Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

1 Corinthians 14:19

    1 Corinthians 14:19 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    howbeit in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But in the church it would be better for me to make use of five words of which the sense was clear, so that others might have profit, than ten thousand words in a strange tongue.

    Webster's Revision

    howbeit in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

    World English Bible

    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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    howbeit in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 14:19

    Church - Assembly of "called out" ones.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:19

    Yet in the church - As the grand object of public worship is the edification of those who attend, five words spoken so as to convey edification, were of much more consequence than ten thousand which, not being understood, could convey none. By the word γλωσση, tongue, to which we add unknown, I suppose the apostle always means the Hebrew, for the reasons offered in the note on 1 Corinthians 14:1.

    One of the greatest difficulties, says Bishop Pearce, in this epistle is contained in the words πνευμα and νους, spirit and understanding, which are frequently used in this chapter; and fixing the true meaning of these words will solve the difficulty. In this verse the apostle explains λαλειν τῳ νοΐ, to speak with the understanding, by ἱνα αλλους κατηχησω, that I might teach others; so that the sense of νους, understanding, seems to be, that understanding which the hearer has of what is said; and this sense will agree well with, I will sing with the spirit, and with the understanding, 1 Corinthians 14:15.

    He observes also that πνευμα spirit, and νους, understanding, have a sense opposite to each other; so that if νους is rightly rendered, the understanding which another has of what is said; then πνευμα will signify a man's own mind, i.e. his own understanding of what he himself speaks; and this sense agrees well with 1 Corinthians 14:2 : In the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 14:19

    Yet in the church - In the Christian assembly. The word "church" does not refer to the "edifice" where Christians worshipped, but to the organized body of Christians.

    I had rather ... - It is probable that in the Christian assembly, usually, there were few who understood foreign languages. Paul, therefore, would not speak in a foreign language when its only use would be mere display.

    With my understanding - So as to be intelligible to others; so that I might understand it, and so that at the same time others might be benefitted.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 14:19

    14:19 With my understanding - In a rational manner; so as not only to understand myself, but to be understood by others.