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Bakershalfdozen

Speaking In Tongues - What Does The Bible Say About Them?

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I believe they are still possible today because nothing in Scripture would indicate that they are not. It's true that many times, tongues was used for those in other languages to understand the gospel. That doesn't always appear to be the case, however. The exception would be praying in the Spirit but without understanding. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:2 "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." Paul made it clear that no man understood this tongue but he was speaking unto God in his Spirit, which he himself couldn't understand.

It appears by the way Paul was talking that the church at Corinth was something like the Charismatic churches today. Tongues were not wrong, but everyone coming into the church had a tongue or a prophecy or doctrine(teaching) and the church as a group was not being edified. He finished the chapter by saying not to forbid speaking in tongues but encouraged praying with the understanding within the church because it is more edifying to others, while speaking in tongues edifies yourself and your own Spirit alone.

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Rules for speaking in tongues:

Not more than three in a service
Each utterance had to be translated
Men only
Not with confusion, but decently and in order

1 Cor. 14:27: If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
1 Cor. 14:34: Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
1 Cor. 14:33: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
1 Cor. 14:40: Let all things be done decently and in order

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I believe they are still possible today because nothing in Scripture would indicate that they are not. It's true that many times' date=' tongues was used for those in other languages to understand the gospel. That doesn't always appear to be the case, however. The exception would be praying in the Spirit but without understanding. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:2 "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." Paul made it clear that no man understood this tongue but he was speaking unto God in his Spirit, which he himself couldn't understand. [/quote']

I agree with this first thought -- that tongues are still possible today. The only Scriptural argument I've heard against it is 1 Corinthians 13, and I have not yet been convinced that 'that which is perfect' is referring to the Bible.

I also believe, however, that any true tongue is a true language. A tongue would be, by its very nature, unknown to its speaker. That does not it make it unknown to all men. 1 Cor. 14:33 tells us that if a man speak [in tongues], one should interpret. This implies that any utterance of tongues could be interpreted; i.e., it was a real language.

The whole idea of 'private prayer tongues' (I don't know whether you're referring to this idea, but your idea sortof sounds like the same thing. If you're not -- sorry for misunderstanding you!) seems to have come out of the need for early Pentecostals to explain why their tongues were not 'real' languages. I don't believe it to have any Biblical backing. Tongues were given as a sign to the unbelieving Jews. I can't imagine them being particularly impressed with a whole lot of adults spouting gobbledy-gook!

My :2cents.

BTW, I did a word search on 'tongues' to find some references. There are not a lot of references to this topic! It strikes me that there's an awful lot of emphasis in the churches today on something that is mentioned so little.

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Paul does seem to indicate that it's a tongue totally unknown, though. He says that if he prays in an "unknown" tongue, a tongue that is not known to man, his Spirit is praying but his understanding is unfruitful. His spirit can pray in a tongue not known to man.

I've never spoken or prayed in any kind of tongue but Korean and American(that's a language) but I have some friends who claim to have. I talked to my one friend about it and it seemed to be honest enough, though I can't confirm where it came from(mind or Spirit). I will say that I've never seen anyone pray like Koreans pray, maybe that makes a difference. :dunno:

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The word "tongue" and the word "tongues" refers to language - like Korean, Kevin. Paul referred to himself as speaking in tongues more than those who received his letter...he was referring to the languages he spoke.

I don't believe that we can pray in another tongue (unknown to man). The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit interprets our prayers because we don't know how to pray for that which we ought. But not because we are praying in an unkown tongue.

In 1 Cor. 13, when Paul says, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" he isn't saying that he does speak with the tongues of angels. He's saying that even if he could do all of that, without love it's worthless. And many pentecostals claim that the gibberish they speak in services and in prayer is the tongue of angels (I know this is true...I have family deeply involved in this). It isn't. We have no idea what their tongue is, and I don't believe God would give it to us - because it wouldn't glorify Him, it would glorify the angels and the person who "spoke" it.

That said, I do believe that God could use tongues today. He can do anything He wants to. But I don't believe that He does...at least not on the scale we are led to believe.

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The only bonified case I know of is that of Evangelist Keith Daniels from S. Africa. As a native of S. Africa he speaks his native tongue, English, the Dutch tongue of S. Africa called Afrikaans, and some Zulu. He was speaking in a predominently English speaking prison, in English, presenting the Gospel. Afterwards a man came up to him speaking Afrikaans explaining to Keith that he trusted Christ as his personal Saviour as a result of Keith's sermon. Keith soon realized this man didn't speak any English, but said he heard the entire sermon in Afrikaans. He gave glory to God and went on with his ministry not making a big deal out of it or claiming everyone should seek the same experience.

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The only bonified case I know of is that of Evangelist Keith Daniels from S. Africa. As a native of S. Africa he speaks his native tongue' date=' English, the Dutch tongue of S. Africa called Afrikaans, and some Zulu. He was speaking in a predominently English speaking prison, in English, presenting the Gospel. Afterwards a man came up to him speaking Afrikaans explaining to Keith that he trusted Christ as his personal Saviour as a result of Keith's sermon. Keith soon realized this man didn't speak any English, but said he heard the entire sermon in Afrikaans. He gave glory to God and went on with his ministry not making a big deal out of it or claiming everyone should seek the same experience.[/quote']
Yes - I've heard of this kind of thing happening occasionally and believe that it can. I don't think it's the general rule, but the same Holy Spirit who worked on the day of Pentecost is working today...

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The word "tongue" and the word "tongues" refers to language - like Korean, Kevin. Paul referred to himself as speaking in tongues more than those who received his letter...he was referring to the languages he spoke.

I don't believe that we can pray in another tongue (unknown to man). The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit interprets our prayers because we don't know how to pray for that which we ought. But not because we are praying in an unkown tongue.

In 1 Cor. 13, when Paul says, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" he isn't saying that he does speak with the tongues of angels. He's saying that even if he could do all of that, without love it's worthless. And many pentecostals claim that the gibberish they speak in services and in prayer is the tongue of angels (I know this is true...I have family deeply involved in this). It isn't. We have no idea what their tongue is, and I don't believe God would give it to us - because it wouldn't glorify Him, it would glorify the angels and the person who "spoke" it.

That said, I do believe that God could use tongues today. He can do anything He wants to. But I don't believe that He does...at least not on the scale we are led to believe.

I agree that it doesn't take place on the scale we see it today. I'm by no means charismatic. But how do you explain Paul saying that he prayed in an "unknown" tongue, a tongue that was unknown, and that his understanding was unfruitful. When his Spirit prayed, Paul didn't understand what he was saying.

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I think the thing we need to differentiate is that there is actually Biblical tongues (like I shared above,) and there is the modern day phenomena called tongues. One is the work of God converting the lost with a miraculous gift, the other is an (often) ecstatic experience drummed up by those who are seeking (sometime genuinely) something extra that others say they should have, or to fulfill an emptiness we can all experience when we see the shallowness and decay of our modern Christian experience. I don't want to dis all people of a more "pentecostal" faith, because some are authentically sincere and loving Christians. I'm pretty convinced what "I" think tongues are, but then again, I am not going to put God in a box, amen?

Bro. Ben

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I think the thing we need to differentiate is that there is actually Biblical tongues (like I shared above,) and there is the modern day phenomena called tongues. One is the work of God converting the lost with a miraculous gift, the other is an (often) ecstatic experience drummed up by those who are seeking (sometime genuinely) something extra that others say they should have, or to fulfill an emptiness we can all experience when we see the shallowness and decay of our modern Christian experience. I don't want to dis all people of a more "pentecostal" faith, because some are authentically sincere and loving Christians. I'm pretty convinced what "I" think tongues are, but then again, I am not going to put God in a box, amen?

Bro. Ben

:goodpost:

and Kevin - I don't know how to explain it! :Green

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Paul does seem to indicate that it's a tongue totally unknown, though. He says that if he prays in an "unknown" tongue, a tongue that is not known to man, his Spirit is praying but his understanding is unfruitful. His spirit can pray in a tongue not known to man.

I've never spoken or prayed in any kind of tongue but Korean and American(that's a language) but I have some friends who claim to have. I talked to my one friend about it and it seemed to be honest enough, though I can't confirm where it came from(mind or Spirit). I will say that I've never seen anyone pray like Koreans pray, maybe that makes a difference. :dunno:



Unknown does not mean unknown to man. The speakers at Pentecost spoke in unknown tongues. That is they were unknown to the speakers but obviously understood by the different nationals that stood by. So when Paul speaks of praying in an unknown tongue He is talking about a language that the speaker or part of his audience does not understand.

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LOL kevin. That verse is talking about speaking in "tongues" within the church. If someone stood up in my church and started speaking in korean as far as I know no one would understand them. That is what that verse is saying, not that no person anywhere spoke the language. He even clarifies his meaning in verses 10 and 11.

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[quote="kevinmiller"]Paul does seem to indicate that it's a tongue totally unknown, though. He says that if he prays in an "unknown" tongue, a tongue that is not known to man, his Spirit is praying but his understanding is unfruitful. His spirit can pray in a tongue not known to man.

I've never spoken or prayed in any kind of tongue but Korean and American(that's a language) but I have some friends who claim to have. I talked to my one friend about it and it seemed to be honest enough, though I can't confirm where it came from(mind or Spirit). I will say that I've never seen anyone pray like Koreans pray, maybe that makes a difference. :dunno:[/quote]


Unknown tongue does not refer to a language unknown to man. The disciples in Acts 2 spoke in an unknown tongue but it was only unknown to themselves. They were completely understood by those who came from other countries and spoke in those tongues or languages.

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I agree that it doesn't take place on the scale we see it today. I'm by no means charismatic. But how do you explain Paul saying that he prayed in an "unknown" tongue, a tongue that was unknown, and that his understanding was unfruitful. When his Spirit prayed, Paul didn't understand what he was saying.


Kevinmiller quote:But how do you explain Paul saying that he prayed in an "unknown" tongue, a tongue that was unknown, and that his understanding was unfruitful.


1Co 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
1Co 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

If you notice in the KJV In 1Cor. 14:2 the word "unknown" is in Italics. This is letting the reader know that it is not in the Greek text. The word "unknown was added by the translators to means unknown to the hearer. It was not some special pray language, but a foreign language. That was intelligent to the one who knew the language.

1. The same terms are used for glossolalia or speaking in tongues in the book of Acts as in 1 Corinthians, where clearly they spoke in intelligent languages. Act 2:6 "Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language."

2. Paul instructs the Corinthians to when speaking in tongues or languages to speak clearly where others could understand and interprete. 1Co 14:6 "Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
1Co 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
1Co 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" 1Co 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
1Co 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

The word "voices in verse10 in the context refers to languages.

Even musical instruments must give a distinct sound so the hear will know what is played.
The the trumpet must give clear distinct sounds so soldiers will know to prepare for battle.
This is clearly referring to intelligent languages.

3. Tongues is clearly not a special prayer language as the one speaking in tongues must have an interpreter present.1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

4. 1Cor. 14:2, is not encouraging the use of tongues as a prayer language. In the context tongue speaking is referred to in a negative light. This is referring to speaking in tongues or a foreign language without an interpreter, which is discouraged. It is not teach the use of some type of tongues prayer language.

God bless
John

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I'm a student at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Minnesota, at the moment I'm studying greek. In my study I have found out a very key idea when it comes to Greek. In the Koine Greek there is a tense called pluperfect this tense means that there was an event that came to pass and it had ramifications, or it continued into the future for awhile, but then it stopped. When I learned about this tense, I immediately began to study the aspects of it. I discovered that every time speaking in tongues is written in a verb form(except for once when Paul gives an example), this tense is used. Therefore in my mind, it is concluded that tongues has ceased. - Dean

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I would be interested to hear if anyone else has heard of the Koine Greek tense called pluperfect that came to pass and it had ramificaations or it continued into the future for awhile but then stopped? I have been studying my bible and Willingtons Guide to the Bible to try to get a better undestanding of specking in tongues as it is done today. I have some very dear friends and my one daughter that believe in speaking in tongues as it is done at church's today. I am not saying that there is not a time and place for tongues in churchs, I am just trying to understand how something that is not understood, can be of help to anyone in a church service. Or how speaking in tongues over someone going to the alter for salvation is of help to that person. If anyone can help clear this up for me I would appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks,

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Paula, My understanding is tongues ceased, and that is what I and our church hold to and I don't know of a Baptist Church around these parts that believes tounges are for our time.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Cor 13:8 (KJV)


I've studied some with the Willingtons Guide to the Bible got it in the bookshelf and also got it on my computer. I've got another one of Willingtons books that I like, Willingtons Complete Guide to Bible Knowledge, Volume 1, Old Testament people, its come in handy many times.

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whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Well, I know this is true for some people. lol
For most people, though, knowledge has certainly not passed away, but that's not what this verse means. The point is that all things stop at some time, but love lasts forever. Prophecies come to pass and are finished. Tongues are spoken and then cease. Knowledge is forgotten or becomes irrelevant as time changes. Love does not. It is continuing and never changing.

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[quote="kevinmiller"][quote]whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.[/quote]
Well, I know this is true for some people. lol
For most people, though, knowledge has certainly not passed away, but that's not what this verse means. [/quote]

The [color=#0000FF]"whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away."[/color] Isn't speaking of all knowledge, it is more than likely speaking of certain things people alive in that day might know that we do not. For example, the apostles saw Jesus face to face, they knew what he looked like, but that isn't something we know.

[quote]The point is that all things stop at some time, but love lasts forever. Prophecies come to pass and are finished. Tongues are spoken and then cease. Knowledge is forgotten or becomes irrelevant as time changes. Love does not. It is continuing and never changing.[/quote]


I do not think your view can be correct on this. If we were to use the logical standard you are using here we would have to conclude that charity ceases too. After all, no one practices it at all times, and even if they did, everyone alive now will die some time unless the rapture takes place. The passage doesn't really seem to make any sense the the way you read it. :2cents

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Biblical tongues (which are in all cases "known" languages) occur curiously consistent with their intended purpose (1 Cor 14:22) as a sign and exclusively within the hearing of their intended audience (1 Cor 1:22) the Jews. Argue this till the cows come home but in the end we're talking about a "sign" gift intended for and found to have occured without exception in the presence of, spoken exclusively within the presence of and without a single Biblical exception to prove (as a sign) something to our Jewish brethren. So what we've got is, for the most part well meaning albeit Biblically niave, those who like Simon are so desirous of getting something "more", something that will gain them a moment of recognition and glory before men, that they'd pay for it, fake it, claim it, fight over it, argue vehemently for it and spend thier life focused on it rather than the Saviour. Of such mindset were the silversmiths at Ephesus (Acts 19:23-29) who bewailed any effort to threaten their beloved Diana and the spotlight which their craft cast upon them.... "you will not take my beloved gift which gains me such attention and prestige down at church"!

I give you a paper bag full of $50 Dollar bills..... you dump them out, ignore them and get all jazzed up and excited about the paper bag. You waive the bag, point at the bag, write books and sing songs about the bag, all the while ignoring the thing of value which the worthless little bag delivered..... this is the modern day tongues movement. Ignore the word of God and get excited about the voice upon which it was delivered. Like a famous person arriving in a fancy car....everyone stomps him to death to get a look at the car. The car is just a means of delivery....like a donkey speaking to Baalam or a rooster delivering the last blow to Peter....what is important is God's word.

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