1Co 14:1
14:1 Follow {1} after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but
     rather that ye may {a} prophesy.

 (1) He infers now of what he spoke before: therefore seeing
     charity is the chiefest of all, before all things set it
     before you as chief and principal.  And so esteem those
     things as most excellent which profit the greater part of
     men (such as prophecy, that is to say, the gift of teaching
     and applying the doctrine: which was condemned in respect
     of other gifts, although it is the chiefest and most
     necessary for the Church) and not those who for a show seem
     to be marvellous, as the gifts of tongues.  This was when a
     man was suddenly endowed with the knowledge of many tongues,
     which made men greatly amazed and yet of itself was not
     greatly of any use, unless there was an interpreter.
     (a) What prophecy is he shows in the third verse.

1Co 14:2
14:2 {2} For he that speaketh in an [unknown] {b} tongue
     speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man
     understandeth [him]; howbeit in the {c} spirit he speaketh

 (2) He reprehends their perverse judgment concerning the gift
     of tongues.  For why was it given?  The answer: so that the
     mysteries of God might be the better known to a greater
     number.  By this it is evident that prophecy, which the
     gift of tongues ought to serve, is better than this: and
     therefore the Corinthians judged incorrectly, in that they
     made more account of the gift of tongues than of
     prophesying: because no doubt the gift of tongues was a
     thing more to be bragged of.  And hereupon followed another
     abuse of the gift of tongues, in that the Corinthians used
     tongues in the congregation without an interpreter.  And
     although this thing might be done to some profit of him
     that spoke them, yet he corrupted the right use of that
     gift because there came by it no profit to the hearers.
     And common assemblies were instituted and appointed not for
     any private man's commodity, but for the profit of the
     whole company.
     (b) A strange language, which no man can understand without
         an interpreter.
     (c) By that inspiration which he has received of the
         Spirit, which nonetheless he abuses, when he speaks
         mysteries which none of the company can understand.

1Co 14:3
14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] {d}
     edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

     (d) Which may further men in the study of godliness.

1Co 14:4
14:4 He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself;
     but he that prophesieth edifieth the {e} church.

     (e) The company.

1Co 14:7
14:7 {3} And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe
     or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how
     shall it be known what is piped or harped?

 (3) He sets forth that which he said by a similitude, which he
     borrows and takes from instruments of music, which although
     they speak not perfectly, yet they are distinguished by
     their sounds, that they may be the better used.

1Co 14:9
14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words {f}
     easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is
     spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

     (f) That fitly utter the matter itself.

1Co 14:10
14:10 {4} There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the
      world, and none of them [is] without signification.

 (4) He proves that interpretation is necessarily to be joined
     with the gift of tongues, by the manifold variety of
     languages, insomuch that if one speak to another without an
     interpreter, it is as if he did not speak.

1Co 14:11
14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall
      be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that {g}
      speaketh [shall be] a barbarian unto me.

      (g) As the papists in all their sermons, and they that
          ambitiously pour out some Hebrew or Greek words in the
          pulpit before the unlearned people, by this to get
          themselves a name of vain learning.

1Co 14:12
14:12 {5} Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual
      [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the

 (5) The conclusion: if they will excel in those spiritual
     gifts, as it is proper, they must seek the profit of the
     church.  And therefore they must not use the gift of
     tongues, unless there is an interpreter to expound the
     strange and unknown tongue, whether it is himself that
     speaks, or another interpreter.

1Co 14:13
14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue {h}
      pray that he may interpret.

      (h) Pray for the gift of interpretation.

1Co 14:14
14:14 {6} For {i} if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my {k}
      spirit prayeth, but my understanding is {l} unfruitful.

 (6) A reason: because it is not sufficient for us to speak so
     in the congregation that we ourselves worship God in spirit
     (that is according to the gift which we have received), but
     we must also be understood of the company, lest that is
     unprofitable to others which we have spoken.
     (i) If I pray, when the church is assembled together, in a
         strange tongue.
     (k) The gift and inspiration which the spirit gives me does
         its part, but only to myself.
     (l) No fruit comes to the church by my prayers.

1Co 14:15
14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will
      pray with the {m} understanding also: I will sing with the
      spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

      (m) So that I may be understood by others, and may
          instruct others.

1Co 14:16
14:16 {7} Else when thou shalt bless with the {n} spirit, how
      shall he that {o} occupieth the room of the unlearned say
      {p} Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth
      not what thou sayest?

 (7) Another reason: seeing that the whole congregation must
     agree with him that speaks, and also witness this agreement,
     how will they give their assent or agreement who know not
     what is spoken?
     (n) Alone, without any consideration of the hearers.
     (o) He that sits as a private man.
     (p) So then one uttered the prayers, and all the company
         answered "amen".

1Co 14:18
14:18 {8} I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

 (8) He sets himself as an example, both that they may be
     ashamed of their foolish ambition, and also that he may
     avoid all suspicion of envy.

1Co 14:19
14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak {q} five words with
      my understanding, that [by my voice] I might teach others
      also, than ten thousand words in an [unknown] tongue.

      (q) A very few words.

1Co 14:20
14:20 {9} Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in
      malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 (9) Now he reproves those freely for their childish folly, who
     do not see how this gift of tongues which was given to the
     profit of the Church, is turned by their ambition into an
     instrument of cursing, seeing that this same cursing is
     also contained among the punishments with which God
     punished the stubbornness of his people, that he dispersed
     them amongst strangers whose language they did not

1Co 14:21
14:21 In the {r} 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.

      (r) By the "law" he understands the entire scripture.

1Co 14:22
14:22 {10} Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that
      believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying
      [serveth] not for them that believe not, but for them
      which believe.

 (10) The conclusion: therefore the gift of tongues serves to
      punish the unfaithful and unbelievers, unless it is
      referred to prophecy (that is to say, to the
      interpretation of scripture) and that what is spoken is by
      the means of prophecy is understood by the hearers.

1Co 14:23
14:23 {11} If therefore the whole church be come together into
      one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in
      [those that are] {s} unlearned, or unbelievers, will they
      not say that ye are mad?

 (11) Another argument: the gift of tongues without prophecy is
      not only unprofitable to the faithful, but also hurts very
      much, both the faithful as well as the unfaithful, who
      should be won in the public assemblies.  For by this means
      it comes to pass that the faithful seem to others to be
      mad, much less can the unfaithful be instructed by it.
      (s) See Ac 4:13.

1Co 14:26
14:26 {12} How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
      every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a
      tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all
      things be done unto edifying.

 (12) The conclusion: the edifying of the congregation is a rule
      and measure of the right use of all spiritual gifts.

1Co 14:27
14:27 {13} If any man speak in an [unknown] tongue, [let it be]
      by two, or at the most [by] three, and [that] by course;
      and let one interpret.

 (13) The manner how to use the gift of tongues.  It may be
      lawful for one or two, or at the most for three, to use
      the gift of tongues, one after another in an assembly, so
      that there is someone to expound their utterances.  But if
      there are none to expound, let him that has the gift speak
      to himself alone.

1Co 14:29
14:29 {14} Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the
      other judge.

 (14) The manner of prophesying: let two or three propound, and
      let the others judge of that which is propounded, whether
      it is agreeable to the word of God or not.  If in this
      examination the Lord indicates that nothing was wrong, let
      them give him leave to speak.  Let every man be admitted
      to prophesy, severally and in his order, so far forth as
      it is required for the edifying of the church.  Let them
      be content to be subject to each other's judgment.

1Co 14:32
14:32 And the {t} spirits of the prophets are subject to the

      (t) The doctrine which the prophets bring, who are
          inspired with God's Spirit.

1Co 14:34
14:34 {15} Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it
      is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are
      commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

 (15) Women are commanded to be silent in public assemblies, and
      they are commanded to ask of their husbands at home.

1Co 14:36
14:36 {16} What?  came the word of God out from you? or came it
      unto you only?

  (16) A general conclusion of the treatise of the right use of
       spiritual gifts in assemblies.  And this is with a sharp
       reprehension, lest the Corinthians might seem to
       themselves to be the only ones who are wise.

1Co 14:37
14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or {u}
      spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I
      write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

      (u) Skilful in knowing and judging spiritual things.

1Co 14:38
14:38 {17} But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

 (17) The church ought not to care for those who are stubbornly
      ignorant, and will not abide to be taught, but to go
      forward nonetheless in those things which are right.

1Co 14:39
14:39 {18} Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid
      not to speak with tongues.

 (18) Prophecy ought certainly to be retained and kept in
      congregations, and the gift of tongues is not to be
      forbidden, but all things must be done orderly.