¶ Labour for love, and covet spiritual gifts: and most chiefly for to prophesy. For he that speaketh with tongues speaketh not unto men, but unto god. No man heareth him: For in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men, for their edifying, and comfort. He that speaketh with tongues, profiteth himself: he that prophesieth edifieth the congregation. 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 expound it also, that the congregation may have edifying. Now brethren if I come unto you speaking with tongues: what shall I profit you? except I speak unto you, either by revelation, or knowledge, or prophesying, or doctrine.
¶ Moreover when things without life give sound: whether it be a pipe, or an harp: except they make a distinction in the sounds: how shall it be known what is piped or harped? And also if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself to fight? Even so likewise when ye speak with tongues, except ye speak words that have signification, how shall it be understood what is spoken? For ye shall but speak in the air.
¶ Many kinds of voices are in the world, and none of them are without signification. If I know not what the voice meaneth, I shall be unto him that speaketh an alien: and he that speaketh shall be an alien unto me. Even so ye (for as much as ye covet spiritual gifts) seek that ye may have plenty unto the edifying of the congregation.
¶ Wherefore let him that speaketh with tongues, pray that he may interpret also. If I pray with tongues, my spirit prayeth: but my mind is without fruit. What is it then? I will pray with my spirit, and will pray with my mind also. I will sing with my spirit, and will sing with my mind also.
¶ For else when thou blessest 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? Thou verily givest thanks well: but the other is not edified. I thank my god, I speak with tongues more then ye all. Yet had I lever in the congregation to speak five words with my mind to the information of other, rather than ten thousand words with the tongue.
¶ Brethren, be not children in wit: as concerning maliciousness be children: but in wit be perfect. In the law it is written, with other tongues, and with other lips will I speak unto this people, and yet for all that will they not hear me saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe: but to them that believe not. Contrariwise prophesying serveth not for them that believe not: but for them which believe.
¶ If therefore when all the congregation is come together, and all speak with tongues, there come in they that are unlearned, or they which believe not: will they not say that ye are out of your wits? But and if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is reproved of all men, and is judged of every man: and so are the secrets of his heart opened: and then falleth he down on his face, and worshippeth god, and saith that god is with you indeed.
¶ How is it then brethren? when ye come together every man hath his song, hath his doctrine, hath his tongue, hath his revelation, hath his interpretation: Let all things be unto edifying. If any man speak with tongues, let it be two at once: or at the most three at once: and that by course, and let another interpret it: But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the congregation, and let him speak to himself, and to god.
¶ Let the prophets speak two at once, or three at once, and let other judge. If any revelation be made to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may have comfort. For the spirits of the prophets are in the power of the prophets. For god is not causer of strife: but of peace, as he is in all other congregations of the saints.
¶ Let your wives keep silence in the congregations. For it is not permitted unto them to speak: but let them be under obedience, as saith the law: if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is a shame for women to speak in the congregation. Spronge the word of God from you? other came it unto you only? If any man think himself a prophet either spiritual: let him understand, what things I write unto you. For they are the commandments of the Lord. But and if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wherefore brethren covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done honestly and in order.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526