speaking with tongues

speaking with tongues

“Glossolalia,” the act of speaking in a language that is either incomprehensible or at least unknown to the speaker. Apparently, the phenomenon of glossolalia played a prominent role in the life of at least some early Christian communities. In (Acts 2), the apostles are filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and are miraculously inspired to speak in actual foreign languages that they themselves have never learned. This phenomenon is repeated in (Acts 10:46 and Acts 19:3). Speaking in tongues comes up in a somewhat different vein in 1 Corinthians, where Paul addresses problems associated with the practice. He acknowledges that the ability to speak in “various kinds of tongues” and the ability to interpret these tongues are “spiritual gifts” (1Cor 12:10), but also advises his readers to seek the “higher gifts” (1Cor 12:31), such as the ability to prophesy (1Cor 14:1). In (1Cor 13), Paul exalts love as the ultimate aim for all believers, and in (1Cor 14), he gives a number of specific directions about the use of glossolalia. In this Letter the phenomenon of “speaking in tongues” seems to involve speaking in an ecstatic, incomprehensible language rather than an actual foreign language; it is possible that Paul thought it involved speaking in the language of angels (1Cor 13:1).

Acts 2

The Coming of the Holy Spirit
1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rus ... View more

Acts 10:46

46for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said,

Acts 19:3

3Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John's baptism.”

1Cor 12:10

10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpreta ... View more

1Cor 12:31

31But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

1Cor 14:1

Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues
1Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy.

1Cor 13

The Gift of Love
1If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.2And if I have prophetic powe ... View more

1Cor 14

Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues
1Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy.2For those who speak in a tongue do not spea ... View more

1Cor 13:1

The Gift of Love
1If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

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