1 Corinthians - Chapter 14


The King James Version Basic English Version (BBE)

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

1 Go after love; still desiring to have the things which the Spirit gives, but most of all that you may have the prophet's power.

2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

2 For he who makes use of tongues is not talking to men but to God; because no one has the sense of what he is saying; but in the Spirit he is talking of secret things.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

3 But the word of the prophet gives men knowledge and comfort and strength.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

4 He who makes use of tongues may do good to himself; but he who gives the prophet's word does good to the church.

5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

5 Now though it is my desire for you all to have the power of tongues, it would give me more pleasure to be hearing the prophet's word from you; for this is a greater thing than using tongues, if the sense is not given at the same time, for the good of the church.

6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

6 But, now, my brothers, if I come to you using tongues, what profit will it be to you, if I do not give you a revelation, or knowledge, or the word of the prophet, or teaching?

7 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?

7 Even things without life, having a voice, such as a music-pipe or other instrument, if they do not give out different sounds, who may be certain what is being played?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

8 For if the war-horn gives out an uncertain note, who will get ready for the fight?

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

9 So if you, in using a strange tongue, say words which have no sense, how will anyone take in what you are saying? for you will be talking to the air.

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

10 There are, it may be, a number of different voices in the world, and no voice is without sense.

11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

11 But if the sense of the voice is not clear to me, I am like a man from a strange country to him who is talking, and he will be the same to me.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

12 So if you are desiring the things which the Spirit gives, let your minds be turned first to the things which are for the good of the church.

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

13 For this reason, let the man who has the power of using tongues make request that he may, at the same time, be able to give the sense.

14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

14 For if I make use of tongues in my prayers, my spirit makes the prayer, but not my mind.

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.

15 What then? let my prayer be from the spirit, and equally from the mind; let my song be from the spirit, and equally from mind.

16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

16 For if you give a blessing with the spirit, how will the man who has no knowledge say, So be it, after your prayer, seeing that he has not taken in what you are saying?

17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

17 For your giving of the blessing is certainly well done, but of no profit to the man without knowledge.

18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

18 I give praise to God that I am able to make use of tongues more than you all:

19 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.

19 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.

20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

20 My brothers, do not be children in mind: in evil be as little children, but in mind be of full growth.

21 In the 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.

21 In the law it is said, By men of other tongues and by strange lips will my words come to this people; and not even so will they give ear to me, says the Lord.

22 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.

22 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.

23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

23 If, then, the church has come together, and all are using tongues, and there come in men without knowledge or faith, will they not say that you are unbalanced?

24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

24 But if all are teaching as prophets, and a man without faith or knowledge comes in, he is tested by all, he is judged by all;

25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

25 The secrets of his heart are made clear; and he will go down on his face and give worship to God, saying that God is truly among you.

26 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.

26 What is it then, my brothers? when you come together everyone has a holy song, or a revelation, or a tongue, or is giving the sense of it. Let everything be done for the common good.

27 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.

27 If any man makes use of a tongue, let it not be more than two, or at the most three, and in turn; and let someone give the sense:

28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

28 But if there is no one to give the sense, let him keep quiet in the church; and let his words be to himself and to God.

29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

29 And let the prophets give their words, but not more than two or three, and let the others be judges of what they say.

30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.

30 But if a revelation is given to another who is seated near, let the first be quiet.

31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

31 For you may all be prophets in turn so that all may get knowledge and comfort;

32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

32 And the spirits of the prophets are controlled by the prophets;

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

33 For God is not a God whose ways are without order, but a God of peace; as in all the churches of the saints.

34 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.

34 Let women keep quiet in the churches: for it is not right for them to be talking; but let them be under control, as it says in the law.

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

35 And if they have a desire for knowledge about anything, let them put questions to their husbands privately: for talking in the church puts shame on a woman.

36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

36 What? was it from you that the word of God went out? or did it only come in to you?

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

37 If any man seems to himself to be a prophet or to have the Spirit, let him take note of the things which I am writing to you, as being the word of the Lord.

38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

38 But if any man is without knowledge, let him be so.

39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

39 So then, my brothers, let it be your chief desire to be prophets; but let no one be stopped from using tongues.

40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

40 Let all things be done in the right and ordered way.




Rights in the Authorized Version are vested in the Crown. Published in the United Kingdom by permission of the Crown"s patentee, Cambridge University Press.

Life in 1611
The King James Bible Events Map
Composition Awards
John Locke
Donate and Keep the KJV Alive
Join our newsletter database
to receive information on the
King James Bible Trust
Nida Westminster Abbey The Bible Society Society of Biblical Literature The City of London