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1 Corinthians 14:15 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— What is [the outcome] then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray also with the understanding; I will sing with the spirit, but I will sing also with the understanding.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray also with the mind,—I will strike the strings with the spirit, [but] I will strike the strings also with the mind.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— What then is it? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray also with the understanding; I will sing psalms with the spirit, and I will sing psalms also with the understanding;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, I will pray also with the understanding, I will sing with the spirit, I will sing also with the understanding.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and wil pray with vnderstanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the vnderstanding also.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— What shall I do then? I will pray with my spirit, and I will pray with my mind; and I will sing with my spirit, and I will sing with my mind.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— What then shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, and will pray with my understanding; and I will sing with my spirit, and will sing with my understanding.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
What 5101
{5101} Prime
τίς
tis
{tis}
Probably emphatic of G5100; an interrogitive pronoun, who, which or what (in direct or indirect questions).
is x2076
(2076) Complement
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
it y2076
[2076] Standard
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
then? 3767
{3767} Prime
οὖν
oun
{oon}
Apparently a primary word; (adverbially) certainly, or (conjugationally) accordingly.
I will pray 4336
{4336} Prime
προσεύχομαι
proseuchomai
{pros-yoo'-khom-ahee}
From G4314 and G2172; to pray to God, that is, supplicate, worship.
z5695
<5695> Grammar
Tense - Future (See G5776)
Voice - Middle Deponent (See G5788)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 271
with the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
spirit, 4151
{4151} Prime
πνεῦμα
pneuma
{pnyoo'-mah}
From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy spirit.
and 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
I will pray 4336
{4336} Prime
προσεύχομαι
proseuchomai
{pros-yoo'-khom-ahee}
From G4314 and G2172; to pray to God, that is, supplicate, worship.
z5695
<5695> Grammar
Tense - Future (See G5776)
Voice - Middle Deponent (See G5788)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 271
with the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
understanding 3563
{3563} Prime
νοῦς
nous
{nooce}
Probably from the base of G1097; the intellect, that is, mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by implication meaning.
also: 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
I will sing 5567
{5567} Prime
ψάλλω
psallo
{psal'-lo}
Probably strengthened from ψάω [[psao]] (to rub or touch the surface; compare G5597); to twitch or twang, that is, to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes).
z5692
<5692> Grammar
Tense - Future (See G5776)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 814
with the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
spirit, 4151
{4151} Prime
πνεῦμα
pneuma
{pnyoo'-mah}
From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy spirit.
and 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
I will sing 5567
{5567} Prime
ψάλλω
psallo
{psal'-lo}
Probably strengthened from ψάω [[psao]] (to rub or touch the surface; compare G5597); to twitch or twang, that is, to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes).
z5692
<5692> Grammar
Tense - Future (See G5776)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 814
with the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
understanding 3563
{3563} Prime
νοῦς
nous
{nooce}
Probably from the base of G1097; the intellect, that is, mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by implication meaning.
also. 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Corinthians 14:15

_ _ What is it then? — What is my determination thereupon?

_ _ and — rather as Greek, “but”; I will not only pray with my spirit, which (1 Corinthians 14:14) might leave the understanding unedified, BUT with the understanding also [Alford and Ellicott].

_ _ pray with the understanding also — and, by inference, I will keep silence altogether if I cannot pray with the understanding (so as to make myself understood by others). A prescient warning, mutatis mutandis, against the Roman and Greek practice of keeping liturgies in dead languages, which long since have become unintelligible to the masses; though their forefathers spoke them at a time when those liturgies were framed for general use.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Corinthians 14:15-20

_ _ The apostle here sums up the argument hitherto, and,

_ _ I. Directs them how they should sing and pray in public (1 Corinthians 14:15): What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, etc. He does not forbid their praying or singing under a divine afflatus, or when they were inspired for this purpose, or had such a spiritual gift communicated to them; but he would have them perform both so as to be understood by others, that others might join with them. Note, Public worship should be performed so as to be understood.

_ _ II. He enforces the argument with several reasons.

_ _ 1. That otherwise the unlearned could not say Amen to their prayers or thanksgivings, could not join in the worship, for they did not understand it, 1 Corinthians 14:16. He who fills up or occupies the place of the unlearned, that is, as the ancients interpret it, the body of the people, who, in most Christian assemblies, are illiterate; how should they say Amen to prayers in an unknown tongue? How should they declare their consent and concurrence? This is saying Amen, So be it. God grant the thing we have requested; or, We join in the confession that has been made of sin, and in the acknowledgment that has been made of divine mercies and favours. This is the import of saying Amen. All should say Amen inwardly; and it is not improper to testify this inward concurrence in public prayers and devotions, by an audible Amen. The ancient Christians said Amen aloud. Vide Just. Mart. apol. 2. propè fin. Now, how should the people say Amen to what they did not understand? Note, There can be no concurrence in those prayers that are not understood. The intention of public devotions is therefore entirely destroyed if they are performed in an unknown tongue. He who performs may pray well, and give thanks well, but not in that time and place, because others are not, cannot be, edified (1 Corinthians 14:17) by what they understand not.

_ _ 2. He alleges his own example, to make the greater impression, concerning which observe, (1.) That he did not come behind any of them in this spiritual gift: “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all (1 Corinthians 14:18); not only more than any single person among you, but more than all together.” It was not envy at their better furniture that made Paul depreciate what they so highly valued and so much vaunted of; he surpassed them all in this very gift of tongues, and did not vilify their gift because he had it not. This spirit of envy is too common in the world. But the apostle took care to guard against this misconstruction of his purpose, by letting them know there was more ground for them to envy him upon this head than for him to envy them. Note, When we beat down men's unreasonable value for themselves, or any of their possessions or attainments, we should let them see, if possible, that this does not proceed from an envious and grudging spirit. We miss our aim if they can fairly give our conduct this invidious turn. Paul could not be justly censured, nor suspected for any such principle in this whole argument. He spoke more language than they all. Yet, (2.) He had rather speak five words with understanding, that is, so as to be understood, and instruct and edify others, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue, 1 Corinthians 14:19. He was so far from valuing himself upon talking languages, or making ostentation of his talents of this kind, that he had rather speak five intelligible words, to benefit others, than make a thousand, ten thousand fine discourses, that would do no one else any good, because they did not understand them. Note, A truly Christian minister will value himself much more upon doing the least spiritual good to men's souls than upon procuring the greatest applause and commendation to himself. This is true grandeur and nobleness of spirit; it is acting up to his character; it is approving himself the servant of Christ, and not a vassal to his own pride and vanity.

_ _ 3. He adds a plain intimation that the fondness then discovered for this gift was but too plain an indication of the immaturity of their judgment: Brethren, be not children in understanding; in malice be you children, but in understanding be men, 1 Corinthians 14:20. Children are apt to be struck with novelty and strange appearances. They are taken with an outward show, without enquiring into the true nature and worth of things. Do not you act like them, and prefer noise and show to worth and substance; show a greater ripeness of judgment, and act a more manly part; be like children in nothing but an innocent and inoffensive disposition. A double rebuke is couched in this passage, both of their pride upon account of their gifts, and their arrogance and haughtiness towards each other, and the contests and quarrels proceeding from them. Note, Christians should be harmless and inoffensive as children, void of all guile and malice; but should have wisdom and knowledge that are ripe and mature. They should not be unskilful in the word of righteousness (Hebrews 5:13), though they should be unskilful in all the arts of mischief.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Corinthians 14:15

I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the understanding also — I will use my own understanding, as well as the power of the Spirit. I will not act so absurdly, as to utter in a congregation what can edify none but myself.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Corinthians 14:15

What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the (m) understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

(m) So that I may be understood by others, and may instruct others.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
What:

1 Corinthians 10:19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? [Is] God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?
Philippians 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

I will pray with the spirit:

1 Corinthians 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that [by my voice] I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an [unknown] tongue.
John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. ... God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
Ephesians 5:17-20 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is]. ... Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

and I will sing:

Psalms 47:7 For God [is] the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. ... And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ps 47:7. Jn 4:23. Ro 1:9; 3:5; 8:31; 12:1. 1Co 10:19; 14:19. Ep 5:17; 6:18. Php 1:18. Col 3:16. Jde 1:20.

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