1 Corinthians 14:31 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 14:31, NIV: For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.

1 Corinthians 14:31, ESV: For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,

1 Corinthians 14:31, KJV: For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

1 Corinthians 14:31, NASB: For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;

1 Corinthians 14:31, NLT: In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged.

1 Corinthians 14:31, CSB: For you can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone may learn and everyone may be encouraged.

What does 1 Corinthians 14:31 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is providing rules for how the gatherings of the church in Corinth should be conducted. Now he applies both of his main principles to those who would exercise the gift of prophecy in the church setting. This gift involved explaining a revelation given to the prophet by God, and a careful assessment of that revelation by those who hear (1 Corinthians 14:29; 1 John 4:1; Acts 17:11).

First, Paul has said that only three people at the most should express this gift in the service, yielding their time if someone else receives a revelation while they are speaking. Now he emphasizes that only one prophet should speak at a time, one by one, so that all may learn and be encouraged.

The reason for being orderly in this way is for the gift of prophecy to accomplish its purpose of building up the others in the church. If two or more people are speaking at once, nobody is really heard and no one in the church learns anything. This follows Scripture's earlier indication that chaos and gibberish are not God's intent (1 Corinthians 14:23–25).