The teacher of the word of God is the true hero, not the tongue-speaker. But he does not exclude intuition and emotion; cf. Certainly not! This command comes right in the middle of an extensive treatise on tongue-speaking; and to blow this up to a universal law that no woman might open her mouth in a church service is simply contrary to all reason. Psalm ... probably refers to a song, or hymn composed by the worshiper during the previous week, or at least one he had learned.  William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954), p. 142. (b) And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time ... and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment (Judges 4:4,5). Of course, Paul would not countenance anything of that kind. If there was an interpreter, then others might be permitted to hear both the tongue and the interpretation.  George W. DeHoff, Sermons on First Corinthians (Murfreesboro, Tennessee: The Christian Press, 1947), p. 99. 9. Paul and Luke were friends; and the use of the same word to describe God's gift is used here which is used in Acts 2; and, since Acts was written by Luke at a time after Paul wrote the Corinthians, "It would seem logical that Luke would have noted the distinction between the two phenomena, if any existed.". Since we today are dealing with a far different situation, it is proper to speak much more plainly of those bastard tongues at Corinth. Why then should intelligent people bother with it, or be impressed with it, or make any excuses whatever for it? What, was it from you that the word of God sent forth? Study the bible online using commentary on 1 Corinthians 14 and more! They are a sign of judgment, as the unknown tongues of the Assyrians were in Isaiah’s day. As to the speaking in an unknown tongue, if another were present who could interpret, two miraculous gifts might be exercised at once, and thereby the church be edified, and the faith of the hearers confirmed at the same time. 1 Corinthians 14 Spiritual Gifts 12 Now m concerning 1 spiritual gifts , 2 brothers , 3 I do not want you to be uninformed . Log In/Sign Up New International Version (NIV) ... 1 Corinthians 14:37 in all English translations. It was a master stroke of the devil that he had prevailed upon some who had the true gift to bring it into the public worship; and therefore, when Paul condemned the false, his care not to discourage the true variety of tongues resulted in an occasion of misunderstanding of this subject for centuries afterward. But if any man is ignorant, let him be ignorant. Clearly, the prophetesses of the Old Testament exercised their gift publicly, even the priests and the king being subject to what they said. Barbarian ... in ancient times meant merely one who did not speak Greek. Thus, from the very beginning the authority of the family was vested in the man. speaking in an unknown tongue to you of another foreign country. Prophesying, that is, explaining Scripture, is compared with speaking with tongues. These verses are a recapitulation of the argument in 1 Corinthians 14:7-9, the conclusion being that any kind of jargon or gobbledegook, such as tongues, which cannot be understood by the hearers, is condemned. 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. There cannot be any doubt that formalism, which is the current religious style, and which certainly corrected the shameful disorders like those at Corinth, has nevertheless left many a congregation in a state of abiosis. What cannot be understood, never can edify. This is the golden rule for organizing and conducting public worship services of the church in all ages. 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! The Corinthian women had violated that intention and Paul immediately assigned two reasons for forbidding the action (speaking in tongues publicly) which frustrated God's purpose. 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. The questions have been lightly edited for brevity, clarity and confidentiality. There is a continuation of the thought of the foolishness of tongue-speaking. Paul's appeal here to the Old Testament proves this. 1 Corinthians 14 generates more questions per square inch than just about any other chapter in the New Testament. Not so much their voices being heard in a Christian assembly, but the rejection of lawful authority, is the thing suggested by Paul's statement that the Law of Moses forbade it. 1 Corinthians 14:34-38 Women are forbidden to speak there. This drew attention, more than the plain interpretation of Scripture; it gratified pride more, but promoted the purposes of Christian charity less; it would not equally do good to the souls of men. There are a number of rules in these two verses which must be observed whenever tongues may be used. 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. As McGarvey said, "To understand the passage we should know the ignorance, garrulity and degradation of Oriental women. Let all things be done unto edifying. Rules like these carry the strong implication that some at Corinth had claimed otherwise. The meaning of this is exactly the same as in 1 Corinthians 14:7, the repetition of the thought using another illustration was for emphasis. Certainly, in the case of the tongue speakers: (1) they were all speaking at once, (2) perhaps dozens were participating every Sunday, and (3) such a thing as interpreting what was spoken in tongues had been ignored altogether. The secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you. The unprofitableness of speaking in unknown languages. Some would do away with these rules altogether on the grounds that there is "neither male nor female" in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28); but, as McGarvey declared, "This is unwarranted; for while the gospel emancipated woman, it did not change her natural relation" in the hierarchy of the family. And if they would learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church. 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. This refers to the true gift of tongues as manifested in Corinth and has the information that it was PRIVATELY utilized. Despite Paul's mention of the interpretation of tongues as a genuine gift, the possibility in view here that even the tongue-speaker himself might possess it, it does not appear in this chapter that any of the Corinthians were said to have this gift. HENRY ALFORD The Greek New Testament 1 Corinthians Commentary. On no occasion may tongues be used unless an interpreter is standing by to tell the audience every word that was spoken.SIZE>. Bruce further commented on what Paul did here, saying, "(This was) a master-touch which leaves the enthusiasts completely outclassed and out-maneuvered on their own ground.". 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. Children are apt to be struck with novelty; but do not act like them. 1. Even an apostle could not edify, unless he spoke so as to be understood by his hearers. For ye all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. Women may not be appointed to the eldership of a church, because, like most men, they are unqualified. If so, where is it? New International Version (NIV) 363-367. Incidentally, it is quite obvious that the assemblies of the early Christians were open meetings, free to be attended by any who might wish to do so. The only kind that has ever existed since the age of the apostles has been the kind Billy Graham called "counterfeit.". The notion that speaking in tongues is to convert unbelievers is foreign to this text. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Any other, besides the possessor, was never to hear it done. This was a simple rule; and if this was observed, every thing would be done well. When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. © 2021 Christianity.com. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak … Prophecy preferred to the gift of tongues. 2 You know that n when you were pagans o you were led astray to p mute idols , however you were led . The whole tenor of the Bible, therefore, forbids the arbitrary enforcement of Paul's "Let your women keep silent" beyond the theater of its first application. The force of 1 Corinthians 14:7-9 is that the false tongues of Corinth were unintelligible nonsense, having no meaning whatever, being nothing more than jabberings of orgiastic demonstrators; and here was the delicate part of the whole situation, the UNINTERPRETED manifestations of the genuine gift itself resembled the false tongues so perfectly that no one on earth could have told any difference! What is it then? The first announcement of it came in a situation where it was drastically needed; and, despite the fact that over-formalization may occur from an over-zealous enforcement of it, it is the failure to enforce it at all which distinguishes many so-called "free" religious groups today. To speak words that have no meaning to those who hear them, is but speaking into the air. 1 Corinthians 16 – A Collection and a Conclusion A. for ye will be speaking into the air. Bible > Commentaries > 1 Corinthians 16:14 ... 1 Corinthians 14:1. XX, Number 13. Note the following: (a) And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel ... which departed not from the temple ... and spake of him (Christ) to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38). Barclay also observed this and suggested how it comes about: The phenomenon called tongue-speaking can be faked; this writer has seen it faked; and the simple truth is that anybody can fake it. If so, who has ever heard a single word of it? VI, p. 273. Wherefore let him that speaketh in a tongue pray that he may interpret. Every ability or possession is valuable in proportion to its usefulness. Under no circumstances let the women do it (1 Corinthians 14:34), interpreter or no interpreter. It is not the subjective understanding of the participant that is meant, but the objective purpose of conveying understanding to others. 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. 14 1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. Even fervent, spiritual affection must be governed by the exercise of the understanding, else men will disgrace the truths they profess to promote. Since not even he understood what was said ("no man understandeth"), the nature of that edification would appear to have been the confirmation to him (by the gift) of his having received the Holy Spirit. This answers to "if all speak with tongues" in the preceding verse; but what is meant in both cases is a reference to "all who participate publicly," instead of being an affirmation that all were speaking at one time. From these passages from both testaments, it is clear that the total exclusion of women from any public speaking did not occur, nor was the action of such women construed as "usurping authority" over a man. From this, it seems mandatory to view the genuine gift at Corinth as different from that of Pentecost, and also of far less importance, even that genuine gift (at Corinth) being by Paul ranked last among spiritual gifts. This is the verse, beyond all others, that is supposed to take the lid off tongue-speaking and to legitimatize it for all generations; but this cannot be. Greater is the teacher than the tongue-speaker. 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. 1 Corinthians 15.  Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Holy Bible (New York: Carlton and Porter, 1831), Vol. The word from which the Pauline expression "edifieth" is translated is related to the building up of an edifice; and Paul demanded that EVERYTHING ("all things, 1 Corinthians 14:26) be done unto edification of the church. His conscience might be touched, the secrets of his heart might be revealed to him, and so he might be brought to confess his guilt, and to own that God was present in the assembly. Let your women, &c. — The last clause of the preceding verse is by some critics, and among the rest Bishop Pearce, joined with this, so as to make this sense; as in all the churches of the saints, let your women keep silence in the churches, namely, of Achaia. This applied even if an interpreter was present. He simply did not wish to say anything that would discourage those souls who had indeed received of God the private gift of tongues for their encouragement. What Paul said here is applicable to both varieties of tongues, both kinds being forbidden in public worship, the true kind because it was not interpreted and had no business in the public worship to start with, and the false kind because it was nothing but pure nonsense anyway. or came it from you alone? Who is the author of such confusion? Revelation ... is a reference to the words of an inspired, miraculously endowed teacher who had "the gift of prophecy" as used in this chapter. This adds another dimension to Paul's picture of the Corinthian assembles: they were scandalous examples of utter and complete confusion. Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men. This has the weight of "no tongues in any case," except, of course, if such might have been duly interpreted by an inspired interpreter. Such persons are sincere, to be sure, but sincerely wrong. Scripture truth, plainly and duly taught, has a wonderful power to awaken the conscience and touch the heart. ). 1 Corinthians 14:26-33 Rules for the orderly exercise of spiritual gifts in the church. The tongue-speaking fraternity cannot claim Paul as an advocate of their practices, there being no record whatever that he ever did it in the presence of another human being; and, besides, his gift was the real thing! They are a sign of judgment, as the unknown tongues of the Assyrians were in Isaiah’s day. Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:15-25 (Read 1 Corinthians 14:15-25) There can be no assent to prayers that are not understood. Neither the KJV nor the English Revised Version (1885) is correct here. This stresses the private nature of the true gift; and the apostolic order for it not to be used in church (without an interpreter) removed the only possible reason why the counterfeiters were faking it, making it impossible for them to accumulate any flattery or "glory" from the display of their "abilities" publicly. references to encouragement and consolation (1 Cor 14:3, 31) and the scene describing the ideal exercise of prophecy (1 Cor 14:24–25). * [ 14:20 – 22 ] The Corinthians pride themselves on tongues as a sign of God’s … 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." The quotation of these verses in the sense of people singing and praying in the public services "with the spirit and the understanding" is based upon an incorrect discernment of their meaning. Why has the phenomenon of counterfeit tongues persisted? One can only be amazed at the near-universal acceptance of the idea that what those Corinthians were doing was actually CAUSED by the Holy Spirit! 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? See comment on this in my Commentary on Romans, pp.  Leon Morris, Tyndale Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. As McGarvey said it: In this connection, see also 1 Corinthians 13:8-11, above. The only way that even an apostle could benefit his hearers was by preaching to them. All religious services should be so performed in Christian assemblies, that all may join in, and profit by them. Metz said, "It was difficult to distinguish the valid gift (of tongues) ... from an invalid expression of personal exultation. The teacher did more good and was therefore greater than the tongue-speaker. One humble teacher of the word of God does more good than a thousand tongue-speakers, even if their alleged "gift" should be accepted as genuine.
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