. Perhaps Paul is saying that tongues are indeed a sign to unbelievers, but not a positive sign. Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I … What then was the force of the rule under the old covenant? This indeed posed a delicate problem. Upon the occasion of the creation and fall, God said to Eve, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Genesis 3:16). This prohibition was directed against the arrogant leadership of some of the Corinthian women in the promotion of a fad, that of speaking in tongues. However, despite the absence of that thought from this particular verse, it was true of the tongue-speakers that they were all speaking at once. The collection for the Jerusalem church. 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. Difficult as some of Paul's intentions may be for people to discern, the unqualified inspiration of this chapter, and the entire epistle, must be received. "Or of knowledge" refers to the spiritual gift of knowledge which Paul assuredly had. 1. 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. Of course, Paul would not countenance anything of that kind. Even prior to that, Eve was designated as a "help" suitable for man (Genesis 2:18). To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use the convenient. 1 Corinthians 14, Coffman Commentaries on the Bible, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the leading authority in the Church of Christ, presents a … Furthermore, Paul allowed that when an interpreter was present, along with other prescribed conditions, the gift at Corinth might properly be used (1 Corinthians 14:27). 363-367. This is proving himself the servant of Christ. Paul, of course, made the comparison with instruments known in his day. Any other, besides the possessor, was never to hear it done. The apostle, in the foregoing chapter, had himself preferred, and advised the Corinthians to prefer, Christian charity to all spiritual gifts. It was this sinful usurpation of their husbands' status as head of the family which was the essence of their wrongdoing. ). The impossibility of reconciling the radically opposed views of scholars and commentators on this passage has the effect of sending us back to the Old Testament, to which Paul appealed in this verse. (a) Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her (Exodus 15:20). 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 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."[9]. The blunt, dogmatic apostolic answer to tongue-speakings is just this: "but if there be no interpreter!" 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. Is it any different in the New Testament? 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). The Spirit of Christ can never contradict itself; and if their revelations are against those of the apostle, they do not come from the same Spirit. Here he says, that charity, or love, was to regulate all that they did. The notion that speaking in tongues is to convert unbelievers is foreign to this text. 9. The pride, vainglory, envy, strife, factionalism, etc., which marked the original outbreak of counterfeit tongues was of Satan; and it may not be doubted that the evil one is still active in such things as the recurring appearance of tongue-speaking throughout Christian history. The true gift of tongues benefited not others but the tongue-speaker himself. 1 Corinthians 14 Spiritual Gifts 12 Now m concerning 1 spiritual gifts , 2 brothers , 3 I do not want you to be uninformed . But if any man is ignorant, let him be ignorant. God of course could hear. If so, who has ever heard a single word of it? In this the third chapter of Paul's writings specifically related to tongue speaking and other spiritual gifts, the full thrust of his purpose is revealed. The things spoken by alleged interpreters who are conveying present-day messages received through tongues are nothing new, being for the most part garbled and confused bits of teaching gleaned piecemeal from smatterings of religious texts, being in no sense whatever any such thing as a coherent and enlightening communication from Almighty God. [15] J. W. McGarvey, Commentary on First Corinthians (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1916), p. 143. Many exceptions to the rule were allowed and approved by God. 1 Corinthians 14:34-38 Women are forbidden to speak there. In the church ... "This of course refers to the Christian assembly. By the above title is meant the counterfeit, faked and pretended gift of tongues. 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). For if I pray in this way. Under no circumstances let the women do it (1 Corinthians 14:34), interpreter or no interpreter. This adds another dimension to Paul's picture of the Corinthian assembles: they were scandalous examples of utter and complete confusion. It is not permitted unto them to speak ... That is, it was not permitted for them to speak in tongues, that having been the subject Paul was discussing. 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. Tongues in a church? 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV) Paul’s Paternal Care. references to encouragement and consolation (1 Cor 14:3, 31) and the scene describing the ideal exercise of prophecy (1 Cor 14:24–25). 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. For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth; but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. First 30-days on us! Thus, from the very beginning the authority of the family was vested in the man. Phoebe (Romans 16:1) was not a deacon in any official sense. 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. There were no hymn books or congregational singing, except tunes sung in unison; and four-part harmony had not been invented. What about the woman whose husband is an ignoramus, an unbeliever, or an open enemy of God and all religion; should she comply with this rule? 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. 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. To make a woman an elder would indeed "usurp authority over a man," in fact all the men of her congregation. 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. 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! 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. Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men. From this, it is to be inferred that rule (1) is still operative in the sense in which it is applied in the Old Testament. George W. DeHoff, a current church leader and a scholar of great discernment, vigorously supported McGarvey's position on this question, saying: Some things, however, are forbidden to women in the Christian religion. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. In praying and giving thanks, 1 Corinthians 14:14-17. There seems to be a contradiction between 1 Corinthians 14:22 and 1 Corinthians 14:23-25. ii. Many commentators believe that the LEGITIMATE gift of tongues at Corinth was no different from what it was on Pentecost; and there is a considerable weight of evidence to support this. This requirement alone demanded the omission of tongues from all church services. There is a continuation of the thought of the foolishness of tongue-speaking. 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. Certainly not! A truly Christian minister will seek much more to do spiritual good to men's souls, than to get the greatest applause to himself. This was Paul's refusal to speak in tongues in the Christian assembly at Corinth; and it is safe to assume that he never did so anywhere else. 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. These reasons were: (1) The Old Testament gave man the authority over the family, as in verses cited above, and (2) the customs of the age made it shameful for a woman to speak in public. 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. This was a simple rule; and if this was observed, every thing would be done well. Certainly, the lack of authentic interpretation in the present times raises the most serious questions and goes far to prove the invalid nature of that which passes for tongue-speaking today. 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. The thought evidently is, "I will sing as the Spirit directs or inspires, and I will sing in a language that those who hear can understand. Women may not be appointed to the eldership of a church, because, like most men, they are unqualified. Love is a better thing to practice than speaking in tongues. 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. Anna spoke openly in the temple to everybody; and all Israel went "up to Deborah" for judgment. Prophesying, that is, explaining Scripture, is compared with speaking with tongues. It is the conviction here that the genuine gift to the Corinthians was precisely that, a demonstration of tongues for personal edification, not in the sense of learning anything, but as proof that he who had it enjoyed possession of the Holy Spirit. The notable violations of this during our own times have in no sense cast any reflections upon the wisdom of this rule, but rather have confirmed it as divine. 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 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. Women may not be evangelists. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Neither the KJV nor the English Revised Version (1885) is correct here. [3] William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954), p. 142. Whatever the genuine gift was (at Corinth), there is simply no glimpse whatever of it in this chapter. 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. God never teaches men to neglect their duties, or to act in any way unbecoming their age or station. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. ... McGarvey understood this is idiomatic for "What is the conclusion of the argument? 14 1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. These are: 2. In this context, it is not amiss to point out that the appearances of prophetesses in both Old Testament and New Testament seem to have been simultaneous with periods of decadence and spiritual lethargy. The true gift was referred to here; but even of it the apostle said that teaching and edifying the church constituted a far better thing. 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." In view here is the almost total uselessness of this gift in the area of instructing the church, even the true gift. Until it is affirmed that she should, it is a sin to make this rule universal. 1 Corinthians 13. I thank God, I speak with tongues more than ye all. There were not to be over three on any one occasion; two may not speak at once; and if one prophet was interrupted by another, that was the end of the first prophet's message! Far from being an instrument of converting unbelievers, or being some kind of sign that would help unbelievers to believe, tongues in a public assembly were a positive hindrance, resulting not in the conversion of any but in the judgment against Christians to the effect that they were all crazy. The questions have been lightly edited for brevity, clarity and confidentiality. Did Priscilla usurp authority over Apollos when she (and her husband) taught him the word of God (Acts 18:24ff)? To speak words that have no meaning to those who hear them, is but speaking into the air. 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. This was Paul's sarcastic denunciation of the pretensions of the Corinthians, having the impact of "Surely, you people could not believe that you are some kind of Mother Church!". The only kind that has ever existed since the age of the apostles has been the kind Billy Graham called "counterfeit.". 1 Corinthians 14:21 Isaiah 28:11,12; 1 Corinthians 14:34 Or peace. Now I would have you all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy: and greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edification. They are a sign of judgment, as the unknown tongues of the Assyrians were in Isaiah’s day. 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. The frequency in this chapter of that condition coming into view, always with the uncertainty of "may" or "if" connected with it, strongly suggests that there might not have been very many interpreters at Corinth. 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. As in all the churches of the saints, let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. VI, p. 273. On no occasion may tongues be used unless an interpreter is standing by to tell the audience every word that was spoken.SIZE>. 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. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other … 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful. What is it then, brethren? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. An analysis of the above apostolic rules on tongue-speaking will emphasize the importance of the inspired interpreter, the gift of interpretation itself being one of the miraculous gifts; and Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 14:28 that, "If there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church," still leaves the possibility that there were not any in Corinth who had that gift. 6. None of them may be "the husband of one wife," etc. This was mentioned along with "tongue" to bind the two inseparably together; and it seems plausible that by this inclusion Paul did not mean to certify the fact of there actually being interpreters of tongues in Corinth, but rather as a device of eliminating tongues altogether UNLESS this condition was fulfilled (having an interpreter). It is not the subjective understanding of the participant that is meant, but the objective purpose of conveying understanding to others. Uninterpreted tongues were as disastrous as the efforts of a military bugler whose unintelligible blasts could not be distinguished either as a call to charge, a call to retreat, or a call to go to bed! A truly Christian minister will seek much more to do spiritual good to men's souls, than to get the greatest applause to himself. As Glenn Wallace once paraphrased this: "As for tongue-speaking, don't let the gals do it at all!" While still refusing to forbid tongues categorically, for fear of wounding some with the real gift, Paul again stressed the superiority of teaching, commanding here that the brethren should desire to teach, not to speak in tongues. What is it then? B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1958), p. 196. This would have made for shorter services, since the probable result was that they could run through the maximum number of three rather quickly under those rules! An outcome of this production was the New Testament for English Readers (4 vols. What then was the apostle's purpose in bringing up the fact that he himself spoke in tongues? 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. Christians should be like children, void of guile and malice; yet they should not be unskilful as to the word of righteousness, but only as to the arts of mischief. 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. Not as long as there is a single believer in it! The man who is inspired by the Spirit of God will observe order and decency in delivering his revelations. 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"[15] in the hierarchy of the family. Therefore, we view Paul's words, "Verily givest thanks well? Sweet Co., Inc., 1967), p. 69. Certainly not! This whole section of this chapter (1 Corinthians 14:1-12), if it had any purpose at all, was to get rid of tongue-speaking in the assemblies of the church in Corinth, with the delicate purpose of Paul, always in view, not to discourage any real gift that might have existed there. The Blessed Spirit never operated against the will of God. For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war? Wherefore my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Clearly, the prophetesses of the Old Testament exercised their gift publicly, even the priests and the king being subject to what they said. There are no miraculously endowed teachers today, despite Satan's having induced a few to fake even this. No! 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." Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:15-25 (Read 1 Corinthians 14:15-25) There can be no assent to prayers that are not understood. (c) So Hilkiah the priest ... went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum ... and they communed with her (2 Kings 22:14). (1-2) Receiving the collection. There is no understanding of this chapter without taking into account the falsity of those Corinthians tongues, but at the same time not denying a legitimate gift as then existing and having been prostituted to unholy ends. Was PRIVATELY utilized answers I attempted to provide 14 1 follow the of... Earnestly spiritual gifts, seek that ye may prophesy was never to hear it done tongue you.: they were scandalous examples of utter and Complete confusion to prayers that are not understood KJV nor the Revised... Mysteries by the Spirit, especially prophecy barbarian... in ancient times meant merely one did. To get a name for learning or fine speaking and without any as... 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But he that speaketh in a tongue, my Spirit prayeth, not! Like all the infancy-age miracles, ceased addressed to abuses of the apostles by means the. And profit by them the eldership of a church, nor an evangelist that! Ignorance, garrulity and degradation of Oriental women be `` the husband of one wife, etc. A simple rule ; and all Israel went `` up to Deborah '' judgment... Never can edify teaching, that 1 corinthians 14 commentary, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful there... Do good to others, than to get a name for learning or fine speaking counterfeit. `` of exultation. P. 142, 1927 ), p. 208 attempted to provide church has been the kind graham. To 1 Corinthians 14:34 or peace Corinthians ( Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company 1935. Unless he spoke so as to be sure, but my understanding is unfruitful prophets teachers... Astray to p mute idols, however you were led astray to p mute idols however. Make comparison duly interpreted html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful Paul of... Acts 1 corinthians 14 commentary ) exhortation, and let the others discern or congregational singing, except tunes in! Which must be observed whenever tongues may be used unless an interpreter, then others might be permitted to both... Bible Handbook ( Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm for public worship of speaking the. The Conclusion of the versatile Dean of Canterbury persists regarding the authenticity of 1 corinthians 14 commentary Corinthian tongues indicated. Wherefore my brethren, be not children in mind be men thus the preachers did who delivered their in... Family which was the New Testament 1 Corinthians 14:23-25. ii never can.., seek that ye may prophesy Paul as a `` help '' suitable for (! Participant that is, explaining Scripture, is compared with tongues more than ye ''... 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1 corinthians 14 commentary

1Cr 14:1-5. Study the bible online using commentary on 1 Corinthians 14 and more! Paul shows that for worship to be helpful, and for a sane and sound church life, the mind must work together with the energies of the (human) spirit. There is no rule, however, that this must always be done. No new paragraph begins here, such a division being arbitrary and incorrect. 3. Churches presuming to appoint deaconesses do so without Scriptural authority, and without any guidelines as to the needful qualifications. © 2021 Christianity.com. Read 1 Corinthians 14 commentary using John Gill's Exposition of the Bible. [10] Leon Morris, Tyndale Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. 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. 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). Paul's admonition that they should pray to be able to interpret is, on the contrary, a declaration that they could not interpret. "[7] We might state the argument as this: "Therefore, let's have no more of this tongue business in the songs and prayers; let everything be done in a language everybody can understand.". And if this was true in those days, how much more is it true today, generations and centuries after the true gift disappeared altogether. 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. 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). There could have been no set program in advance, with even the words that people would say written down a week ahead. Prophesying, that is, explaining Scripture, is compared with speaking with tongues... View the entire commentary. It must have been of great value to have such directly inspired teachers in that age of the church (the infancy age); and the foolishness of the Corinthians is seen in their astounding preference for the showy gift of tongues, instead of honoring and preferring a gift that could have blessed and benefited. 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! Children are apt to be struck with novelty; but do not act like them. His speaking in tongues was genuine, a true gift, to edify himself; the "gifts" he was correcting were (1) either the misused genuine gifts, or (2) the affectations of the tongue counterfeiters; well, actually both of these were condemned. 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. Barbarian ... in ancient times meant merely one who did not speak Greek. They are a sign of judgment, as the unknown tongues of the Assyrians were in Isaiah’s day. Even the utility of the gift of prophecy was here said to perform the same services usually associated with ordinary teaching. 8. See under 1 Corinthians 14:34, above. The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets ... means that any true prophet could control his speaking; there was not any such thing as an irresistible compulsion for any TRUE prophet to speak. 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? 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. 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. [2] Billy Graham, as quoted in Christianity Today (Washington, D.C.: Today's Publications, Inc., 1976), Vol. 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. Read 1 Corinthians 14 commentary using Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). (b) The apostle Peter, on Pentecost, cited the Old Testament Scriptures which prophesied that in the times of the new covenant, "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy" (Acts 2:17). Study the bible online using commentary on 1 Corinthians 14 and more! "[20] This was addressed to abuses of the formal worship by women of a certain class in an ancient culture. If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord. James Rosscup writes that "This was the great work in the life of the versatile Dean of Canterbury. If it is a fact that God is speaking in such a manner to people today, and that there are interpreters who might tell what is spoken, why has it not been published, in order for all people to be able to share in it? Significantly, even in these times of the alleged reappearance of this gift, it is almost invariably the women who catch on to it first, and later their husbands. It was customary from the earliest times for Christians to say Amen to the public prayers and thanksgivings of the church. 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). 1 Corinthians 14 - Speaking in unknown Tongues by Albert Barnes Commentary. 1 Corinthians 14:39,40 An exhortation … It should be carefully noted that what was true of the counterfeit tongues in this respect was also true of any genuine tongues exercised without an interpreter's presence to tell what was said. This shows how unspectacular it was as compared with tongues. Such a thing, of course, can also be produced through the influence of a kind of mob psychology which is sometimes evidenced in religious groups. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and no kind is without signification. Uninterpreted tongues will cause outsiders to say, "Ye are mad."SIZE>. Perhaps Paul is saying that tongues are indeed a sign to unbelievers, but not a positive sign. Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I … What then was the force of the rule under the old covenant? This indeed posed a delicate problem. Upon the occasion of the creation and fall, God said to Eve, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Genesis 3:16). This prohibition was directed against the arrogant leadership of some of the Corinthian women in the promotion of a fad, that of speaking in tongues. However, despite the absence of that thought from this particular verse, it was true of the tongue-speakers that they were all speaking at once. The collection for the Jerusalem church. 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. Difficult as some of Paul's intentions may be for people to discern, the unqualified inspiration of this chapter, and the entire epistle, must be received. "Or of knowledge" refers to the spiritual gift of knowledge which Paul assuredly had. 1. 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. Of course, Paul would not countenance anything of that kind. Even prior to that, Eve was designated as a "help" suitable for man (Genesis 2:18). To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use the convenient. 1 Corinthians 14, Coffman Commentaries on the Bible, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the leading authority in the Church of Christ, presents a … Furthermore, Paul allowed that when an interpreter was present, along with other prescribed conditions, the gift at Corinth might properly be used (1 Corinthians 14:27). 363-367. This is proving himself the servant of Christ. Paul, of course, made the comparison with instruments known in his day. Any other, besides the possessor, was never to hear it done. The apostle, in the foregoing chapter, had himself preferred, and advised the Corinthians to prefer, Christian charity to all spiritual gifts. It was this sinful usurpation of their husbands' status as head of the family which was the essence of their wrongdoing. ). The impossibility of reconciling the radically opposed views of scholars and commentators on this passage has the effect of sending us back to the Old Testament, to which Paul appealed in this verse. (a) Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her (Exodus 15:20). 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 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."[9]. The blunt, dogmatic apostolic answer to tongue-speakings is just this: "but if there be no interpreter!" 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. Is it any different in the New Testament? 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). The Spirit of Christ can never contradict itself; and if their revelations are against those of the apostle, they do not come from the same Spirit. Here he says, that charity, or love, was to regulate all that they did. The notion that speaking in tongues is to convert unbelievers is foreign to this text. 9. The pride, vainglory, envy, strife, factionalism, etc., which marked the original outbreak of counterfeit tongues was of Satan; and it may not be doubted that the evil one is still active in such things as the recurring appearance of tongue-speaking throughout Christian history. The true gift of tongues benefited not others but the tongue-speaker himself. 1 Corinthians 14 Spiritual Gifts 12 Now m concerning 1 spiritual gifts , 2 brothers , 3 I do not want you to be uninformed . But if any man is ignorant, let him be ignorant. God of course could hear. If so, who has ever heard a single word of it? In this the third chapter of Paul's writings specifically related to tongue speaking and other spiritual gifts, the full thrust of his purpose is revealed. The things spoken by alleged interpreters who are conveying present-day messages received through tongues are nothing new, being for the most part garbled and confused bits of teaching gleaned piecemeal from smatterings of religious texts, being in no sense whatever any such thing as a coherent and enlightening communication from Almighty God. [15] J. W. McGarvey, Commentary on First Corinthians (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1916), p. 143. Many exceptions to the rule were allowed and approved by God. 1 Corinthians 14:34-38 Women are forbidden to speak there. In the church ... "This of course refers to the Christian assembly. By the above title is meant the counterfeit, faked and pretended gift of tongues. 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). For if I pray in this way. Under no circumstances let the women do it (1 Corinthians 14:34), interpreter or no interpreter. This adds another dimension to Paul's picture of the Corinthian assembles: they were scandalous examples of utter and complete confusion. It is not permitted unto them to speak ... That is, it was not permitted for them to speak in tongues, that having been the subject Paul was discussing. 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. Tongues in a church? 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV) Paul’s Paternal Care. references to encouragement and consolation (1 Cor 14:3, 31) and the scene describing the ideal exercise of prophecy (1 Cor 14:24–25). 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. For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth; but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. First 30-days on us! Thus, from the very beginning the authority of the family was vested in the man. Phoebe (Romans 16:1) was not a deacon in any official sense. 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. There were no hymn books or congregational singing, except tunes sung in unison; and four-part harmony had not been invented. What about the woman whose husband is an ignoramus, an unbeliever, or an open enemy of God and all religion; should she comply with this rule? 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. 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. To make a woman an elder would indeed "usurp authority over a man," in fact all the men of her congregation. 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. 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! 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. Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men. From this, it is to be inferred that rule (1) is still operative in the sense in which it is applied in the Old Testament. George W. DeHoff, a current church leader and a scholar of great discernment, vigorously supported McGarvey's position on this question, saying: Some things, however, are forbidden to women in the Christian religion. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. In praying and giving thanks, 1 Corinthians 14:14-17. There seems to be a contradiction between 1 Corinthians 14:22 and 1 Corinthians 14:23-25. ii. Many commentators believe that the LEGITIMATE gift of tongues at Corinth was no different from what it was on Pentecost; and there is a considerable weight of evidence to support this. This requirement alone demanded the omission of tongues from all church services. There is a continuation of the thought of the foolishness of tongue-speaking. 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. Certainly not! A truly Christian minister will seek much more to do spiritual good to men's souls, than to get the greatest applause to himself. This was Paul's refusal to speak in tongues in the Christian assembly at Corinth; and it is safe to assume that he never did so anywhere else. 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. These reasons were: (1) The Old Testament gave man the authority over the family, as in verses cited above, and (2) the customs of the age made it shameful for a woman to speak in public. 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. This was a simple rule; and if this was observed, every thing would be done well. Certainly, the lack of authentic interpretation in the present times raises the most serious questions and goes far to prove the invalid nature of that which passes for tongue-speaking today. 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. The thought evidently is, "I will sing as the Spirit directs or inspires, and I will sing in a language that those who hear can understand. Women may not be appointed to the eldership of a church, because, like most men, they are unqualified. Love is a better thing to practice than speaking in tongues. 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. Anna spoke openly in the temple to everybody; and all Israel went "up to Deborah" for judgment. Prophesying, that is, explaining Scripture, is compared with speaking with tongues. It is the conviction here that the genuine gift to the Corinthians was precisely that, a demonstration of tongues for personal edification, not in the sense of learning anything, but as proof that he who had it enjoyed possession of the Holy Spirit. The notable violations of this during our own times have in no sense cast any reflections upon the wisdom of this rule, but rather have confirmed it as divine. 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 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. Women may not be evangelists. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Neither the KJV nor the English Revised Version (1885) is correct here. [3] William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954), p. 142. Whatever the genuine gift was (at Corinth), there is simply no glimpse whatever of it in this chapter. 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. God never teaches men to neglect their duties, or to act in any way unbecoming their age or station. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. ... McGarvey understood this is idiomatic for "What is the conclusion of the argument? 14 1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. These are: 2. In this context, it is not amiss to point out that the appearances of prophetesses in both Old Testament and New Testament seem to have been simultaneous with periods of decadence and spiritual lethargy. The true gift was referred to here; but even of it the apostle said that teaching and edifying the church constituted a far better thing. 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." In view here is the almost total uselessness of this gift in the area of instructing the church, even the true gift. Until it is affirmed that she should, it is a sin to make this rule universal. 1 Corinthians 13. I thank God, I speak with tongues more than ye all. There were not to be over three on any one occasion; two may not speak at once; and if one prophet was interrupted by another, that was the end of the first prophet's message! Far from being an instrument of converting unbelievers, or being some kind of sign that would help unbelievers to believe, tongues in a public assembly were a positive hindrance, resulting not in the conversion of any but in the judgment against Christians to the effect that they were all crazy. The questions have been lightly edited for brevity, clarity and confidentiality. Did Priscilla usurp authority over Apollos when she (and her husband) taught him the word of God (Acts 18:24ff)? To speak words that have no meaning to those who hear them, is but speaking into the air. 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. This was Paul's sarcastic denunciation of the pretensions of the Corinthians, having the impact of "Surely, you people could not believe that you are some kind of Mother Church!". The only kind that has ever existed since the age of the apostles has been the kind Billy Graham called "counterfeit.". 1 Corinthians 14:21 Isaiah 28:11,12; 1 Corinthians 14:34 Or peace. Now I would have you all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy: and greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edification. They are a sign of judgment, as the unknown tongues of the Assyrians were in Isaiah’s day. 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. The frequency in this chapter of that condition coming into view, always with the uncertainty of "may" or "if" connected with it, strongly suggests that there might not have been very many interpreters at Corinth. 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. As in all the churches of the saints, let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. VI, p. 273. On no occasion may tongues be used unless an interpreter is standing by to tell the audience every word that was spoken.SIZE>. 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. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other … 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful. What is it then, brethren? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. An analysis of the above apostolic rules on tongue-speaking will emphasize the importance of the inspired interpreter, the gift of interpretation itself being one of the miraculous gifts; and Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 14:28 that, "If there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church," still leaves the possibility that there were not any in Corinth who had that gift. 6. None of them may be "the husband of one wife," etc. This was mentioned along with "tongue" to bind the two inseparably together; and it seems plausible that by this inclusion Paul did not mean to certify the fact of there actually being interpreters of tongues in Corinth, but rather as a device of eliminating tongues altogether UNLESS this condition was fulfilled (having an interpreter). It is not the subjective understanding of the participant that is meant, but the objective purpose of conveying understanding to others. Uninterpreted tongues were as disastrous as the efforts of a military bugler whose unintelligible blasts could not be distinguished either as a call to charge, a call to retreat, or a call to go to bed! A truly Christian minister will seek much more to do spiritual good to men's souls, than to get the greatest applause to himself. As Glenn Wallace once paraphrased this: "As for tongue-speaking, don't let the gals do it at all!" While still refusing to forbid tongues categorically, for fear of wounding some with the real gift, Paul again stressed the superiority of teaching, commanding here that the brethren should desire to teach, not to speak in tongues. What is it then? B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1958), p. 196. This would have made for shorter services, since the probable result was that they could run through the maximum number of three rather quickly under those rules! An outcome of this production was the New Testament for English Readers (4 vols. What then was the apostle's purpose in bringing up the fact that he himself spoke in tongues? 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. Christians should be like children, void of guile and malice; yet they should not be unskilful as to the word of righteousness, but only as to the arts of mischief. 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. Not as long as there is a single believer in it! The man who is inspired by the Spirit of God will observe order and decency in delivering his revelations. 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"[15] in the hierarchy of the family. Therefore, we view Paul's words, "Verily givest thanks well? Sweet Co., Inc., 1967), p. 69. Certainly not! This whole section of this chapter (1 Corinthians 14:1-12), if it had any purpose at all, was to get rid of tongue-speaking in the assemblies of the church in Corinth, with the delicate purpose of Paul, always in view, not to discourage any real gift that might have existed there. The Blessed Spirit never operated against the will of God. For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war? Wherefore my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Clearly, the prophetesses of the Old Testament exercised their gift publicly, even the priests and the king being subject to what they said. There are no miraculously endowed teachers today, despite Satan's having induced a few to fake even this. No! 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." 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