the weblog of Alan Knox

Let the others weigh what is said…

Posted by on Nov 5, 2011 in discipleship, gathering, scripture | 4 comments

Let the others weigh what is said…

The title of this post comes from the ESV translation of 1 Corinthians 14:29. According to Paul, when 2 or 3 prophets speak, others should “weigh” what the prophets say. This is sometimes called “judging” or “discernment.”

But, what does this mean? As important as this is for the church when we gather together, I realized recently that I haven’t written much about discernment. So, I’ve written a series on the topic of discernment that I plan to publish next week.

Specifically, my series covers the role of discernment when the church gathers together, and I look at a few passages of Scripture in which we see different types of discernment.

But, I want to start by asking you (my readers) about discernment. What do you understand “discernment” to be? What do you think it means for others to “weigh” what prophets say? Do you think other types of speech (teaching, encouragement, etc.) should be “weighed” in the same way? Who is responsible for this kind of discernment/weight/judgment? Finally, what passages of Scripture do you think are important for us to understand what discernment means? (These passages can be instructions about discernment or examples of discernment.)

I hope you decide to share your thoughts on this topic, even if you haven’t thought about it much before.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 11-5-2011

    I don’t have time to answer all of the questions you posed right now, but want to say that I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on this topic.

    The one thing that really jumps out to me in the 1 Cor passage you quoted is that this discernment/weighing/judging, etc. takes place (apparently) within the gathering together. In other words, something is spoken and others weigh in on what was said…in the same context as the original speaker!

    This is significant, in my opinion, because it 1) requires/encourages humility on the part of one speaking (something that often is lacking in today’s one-way monologue), 2) requires that people pay attention and give careful thought to what is being said, and 3) emphasizes the community as possessing the mind of Christ, not just one “special” individual who is supposedly anointed for the task of teaching while others passively listen without discernment.

  2. 11-5-2011


    Discernment is about perception and learning,which are ALWAYS accompanied by sound, careful reasoning.

    It’s about the three D’s: Detect, Define, and Discriminate. It’s what the Bereans (Acts 17:11) were famous for, hearing, and deciding whether what they heard (or read in our day)was truth or error, right or wrong.

    Discernment is sometimes immediate, but it is not always so easy, often requiring diligence in study,and sheer work.

    In my opinion,every member functioning corporately as a Body, lends itself to the better discernment.

  3. 11-5-2011

    Steve and Aussie John,

    Thanks for the feedback. Both of you make very good points about discernment.


  4. 11-5-2011

    It’s all about “Dissing Ernie” before you heard what he really “Meant”.

    Dis Ern Ment.

    Word Gee…