Friday, August 10, 2012

1 Corinthians 13 & 14

The Way of Love

If you don't have love, your other accomplishments amount to nothing. Love is patient and kind, and it has a lot of other really nice properties. Love never ends while everything else passes away.

This is a good passage, focus on love is a good message. If people focused on things they loved instead of things they hated for instance the world would be a much better place.

Prophecy and Tongues (ch 14)

Prophecy and speaking in tongues are both good, you should do both, but know what that when you speak in tongues you are talking to God and when you are prophesies you are building up the church. Speaking in tongues is not helpful to anyone except the person doing it unless there is an interpreter.

I suppose this makes sense, if you speak in a language no one can understand it will be worthless to them.

Speaking in tongues is a sign for unbelievers and prophecy is a sign for believers. For if an unbeliever comes into a church where everyone is speaking in tongues they will say you are all out of your minds. On the other hand, if an outsider comes into the church and prophecy is being spoken, he will be convinced.

This sounds backwards to me, what am I not understanding? It says that speaking in tongues is a sign for unbelievers, and yet it says that an unbeliever who views speaking in tongues would call them nuts and turn away. On the other hand, it says that prophecy is for the believers, then it says that an outsider who sees prophecy will be convinced. This looks like an error to me, it makes no sense this way. If a friend of mine wrote this and had me proofread I would show him this and point out that he must have mixed up believers and unbelievers in one part or the other. Am I missing something here?

Orderly Worship

If speaking in tongues during church, have 3 people at most speaking in tongues, each in turn with someone interpreting. If there is no one to interpret they should stay quiet and speak only to himself and to God. If someone is speaking prophecy, let him speak and let others consider what is said. If someone else has a revelation while he is speaking, he should be quiet and let the other man speak.

Generally these seem to be rules to keep service orderly and worth while for everyone. Sounds good.

v.34-35 "the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church."

I don't even know what to say here. This is horrible. This is very explicit, much worse than yesterdays bit of misogyny. How could any enlightened woman follow this book? 

I'm trying to imagine how I would have reacted to this when I was a Christian and I honestly have no idea. I was never confronted with this stuff back then. If someone had just told me this was in the bible I think I would have called them a liar. If they had persisted and shown me the actual verse, I just don't know how I would have responded. I probably would have assumed there is something here beyond my understanding that must make this ok, but I think I would have a hard time with this. 

For the overview post


13:1-3 Love is very important


14:34-35 woman should be submissive, it is shameful for them to speak in church


  1. I think that perhaps they were "speaking in tongues" when they wrote that confusing passage. I would agree with you, it does seem backwards.

    1. The funny thing is, this is the second time I have found something like this, although it is the first time the reversal was on the same page. In the parable of the tenants story, in the luke version, Jesus says the owner should kill then tennants and the disciples are shocked. In the Matthew version, the disciples say the owner should kill the tennants and Jesus says they are wrong.


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