The Meaning of 1 Corinthians 14:37 Explained

1 Corinthians 14:37

KJV: If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

YLT: if any one doth think to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge the things that I write to you -- that of the Lord they are commands;

Darby: If any one thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him recognise the things that I write to you, that it is the Lord's commandment.

ASV: If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.

What does 1 Corinthians 14:37 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Anyone could easily validate a Corinthian"s claim to being a prophet or spiritual. He could do so by seeing if he or she acknowledged that what Paul had written was authoritative because he was an apostle of the Lord. Submission to apostolic authority was the test, not speaking in tongues. Submissiveness to the apostles and their teaching was an expression of submission to the Lord Himself (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Corinthians 7:25). It still is.

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 14:37

The commandment of the Lord [Κυριου εντολη]
The prophet or the one with the gift of tongues or the disturbing woman would be quick to resent the sharp words of Paul. He claims inspiration for his position. [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Corinthians 14:37 mean?

If anyone considers a prophet himself to be or spiritual let him recognize the things I write to you that of [the] Lord are [the] commands
Εἴ τις δοκεῖ προφήτης εἶναι πνευματικός ἐπιγινωσκέτω γράφω ὑμῖν ὅτι Κυρίου ἐστὶν ἐντολή

τις  anyone 
Parse: Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: τὶς  
Sense: a certain, a certain one.
δοκεῖ  considers 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: δοκέω  
Sense: to be of opinion, think, suppose.
προφήτης  a  prophet 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: προφήτης  
Sense: in Greek writings, an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things.
εἶναι  himself  to  be 
Parse: Verb, Present Infinitive Active
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
πνευματικός  spiritual 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: πνευματικός  
Sense: relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the man which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ.
ἐπιγινωσκέτω  let  him  recognize 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐπιγινώσκω  
Sense: to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly.
  the  things 
Parse: Personal / Relative Pronoun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: ὅς 
Sense: who, which, what, that.
γράφω  I  write 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: γράφω 
Sense: to write, with reference to the form of the letters.
ὑμῖν  to  you 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative 2nd Person Plural
Root: σύ  
Sense: you.
ὅτι  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
Κυρίου  of  [the]  Lord 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: κύριος  
Sense: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.
ἐντολή  [the]  commands 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: ἐντολή  
Sense: an order, command, charge, precept, injunction.