The Gift of Tongues: Two Schools of Thought

E. S. writes: There seem to be two schools of thought regarding the phenomenon in the 1st century church called in the New Testament the Gift of Tongues. One is that in every case the gift was the capacity to speak in another language. Adherents to this view base their arguments mainly on the narrative of Acts 2 concerning the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

Followers of the other view suggest that the gift was not so much the capacity to speak in a foreign language, as—to quote their own words—“the ecstatic utterance of rapturous devotion.”

We would appreciate your comments on this question, especially with a view to understanding more about 1 Corinthians 14. We find certain verses in this chapter rather puzzling, particularly verses 2, 4, 22 and 25.

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Author: P. H. Adams

Keywords: Tongues, Foreign tongues, New tongues, Foreign languages, Pentecost, Filled with the Spirit, Speaking in tongues, Glossolalia

Bible reference(s): Isaiah 28:11, Mark 16:17, Acts 2:3, Acts 2:4, Acts 2:11, Acts 10:46, Acts 19:6, Romans 8:26, 1 Corinthians 12:10, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 12:30, 1 Corinthians 13:1, 1 Corinthians 13:8, 1 Corinthians 14:2, 1 Corinthians 14:4, 1 Corinthians 14:5, 1 Corinthians 14:6, 1 Corinthians 14:9, 1 Corinthians 14:13, 1 Corinthians 14:14, 1 Corinthians 14:18, 1 Corinthians 14:19, 1 Corinthians 14:21, 1 Corinthians 14:22, 1 Corinthians 14:23, 1 Corinthians 14:26, 1 Corinthians 14:27, 1 Corinthians 14:39

Source: “The Gift of Tongues,” The Testimony, Vol. 17, No. 194, February 1947, pp. 59-62. Used with permission.

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