What does 1 Corinthians 14:6 mean?
ESV: Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?
NIV: Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?
NASB: But now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophecy, or of teaching?
CSB: So now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you with a revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?
NLT: Dear brothers and sisters, if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language, how would that help you? But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful.
KJV: 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?
Verse Commentary:
Paul continues to make the case to the Corinthians that the spiritual gift of prophecy is greater than the gift of tongues, especially when used in church gatherings. Now he begins to refer to his own work with them as an example.

Paul founded the church in Corinth. If he had first arrived among them only in a language neither he nor they understood, how would that have helped anyone? If he had not spoken to them using the gift of apostleship to reveal the gospel—or the gift of the "word of knowledge" (1 Corinthians 12:8) or the gift of prophecy or the gift of teaching—would they have received any benefit at all? This seems to follow the common interpretation that Paul's comments here are about how the Corinthians were misunderstanding the gift of tongues, and applying them in the wrong way.

The point here is to remind believers from Corinth of the great benefit they received from trusting in Christ. That benefit came because of what Paul taught them, through the prophetic gifts given to Paul. If Paul had merely spoken in tongues, they would likely have ignored or mocked him, as he will show in the following verses.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 14:1–25 describes why the gift of prophecy is superior to the gift of tongues in church services, especially when nobody with the gift of interpreting tongues is available. Prophecy benefits everyone in the room with a revelation from God. Praying in a tongue, when nobody can interpret, only benefits the one praying. In fact, displaying the gift of tongues without interpretation may do more harm than good—it generates confusion and division. In contrast, the use of prophecy provides the opportunity for unbelievers to hear from God, be convicted about sin, and come to faith in Christ and genuine worship.
Chapter Summary:
Paul encourages the Corinthians to desire the gift of prophecy, especially, among the other gifts. He shows why its use in the church service is superior to the use of the gift of tongues if nobody is available to interpret. Prophecy benefits everyone; praying in tongues with nobody to interpret benefits only the speaker. Only two or three tongues-speakers should contribute to any service, and only then one at a time and followed by interpreters. The same applies to prophecy and the gift of discerning spirits. Orderliness and building up the church are guiding principles for any worship meeting. Modern churches are divided on the extent to who which these gifts are given, or should be practiced.
Chapter Context:
1 Corinthians 14 concludes Paul's teaching on the spiritual gifts begun in chapter 12. Between them, chapter 13 declared that Christlike love matters most of all. The gift of prophecy is better than the display of the gift of tongues in worship services unless someone with the gift of interpreting tongues is available. Even then, only those things which build up the church should be included in any service, and everything should be done in an orderly way, reflecting the character of God. The final two chapters of this letter discuss the resurrection of Christ and Paul's concluding remarks.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
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