1 Cultivate social virtue; then desire spiritual gifts, but chiefly that of explaining the prophetical writings. 2 for he that speaks in an unknown tongue, speaks not to men, but to God: for no man can understand the mysteries he delivers by the spirit. 3 but he that expounds, speaks to the edification, exhortation, and comfort of men. 4 he that speaks in an unknown tongue, edifies himself alone: but he that expounds, edifies the church. 5 I wish you all had the gift of languages, but rather that you expounded: for greater is he that expounds, than he that speaks unknown languages, except he interpret what he says, that the church may be edified by it.
6 for instance, brethren, if I deliver myself to you in an unknown tongue, what good shall I do you, except I deliver to you the meaning of what is said, whether it relate to revelation, to mystical knowledge, to prophecy, or to doctrine. 7 And even inanimate instruments of sound, whether pipe or harp, except they have a distinct variety of notes, how can they express any significant tune? 8 for if the trumpet give an undistinguish'd sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 9 in like manner, if you express yourselves in words of obscure signification, you may as well talk to the wind, for how shall any comprehend you? 10 there are, it may be, as many different languages in the world as there are people, and none of them without signification. 11 therefore if I don't know the meaning of the language, with respect to him that speaks, I shall be a barbarian; and he that speaks shall be a barbarian to me. 12 But since there is emulation among you concerning spiritual gifts, seek to abound in the exercise of such gifts as tend most to the edification of the church.
13 wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue, pray for the gift of interpretation. 14 for if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit indeed prays, but my meaning is of no benefit to others. 15 what then is to be done? why, I will pray by the spirit, but my prayer shall be intelligible: I will sing by the spirit, but my hymn shall be intelligible. 16 otherwise if you should give thanks by the spirit in an unknown tongue, the hearer cannot but appear unlearned upon this occasion; how then can he say Amen to thy thanksgiving? since he does not conceive what you say. 17 thy thanksgiving indeed is right, but the other is not all edified by it. 18 I thank God, I speak more languages than you all: 19 yet in the church I had rather speak five words that convey my meaning to the instruction of others, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
20 Brethren, be not childish in understanding: be as innocent as babes, but use your understanding like men. 21 in the law it is written, " with men of other tongues and other lips, will I speak unto this people: and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord." 22 wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers: but expounding the prophets, not for unbelievers so much as for those who believe. 23 when therefore the whole church is assembled, and all speak different languages, if such as are either unlearned, or are unbelievers should come in, will they not say you are all mad? 24 but if you all expound, and an unbeliever, or one unlearned come in, he is examin'd by all, he is tryed by all: 25 the secrets of his heart become manifest; and so falling down on his face, he will worship God, and declare that God is certainly amongst you.
26 what is then to be done, my brethren? when you come together, one of you with a psalm, another with a doctrine, another with a strange tongue, another with a revelation, another with an interpretation: let the whole be done to edification. 27 and if any man do speak in an unknown tongue, let but two speak, or three at the most, and that by turns: and let there be but one to interpret. 28 but if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and tacitly address himself to God. 29 of the prophets let but two or three speak by turns, and let the others deliberate. 30 if the meaning be revealed to another that sits by, let the first be silent. 31 for ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may receive instruction and exhortation. 32 the prophetic gifts are to be subservient to the prophets. 33 for God is not the God of confusion, but of peace, in all christian assemblies. 34 Let your women be silent in your assemblies: for they are not allowed to discourse there; but are to observe orders, as indeed the law implies: 35 and if they desire to have information about any point, let them consult their husbands at home: for it does not become women to ask questions in the church. 36 What, did the gospel take its rise from you? or was it communicated to you alone?
37 if any one pretends to be a prophet, or to spiritual gifts, let him be assured that the rules which I have here prescrib'd, are the commandments of the Lord. 38 but if he will be blind, I leave him to his blindness. 39 wherefore, brethren, zealously exercise the gift of prophecy, and don't prohibit those that speak in an unknown language. 40 let all things be done with decency, and without disorder.