1 Corinthians 14:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 14:13, NIV: For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.

1 Corinthians 14:13, ESV: Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.

1 Corinthians 14:13, KJV: Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

1 Corinthians 14:13, NASB: Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue is to pray that he may interpret.

1 Corinthians 14:13, NLT: So anyone who speaks in tongues should pray also for the ability to interpret what has been said.

1 Corinthians 14:13, CSB: Therefore the person who speaks in a tongue should pray that he can interpret.

What does 1 Corinthians 14:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has shown the Christians in Corinth why their application of the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues during the church service is unwise. In short, it's not helpful when nobody understands the words being spoken. He adds in the following verses that the exception to this rule is if the speaker or someone else can interpret what is being said.

For that reason, Paul tells those with the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues to pray for the additional gift of the interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10). This gift would allow a believer to supernaturally understand what was being said in an unknown language and to translate that into the language of those present so they could understand, as well.

Once again, Paul makes clear that spiritual gifts cannot be acquired through hard work or training or by doing good works. Spiritual gifts must be given by God through the Holy Spirit. Christians are powerless to receive them otherwise. That's why Paul tells gifted tongues-speakers to pray for this specific gift of interpretation.