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1 Corinthians 14

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

1 min read

Prophesy vs Tongues

For the one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. โ€“ 1 Corinthians 14:2-4

There are similarities and differences between prophesying and speaking in tongues. Both are spiritual gifts.

Paul isn't saying one is better than the other. Instead, because he is writing to encourage the church of Corinth, he stresses that prophesying benefits the group at large, and so in more scenarios is beneficial. Whereas speaking in tongues is only beneficial if there are interpreters around. Otherwise, the speaker in tongues is only building up themselves, and it won't help the community much.

Admittedly, I do not speak tongues, nor have I encountered speakers of tongues in-person. I don't know what it's like nor what it sounds like. And I don't think it negatively affects me spiritually.

I am curious though, and I don't think I would mind if I received such a spiritual gift. But I think I would be pretty mystified by it, especially if I myself cannot understand it.

Devotional1 Corinthians

Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!