Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation1 or knowledge2 or prophecy or word of instruction?37
Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?
Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?49
So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.
Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.
If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.512
So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts,6 try to excel in gifts that build up7 the church.
For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.814
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays,9 but my mind is unfruitful.