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1 Corinthians 14:22

    1 Corinthians 14:22 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Why tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serves not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to the unbelieving: but prophesying is for a sign , not to the unbelieving, but to them that believe.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For this reason tongues are for a sign, not to those who have faith, but to those who have not: but the prophet's word is for those who have faith, and not for the rest who have not.

    Webster's Revision

    Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to the unbelieving: but prophesying is for a sign , not to the unbelieving, but to them that believe.

    World English Bible

    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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to the unbelieving: but prophesying is for a sign, not to the unbelieving, but to them that believe.

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 14:22

    Wherefore - Why?; for what reason?; for what cause?

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:22

    Wherefore tongues are for a sign - The miraculous gift of tongues was never designed for the benefit of those who have already believed, but for the instruction of unbelievers, that they might see from such a miracle that this is the work of God; and so embrace the Gospel. But as, in the times of the prophet, the strange Babylonish tongues came in the way of punishment, and not in the way of mercy; take heed that it be not the case now: that, by dwelling on the gift, ye forget the Giver; and what was designed for you as a blessing, may prove to you to be a curse. For if, because ye have the gift of tongues, ye will choose for your own aggrandizement to use them in the public congregation where none understands them, God may curse your blessings.

    Prophesying - Teaching the things of God in a known language is of infinitely more consequence than speaking in all the foreign tongues in the universe.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 14:22

    Wherefore - Thus, (Ὥστε Hōste), or wherefore. The apostle does not mean to say that what he was about to state was a direct conclusion from the passage of Scripture which he had quoted, but that it followed from all that he had said, and from the whole view of the subject. "The true statement or doctrine is, that tongues are for a sign," etc.

    Tongues - The power of speaking foreign languages.

    Are for a sign - An "indication," an evidence, or a proof that God has imparted this power, and that he attends the preaching of the gospel with his approbation. It is a "sign," or a "miracle," which, like all other miracles, may be designed to convince the unbelieving world that the religion is from God.

    Not to them that believe - Not to Christians. They are already convinced of the truth of religion, and they would not be benefited by that which was spoken in a language which they could not understand,

    But to them that believe not - It is a miracle designed to convince them of the truth of the Christian religion. God alone could confer the power of thus speaking; and as it was conferred expressly to aid in the propagation of the gospel, it proved that it was from God; see the note on Acts 2:1-15.

    But prophesying - Speaking in a calm, connected, didactic manner, in language intelligible to all under the influence of inspiration; see notes on 1 Corinthians 14:1.

    For them that believe not - Is not particularly intended for them; but is intended mainly for the edifying of the church. It is not so striking, so replete with proofs of the divine presence and power as the gift of tongues. Though it may be really under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and may be really by inspiration, yet it is not so evidently such as is the power of speaking foreign languages. It was, therefore, better adapted to edify the church than to convince gainsayers. At the same time the "truths" conveyed by it, and the consolations administered by it, might be as clear evidence to the church of the attending power, and presence, and goodness of God, as the power of speaking foreign languages might be to infidels.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 14:22

    14:22 Tongues are intended for a sign to unbelievers - To engage their attention, and convince them the message is of God. Whereas prophecy is not so much for unbelievers, as for the confirmation of them that already believe.