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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - 1 CORINTHIANS 14

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    14:1 {Follow after love} (diwkete ten agapen). As if a veritable chase. Paul comes back to the idea in #12:31 (same use of zeloute) and proves the superiority of prophecy to the other spiritual gifts not counting faith, hope, love of #13:13. {But rather that ye may prophesy} (mallon de hina profeteuete). Distinct aim in view as in verse #5. Old verb from profetes, common in N.T. Present subjunctive, "that ye may keep on prophesying."

    14:2 {For no man understandeth} (oudeis gar akouei). Literally, hears, gets the sense, understands. Verb akouw used either of hearing the sound only or getting the idea (cf. #Ac 9:7; 22:9). {Mysteries} (musteria). Unexplained mysteries (#1Co 2:7).

    14:3 {Edification} (oikodomen). Building up. {Comfort} (paraklesin). Encouragement, calling to one's side. {Comfort} (paramuqian). Old word (from para, muqos, paramuqeomai #1Th 2:12 which see, a stimulating word), nowhere else in N.T., but paramuqion in #Php 2:1 with paraklesis as here. Edification, cheer, incentive in these words.

    14:4 {The church} (ekklesian). No article, literally, "a church" (local use). Not he ekklesia.

    14:5 {Except he interpret} (ektos ei me diermeneuei). Pleonastic combination of ektos (preposition except) and ei me (if not, unless) as in #15:2; 1Ti 5:19. For use of ei with subjunctive rather than ean see #Php 3:12 (common enough in the _Koin‚_, Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 1017f., condition of third class). On the verb see on Ż12:30; Lu 24:27; Ac 9:36. {Receive} (labei). Second aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of lambanw, may get edification.

    14:6 {If I come} (ean elqw). Third class condition, supposable case (aorist subjunctive). {What shall I profit you} (ti humas wfelesw). Two accusatives with this verb (see #13:3). {Unless I speak} (ean me lalesw). Second condition (also third class) with the one conclusion (cf. #1Ti 2:5).

    14:7 {Things without life} (ayuca). Without a soul (a privative, yuce) or life. Old word only here in N.T. {Pipe} (aulos). Old word (from aw, auw, to blow), only here in N.T. {Harp} (kiqara). Old word. Stringed instrument as pipe, a wind instrument. {If they give not a distinction in the sounds} (ean diastolen tois fqoggois me dwi). Third class condition with second aorist active subjunctive dwi from didwmi. Common word in late Greek for difference (diastellw, to send apart). In N.T. only here and #Ro 3:22; 10:12. fqoggos old word (from fqeggomai) for musical sounds vocal or instrumental. In N.T. only here and #Ro 10:18.

    14:8 {An uncertain voice} (adelon fwnen). Old adjective (a privative, delos, manifest). In N.T. only here and #Lu 11:44. Military trumpet (salpigx) is louder than pipe or harp. {Shall prepare himself} (paraskeuasetai). Direct middle future indicative of paraskeuazw, old verb, in N.T. only here, #2Co 9:2ff.; Ac 10:10. From para, skeue (preparation).

    14:9 {Unless ye utter speech easy to be understood} (ean me eusemon logon dwte). Condition of third class again (ean and aorist subjunctive). eusemon (eu, well, sema, sign) is old word, here only in N.T., well-marked, distinct, clear. Good enunciation, a hint for speakers. {Ye will be speaking into the air} (esesqe eis aera lalountes). Periphrastic future indicative (linear action). Cf. aera derwn (beating the air) in #9:26. Cf. our talking to the wind. this was before the days of radio.

    14:10 {It may be} (ei tucoi). Condition of fourth class (ei and aorist optative of tugcanw), if it should happen. Common enough idiom. Cf. tucon in #16:6. {Without signification} (afwnon). Old adjective (a privative and fwne). Without the faculty of speech (#12:2; Ac 8:32; 2Pe 2:16).

    14:11 {The meaning of the voice} (ten dunamin tes fwnes). The power (force) of the voice. {A barbarian} (barbaros). Jargon, bar-bar. The Egyptians called all barbarous who did not speak their tongue. The Greeks followed suit for all ignorant of Greek language and culture. They divided mankind into Hellenes and Barbarians. {Unto me} (en emoi). In my case, almost like a dative.

    14:12 {Zealous of spiritual gifts} (zelwtai pneumatwn). Zealots for spirits. So it looked. {That ye may abound} (hina perisseuete). Purpose clause with the object by proleyis stated beforehand "for the edification of the church."

    14:13 {Let him pray that he may interpret} (proseucesqw hina diermeneuei). Else he had better cease talking in a tongue.

    14:14 {But my understanding is unfruitful} (ho de nous mou akarpos). My intellect (nous) gets no benefit (akarpos, without fruit) from rhapsodical praying that may even move my spirit (pneuma).

    14:15 {With the understanding also} (kai twi no‹). Instrumental case of nous. Paul is distinctly in favor of the use of the intellect in prayer. Prayer is an intelligent exercise of the mind. {And I will sing with the understanding also} (yalw de kai twi no‹). There was ecstatic singing like the rhapsody of some prayers without intelligent words. But Paul prefers singing that reaches the intellect as well as stirs the emotions. Solos that people do not understand lose more than half their value in church worship. yallw originally meant to play on strings, qen to sing with an accompaniment (#Eph 5:19), and here apparently to sing without regard to an instrument.

    14:16 {Else if thou bless with the spirit} (epei ean eulogeis en pneumati). Third class condition. He means that, if one is praying and praising God (#10:16) in an ecstatic prayer, the one who does not understand the ecstasy will be at a loss when to say "amen" at the close of the prayer. In the synagogues the Jews used responsive amens at the close of prayers (#Neh 5:13; 8:6; 1Ch 16:36; Ps 106:48). {He that filleth the place of the unlearned} (ho anaplerwn ton topon tou idiwtou). Not a special part of the room, but the position of the idiwtou (from idios, one's own), common from Herodotus for private person (#Ac 4:13), unskilled (#2Co 11:6), uninitiated (unlearned) in the gift of tongues as here and verses #23f. {At thy giving of thanks} (epi tei sei eucaristiai). Just the prayer, not the Eucharist or the Lord's Supper, as is plain from verse #17.

    14:18 {More than you all} (pantwn humwn mallon). Ablative case after mallon. Astonishing claim by Paul that doubtless had a fine effect.

    14:19 {However in church} (alla en ekklesiai). Private ecstasy is one thing (cf. #2Co 12:1-9) but not in church worship. {That I may instruct} (hina katecesw). Final clause with hina. For the rare verb katecew see on ŻLu 1:4; Ac 18:25.

    14:20 {Be not children in mind} (me paidia ginesqe tais fresin). "Cease becoming children in your intellects," as some of them evidently were. Cf. #Heb 5:11-14 for a like complaint of intellectual dulness for being old babies. {In malice be ye babes} (tei kakiai nepiazete). {Be men} (teleioi ginesqe). Keep on becoming adults in your minds. A noble and a needed command, pertinent today.

    14:21 {In the law it is written} (en twi nomwi gegraptai). #Isa 28:11f. Freely quoted.

    14:22 {For a sign} (eis semeion). Like the Hebrew and occasional _Koin‚_ idiom also.

    14:23 {Will they not say that ye are mad?} (ouk erousin hoti mainesqe?). These unbelievers unacquainted (idiwtai) with Christianity will say that the Christians are raving mad (see on ŻAc 12:15; 26:24). They will seem like a congregation of lunatics.

    14:24 {He is reproved by all} (elegcetai hupo pantwn). Old word for strong proof, is undergoing conviction. {Is judged} (anakrinetai). Is tested. Cf. #1Co 2:15; 4:3f.

    14:25 {That God is among you indeed} (hoti ontws en humin estin). Recitative hoti and direct quotation from #Isa 45:15 (Hebrew rather than the LXX). "Really (ontws #Lu 24:34) God is in you."

    14:26 {When ye come together} (hotan sunercesqe). Present middle subjunctive, repetition, whenever ye come together, in contrast with special case (ean sunelqei, second aorist subjunctive) in verse #23.

    14:27 {By two} (kata duo). According to two, ratio. {Or at most} (e to pleiston). Adverbial accusative, "or at the most." {Three} (treis). kata to be repeated. {And that in turn} (kai ana meros). One at a time and not over three in all.

    14:28 {But if there be no interpreter} (ean de me ei diermeneutes). Third class condition. Earliest known instance and possibly made by Paul from verb in verse #27. Reappears in Byzantine grammarians. {Keep silence in church} (sigatw en ekklesiai). Linear action (present active imperative). He is not even to speak in a tongue once. He can indulge his private ecstasy with God.

    14:29 {By two or three} (duo e treis). No kata here as in verse #27. Let two or three prophets speak. {Let the others discern} (hoi alloi diakrinetwsan). Whether what is said is really of the Spirit. Cf. #12:10 diakriseis pneumatwn.

    14:30 {Let the first keep silence} (ho prwtos sigatw). To give the next one a chance.

    14:31 {One by one} (kaq' ena). Regular idiom.

    14:32 {The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets} (pneumata profetwn profetais hupotassetai). A principle that some had forgotten.

    14:33 {Not of confusion} (ou--katastasias). God is not a God of disorder, but of peace. We need this reminder today. {As in all the churches of the saints} (hws en pasais tais ekklesiais twn hagiwn). Orderly reverence is a mark of the churches. this is a proper conclusion of his argument as in #11:16.

    14:34 {Keep silence in the churches} (en tais ekklesiais sigatwsan). The same verb used about the disorders caused by speakers in tongues (verse #28) and prophets (#30). For some reason some of the women were creating disturbance in the public worship by their dress (#11:2-16) and now by their speech. There is no doubt at all as to Paul's meaning here. In church the women are not allowed to speak (lalein) nor even to ask questions. They are to do that {at home} (en oikwi). He calls it a shame (aiscron) as in #11:6 (cf. #Eph 5:12; Tit 1:11). Certainly women are still in subjection (hupotassesqwsan) to their husbands (or ought to be). But somehow modern Christians have concluded that Paul's commands on this subject, even #1Ti 2:12, were meant for specific conditions that do not apply wholly now. Women do most of the teaching in our Sunday schools today. It is not easy to draw the line. The daughters of Philip were prophetesses. It seems clear that we need to be patient with each other as we try to understand Paul's real meaning here.

    14:37 {The commandment of the Lord} (kuriou entole). The prophet or the one with the gift of tongues or the disturbing woman would be quick to resent the sharp words of Paul. He claims inspiration for his position.

    14:40 {Decently and in order} (euscemonws kai kata taxin). That is surely a good rule for all matters of church life and worship. It applies also to the function of women in church service.

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