tongues

1 Corinthians 12:10

12:10 tongues. The “gift of tongues” has been the most controversial of the gifts, especially in connection with the charismatic renewal of recent decades. The word “tongue” itself (Greek glossa from which we get “glossolalia”), as used in both Biblical and extra-Biblical Greek writings, always refers either to a definite structured language or else the physical organ of speech (never to meaningless noises). Its use is clearly described in Acts 2:4-6 when the gift of tongues was first given, and included known ethnic languages that were unknown to the respective speakers. The “interpretation [i.e., “translation”] of tongues” similarly was the supernatural ability to understand and translate words spoken in a language unknown to the translator.

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