Tongues, Prophecy and the Problem of Judgement by Outsiders: Reading 1 Corinthians 14:20-25 in Regular Order.

  • Sungjong Kim

Student thesis: Phd


The aim of this study is to evaluate and validate a possible reading of 1 Corinthians 14.20-25 in regular order. The main finding of this study can be summarized as follows. a. In a contradiction between 14.22 and 14.23-25, 14.22 is not Paul the Apostle's logical mistake, but his pastoral wisdom to remedy a conflict between the strong and the weak within the divisions of the Corinthian church. Paul's plan is for two or three to speak, with other believers weighing this, whereas, problematically, all are speaking and non-believers are judging. This contradicts the principle set out in 6.1-11. It also exacerbates the Corinthian divisions because the judgement of the non-believers will tend to favour the 'strong'.b. The second finding is another interpretive possibility of tongue described in 1 Cor 14 as silent tongue. c. The third finding is a relationship between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the law of 1 Corinthians 14.21. This thesis explained on how this finding is related to a conflict between the strong and the weak centering around speaking in tongues. The results of this study indicate that 14.23-25 can be read as Paul the Apostle's worry over the Corinthian church's wrong application of the gifts of the Holy Spirit by which outsiders might judge believers' speech and actions.
Date of Award31 Dec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGeorge Brooke (Supervisor)


  • speaking in tongues
  • prophecy
  • silent tongues
  • 1 Cor 14:20-25

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