιθάρα,
Yet (even) the inanimate things, giving a sound, whether flute or harp,
Argument #1 for 6c
ἐὰν διαστολὴν τοῖς φθόγγοις μὴ δῷ,
if it would not give a distinction to the tone,
Illustration #1 for 7a
πῶς γνωσθήσεται τὸ αὐλούμενον ἢ τὸ κιθαριζόμενον;
how will it be known the thing being played by the flute or the thing being played by the harp?
And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?
καὶ γὰρ ἐὰν ἄδηλον σάλπιγξ φωνὴν δῷ,
For also if a trumpet would give an indistinct sound,
Illustration #2 for 7a
τίς παρασκευάσεται εἰς πόλεμον;
who will prepare into war?
So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air.
οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς διὰ τῆς γλώσσης ἐὰν μὴ εὔσημον λόγον δῶτε,
and you in this manner, except you would give a a clear word through the language,
Application of 7a
πῶς γνωσθήσεται τὸ λαλούμενον;
how will the thing being spoken be known?
ἔσεσθε γὰρ εἰς ἀέρα λαλοῦντες.
for you will be speaking into air.
There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning,
τοσαῦτα εἰ τύχοι γένη φωνῶν εἰσιν ἐν κόσμῳ
If it may happen, so many kinds of sounds/voices are in the world
Argument #2 for 6c
καὶ οὐδὲν ἄφωνον•
and nothing (is) speechless (without sound/meaning)
but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.
ἐὰν οὖν μὴ εἰδῶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς φωνῆς,
If then I may not know the power of the sound,
Illustration of 10a-b
ἔσομαι τῷ λαλοῦντι βάρβαρος
I will be a barbarian to the one speaking,
καὶ ὁ λαλῶν ἐν ἐμοὶ βάρβαρος.
and the one speaking a barbarian to myself.
So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς, ἐπεὶ ζηλωταί ἐστε πνευμάτων,
In this manner, you also, since you are zealous of spiritual (gifts),
Application of 10
πρὸς τὴν οἰκοδομὴν τῆς ἐκκλησίας ζητεῖτε ἵνα περισσεύητε.
be seeking that you may abound towards the edification of the church
Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.
Διὸ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ προσευχέσθω
Therefore, let the one who is speaking a language pray
Conclusion from 6-12
ἵνα διερμηνεύῃ.
that he would interpret.
Content of 13a
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.
ἐὰν [γὰρ] προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ,
For if I would be praying in a language,
Condition of 14b
τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται,
my spirit is praying,
Reason for 13b
ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν.
but my mind is unfruitful.
Contrast of 14b
What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.
τί οὖν ἐστιν;
What is it then?
Application of 16-17
προσεύξομαι τῷ πνεύματι,
I will pray with the Spirit,
προσεύξομαι δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ•
and I will pray also with the mind;
ψαλῶ τῷ πνεύματι,
I will sing with the spirit,
ψαλῶ δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ.
and I will sing also with the mind.
Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?
ἐπεὶ ἐὰν εὐλογῇς [ἐν] πνεύματι,
Since if you would be blessing in the spirit,
Condition of 16b
ὁ ἀναπληρῶν τὸν τόπον τοῦ ἰδιώτου πῶς ἐρεῖ τὸ ἀμὴν
how will the one filling the place of the ungifted say "Amen"
Argument #3 of 6c
ἐπὶ τῇ σῇ εὐχαριστίᾳ;
on your giving of thanks?
ἐπειδὴ τί λέγεις οὐκ οἶδεν•
since he is not knowing what you are saying.
Basis of 16 b
For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.
σὺ μὲν γὰρ καλῶς εὐχαριστεῖς
For on one hand you are giving thanks well
Explanation of 16
ἀλλʼ ὁ ἕτερος οὐκ οἰκοδομεῖται.
but the other (person) is not being edified.
Contrast to 17a
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
Εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ,
I am giving thanks to God,
Concession of 19a
πάντων ὑμῶν μᾶλλον γλώσσαις λαλῶ•
I am speaking languages more than all of you;
Reason for 18a
Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
ἀλλʼ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ θέλω πέντε λόγους τῷ νοΐ μου λαλῆσαι,
but I am desiring in the church to speak five words with my mind,
Argument #4 of 6c
ἵνα καὶ ἄλλους κατηχήσω,
in order that I would also teach others by word,
Purpose of 19a
ἢ μυρίους λόγους ἐν γλώσσῃ.
rather than ten thousand words in language.
Contrast of 19a-b
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
Ἀδελφοί, μὴ παιδία γίνεσθε ταῖς φρεσὶν
Brothers, do not be being children in your thinking
Kernel #3
ἀλλὰ τῇ κακίᾳ νηπιάζετε,
but in evil be being infants,
Contrast of 20a
ταῖς δὲ φρεσὶν τέλειοι γίνεσθε.
but in thinking be being mature.
Contrast of 20b
In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”
ἐν τῷ νόμῳ γέγραπται ὅτι
In the law it has been written that,
Inference of 20a
ἐν ἑτερογλώσσοις καὶ ἐν χείλεσιν ἑτέρων λαλήσω τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ
"by other languages and by other lips, I will speak to this people,
Content of 21a
καὶ οὐδʼ οὕτως εἰσακούσονταί μου, λέγει κύριος.
and neither thus will they listen to me," says the Lord.
Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.
ὥστε αἱ γλῶσσαι εἰς σημεῖόν εἰσιν οὐ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν
So then, the languages are for a sign, not to the ones who are believing
Inference of 21
ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἀπίστοις,
but to the ones who are not believing,
ἡ δὲ προφητεία οὐ τοῖς ἀπίστοις
but the prophecy (is) not to the unbelievers
ἀλλὰ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν.
but to the believers.
If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?
Ἐὰν οὖν συνέλθῃ ἡ ἐκκλησία ὅλη ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ
Therefore, if the whole church would gather together upon the same and all would be speaking languages,
Condition of 23b
καὶ πάντες λαλῶσιν γλώσσαις,
εἰσέλθωσιν δὲ ἰδιῶται ἢ ἄπιστοι, οὐκ ἐροῦσιν ὅτι μαίνεσθε;
and ungifted people or unbelievers would come in, will they not say that you are being insane?
Conclusion of 20-22
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all,
ἐὰν δὲ πάντες προφητεύωσιν,
But if all would be prophesying, and a certain unbeliever or ungifted person would come in,
Condition of 24c
εἰσέλθῃ δέ τις ἄπιστος ἢ ἰδιώτης,
ἐλέγχεται ὑπὸ πάντων,
he is being convicted by all,
Contrast to 23c
ἀνακρίνεται ὑπὸ πάντων,
he is being examiend by all,
the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
τὰ κρυπτὰ τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ φανερὰ γίνεται,
the hidden things of his heart are being manifest,
καὶ οὕτως πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον προσκυνήσει τῷ θεῷ
and thus, falling upon his face, he will worship God,
ἀπαγγέλλων ὅτι ὄντως ὁ θεὸς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστιν.
reporting that God really is among you.
Result of 25b
Διώκετε τὴν ἀγάπην, ζηλοῦτε δὲ τὰ πνευματικά, μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε.
ὁ γὰρ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις λαλεῖ ἀλλὰ θεῷ• οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἀκούει, πνεύματι δὲ λαλεῖ μυστήρια•
ὁ δὲ προφητεύων ἀνθρώποις λαλεῖ οἰκοδομὴν καὶ παράκλησιν καὶ παραμυθίαν.
ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ ἑαυτὸν οἰκοδομεῖ• ὁ δὲ προφητεύων ἐκκλησίαν οἰκοδομεῖ.
θέλω δὲ πάντας ὑμᾶς λαλεῖν γλώσσαις, μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε• μείζων δὲ ὁ προφητεύων ἢ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσαις ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ διερμηνεύῃ, ἵνα ἡ ἐκκλησία οἰκοδομὴν λάβῃ.
Νῦν δέ, ἀδελφοί, ἐὰν ἔλθω πρὸς ὑμᾶς γλώσσαις λαλῶν, τί ὑμᾶς ὠφελήσω ἐὰν μὴ ὑμῖν λαλήσω ἢ ἐν ἀποκαλύψει ἢ ἐν γνώσει ἢ ἐν προφητείᾳ ἢ [ἐν] διδαχῇ;
ὅμως τὰ ἄψυχα φωνὴν διδόντα, εἴτε αὐλὸς εἴτε κιθάρα, ἐὰν διαστολὴν τοῖς φθόγγοις μὴ δῷ, πῶς γνωσθήσεται τὸ αὐλούμενον ἢ τὸ κιθαριζόμενον;
καὶ γὰρ ἐὰν ἄδηλον σάλπιγξ φωνὴν δῷ, τίς παρασκευάσεται εἰς πόλεμον;
οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς διὰ τῆς γλώσσης ἐὰν μὴ εὔσημον λόγον δῶτε, πῶς γνωσθήσεται τὸ λαλούμενον; ἔσεσθε γὰρ εἰς ἀέρα λαλοῦντες.
τοσαῦτα εἰ τύχοι γένη φωνῶν εἰσιν ἐν κόσμῳ καὶ οὐδὲν ἄφωνον•
ἐὰν οὖν μὴ εἰδῶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς φωνῆς, ἔσομαι τῷ λαλοῦντι βάρβαρος καὶ ὁ λαλῶν ἐν ἐμοὶ βάρβαρος.
οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς, ἐπεὶ ζηλωταί ἐστε πνευμάτων, πρὸς τὴν οἰκοδομὴν τῆς ἐκκλησίας ζητεῖτε ἵνα περισσεύητε.
Διὸ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ προσευχέσθω ἵνα διερμηνεύῃ.
ἐὰν [γὰρ] προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ, τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται, ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν.
τί οὖν ἐστιν; προσεύξομαι τῷ πνεύματι, προσεύξομαι δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ• ψαλῶ τῷ πνεύματι, ψαλῶ δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ.
ἐπεὶ ἐὰν εὐλογῇς [ἐν] πνεύματι, ὁ ἀναπληρῶν τὸν τόπον τοῦ ἰδιώτου πῶς ἐρεῖ τὸ ἀμὴν ἐπὶ τῇ σῇ εὐχαριστίᾳ; ἐπειδὴ τί λέγεις οὐκ οἶδεν•
σὺ μὲν γὰρ καλῶς εὐχαριστεῖς ἀλλʼ ὁ ἕτερος οὐκ οἰκοδομεῖται.
Εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ, πάντων ὑμῶν μᾶλλον γλώσσαις λαλῶ•
ἀλλʼ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ θέλω πέντε λόγους τῷ νοΐ μου λαλῆσαι, ἵνα καὶ ἄλλους κατηχήσω, ἢ μυρίους λόγους ἐν γλώσσῃ.
Ἀδελφοί, μὴ παιδία γίνεσθε ταῖς φρεσὶν ἀλλὰ τῇ κακίᾳ νηπιάζετε, ταῖς δὲ φρεσὶν τέλειοι γίνεσθε.
ἐν τῷ νόμῳ γέγραπται ὅτι ἐν ἑτερογλώσσοις καὶ ἐν χείλεσιν ἑτέρων λαλήσω τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ καὶ οὐδʼ οὕτως εἰσακούσονταί μου, λέγει κύριος.
ὥστε αἱ γλῶσσαι εἰς σημεῖόν εἰσιν οὐ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἀπίστοις, ἡ δὲ προφητεία οὐ τοῖς ἀπίστοις ἀλλὰ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν.
Ἐὰν οὖν συνέλθῃ ἡ ἐκκλησία ὅλη ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ πάντες λαλῶσιν γλώσσαις, εἰσέλθωσιν δὲ ἰδιῶται ἢ ἄπιστοι, οὐκ ἐροῦσιν ὅτι μαίνεσθε;
ἐὰν δὲ πάντες προφητεύωσιν, εἰσέλθῃ δέ τις ἄπιστος ἢ ἰδιώτης, ἐλέγχεται ὑπὸ πάντων, ἀνακρίνεται ὑπὸ πάντων,
τὰ κρυπτὰ τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ φανερὰ γίνεται, καὶ οὕτως πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον προσκυνήσει τῷ θεῷ ἀπαγγέλλων ὅτι ὄντως ὁ θεὸς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστιν.
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