12:27. Now you are the body of Christ and members of member.
12:28. And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors: after that miracles: then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches.
12:29. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors?
12:30. Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
12:31. But be zealous for the better gifts. And I shew unto you yet a more excellent way.
1 Corinthians Chapter 13
Charity is to be preferred before all gifts.
13:1. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
13:2. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
13:3. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
13:4. Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely, is not puffed up,
13:5. Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil:
13:6. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth:
13:7. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
13:8. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void or tongues shall cease or knowledge shall be destroyed.
13:9. For we know in part: and we prophesy in part.
13:10. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.
13:11. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.
13:12. We see now through a glass in a dark manner: but then face to face. Now I know in part: but then I shall know even as I am known.
13:13. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians Chapter 14
The gift of prophesying is to be preferred before that of speaking strange tongues.
14:1. Follow after charity, be zealous for spiritual gifts; but rather that you may prophesy.
Prophesy... That is, declare or expound the mysteries of faith.
14:2. For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man heareth. Yet by the Spirit he speaketh mysteries.
Not unto men... Viz., so as to be heard, that is, so as to be understood by them.
14:3. But he that prophesieth speaketh to men unto edification and exhortation and comfort.
14:4. He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself: but he that prophesieth, edifieth the church.
14:5. And I would have you all to speak with tongues, but rather to prophesy. For greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues: unless perhaps he interpret, that the church may receive edification.
14:6. But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you either in revelation or in knowledge or in prophecy or in doctrine?
14:7. Even things without life that give sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction of sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
14:8. For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
14:9. So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue plain speech, how shall it be known what is said? For you shall be speaking into the air.
14:10. There are, for example, so many kinds of tongues in this world: and none is without voice.
14:11. If then I know not the power of the voice, I shall be to him to whom I speak a barbarian: and he that speaketh a barbarian to me.
14:12. So you also, forasmuch as you are zealous of spirits, seek to abound unto the edifying of the church.
Of spirits... Of spiritual gifts.
14:13. And therefore he that speaketh by a tongue, let him pray that he may interpret.
14:14. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth: but my understanding is without fruit.
14:15. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, I will pray also with the understanding, I will sing with the spirit, I will sing also with the understanding.
14:16. Else, if thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that holdeth the place of the unlearned say, Amen, to thy blessing? Because he knoweth not what thou sayest.
Amen... The unlearned, not knowing that you are then blessing, will not be qualified to join with you by saying Amen to your blessing. The use or abuse of strange tongues, of which the apostle here speaks, does not regard the public liturgy of the church, (in which strange tongues were never used,) but certain conferences of the faithful, ver. 26, etc., in which, meeting together, they discovered to one another their various miraculous gifts of the Spirit, common in those primitive times; amongst which the apostle prefers that of prophesying before that of speaking strange tongues, because it was more to the public edification. Where also not, that the Latin, used in our liturgy, is so far from being a strange or unknown tongue, that it is perhaps the best known tongue in the world.
14:17. For thou indeed givest thanks well: but the other is not edified.
14:18. I thank my God I speak with all your tongues.
14:19. But in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may instruct others also: than ten thousand words in a tongue.
14:20. Brethren, do not become children in sense. But in malice be children: and in sense be perfect.
14:21. In the law it is written: In other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people: and neither so will they hear me, saith the Lord.
14:22. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to believers but to unbelievers: but prophecies, not to unbelievers but to believers.
14:23. If therefore the whole church come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in unlearned persons or infidels, will they not say that you are mad?
14:24. But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not or an unlearned person, he is convinced of all: he is judged of all.