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1 Corinthians 14: 16 – blessing = giving thanks

25-11-2019 - Posted by Andre Piet

Else, if you should be blessing in the spirit, how shall he who is filling up the place of a plain person be declaring “Amen!” at you giving of thanks, since, in fact, he is not aware what you are saying?

In the preceding verse Paul spoke of praying and singing “in the spirit”, here he is “blessing in the spirit”. By “in the spirit” he means speaking in foreign languages, without the speaker himself understanding what he was saying or singing. And the ordinary, ignorant listener in the ecclesia could not grasp it either. Such a person, of course, would not be able to say amen to what was said. He had no idea of ​​that.

It is very remarkable how in this verse Paul equates blessing with giving thanks. Someone speaks a blessing and then it is denoted as thanksgiving. Does that not shed a particular light on what blessing is essentially?

In Mark 6:41 we read that Jesus looked up to heaven and blessed the bread. In John 6:11 where the same story is told, we read that Jesus thanked for the bread. One text explains the other: blessing is thanking. Things are blessed in giving of thanks. Everything for which GOD is thanked is, as it were, ‘touched’ and becomes a blessing!