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General Theology The forum for general theological discussions about issues that do not fit in any other forum, eg. Angelology

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Old 4th August 2006, 10:24 AM
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Question Some clarification on 1 Cor 14:22-25 please?

no kidding... this thread is truly not meant to start a debate. I would LOVE it if this stayed on topic. do me that favor, ok?

now, on to my question...

I was wondering what people's opinions were on this passage:
22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, 25 and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"
because I am having this weird moment of not seeing how verse 22 works with verses 23-24. I am so confused all of a sudden!
they seem to disagree with each other. What am I missing here?

Here is how I read it:
1a. Tongues: sign for unbelievers.
1b. Tongues: unbelievers will think you're out of your mind if they hear it.

2a. Prophesy: sign for believers.
2b. Prophesy: unbelievers will be convinced, convicted, and repent.

how do these work together??

oh, when I read "sign for ___" I read that as saying it's a "sign meant for ___"is this not how I should be reading this?

are there better translations out there that illustrate this more clearly?

thanks folks.
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  #2  
Old 4th August 2006, 01:57 PM
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Speaking in Tongues are a gift from God, not everyone posses' this. Prophecy is a gift from God not everyone has this. Paul tells us how we should worship in the manner of using Tongues. If there are non-believers among the congregation the "tongue" must be interpreted by one who has the gift of prophecy, so that you do not scare or frighten an unbeliever.

Tongues is a gift to bring people to Christ a viewpoint on this would be Acts, day of Pentecost. The outcome and result should always be to bring unbelievers to God!

your brother in christ
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Old 4th August 2006, 02:08 PM
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thanks... not sure that actually clears up my misunderstanding of what appears to be a contradiction....
but my brain might be stuck
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Old 4th August 2006, 02:42 PM
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Paul is teaching a balanced lesson, and you are seeing the two sides of his lesson. This is clearer in the New Living Translation, and it is clearer in the context of the whole chapter.

A key difference in the translations is the beginning of verse 23, "Even so."


Originally Posted by I Corinthians 14:21-33 (NLT)
21 It is written in the Scriptures, F71 "I will speak to my own people through unknown languages and through the lips of foreigners. But even then, they will not listen to me," F72 says the Lord. 22 So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. 23 Even so, if unbelievers or people who don't understand these things come into your meeting and hear everyone talking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. 24 But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don't understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin, and they will be condemned by what you say. 25 As they listen, their secret thoughts will be laid bare, and they will fall down on their knees and worship God, declaring, "God is really here among you."
26 Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize what I am saying. When you meet, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in an unknown language, while another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must be useful to all and build them up in the Lord. 27 No more than two or three should speak in an unknown language. They must speak one at a time, and someone must be ready to interpret what they are saying. 28 But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately. 29 Let two or three prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. 30 But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop. 31 In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. 32 Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can wait their turn. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the other churches. F73

Tongues are a sign of God's supernatural power that unbelievers can witness. However, even so, the church must present tongues in an orderly manner, because disorderly tongues can appear to be crazy rather than Godly.

Prophecy is used to exhort, admonish, and edify the church, but that doesn't mean an unbeliever cannot benefit from it. So, orderly prophecy benefits believers and unbelievers, and orderly tongues benefit believers and unbelievers. Either of them in disorder would be problematic.

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Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.
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Old 4th August 2006, 02:54 PM
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that was very helpful. thanks for your time
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