The Meaning of 1 Corinthians 14:32 Explained

1 Corinthians 14:32

KJV: And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

YLT: and the spiritual gift of prophets to prophets are subject,

Darby: And spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.

ASV: and the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets;

What does 1 Corinthians 14:32 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Corinthians 14:26-40 - Order Of Church Services
Again the Apostle sums up his directions in two simple rules: 1. Let all things be done unto edifying; that is, to building up individual character, and to fitting each member as a brick or stone into the rising fabric of the Church. Hence the stress laid on prophesying or speaking under the impulse of God's Spirit. All who had that gift should certainly have a chance to use it, because the whole Church would be thereby profited and enriched. 2. Let all things be done decently and in order: decently, so as not to interrupt the dignity and gravity of the services; in order, not by hazard or impulse, but by design and arrangement.
The Apostle's ideal is that of the calm and simple majesty which should mark all solemn assemblies, as distinct from fanatical and frenzied excitement. Hence he discountenances the disuse of the Eastern veil (the badge of modesty), the speaking of women in public, and the interruption of speakers by each other. That the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets is a truth of universal application. It condemns every impulse of a religious character which is not under the intelligent control of those who display it. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Corinthians 14

1  Prophecy is commended,
2  and preferred before speaking in tongues,
6  by a comparison drawn from musical instruments
12  Both must be referred to edification,
22  as to their true and proper end
26  The true use of each is taught,
27  and the abuse rebuked
34  Women in the churches

Greek Commentary for 1 Corinthians 14:32

The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets [πνευματα προπητων προπηταις υποτασσεται]
A principle that some had forgotten. [source]
The spirits []
The movements and manifestations of the divine Spirit in the human spirit, as in 1 Corinthians 12:10. [source]
Are subject []
“People speak as if the divine authority of the prophetic word were somehow dependent on, or confirmed by, the fact that the prophets enjoyed visions … . In the New Testament Paul lays down the principle that, in true prophecy, self-consciousness, and self-command are never lost. 'The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets'” (W. Robertson Smith, “The Prophets of Israel”). [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for 1 Corinthians 14:32

Revelation 22:6 These words [ουτοι οι λογοι]
The same words used in Revelation 21:5 by the angel there. Whatever the application there, here the angel seems to endorse as “faithful and true” (πιστοι και αλητινοι — pistoi kai alēthinoi) not merely the preceding vision (21:9-22:5), but the revelations of the entire book. The language added proves this: “Sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly come to pass” (απεστειλεν τον αγγελον αυτου δειχαι τοις δουλοις αυτου α δει γενεσται εν ταχει — apesteilen ton aggelon autou deixai tois doulois autou ha dei genesthai en tachei), a direct reference to Revelation 1:1 concerning the purpose of Christ‘s revelation to John in this book. For “the God of the spirits of the prophets” (ο τεος των πνευματων των προπητων — ho theos tōn pneumatōn tōn prophētōn) see Revelation 19:10; 1 Corinthians 14:32. Probably the prophets‘ own spirits enlightened by the Holy Spirit (Revelation 10:7; Revelation 11:8; Revelation 22:9). [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Corinthians 14:32 mean?

And spirits of prophets to prophets are subject
καὶ πνεύματα προφητῶν προφήταις ὑποτάσσεται

πνεύματα  spirits 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: πνεῦμα  
Sense: a movement of air (a gentle blast.
προφητῶν  of  prophets 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: προφήτης  
Sense: in Greek writings, an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things.
προφήταις  to  prophets 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Plural
Root: προφήτης  
Sense: in Greek writings, an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things.
ὑποτάσσεται  are  subject 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ὑποτάσσω  
Sense: to arrange under, to subordinate.