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1 Corinthians 14:20 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Brethren, be not children in mind: yet in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Brethren, be not children in understanding: yet in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Brethren, be not children in [your] minds, but in malice be babes; but in [your] minds be grown [men].
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Brethren! do not become children, in your understandings; but, in baseness, become babes, while, in your understandings, ye become, full-grown.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Brethren, become not children in the understanding, but in the evil be ye babes, and in the understanding become ye perfect;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Brethren, do not become children in sense. But in malice be children: and in sense be perfect.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Brethren, bee not children in vnderstanding: how be it, in malice be yee children, but in vnderstanding be men.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— MY brethren, be not children in your minds, but in evils be you babes, and in your minds be perfect.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— My brethren, be ye not children in your thoughts; but to evil things be ye infants; and in your thoughts be men.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Brethren, 80
{0080} Prime
ἀδελφός
adelphos
{ad-el-fos'}
From G0001 (as a connective particle) and δελφύς [[delphus]] (the womb); a brother (literally or figuratively) near or remote (much like [H0001]).
be 1096
{1096} Prime
γίνομαι
ginomai
{ghin'-om-ahee}
A prolonged and middle form of a primary verb; to cause to be ('gen' -erate), that is, (reflexively) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (literally, figuratively, intensively, etc.).
z5737
<5737> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 152
not 3361
{3361} Prime
μή
me
{may}
A primary particle of qualified negation (whereas G3756 expresses an absolute denial); (adverbially) not, (conjugationally) lest; also (as interrogitive implying a negative answer [whereas G3756 expects an affirmative one]); whether.
children 3813
{3813} Prime
παιδίον
paidion
{pahee-dee'-on}
Neuter diminutive of G3816; a childling (of either sex), that is, (properly) an infant, or (by extension) a half grown boy or girl; figuratively an immature Christian.
in understanding: 5424
{5424} Prime
φρήν
phren
{frane}
Probably from an obsolete φράω [[phrao]] (to rein in or curb; compare G5420); the midrif (as a partition of the body), that is, (figuratively and by implication of sympathy) the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extension [also in the plural] the mind or cognitive faculties).
howbeit 235
{0235} Prime
ἀλλά
alla
{al-lah'}
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
in malice 2549
{2549} Prime
κακία
kakia
{kak-ee'-ah}
From G2556; badness, that is, (subjectively) depravity, or (actively) malignity, or (passively) trouble.
be ye children, 3515
{3515} Prime
νηπιάζω
nepiazo
{nay-pee-ad'-zo}
From G3516; to act as a babe, that is, (figuratively) innocently.
z5720
<5720> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 592
but 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
in understanding 5424
{5424} Prime
φρήν
phren
{frane}
Probably from an obsolete φράω [[phrao]] (to rein in or curb; compare G5420); the midrif (as a partition of the body), that is, (figuratively and by implication of sympathy) the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extension [also in the plural] the mind or cognitive faculties).
be 1096
{1096} Prime
γίνομαι
ginomai
{ghin'-om-ahee}
A prolonged and middle form of a primary verb; to cause to be ('gen' -erate), that is, (reflexively) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (literally, figuratively, intensively, etc.).
z5737
<5737> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 152
men. 5046
{5046} Prime
τέλειος
teleios
{tel'-i-os}
From G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Corinthians 14:20

_ _ Brethren — an appellation calculated to conciliate their favorable reception of his exhortation.

_ _ children in understanding — as preference of gifts abused to nonedification would make you (compare 1 Corinthians 3:1; Matthew 10:16; Romans 16:19; Ephesians 4:14). The Greek for “understanding” expresses the will of one’s spirit, Romans 8:6 (it is not found elsewhere); as the “heart” is the will of the “soul.” The same Greek is used for “minded” in Romans 8:6.

_ _ men — full-grown. Be childlike, not childish.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:15-20.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Corinthians 14:20

Be not children in understanding — This is an admirable stroke of true oratory! to bring down the height of their spirits, by representing that wherein they prided themselves most, as mere folly and childishness. In wickedness be ye infants — Have all the innocence of that tender age. But in understanding be ye grown men — Knowing religion was not designed to destroy any of our natural faculties, but to exalt and improve them, our reason in particular.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Corinthians 14:20

(9) Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

(9) Now he reproves those freely for their childish folly, who do not see how this gift of tongues which was given to the profit of the Church, is turned by their ambition into an instrument of cursing, seeing that this same cursing is also contained among the punishments with which God punished the stubbornness of his people, that he dispersed them amongst strangers whose language they did not understand.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
not:

1 Corinthians 3:1-2 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ. ... I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Psalms 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies [are] my meditation.
Isaiah 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all [men]. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
Ephesians 4:14-15 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; ... But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;
Hebrews 5:12-13 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. ... For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, ... And this will we do, if God permit.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.

malice:

Psalms 131:1-2 [[A Song of degrees of David.]] LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. ... Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul [is] even as a weaned child.
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female,
Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

but:

Psalms 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies [are] my meditation.

men:
Gr. perfect, or, of a ripe age,
1 Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ps 119:99; 131:1. Is 11:3. Mt 11:25; 18:3; 19:4. Mk 10:15. Ro 16:19. 1Co 2:6; 3:1; 13:11. Ep 4:14. Php 1:9; 3:15. He 5:12; 6:1. 1P 2:2. 2P 3:18.

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