a distinction regarding speaking in tongues

a distinction regarding speaking in tongues April 3, 2023

a distinction regarding speaking in tongues

Aaron Cabrera | worship | 03.26.19 | pixabay

The idea of speaking in tongues has been a controversial one historically. However, Pentecostals and Charismatics {those known for speaking in tongues} have been granted seats at the table of higher dialogue and we’re here to stay. Pentecostal scholarship has become widely accepted in the various fields of Theology.

so what of speaking in tongues?

It is not uncommon for worship bands to incorporate spontaneous worship and singing in tongues in a concert.

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In Classical Pentecostalism, some argue for 2 if not 3 types of speaking in tongues.

  1. There is the prayer language.
  2. Then there is the Charism to be paired with the interpretation in the corporate worship setting.
  3. There is also the occasional language of man as found in Acts 2. This is not an uncommon occurrence in our day and age either.

making a distinction

When there is a disagreement between Pentecostals and Charismatics, it is generally over the 1st and 2nd types of tongues as listed above.

Based on a list of Charisms or Gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12, some will argue that certain people have the “Gift” of tongues and some don’t. This is a refusal to accept speaking in tongues as a prayer language available for all Christians.

It is normative in the worship setting for someone to speak aloud in tongues. The crowd becomes hushed in anticipation. This is followed by an interpretation in English (or the native tongue). In effect, these 2 corporate Charisms work in tandem to deliver a Word from the Lord.

Although there is little doubt this is what Paul intends in 1 Corinthians 12, there is no mention of such an occurrence in the historical book of Acts.

Acts 2 would fall under the 3rd type of tongue, a language of man (see above). Therefore, Acts 2 does not qualify for the Charisms of tongues | interpretation in the list in 1 Corinthians 12.

No one gives an interpretation for any of the Acts accounts. Therefore, people speak in their prayer language when they speak in tongues in Acts.

Therein the distinction lies.

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