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1 Corinthians 12


 1 Now (1) concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you (a) (*) ignorant.


(1) Now he entereth into the third part of this treatise touching the right use of spiritual gifts, wherein he giveth the Corinthians plainly to understand that they abused them. For they that excelled, bragged ambitiously of them, and so robbed God of the praise of his gifts, and having no consideration of their brethren abused to a vain ostentation, and so robbed the Church of the use of those gifts. On the other side, the inferior sort envied the better, and went about to make a departure, so that all that body was as it were scatted and rent in pieces. So then he going about to remedy these abuses, willeth them a first to consider diligently, that they have not these gifts of themselves, but from the free grace and liberality of God, to whose glory they ought to bestow them all.
(a) Ignorant to what purpose these gifts are given to you.

(*) The Corinthians having notable gifts, seemed to have forgotten of whom, and for what end they had received them.


 2  (2) Ye know that ye were (b) Gentiles, and were carried away unto the (*) dumb Idols, as ye were (♣) led.


(2) He reproveth the same by comparing their former state with that wherein they were at this time endued with those excellent gifts.
(b) As touching God's service and the Covenant, mere strangers.

(*) Which could not hear your prayers.

(♣) By Satanís suggestion.


 3  (3) Wherefore I declare unto you, that no man (*) speaking by the (♠) Spirit of God calleth Jesus (♣) (c) execrable; also no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the holy Ghost.


(3) The conclusion: Know you therefore that you cannot so much as move your lips to honor Christ withal, but by the grace of the holy Ghost.

(*) Mark 9:39 .

(♠) As no man that hath the Spirit of God can blaspheme Christ, and worship idols, so none can acknowledge Christ for Lord and God without the same Spirit.

(♣) John 13:13; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Philippians 2:10-11 .
(c) Doeth curse him, or by any means whatsoever diminish his glory.


 4  (4) Now there are diversities of gifts, but the (d) same Spirit.


(4) In the second place, he layeth another foundation, to wit, that these gifts are divers, as the functions also are divers, but that one selfsame Spirit, Lord, and God is the giver of all these gifts, and that to one end, to wit, for the profit of all.
(d) The Spirit is plainly distinguished from the gifts.


 5 And there are diversities of administrations, but the same Lord,


 6 And there are diversities of (e) operations, but God is the same which worketh all in all.


(e) So Paul calleth that inward force which cometh from the holy Ghost, and maketh men fit to wonderful things.


 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is (f) given to every man, to (g) (*) profit withal.


(f) The holy Ghost openeth and sheweth himself freely in the giving of these gifts.
(g) To the use and benefit of the Church.

(*) To wit, the Church, which is the whole body.


 8  (5) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of (h) wisdom; and to another the word of (*) knowledge, by the same Spirit;


(5) He declareth this manifold diversity, and reckoneth up the chiefest gifts, beating that into their heads, which he said before, to wit, that all these things proceeded from one selfsame Spirit.
(h) Wisdom is a most excellent gift, very requisite, not only for them which teach, but also for them that exhort and comfort, which thing is proper to the Pastor's office, as the word of knowledge agreeth to the Doctors.

(*) That is, the understanding of the Scriptures.


 9 And to another is given (*) faith by the same Spirit; and to another the gifts of healing, by the same Spirit;


(*) To do only miracles by.


 10 And to another (*) the (i) operations of great works; and to another, (k) (♣) prophecy; and to another, (♠) the (l) discerning of spirits; and to another, diversities of tongues; and to another, the interpretation of tongues.


(*) To work by miracles against Satan and hypocrites, as was done against Ananias, Elymas, ect.

(i) By operation he meaneth those great workings of God's mighty power, which pass and excel amongst his miracles, as the delivery of his people Israel by the hand of Moses; that which he did by Elijah against the Priests of Baal, in sending down fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice; and that which he did by Peter, in the matter of Ananias and Sapphira.
(k) Foretelling of things to come.

(♣) Meaning the declaration of Godís mysteries.

(♠) To try both the doctrine and the persons.
(l) Whereby false prophets are known from true, wherein Peter passed Philip in discovering Simon Magus; Acts 8:20 .


 11  (*) And all these things worketh one and the selfsame Spirit, distributing to every man severally (6) as he will.


(*) Romans 2:3; Ephesians 4:7 .

(6) He addeth moreover somewhat else, to wit, that although these gifts are unequal, yet they are most wisely divided, because the will of the Spirit of God is the rule of this distribution.


 12  (7) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, which is one, though they be many, yet are but one body, (8) even so is (m) Christ.


(7) He setteth forth his former saying by a similitude taken from the body: This saith he, is manifestly seen in the body, whose members are divers, but yet so knit together, that they make but one body.
(8) The applying of the similitude. So must we also think, saith he, of the mystical body of Christ; for all we who believe, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, are by one selfsame Baptism joined together with our head, that by that means, there may be framed one body compact of many members; and we have drunk one selfsame spirit, that is to say, a spiritual feeling, perseverance and motion common to us all, out of one cup.
(m) Christ joined together with his Church.


 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into (n) (*) one body, whether we be Jews, or Grecians, whether we be bond, or free, and have been all made to (o) drink into one Spirit.


(n) To become one body with Christ.

(*) That we might be, one body with Christ, and the whole Church one Christ; of the which conjunction Baptism, and the Lordís Supper are effectual signs, for by baptism we are regenerated into one Spirit, and by the Lordís Supper we are incorporated into Christís body to be governed by the same Spirit.
(o) By one quickening drink of the Lord's blood, we are made partakers of his only Spirit.


 14  (9) For the body also is not one member, but many.


(9) He amplifieth that which followed of the similitudes, as if he should say, The unity of the body is not only not left by this diversity of members, but also it could not be a body, if it did not consist of many, and those were divers members.


 15  (10) If the foot would say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body?


(10) Now he buildeth his doctrine upon the foundations which he has laid; and first of all he continueth in his purposed similitude, and afterward he goeth to the matter barely and simply. And first of all he speaketh unto them which would have separated themselves from those whom they envied, because they had not such excellent gifts as they. Now this is, saith he, as if the foot should say it were not of the body, because it is not the hand, or the ear, because it is not the eye. Therefore all parts ought rather to defend the unity of the body, being coupled together to serve one the other.


 16 And if the ear would say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body?


 17  (11) If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?


(11) Again, speaking to them, he sheweth them that if that should come to pass which they desire, to wit, that all should be equal one to another, there would follow a destruction of the whole body, yea, and of themselves. For it could not be a body, unless it were made of many members knit together, and divers one from the other. And that no man might find fault with this division as unequal, he addeth that God himself hath coupled all these together. Therefore all must remain coupled together, that the body may remain in safety.


 18 But now hath God disposed the members every one of them in the body at his own pleasure.


 19 For if they were all one member, where were the body?


 20 But now are there many members, yet but (*) one body.


(*) And therefore whatsoever the diversity is, yet the profit ought to be common and serve to the edification of the Church.


 21  (12) And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor the head again to the feet, I have no need of you.


(12) Now on the other side, he speaketh unto them which were endued with more excellent gifts, willing them not to despise the inferiors as unprofitable, and as though they served to no use. For God, saith he, hath in such sort tempered this inequality, that the more excellent and beautiful members can in no wise lack the more abject and such as we are ashamed of, and that they should have more care to see unto them, and to cover them; that by this means the necessity which is on both parts, might keep the whole body in peace and concord; that although if each part be considered apart, they are of divers degrees and conditions, yet because that are joined together, they have a community both in commodities and discommodities.


 22 Yea, much rather those members of the body, which seem to be (p) (*) more feeble, are necessary.


(p) Of the smallest and vilest offices, and therefore finally accounted of, of the rest.

(*) Whose use seemeth to be more vile.


 23 And upon those members of the body, which we think most unhonest, put we more (q) honesty on; and our uncomely parts have more comeliness on.


(q) We more carefully cover them.


 24 For our comely parts need it not; but God hath tempered the body together, and hath given the more honor to that part which lacked,


 25 Lest there should be any division in the body, but that the members should (*) have the same (r) care one for another.


(*) Every one in his office for the preservation of the body.

(r) Should bestow their operations and offices to the profit and preservation of the whole body.


 26  (13) Therefore if one member suffer, all suffer with it; if one member be had in honor, all the members rejoice with it.


(13) Now he applieth the same doctrine to the Corinthians without any allegory, warning them that seeing there are divers functions and divers gifts, it is their duty, not to offend one against another, either by envy or ambition, but rather being joined together in love and charity one with another, every one of them bestow to the profit of all, that which he hath received, according as his ministry doeth require.


 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members (*) (♣) for your (s) part.


(*) For all Churches dispersed throughout the world are divers members of one body.

(♣) Or, every one for his part.

(s) For all Churches wheresoever they are dispersed through the whole world, are divers members of one body.


 28  (*) And God hath ordained some in the Church, as first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly teachers, then them that do miracles, after that, the gifts of healing, (t) helpers, (u) governors, diversity of tongues.


(*) Ephesians 4:11 .

(t) The offices of Deacons.
(u) He setteth forth the order of Elders, which were the maintainers of the Church's discipline.


 29 Are all Apostles? Are all Prophets? Are all teachers?


 30 Are all doers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?


 31  (14) But (*) desire you the best gifts, and I will yet shew you a more excellent way.


(14) He teacheth them that are ambitious and envious, a certain holy ambition and envy, to wit, if they give themselves to the best gifts, and such as are most profitable to the Church, and so if they contend to excel one another in love, which far surpasseth all other gifts.

(*) Or, do you thou desire the best gifts.




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