1 Corinthians 12-14 World English Bible

Spiritual Gifts

12 1  Now concerning spiritual things, brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant. 2  You know that when you were heathen [1], you were led away to those mute idols, however you might be led. 3  Therefore I make known to you that no man speaking by God’s Spirit says, “Jesus is accursed.” No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” but by the Holy Spirit. 4  Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5  There are various kinds of service, and the same Lord. 6  There are various kinds of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all. 7  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all. 8  For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; 9  to another faith, by the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit; 10  and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages. 11  But the one and the same Spirit works all of these, distributing to each one separately as he desires.

12  For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. 13  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit. 14  For the body is not one member, but many. 15  If the foot would say, “Because I’m not the hand, I’m not part of the body,” it is not therefore not part of the body. 16  If the ear would say, “Because I’m not the eye, I’m not part of the body,” it’s not therefore not part of the body. 17  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the smelling be? 18  But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body, just as he desired. 19  If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20  But now they are many members, but one body. 21  The eye can’t tell the hand, “I have no need for you,” or again the head to the feet, “I have no need for you.” 22  No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23  Those parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, on those we bestow more abundant honor; and our unpresentable parts have more abundant propriety; 24  whereas our presentable parts have no such need. But God composed the body together, giving more abundant honor to the inferior part, 25  that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26  When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Or when one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27  Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28  God has set some in the assembly: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various kinds of languages. 29  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all miracle workers? 30  Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with various languages? Do all interpret? 31  But earnestly desire the best gifts. Moreover, I show a most excellent way to you.

Love

13 1  If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 2  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. 3  If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

4  Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, 5  doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; 6  doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10  but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with. 11  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. 12  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. 13  But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.

Speaking in Tongues

14 1  Follow after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2  For he who speaks in another language speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries. 3  But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, exhortation, and consolation. 4  He who speaks in another language edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the assembly. 5  Now I desire to have you all speak with other languages, but rather that you would prophesy. For he is greater who prophesies than he who speaks with other languages, unless he interprets, that the assembly may be built up.

6  But now, brothers, [2] if I come to you speaking with other languages, what would I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching? 7  Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they didn’t give a distinction in the sounds, how would it be known what is piped or harped? 8  For if the trumpet gave an uncertain sound, who would prepare himself for war? 9  So also you, unless you uttered by the tongue words easy to understand, how would it be known what is spoken? For you would be speaking into the air. 10  There are, it may be, so many kinds of sounds in the world, and none of them is without meaning. 11  If then I don’t know the meaning of the sound, I would be to him who speaks a foreigner, and he who speaks would be a foreigner to me. 12  So also you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek that you may abound to the building up of the assembly. 13  Therefore let him who speaks in another language pray that he may interpret. 14  For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

15  What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16  Otherwise if you bless with the spirit, how will he who fills the place of the unlearned say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, seeing he doesn’t know what you say? 17  For you most certainly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up. 18  I thank my God, I speak with other languages more than you all. 19  However in the assembly I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in another language. 20  Brothers, don’t be children in thoughts, yet in malice be babies, but in thoughts be mature.

21  In the law it is written, “By men of strange languages and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people. Not even thus will they hear me, says the Lord.” [3] 22  Therefore other languages are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to the unbelieving; but prophesying is for a sign, not to the unbelieving, but to those who believe. 23  If therefore the whole assembly is assembled together and all speak with other languages, and unlearned or unbelieving people come in, won’t they say that you are crazy? 24  But if all prophesy, and someone unbelieving or unlearned comes in, he is reproved by all, and he is judged by all. 25  And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed. So he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.

26  What is it then, brothers? When you come together, each one of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has another language, has an interpretation. Let all things be done to build each other up. 27  If any man speaks in another language, let it be two, or at the most three, and in turn; and let one interpret. 28  But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the assembly, and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29  Let the prophets speak, two or three, and let the others discern. 30  But if a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first keep silent. 31  For you all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted. 32  The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, 33  for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.

As in all the assemblies of the saints,

34  let your wives keep silent in the assemblies, for it has not been permitted for them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as the law also says. 35  If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home, for it is shameful for a woman to chatter in the assembly.

36  What? Was it from you that the word of God went out? Or did it come to you alone? 37  If any man thinks himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him recognize the things which I write to you, that they are the commandment of the Lord. 38  But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39  Therefore, brothers, desire earnestly to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking with other languages. 40  Let all things be done decently and in order.


Footnotes

[1] 12:2 or Gentiles

[2] 14:6 The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”

[3] 14:21 Isaiah 28:11-12

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