I hope you are enjoying learning about what God’s perspective on language in the church is. In some countries, there are lots of foreigners that come into the church, and God wants us to build everyone up. As far as people who like to jabber on saying they are speaking in “Heavenly languages” that even they don’t understand, if you have been following this series of blogs, that is not what God wants at all. He wants us to understand when we sing, pray, or listen to a sermon. He doesn’t want everyone talking all at once. He wants everything to be done to edify or build up the church. There was a problem in Corinth of everyone wanting to speak in foreign languages they hadn’t studied, and that is why the Apostle Paul wrote this chapter. He told them it was more important to be able to preach than to speak in a foreign language, and he has proceeded to tell them how to handle the language issue. If we want to do things God’s way, we will listen to what the apostle Paul wrote. The amazing thing is that the apostle Paul even calls these people who say they are speaking in languages they don’t understand, but just babble on crazy. He gets pretty bold, but he gets his point across.
The next verse we are going to talk about is verse 29 of 1 Corinthians 14. We have talked a lot about the grammar, and the grammar helps us understand what we are reading. Understanding grammar is extremely important!! As far as reviewing the grammar we have studied, it will be reviewed by me explaining all the grammar I can think of for each verse. We got to the part of the chapter where the apostle Paul was explaining how many people can speak and how many people should translate, practical advice to solve the problems, and now we are ready for verse 29.
Verse 29: “Asimismo,los profetas hablen dos o tres, y los demas juzguen.”
asimismo – “Likewise.”
los profetas – “The prophets” or “the preachers.” When I read this in the Bible, I had to look closer and wondered if I was reading it right, but I was reading it right. You see, usually, is a noun ends in an “a,” it is feminine, so needs a feminine article. However, “profetas” has an “a” before the ending “s,” but also has a masculine article, “los.” that would mean that “profetas” is an exception and is masculine and not feminine even though that “a” is there. I looked it up on the computer, and there is no doubt, “los profetas” is not a mistake. “Profetas” is masculine even though it ends with an “a.” The “s,” of course makes it plural. “Los” is a plural, masculine article and matches “profetas” which is also plural and masculine. However, as with how Spanish works, this could mean all the prophets were male or it could mean they were mail and female. This is the subject of the sentence. If the subject comes before the verb in Spanish, there is emphasis on the subject.
hablen – “They speak.” Again, I had to look close to make sure I didn’t see this wrong too. When I was in high school, I learned “hablan” as the third person plural form of “habar” for simple present tense. “Hablen” is also a third person plural form of “hablar: for simple present tense. The difference is that “hablan” is in the indicative form, “hablen” is in the subjunctive form. Evidently, English used to have a subjunctive form, but no longer does, and indicative is the only form we have in English now. Indicative is the most common form. Indicative describes facts, and subjunctive describes desires or wishes. This means that when the apostle Paul says, “hablen” here, he is telling them what he desires them to do. The pronoun embedded here is “they.” Simple present tense means it happens everyday or all the time.
dos o tres – “two or three.” This means that two or three people can preach at one worship assembly. “O” means “or.”
y los demas juzguen – “and the rest judge.” “Y,” as I have said before, means “and.” “Los” is a masculine plural definite article. In English, “a” is the indefinite article, and “the” is the definite article. If you use “a” (or in Spanish “un” or “una”), it mans it can be any “demas’ (rest). However, since “Los” was used and not “un,” it means that there is a specific “rest.” It is talking about the rest of the people in the church. We usually call them the audience when the preacher preaches. However, it seems the “audience” in this verb doesn’t just sit there and listen. They sit there and judge. “Juzguen” is third person plural simple present tense of the verb “juzgar” which means “to judge.” It has the pronoun “they” embedded into it. I found the word “juzguen” interesting to be used here, so I looked it up in some other translations of the Bible in other languages. In Romanian, it also says “judge.” In English, it explains the “judging” a little. It says in English that the rest should sit there and consider what was being said. It doesn’t mean to judge the preacher as some like to do. It doesn’t mean to tear the sermon apart. It means to sit there and consider what is said. Basically, we are not to just let what is said go in one hear and out the other, but thing hard about it.
Let’s put verse 29 together: “The preachers speak, two or three, and the rest consider what is being said.”
It doesn’t mean we have to accept or do what is being said, but we are to think hard about it. Is what that preacher saying is right? If it is right, does it apply to us? If it applies to us, what should we or could we do about it? We need to “judge,” do some heavy considering or thinking.
Verse 30: Y si algo le fuere revelado a otro que estuviere sentado, calle el primero.
Y si algo le fuere revelado a otro – “And if something else is revealed to another.” “Y,” as I have said, means “and.” “Si” means “if.” If it had an accent mark: “si’,” it would mean “yes,” but there is no accent mark, so it is “if.” “Algo” means “something” and is masculine because of the “o” on the end of “algo.” “Le” means “it.” In Spanish, there is not just one pronoun that means “it.” “Le” could also mean “him,” “her,” or “you,” but it means “it” here. “Le” is a direct object pronoun that is place before the verb.
“Fuere” is the future subjunctive form of “ser.” Subjunctive future tense form means that it is a desire or wish rather than a fact. “Ser” means “to be,” and it is the state of being verb that identifies things and describes things with adjectives.
“Revelado” means “revealed.” It is the past participle of the verb. This means that it could be an adjective or because “fuere” comes before it, “fuere revelado” could be “will be revealed.” Which is passive voice because it doesn’t say who does the revealing, but we all know it is God.
“A otro” means “to another.” “A” means “to.” “Otro” means “another.” “Otro” is singular and masculine. As with other masculine words in Spanish, if it is in masculine, it could mean only males or males and females.
“que estuviere sentado” – “that would be sitting.” “Que” is “that,” a relative pronoun that begins this relative clause. It is a clause because it has both a subject and a verb. The subject is embedded into “estuviere,” and is “he or she,” and it is referring to the one who has received a revelation from God. “Estuviere” is future tense, subjunctive imperfect mode. If it were just future, I would have translated “would” as “will.” However, “will” is too concrete, and “subjunctive” is theoretical and expresses a desire or a wish. “Estuviere” comes from “estar.” “Estar” is the state of being verb that is used when they make a progressive verb. If I were to just say, “he is sitting,” I would say ” ‘el esta sendado.” Or, “she was sitting,” is “ella estaba sentada.” Or, “I will be sitting,” is “voy a estar sentado.” “You are sitting,” is “estas sendado.” I hope you can see the pattern for an “ing” verb. “Sendado” comes from “sentir,” and “sentado” is the “ing” form used with a progressive verb.
Calle el primero – “the first gives way.” Literally, “calle el primero” would make no sense in English because word for word, it means “road the first.” Calle used like this is an idiom that means “gives way to..” “Primero” means “first.” It ends in an “o,” so it is masculine. If “Calle el primero” or “gives way to the first,” means the person who is speaking (el primero/ the first) will be quiet and let the person who has been given a revelation from God speak.
Let’s put verse 30 all together: “and if something else is revealed to another that would be sitting, the first will give way and let him speak.”
It makes sense that the subjunctive mood of the verb was used so much in this verse because the apostle Paul was setting up a scenario to use as an example for them to understand. He wasn’t telling them something that is actually happening, but something he wants to happen.
Verse 31: “Porque podeis profitizar todos uno por uno, para que todos aprendan, y todos sean exhortados.”
Porque podeis profitizar todos uno por uno – “Because you all can all preach one by one.” “Porque” means “because.” If it were two words, it would be “why,” but it is one word, so it is “because.”
“podeis” means “you guys can” if you are from the northern part of America or from California, or if you are from the southern part of America, it means, “you all can” or “ya’ll can.” “podeis” comes from “poder” which means “can” or “to be able to.” “profitizar” is in the basic infinitive form because “podeis” is conjugated. “profitizar” means “prophesy” or “preach.” “uno por uno” means “one by one.”
“para que todos aprendan” means, “so that everyone learns.” “Para” usually means “for,” but put together with “que” that mens several things, “para que” means “so that.” “Todos” means “all” or “everyone” or “everything.” However, we know that only people “aprendan,” (they learn), so we know that “todos” means “everyone.” “Aprendan” comes from “aprender” which means “to learn.” The pronoun embedded in “aprendan” is “they” because “aprendan” is in simple present tense, third person plural. “Aprendan” is also indicative and not subjunctive like so many verbs in this blog. “Indicative” means it is not theoretical or a desire or a wish, but a statemen of fact. We all learn. As a teacher, I have come to the conclusion that there is no dumb person that is unable to learn. We may learn differently, but we can all learn.
Y todos sean exhortados – “and all should be strongly encouraged.” Again, “y” means “and.” “Todos” can be “all” or “everyone.” I chose to translate it as “all” because the grammar in “sean” is third person plural meaning that “is” that would have to be used with “everyone” would not work because “is” is third person singular.
“Sean” comes from “ser,” the state of being Spanish verb that identifies things and links adjectives to the subject. I translated “sean” as “should be” because “sean” is in the subjunctive form. However, in English, we wouldn’t say, “all they should be encouraged.” We would take the “they” out.” “Should” gives this verb a subjunctive (theoretical desire or wish) mood in English. If it was indicative instead of subjunctive, in English, we would say, “All are encouraged.”
“Exhortados” means “exhorted” or “strongly encouraged.” This word in both English and Spanish almost has a push to it, pushed to be encouraged. “Exhortados” is a plural, masculine past participle of the verb used as an adjective. Adjectives tell about nouns, and the noun this tells about is “todos” (all). The “s” makes “todos” (all) and “exhortados) (strongly encouraged) plural which means everyone should be (sean) strongly encouraged. The second “o” in “todos” and “exhortados” makes them both masculine. And again, we know that in Spanish, if a word is masculine, it could be just masculine or could include also feminine. Surely, God wants everyone strongly encouraged because we know the nature of God. He loves all of us, and Galatians 3:28 says that in Christ, there is neither male nor female, but we are all the same. God wants everyone to be strongly encouraged.
Let’s put verse 31 together: “Because you all can preach, one by one, so that everyone learns and all should be strongly encouraged.
Well, I guess we blew the idea out of the water that only preachers and priests can preach. It says “everyone can preach because we can all learn.” We can all get good from listening to one another. None of us is dumb. God loves us all.
When you study the Bible in detail, you can learn a lot. I realize there are people who will want to argue with me. However, all I am giving you is what the Bible says, what the grammar says. I am not giving you my opinion about anything. Can you imagine a worship service where if you wanted to speak, you just put your hand up and spoke? –For anyone to be allowed to do it? We all want to control things so much. If someone gets up and says something that you don’t think is in the Bible, I guess you can get up and ask them to give you the scripture or give them some scriptures. After all, as long as we speak one by one, the apostle Paul says we can all preach. We just shouldn’t all talk at once and give way to the next person to talk. Have you ever seen a worship service done this way? Are any of us doing it right?
I have always gone to this chapter to try to learn what to do with language in the church, but we are getting much more by pulling the whole chapter apart, word by word, little piece of grammar by little piece of grammar, and sometimes very complicated grammar.
Three verses is enough for one blog. I am tired, so I will do more another day.