1 Corinthians

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1 Corinthians 14 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 1 Corinthians 14 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

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

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.

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

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

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?

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?

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

(14:8-9) "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"
Speak clearly. Too bad the whole Bible doesn't follow this principle.
But if the trumpet sounds, do deaf persons here it as well? The Bible certainly is clear in all that matters. And that there sometimes are things which are hard to understand, is the fault of our limited understanding or limited study, rather than of the Bible.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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?

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

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

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

"Be not children in understanding."
Unlike Jesus, who told his followers to become like little children (Mt.18:3, Mk.10:15, Lk.18:17), Paul tells his followers to "be not children in understanding."
Is it good to be childish?
But the same verse says we should become children: “howbeit in malice be ye children”!
But like Paul, Jesus does not say “become like little children, full stop.” See also Matthew 18:3.

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.

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.

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?

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:

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

"God is not the author of confusion, but of peace."
Is God warlike or peaceful?
Is God the author of confusion?
On if God is warlike or peaceful, see Rom. 15:33.
On if God is the author of confusion, see chapter 1:27.

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.

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak."
Women are commanded by Paul to be silent in church and to be obedient to men. He further says that "if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is  a shame for women to speak in church."
Can women be church leaders?
What the Bible says about women's rights
Should women have the same rights as men?
May a woman speak in church?
Theologikos: Test yourself: Are you intelligent or stupid? The Holy Test!
This verse is particularly clear: women cannot lead in the church. The author of the SAB claims some verses to say the opposite, but you need a Ph.D. in twisting the Bible to see that.
Also, isn't it interesting that the author of the SAB suddenly doesn't claim chapter 11:5 as a contradiction? Supposedly in that verse Paul says women can lead in prayer and preach in the church.

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.

In some manuscripts, verses 34-35 are found at the end of chapter 14, leading some scholars to think that they were not written by Paul but originated from a misogynistic scribe's marginal note.1
“Some manuscripts,” what happened to the oldest and best manuscripts? But first of all, the same words are found in all manuscripts. So we have to believe that some scribe added these words, but there's no trace of any manuscript missing these words. Just take Bart D. Ehrman's word for it. If theories don't require some actual evidence anymore, I want to become a professor in The New Testament as well. Secondly, why do we not hear about the oldest and best manuscripts? Because the manuscript that have the verses at a slightly different place are not the oldest, they are of the 4th century, and usually much later. There's a 2nd century papyrus that has this at the usual place.

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

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.

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

"If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant."
Ignorant is willfully ignorant of what Paul wrote in the previous verse: “that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.”

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

"Covet to prophesy"
Is it OK to covet?

40 Let all things be done decently and in order.