1 Make love your aim, and then set your heart on the spiritual gifts ??especially upon prophecy. 2 For he who speaks in a 'tongue' addresses God not men; no one understands him; he is talking of divine secrets in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, he who prophesies addresses men in words that edify, encourage, and console them. 4 He who speaks in a 'tongue' edifies himself, whereas he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I would like you all to speak with 'tongues,' but I would prefer you to prophesy. The man who prophesies is higher than the man who speaks with 'tongues' ??unless indeed the latter interprets, so that the church may get edification.
6 Suppose now I were to come to you speaking with 'tongues,' my brothers; what good could I do you, unless I had some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching to lay before you? 7 Inanimate instruments, such as the flute or the harp, may give a sound, but if no intervals occur in their music, how can one make out the air that is being played either on flute or on harp? 8 If the trumpet sounds indistinct, who will get ready for the fray? 9 Well, it is the same with yourselves. Unless your tongue utters language that is readily understood, how can people make out what you say? You will be pouring words into the empty air! 10 There are ever so many kinds of language in the world, everyone of them meaning something. 11 Well, unless I understand the meaning of what is said to me, I shall appear to the speaker to be talking gibberish, and to my mind he will be talking gibberish himself. 12 So with yourselves; since your heart is set on possessing 'spirits,' make the edification of the church your aim in this desire to excel.
13 Thus a man who speaks in a 'tongue' must pray for the gift of interpreting it. 14 For if I pray with a 'tongue,' my spirit prays, no doubt, but my mind is no use to anyone. 15 Very well then, I will pray in the Spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing praise in the Spirit, but I will also sing praise with my mind. 16 Otherwise, suppose you are blessing God in the Spirit, how is the outsider to say 'Amen' to your thanksgiving? The man does not understand what you are saying! 17 Your thanksgiving may be all right, but then ??the other man is not edified! 18 Thank God, I speak in 'tongues' more than any of you; 19 but in church I would rather say five words with my own mind for the instruction of other people than ten thousand words in a 'tongue.'
20 Brothers, do not be children in the sphere of intelligence; in evil be mere infants, but be mature in your intelligence. 21 It is written in the Law, By men of alien tongues and by the lips of aliens I will speak to this People; but even so, they will not listen to me, saith the Lord. 22 Thus 'tongues' are intended as a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; whereas prophesying is meant for believers, not for unbelievers. 23 Hence if at a gathering of the whole church everybody speaks with 'tongues,' and if outsiders or un believers come in, will they not say you are insane? 24 Whereas, if everybody prophesies, and some unbeliever or outsider comes in, he is exposed by all, brought to book by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are brought to light, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God, declaring, 'God is really among you.'
26 Very well then, brothers; when you meet together, each contributes something ??a song of praise, a lesson, a revelation, a 'tongue,' an interpretation? Good, but let every thing be for edification. 27 As for speaking in a 'tongue,' let only two or at most three speak at one meeting, and that in turn. Also, let someone interpret; 28 if there is no interpreter, let the speaker keep quiet in church and address himself and God. 29 Let only two or three prophets speak, while the rest exercise their judgment upon what is said. 30 Should a revelation come to one who is seated, the first speaker must be quiet. 31 You can all prophesy quite well, one after another, so as to let all learn and all be encouraged. 32 Prophets can control their own prophetic spirits, 33 for God is a God not of disorder but of harmony. [Move 33b-36 to follow vs 40] As is the rule in all churches of the saints, 34 women must keep quiet at gatherings of the church. They are not allowed to speak; they must take a subordinate place, as the Law enjoins. 35 If they want any information, let them ask their husbands at home; it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church. 36 You challenge this rule? Pray, did God's word start from you? Are you the only people it has reached?
37 If anyone considers himself a prophet or gifted with the Spirit, let him understand that what I write to you is a command of the Lord. 38 Anyone who disregards this will be himself disregarded. 39 To sum up, my brothers. Set your heart on the prophetic gift, and do not put any check upon speaking in 'tongues'; 40 but let everything be done decorously and in order.