Speaking in Tongues – The real story 413


As proof that ‘God’ has poured out his spirit, there is a manifestation known as “Speaking in Tongues”. Those seeing it for the first time sometimes find it to be a bit creepy or bizarre, especially if they don’t know what is going on. It usually happens during times of open prayer within Pentecostal churches or other similar types of groups with a Charismatic leaning. Sometimes one individual will appear to loudly break out into a prayer or song in what sounds like a foreign language, but not any language ever heard before. There is also a variation in which the entire group will all do this together; except of course for those not in the know or not ‘gifted’ yet.

Normally when considering religion, concepts such as “spirit” are vague, immeasurable and meaningless, but here is something solid that we can actually measure and determine if there is anything significant happening. Over the years there has been a lot of serious independent scientific research of this specific practise. One very good example is the long and detailed study carried out back in the early 1970’s by the famous Professor of Linguistics, William J Samarin. From all around the world he gathered and recorded many samples of “Speaking in Tongues”. All this data was then put through an extensive analysis over a period of five years. His conclusions were as follows:

  • While speaking in tongues does appear at first to resemble human language, that was only on the surface.
  • The actual stream of speech was not organised and there was no existing relationship between units of speech and concepts.
  • The speakers might believe it to be a real language, but it was totally meaningless

[Samarin, William J. (1972). Tongues of Men and Angels: The Religious Language of Pentecostalism. New York: Macmillan]

Note that this is not just a blog opinion, its peer reviewed research carried out over many years by a highly qualified open-minded linguist. Speaking-in-tongues is nothing but empty babbling by devoted believers who have deluded themselves into thinking it to be a sign of the Holy Spirit. I should know; I used to be a practitioner myself at one time and truly did believe in the reality of it, but realise now that I was motivated by my desire to blend in and was only fooling myself.

If you dig a bit deeper and consider the history of it all, you find that the modern practise as we see it today is not all that old, it dates back to about 1906 in Los Angeles. Having first started in a revival there, it has since then spread in a viral like manner both geographically around the globe, and also chronologically on to each successive generation. Modern practitioners claim that what they are doing is exactly the same as the experience described within the Book of Acts (2:1-13), however one huge discrepancy is that the story within Book of Acts describes recognised languages from all around the Roman Empire being spoken. In stark contrast, nobody understands the modern mindless babbling.

What is even more fascinating is that the modern manifestation is a lot more widespread then most might appreciate. Other non-Christian religious groups also practise it. Felicitas Goodman, a Hungarian anthropologist compared it with recordings of rituals from Japan, Indonesia, Africa and Borneo and concluded that there was no distinction, it truly is universal and quite easily crosses religious divides. [Goodman, Felicitas D. (1972). Speaking in Tongues: A Cross-Cultural Study in Glossolalia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.]

Finally, just to prove the point that there is no sky-magic involved and that this is just a learned behaviour, there was a study carried out with a group of 60 non-believing undergraduates. 20% could accomplish it after listening to only a 60 second sample and about 70% could succeed with some moderate training. [Spanos, Nicholas P.; Cross, Wendy P.; Lepage, Mark; Coristine, Marjorie (February 1986). “Glossolalia as learned behavior: An experimental demonstration”. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 95]

The Bible states in 1 Cor 14.22 that “tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not”. Well, this non-believer hasnow weighed and measured it all and found it to be mindless babbling. The only sign that this gives is that the believers who practise this are delusional. (I include my past self in that last sentence).

If you are still a believer, and are starting to have doubts, then you might be interested in chatting with me to understand why I am not longer a believer (I promise a friendly discussion) – contact me at skeptic [at] skeptical-science.com (forgive the cryptic email, its to avoid the bots auto- scraping the email address and spamming me)

To those who still believe and have reached here with the, “But I know its real” thought still intact; well, that’s exactly how I felt. What you have to realise is that you are in the grip of a very powerful psychological trick. Before you move on, pause and carefully consider what you have read; I’m not presenting you with an alternative opinion, but rather with hard solid scientific proof that it is not real.


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413 thoughts on “Speaking in Tongues – The real story

  • wodonnell

    It looks like I can get a copy of Samarin’s study at researchgate.net for $7.95 but I’m hesitant to get it when Google doesn’t seem to bring up anyone talking about it.

    The speaking in other languages at Pentecost in Acts 2, and at the Gentile ‘Pentecost’ in Acts 10, was not the ‘gift of tongues,’ because concerning the gift of tongues, Paul said, “Do all speak with tongues?” (1 Cor. 12:30), meaning they don’t. But on Pentecost, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues” (Acts 2:4); and at the Gentile ‘Pentecost,’ “the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word” (Acts 10:44). Acts 2 and 10 are the only ‘events’ in the Bible described as the baptism of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:4-5; 11:15-16).

    The disciples didn’t receive the baptism of the Spirit in Acts 2 because they prayed. Jesus wanted the apostles to wait in Jerusalem because he knew he would give the Spirit on the feast of Pentecost, and it would be most profitable if the apostles were all together, but he was going to give the Spirit on schedule, “when the day of Pentecost was fully come” (Acts 2:1), regardless of what the apostles did. Yeshua fulfilled the Jewish feasts on the exact days they were being observed by the Jewish people: Unleavened Bread with his sinlessness body, Passover with his death as the Passover lamb, and Firstfruits with his being the first person resurrected; and the first three feasts required an absence of leaven, which represents sin. And Yeshua gave the indwelling Holy Spirit to make one body out of both Jews and Gentiles, on the exact day as scheduled per the feast of Pentecost, when two loaves of leavened bread were offered in the temple. “[After Passover] you shall number fifty days [Penta-cost, meaning fiftieth]; and you shall offer a new food offering to the Lord. You shall bring out of your houses two wave loaves … of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven,” Lev. 23:16-17.

    From Acts 2 onward, every believer has been baptized by the Spirit into the body of Messiah the moment he’s justified (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; Rom. 8:9-10); therefore it’s impossible to be baptized by the Spirit any time after the moment of justification, in contradiction to Pentecostal doctrine. And Acts 2 and 10 are the only times in the Bible where any outward manifestation ever accompanied Spirit baptism. Acts 2, because that’s when the indwelling Spirit was first given to the church; and Acts 10 because that’s the first time the Gentiles were baptized into the church, which was a very significant event (Acts 10-11). “[Messiah] has made both [Jews and Gentiles] one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us, … to make in himself of two [Jew and Gentile] one new man,” Eph. 2:14-15.

    Acts 8 and 19 describe believers receiving the gifts of the Spirit sometime after justification and water baptism, by the laying on of the apostle’s hands. Acts 8 doesn’t explicitly say what Simon and the others saw as a result of the laying on of hands, but we ought to assume the same as in Acts 19, an exercise of spiritual gifts. Acts 8 makes it clear that anyone, like Phillip, can preach the gospel and bring people to justification; but one of the twelve apostles (including Paul, not Matthias) had to lay hands on a believer to give them a spiritual gift (Acts 8). That’s why Paul wanted to go to Rome, “that I may impart to you some spiritual gift” (Rom. 1:11).

    When the last of the twelve apostles died, no more spiritual gifts were imparted; and when the last of the people who had received spiritual gifts died, no more spiritual gifts were exercised. Just as most of the miracles of the Old Testament were condensed into the first forty years of the existence of the nation of Israel created at the Exodus; likewise the miracles of the New Testament (after Messiah) were concentrated into the first forty years of the existence of the church created at Pentecost. Speaking in tongues in church meetings provided needed New Testament revelation before the New Testament was completed because “he that speaks in an unknown tongue … speaks ‘mysteries’” (1 Cor. 14:2), which in the Greek, doesn’t mean things hard to understand, but things previously unrevealed, i.e. another form of prophecy, but which also needed someone with the gift of interpretation to have any usefulness (1 Cor. 14).

  • Dru Deman

    Yes. The teaching of how to speak in tongues by churches, though well meaning, is not backed by biblical principles. The true evidence of God’s power is freedom from a lifestyle of sin, fear, and eternal damnation.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking in tongues. UTTER. RUBBISH! Jesus did all the Holy Spirit gift stuff apart from speaking n interpretation of tongues.

    • mario

      Jesus had to die before he could send the Holy Spirit to live in us and build the Heavenly Church

      Jesus received the Holy Spirit at his baptism and never spoke in tongues

      John the Baptist had the Holy Spirit from birth. He did not speak in tongues.

  • Leah

    Hi, I grew up Pentacostal but since leaving I have always wondered about speaking in tongues. I have seen things like what you discuss but I have also heard of/knew people who said they were able to suddenly speak real, established languages and I’m not sure how to explain it. Any thoughts?

    • Kavik

      There are numerous accounts in the tongues-speaking community of instances where a person supposedly heard someone speaking in tongues and it was perceived as the person’s native language, or someone recognized it as such-and-such a language. All instances of these are purely anecdotal. Virtually nothing is known about either party; the speaker or the ‘hearer’), nor is any specific details or information on what transpired given. I suspect many of these stories are told to bolster and promote the tongues experience within the tongue-speaking community. Such accounts essentially amount to hearsay with minimal detail. There are, unfortunately, no real documented cases of xenoglossy anywhere.

  • Mario

    It will be better if you said at the conclusion of your article that if we still believe, then fine for us instead of saying that we are in the grip of a powerful psychological trick. It will also be better if you just left people to their faith than trying so hard to discourage them from believing, because you’ve lost your way doesn’t mean everyone should follow your path.

    IF ONE LEAVES PEOPLE TO THEOR OWN FAITH OR BELIEF COULD THIS NOT BE DANGEROUS. THAT’S WHY APOSTLE PAUL SAID IF ANY OTHER PERSON PREACHES ANOTHER GOSPEL THAN THE ONE I PREACH “BE HE ACCURSED.

    THE TRUTH MUST BE REVEALED.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I believe that speaking in tongues is real and that a person speaks in tongues when their spirit wants to communicate with God, the Bible says whoever speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not unto man but unto God, if you keep reading, you’ll see where Paul said the mind doesn’t understand what the spirit says to God. When people speak in tongues each person has a distinct pattern which I think is the voice of each person’s spirit. I don’t think it’s nice if you come and tell people that they are babbling because some people are struggling with their Faith and relationship with God, their spirit is trying to communicate with God and they come and read your article, making things worse for them, making them think they are delusional. BTW God isn’t science, he’s far more greater so your solid scientific proof is for your scientific god.
    It will be better if you said at the conclusion of your article that if we still believe, then fine for us instead of saying that we are in the grip of a powerful psychological trick. It will also be better if you just left people to their faith than trying so hard to discourage them from believing, because you’ve lost your way doesn’t mean everyone should follow your path.

    • Dave Post author

      I have a couple of questions …
      – How did you determine that there is such a thing as “spirit”? (I get that you sincerely believe it, I’m not challenging that, I’m just curious to understand how you work out what is and is not real)
      – When you deem me to be “Lost”, I believe if I can translate that correctly, what you are actually saying is that we simply have reached different conclusions … is that correct?
      – How do you determine that your conclusions on the topic are correct, factual, and real?

      • Anonymous

        -How come you exist as you not as me, who are you where did you come from, what makes people different, what makes people who they are?

        -yes, we have reached different conclusions (not lost)

        -i know I don’t have experiments to prove my point, but I know I have been through difficult times and pain and I know people who have survived things people commit suicide over, and I know the only thing that got us through it was the love of God. Talking to God brought happiness and hope that in the end, everything will be better.

    • mario

      Hi
      If you say that when we speak in tongues ONLY God can understand us. Well is I speak in an earthly language and you do not understand it, then am I correct in saying that only God understands it as God knows all the earthly languages? You do not understand it.

      If its a language only God understands, then why must it be interpreted? Is it for Satan to understand it or is a real earthly language that we just do not know?

      Should one not tell people the TRUTH if they are being deceived in believing another Gospel?

      • Anonymous

        You are not correct by saying only God understands the earthly language you speak but I don’t understand. To speak in tongues is real and it is to speak by the spirit.

        and nobody say your tongues MUST be interpreted.

        it is not an earthly language that we just do not know, all languages spoken currently on earth are learnt you can’t enter a church and say the people there that are speaking in tongues are all speaking distinct languages that we just don’t know. People who speak in tongues don’t know what they say, their minds are at rest that moment and their spirit is talking. It conveys their thought and needs to God directly, in a way they don’t know how to.

        and I don’t think you really understand the topic and the different conclusions, so I suggest you read it again before you think that what your saying is the truth.

        and I don’t get… another gospel? Are you a Christian?

        • mario

          You are not correct by saying only God understands the earthly language you speak but I don’t understand. To speak in tongues is real and it is to speak by the spirit. HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN TO ME ” HOW DO YOU WALK IN THE SPIRIT”?

          and nobody say your tongues MUST be interpreted. WHAT DOES 1 CORINTHIANS 12 MEAN ? 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

          it is not an earthly language that we just do not know, all languages spoken currently on earth are learnt you can’t enter a church and say the people there that are speaking in tongues are all speaking distinct languages that we just don’t know. People who speak in tongues don’t know what they say, their minds are at rest that moment and their spirit is talking. WERE IN THE WORD OF GOD DOES IT SAY THAT ONE THAT SPEAKS IN TONGUES THEIR MINDS ARE AT REST THAT MOMENT AND THEIR SPIRIT IS TALKING? WHO IS SPEAKING THEIR OWN SPIRIT OR THE HOLY SPIRIT? It conveys their thought and needs to God directly, in a way they don’t know how to. WERE IN THE WORD OF GOD DOES IT SAY THAT WE CONVEY OUR THOUGHTS AND NEEDS TO GOD DIRECTLY, IF ONE DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE PRAYING. WHY DID JESUS GIVES US THE LORDS PRAY? WOULD SATAN BE ABLE TO HEAR THEIR PRAYS??

          and I don’t think you really understand the topic and the different conclusions, so I suggest you read it again before you think that what your saying is the truth.

          and I don’t get… another gospel? Are you a Christian? SAYING YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, DOES NOT SAVE YOU. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

          CAN I ASK YOU A FEW QUESTION?

          Why do you want to speak in tongues? To please God or get closer to him?
          Are tongue speakers more spiritual than the ones that do not have that gift?
          HOW MANY TIMES DID THEY SPEAK IN TONGUES IN THE BIBLE? HOW MANY YEARS APART WAS IT?

          Some understand praying in tongues to be a “secret code language” that prevents Satan and his demons from understanding our prayers and thereby gaining an advantage over us. This interpretation is unbiblical for the following reasons:
          1) The New Testament consistently describes tongues as a human language. It is unlikely that Satan and his demons are unable to understand human languages.

          2) The Bible records countless believers praying in their own language, out loud, with no concern of Satan intercepting the prayer. Even if Satan and/or his demons hear and understand the prayers we pray, they have absolutely no power to prevent God from answering the prayers according to His will. We know that God hears our prayers, and that fact makes it irrelevant whether Satan and his demons hear and understand our prayers.

          What, then, is praying in tongues, and how is it different than speaking in tongues?

          First Corinthians 14:13-17 indicates that praying in tongues is also to be interpreted. As a result, it seems that praying in tongues was offering a prayer to God. This prayer would minister to someone who spoke that language, but would also need to be interpreted so that the entire body could be edified.

          This interpretation does not agree with those who view praying in tongues as a prayer language.

          This alternate understanding can be summarized as follows: praying in tongues is a personal prayer language between a believer and God (1 Corinthians 13:1) that a believer uses to edify himself (1 Corinthians 14:4).

          This interpretation is unbiblical for the following reasons:
          1) How could praying in tongues be a private prayer language if it is to be interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:13-17)?

          2) How could praying in tongues be for self-edification when Scripture says that the spiritual gifts are for the edification of the church, not the self (1 Corinthians 12:7).

          3) How can praying in tongues be a private prayer language if the gift of tongues is a “sign to unbelievers” (1 Corinthians 14:22)? 4) The Bible makes it clear that not everyone possesses the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:11, 28-30). How could tongues be a gift for self-edification if not every believer can possess it? Do we not all need to be edified?

          IF ALL OTHER FALSE RELIGIONS THAT DO NOT WORSHIP JESUS ALSO, SPEAK THE SAME TONGUES AS CHRISTIANS DO. SHOULD WE NOT BE CAREFUL IN WHAT WE DO? COULD ONE BE CAUSING GOD??

          What do we say, then, about the many Christians who have experienced praying in tongues and find it to be very personally edifying? First, we must base our faith and practice on Scripture, not experience. We must view our experiences in light of Scripture, not interpret Scripture in light of our experiences.

          Lastly why are churches teaching people how to speak in tongues, prophecy and heal. I thought the gifts were from the Holy Spirit and the Spirit gave it to whom he felt AND NOT A LEARNT BEHAVIOR?

      • Anonymous

        Yes, Speaking in tongues may also be speaking in earthly languages that were never learnt, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is a gift from God that your spirit uses to communicate with Him.

    • mario

      Why did Jesus teach us to pray, teach, communicate, heal …. in our own language ( nothing secret ) ?? i am sure that Satan could understand all heavenly languages.

      If tongues had to be interpreted in the church, then satan could also know what was said????

    • Dave Post author

      I strive to believe as many true things as possible and so I seek the best possible evidence. When it comes to the various supernatural claims then for these I do not find enough evidence to convince me.

        • Dave Post author

          Given the observation that you can have faith in anything, any position at all, then how exactly is faith in something “evidence” for that something?

          • Anonymous

            It’s like saying faith is the only proof you need that everything is fine (if you prayed about an issue) and when it’s the right time, what you asked God for will be provided. You can never fully understand God or His plans. (Isaiah 55:8-11). And I know sometimes and in some situations having faith in God may sound absurd but He knows what’s best.

          • Anonymous

            You have faith in God, not in something and having faith in God is evidence that your prayers will be answered but at the right time because God knows what is best. I know sometimes (and in some situations) having faith in God may seem absurd, but God always knows what is best for us (Isaiah 55:8-11).

  • Cheryl

    Thanks for your artical . I am a believer in the word of God and lately been questioning the gift of tongues being used in the church today. This babble, gibberish kind of tongue. From my early Christian life it has been around me and other believers have tried to push this on me and go as far as claiming if I don’t have this gift, then I am not filled with the Spirit. I believe now that this gift was used in the early church to manifest God to unbelievers and it was an actual language that people could understand if they were of a different speaking language where the truth of Christ was being preached. After the Bible was completed, this gift ceased. Now if course, the word of God can be translated in many languages all over the world. I am writing you to encourage you to keep the faith in God’s wonderful gift of salvation. Don’t let man’s interpretation of God’s will and whas fog your faith.

    • Marchello

      What Cheryl said: “I believe now that this gift was used in the early church to manifest God to unbelievers and it was an actual language that people could understand if they were of a different speaking language where the truth of Christ was being preached.”

      What the Bible says: For he who speaks in a tongue DOES NOT SPEAK TO MEN but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 1 Corinthians 14:2

      Who will you believe?

  • Kavik

    You’re sort of describing the classic scenario for ‘tongues’ – yes, you will hear a great deal of repetition; that’s very characteristic of ‘tongues speech’ – the repetition of syllables. It sounds a bit lyrical because, unlike English, the typical syllable structure is ‘open’, that is, the structure is ‘consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel, CVCVCV’, etc. This type of structure and the fact that the sounds being produced are the ones that require the least amount of physiological effort are what lend to the sometimes sing-song/lyrical quality to tongues speech.

    An elevated level of stress can induce tongue-speech – it’s, in part, a stress reliever.

    Tongues in most cultures/spiritual paths that use them are a tool for establishing a closer relationship with the divine. What you describe is rather typical of the phenomenon.

    The “tongues experience” is real and for many it can be quite a powerful one, but the tongues themselves are entirely self-produced.

    There’s really no such thing as real/false tongues – random free vocalization is random free vocalization; there’s nothing to fake.

  • Lisa

    I don’t know about the people you tested, but I do know I didn’t learn it. I can also hear a repetition sometimes as if it was a song as well as having inflections and being lyrical. I don’t do it much, and have been surprised that at a very stressful time when I intended to pray aloud in english, I was taken by surprise when tongues poured out instead. Also while speaking or praying, a well of emotion I was unprepared for or expected surfaces and it is like coming from some deep reserve within me.
    When this occurs, there is a sensation of having connected and communicated with God. And since it’s God’s Spirit within, why wouldn’t it be universal and not limited to just Christians if He is God of all. To me that’s more evidence of the reality of tongues and of God. Furthermore, I suspect you never actually spoke, sang or prayed in real tongues, but false tongues you tried to emulate.

    • Dave Post author

      Hi Lisa,

      I have a couple of questions if that’s OK with you.

      Q1. How do you know that you did not simply pick it up naturally by being in the environment where it happens?

      As an example of what I mean … if you hear me speak, then you will detect a distinct accent. It tells you immediately where I come from (or where I live). I did not learn this accent, or even make a conscious decision to acquire it. There are many things that we pickup like this … how we behave, how we choose to dress, the words we use, etc… so how do you eliminate this as an explanation?

      Q2. What does the term “real tongues” mean and how does it differ from what you consider to be “false tongues”?

      If indeed people can and do acquire the ability to speak in tongues quite naturally and as part of the process it invokes emotions and feelings, yet they also don’t actually believe in anything supernatural, or even hold any specific religious beliefs, then how do you differentiate between these categories? Is it in any way meaningful to prefix it with the words “real” or “fake”?

    • Anonymous

      HI lisa

      How did you get to know about speaking in tongues?

      What made you want to speak in tongues?

      Were you told that whoever believes can do what the apostles did Mark 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.…

      IF YOU CAN SPEAK IN TONGUES THEN YOU CAN DO ALL THE ABOVE, HAVE YOU GOT THE GIFT OF HEALING? CAN YOU WALK INTO ANY HOSPITAL AND HEAL PEOPLE LIKE THE APOSTLES DID? IF NOT WHY NOT, ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO ALL THAT JESUS SAID ONE CAN DO?

  • Reuben Giles

    1 Coríntios 2:14-16
    For the natural man is not able to take in the things of the Spirit of God: for they seem foolish to him, and he is not able to have knowledge of them, because such knowledge comes only through the Spirit. But he who has the Spirit, though judging all things, is himself judged by no one. For who has knowledge of the mind of the Lord, so as to be his teacher? But we have the mind of Christ.

    • Dave Post author

      1 Corinthians 14:22
      “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not”

      • mario

        Hi Dave

        Who were the sign gifts for?
        Exodus 4:7-9 Moses first SIGN FOR THE JEWS .. rod to serpent and hand to leper … 10 plagues leaving Egypt…. SIGN FOR THE JEWS and Greek require knowlwdge

        was it not for the Jews? The nation of Israel always required a sign.

        Mark 16: 14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who [d]believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[e] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

        Read the whole chapter ,,, who were the unbelievers? The Apostles themselves? Who had to believe that the sign gifts would happen? The Apostles

        2 Corinthians 14 ….. for the SIGN GIFTS were for the unbelieving Jews,

        2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. SIGNS OF THE APOSTLES NOT OURS,

        ,,,,,,,

        • Dave Post author

          Hi Mario,

          I have a question.

          Countless numbers of people read the bible. As they do so they glean an understanding from that. We know that there is a vast diversity of conclusions given the vast diversity of beliefs that exist. This diversity of understanding is not just random, but often is by people who dedicate their lives to their specific variation of belief.

          You have specific beliefs and will of course happily quote references for it, so my question is this. How do you know that your specific interpretation is correct?

          I do of course understand that you believe it is, and of course I also understand that you are confident that it is. In a world where many will read the exact same texts and reach completely different conclusions, what is the mechanism you use to determine that your specific conclusions are the correct ones, and how do you verify that it is correct?

          Dave

          • mario

            Hi Dave,
            I have a question.

            VERY GOOD QUESTION. I BELIEVE THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL REVEAL THE TRUTH OF GODS WORD AS YOU STUDY AND READ THE INSPIRED OF GOD YOURSELF AND RELY ON THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GUILD YOU. IN GENERAL WE ARE LAZY AND ACCEPT EVERY THING A PASTOR OR EVANGELIST SAYS. WHY SHOULD WE DO THIS ? REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE AT SUNDAY SCHOOL, ONE WAS TAUGHT ADAM AND EVE EAT AN APPLE, DELILAH CUT SAMSON’S HAIR AND THE ANIMALS WENT INTO THE ARK TWO BY TWO. ALL SOUNDS SO TRUE EVEN ADULTS TODAY BELIEVE THIS, BUT I AM SURE YOU KNOW THAT ITS ALL FALSE.

            “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 )

            Does the Bible contain some difficult passages? Yes. Are they unresolvable? No. Whenever a critic or sincere believer comes across an alleged Bible difficulty, it has always been answered. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness …” (1 Timothy 3:16)

            Countless numbers of people read the bible. As they do so they glean an understanding from that. We know that there is a vast diversity of conclusions given the vast diversity of beliefs that exist. This diversity of understanding is not just random, but often is by people who dedicate their lives to their specific variation of belief. YES I AGREE

            Think of it this way. In every trial, the defense, the prosecution, and each member of the jury all have an equal opportunity to examine the facts. Each of these parties may see those facts from a different angle. But in the final analysis there is only one truth about what really happened. A similar observation applies here.
            You have specific beliefs and will of course happily quote references for it, so my question is this. How do you know that your specific interpretation is correct?

            GOD HAS SHOWN ME THROUGH HIS GRACE THAT WHEN I HEAR CERTAIN SERMONS OR HEAR OF HEALINGS AND MIRACLES THAT ARE NOT ACCORDING TO THE TRUTH AS PRESENTED IN THE BIBLE, I THEN FURTHER READ THE WORD AND OTHER VERSIONS OF THE WORD AND AS ONE READS THE WORD ONE’S EYES ARE OPENED AND ONE SEE THE TRUE MEANING.

            I do of course understand that you believe it is, and of course I also understand that you are confident that it is. In a world where many will read the exact same texts and reach completely different conclusions,
            YES BUT UNFORTUNATELY AS YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE MANY FALSE TEACHER’S, PROPHETS AND PASTORS THAT ACTUALLY KNOW THE CORRECT INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE BUT TWIST IT FOR THERE OWN GAIN. THIS LIKE SUNDAY SCHOOL THE PEOPLE A LIE AND AS THEY SAY A LIE TOLD OVER AND OVER AGAIN BECOMES THE TRUTH TO THE PERSON.

            what is the mechanism you use to determine that your specific conclusions are the correct ones, and how do you verify that it is correct?
            LOTS OF WHAT IS ON YOU TUBE AND BOOKS WRITTEN BY PEOPLE ARE WRITTEN WITH THE MINDSET OF WHAT THEY WERE TAUGHT OR THEIR TRADITION OR THEIR UPBRINGING, WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT IF IT’S RIGHT OR WRONG.
            WE HAS TO TEST ALL THINGS, THAT MEANS WHEN ONE GETS A DIFFICULT OR HEARS OTHERS PEOPLES MEANINGS OF THE SAME SCRIPTURES, ONE HAS TO EXAMINE FOR HIMSELF AND LET THE HOLY SPIRIT GUILD US TO THE TRUTH.

            Dave we are not perfect but its amazing just like when you are about to sin, you get that small voice which gives you the opportunity to sin or not. The choice becomes yours.

            IF WE LIVE A LIFE WITH ALL THESE SO CALLED VARIOUS VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE IT MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT TO DIFFERENTIATE THE TRUTH FROM THE LIES. WE HAVE TO DEPEND ON THE HOLY SPIRIT, TO SHOW US THE TRUTH IN THE WORD.

            Mario

  • Anonymous

    I always wondered if speaking in tongues originally wasn’t simply people preaching in a language the speaker knew, but the audience didn’t know. Sort of “Look, we appreciate your enthusiasm, but we think it would really work better if people understood what you’re saying.”

    • Anonymous

      The first norwegian missionary til Greenland, Hans Egede (1686-1758) is indeed rumoured to have been speaking to hghe native inuits for hours in danish, without anyone understanding what he was saying. He used years before his first baptism, because he wasnt sure they understood what his teaching was. He ended as bisjop of Greenland, and hopefully learned their language…

  • MJJ

    As I understand it, speaking in tongues is supposed to be simply a miraculous ability to speak a previously unlearned foreign language, and because its a miracle it is supposed to convince skeptics that God exists. But every time this miracle is tested under controlled conditions it is found that no foreign language is being spoken, its just jibberish., to which the tongue talkers say, “oh it must be a heavenly language”. Give me a break! That means its 100% unfalsifiable.

  • tgbx

    I love how these science and biology-illiterate theists post their own personal experience about the time they were worked up into a psychological frenzy and out of control…. which is how they know exactly what it is. And despite the fact it occurs in multiple religions and can be replicated by non-believers. They’ve literally admitted that they were not in their right mind, and therefore their recollection, interpretation and understanding cannot be trusted. Aside from this, we have absolutely no independent access to the events, it’s just what they want to tell us, based on the unreliable memory of a person essentially having a seizure, with no corroboration or substantiation – and we are supposed to believe it as described? No. That’s not how it works. Let’s take someone having an epileptic seizure and put them in a position to witness a crime. Now, let’s see how their eyewitness account turns out. It’s simple neurochemicals, but unfortunately science-illiterate theists insist that everything they don’t have the education to understand must be one of the various “gods” – none of which they’ve even substantiated, so attributing it to something that isn’t demonstrated to exist is putting the cart before the horse. It’s no less reasonable for me to attribute it to the invisible unicorns firing their Happy Chatter ray-gun on you; indeed, it makes more sense, given that the unicorns don’t care about religion, which is why the phenomenon spans and manifests many beliefs as well as non-belief. Or, maybe it’s just Odin, trying to get you on the path to Valhalla. I mean, can you prove it’s not Old Norse? Didn’t think so.

    • aaquadrat

      @tgbx: There is no seizure and usually no “frenzy/out of control” connected to tongues. However, it (supposedly) changing the state of the brain, saying it a bit naively and speculatively, from a “left hemisphere”-dominated mode to a “right hemisphere”-dominated mode, entering creative and symbolic realms of thinking. Solutions and insights that are inaccessible in everyday mode might emerge. Possibly connections to a spiritual realm open. Let’s liken it to alternate states reached through meditation or shamanism (although I have no experience with either of them).
      What is more relevant than the interpretation of tongues “as heavenly languages from God” is the way it is used in the Christian contexts and the effects it is having on peoples lives (see witnesses in other comments).

  • Simone

    Tongues is a real gift from God I am a witness. An elderly American woman praying in tongues in our prayer group was heard by a Philipino woman in the group speaking her language. The American lady had never been to the Philippines nor did she know the language. The Philipino lady gave us the translation of what she was praying for which was a woman who was desperate and wanted to kill her children then herself. Two weeks later a woman was brought to our church by a church member who had met her in a grocery store. The church member saw her struggle and helped her pay for her groceries. So she invited her to church and gave her a ride there. The visitor broke down after service and cried uncontrollably. We prayed a long time for her and once she calmed down we asked her to tell us what she was feeling. She said she had been thinking of killing herself and her children but now she knew God was real and she was gonna be okay. So she gave her heart to Him.
    The elderly lady has since passed on but the Philipino lady is still alive and the other witnesses to this amazing story. It is true.
    This is not the only story like this I have heard many. It happens all the time. Your scientific research has not gone very far at all.

  • Jim

    My good friend. I find it interesting that with one broad brush stoke you have dismissed speaking in tongues because of your personal experience backed up with dubious scientific research that is merely sampling. If I went to Africa and tasted the food available there and through my own experience concluded that it tasted very bland, I could return to America and convince those who trust me that the food is tasteless. On the other hand if I was to bring someone from Africa to my home and feed them they would comment that the food was prepared well but did not compare to the delicious flavours at home. Yes this did happen. So what do we conclude? Bias my good friend based on sampling. Unfortunately, sampling may have some value but to draw conclusions from random samplings and conclude that all speaking in tongues is ipso facto phycological babble is to miss the entire point. It is a mystery my dear friend and apparently your rejection of it proves that in fact you never did have it and your experience was based on phyco babble. John tells us that those who leave the faith prove they were never with us. Is this a circular argument? Yes, but it proves that if your faith is shaken to the point of leaving you never did have authentic faith because authentic faith would stand against all storms because it is a spiritual mystery, but at the same time is not gullible. It is unfortunate in our modern age that Christianity is to be scientific, which is usually simple bias mascaraing as logic, instead of being left as a spiritual mystery. I agree with your conclusion that many if not most who speak in tongues are being fooled, but it can also be authentic and you my good companion are not the arbitrator of what is authentic and what is not by your lack of authenticity and biased scientific sampling. You might want to find the authentic and then you could tell the difference. Perhaps you might want to rewrite this blog with a little less bias and a little more insight.

    • Dave Post author

      Hi Jim,

      How do you work out when it is supernatural and truly authentic, and when it is fake and people are simply fooling themselves?

      Dave

  • Anonymous

    I’m a born again Christian, my therapist and I talk about speaking in tongues, I agree some do it and it’s not the Spirit, however studies done on the brain show that werew not in control, I myself have had something so powerful come over me I can’t control it and I speak in tongues that I can’t even try to repeat, there is power there God Bless

    • mario

      I’m a born again Christian, my therapist and I talk about speaking in tongues, I agree some do it and it’s not the Spirit,
      HOW CAN ONE TELL IF ITS NOT THE SPIRIT? WHICH SPIRIT IS IT? OR CAN IT BE A LEARNT BEHAVIOR ?

      however studies done on the brain show that were not in control
      THESE TESTS PROVE WHAT? THAT THE PERSON WAS NOT IN CONTROL,DOES THE BIBLE NOT SAY WE MUST BE IN CONTROL ALWAYS, IF THE PERSON WAS NOT IN CONTROL (WHAT WAS CONTROLLING HIS MIND? GODS SPIRIT OR ANOTHER SPIRIT ? YOU WOULD NOT KNOW AS YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. COULD YOU BE WORSHIPING OR CAUSING GOD? YOU WOULD NOT KNOW,

      I myself have had something so powerful come over me I can’t control it and I speak in tongues that I can’t even try to repeat, there is power there
      WHAT WAS TONGUES FOR? WHY DO YOU SPEAK IN TONGUES? HOW CAN ONE LET UNKNOWN POWERS COME INTO ONES BODY.
      WHATS YOUR REASON FOR WANTING TO SPEAK IN TONGUES

      God Bless

  • Kavik

    Should have added to the above –

    Thus, the results are more or less what one would expect; i.e. language producing centers of the brain not overly active in the production of “tongues”.

    • Kavik

      I’m pretty sure that this was commented on in the thread below, but I would argue that the study is somewhat inconclusive and can be skewed to support either a ‘pro’ or ‘con’ argument.

      For me, the reason the language producing centers of the brain are not overly engaged in the production of “tongues”/glossolalia is simply because it’s not language; it’s non-cognitive non-language utterance, essentially random free vocalization (random, but limited to the constraints of phonemic inventory of the speaker),so, there’s no need for the language producing centers to be overly active.

  • Anonymous

    Reply ↓
    Marchello

    A major point my friend Mario keeps missing is: ‘what is the fruit of this tongue speaking’? WAS IT LAUGHTER, CRYING FOR SHOUTING FOR JOY, ….And for me receiving the Holy Spirit SO BY RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT YOU MEAN THAT YOU RECEIVED THE SPIRIT BY THE EVIDENCE OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES?? included healing from desires for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, swearing, obsession with sex and basically a hedonistic lifestyle all replaced with an admiration and love for Jesus Christ and sharing his message of love and forgiveness and that the power of the Holy Spirit for the early believers is STILL AVAILABLE for ‘believers’ today. IS THE POWER YOU RECEIVE FROM SPEAKING IN TONGUES ? It is a BLASPHEMY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT to say that His (Jesus) working in/with me is actually Satan. WELL YOU KNOW THAT TONGUES ARE FROM GOD, OR COUNTERFEIT FROM SATAN OR IT MAY JUST BE A LEARNT BEHAVIOR. TRY DIFFERENTIATING THEM, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE FALSE, THE TRUE AND THE LEARNT TONGUES. But hey even Jesus himself was accused of being in league with Satan by the religious types of his day. So we pray for them for ‘Father they know not what they are doing.’ YES WE DO PRAY FOR PEOPLE THAT DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT TONGUES, ESPECIALLY THE ONES THAT ARE TAUGHT THAT THE EVIDENCE OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES IS THAT THEY ARE BORN AGAIN AND ARE SPIRIT FILLED.

  • Marchello

    God has equipped humans with a great range of emotions so we shouldn’t be afraid of joy or sadness in our lives or experiences with God/Holy Spirit/Jesus Christ. We are humans not robots (not yet anyway). Remember King David let it all hang out as he danced and sang on his way back to Israel with the ark. And I do think emotions were running high on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was first poured out. There would have been great joy and laughter I believe. Of course Paul warned that the church meetings should be done decently and in order but we also have to be careful that we don’t completely sterilize the emotions of receiving/walking in the Holy Spirit. A major point my friend Mario keeps missing is: ‘what is the fruit of this tongue speaking’? And for me receiving the Holy Spirit included healing from desires for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, swearing, obsession with sex and basically a hedonistic lifestyle all replaced with an admiration and love for Jesus Christ and sharing his message of love and forgiveness and that the power of the Holy Spirit for the early believers is STILL AVAILABLE for ‘believers’ today. It is a BLASPHEMY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT to say that His (Jesus) working in/with me is actually Satan. But hey even Jesus himself was accused of being in league with Satan by the religious types of his day. So we pray for them for ‘Father they know not what they are doing.’

  • Amanda

    I’m a highly sensitive person and was diagnosed at 18 as clinically depressed. I was raised Catholic and have been to friends churches where they practiced tounges but it scared me it wasn’t something common for me to see. During one night alone in bed crying feeling at an all time low I started speaking tounges. It was as if it bursted from my mouth I was laughing and crying and had no idea what was coming out of my mouth but it just kept flowing out. Afterwards I felt at peace but kind of scared at what just happened.That was the only time it has ever happened. They say when you’re at your lowest is when you are closest to God and I truley believe that.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Amanda

      One not go by experiences, feelings and emotions. WHY because the change all the time and you will act differently at different times.

      What did you get out of that experience?

      What did the tongues do for you?

      Did you understand them? Is there an example in the bible that made the people that spoke in tongues, cry and laugh at something that is supposed to glorify and praise God.

      One must aware that there are false tongues and true tongues.

      One should be careful wanting to do or doing what other people do, without knowing the subject matter.

      God is always with you, he lives in you, you can not get closer or further away from God.

      other comments appreciated

  • mario

    to aaquadrat

    So if Roman Catholics really praise God from within the heart and their inner intent to praise GOD but through the Apostles and the virgin Mary, they also now speak in tongues. NOW ACCORDING TO YOU GOD SEES THEIR HEART So God WILL ACCEPT THEIR INNER INTENT TO WORSHIP HIM,

    iF THAT is CORRECT IF ONE THINKS ALL gODS LEAD TO SALVATION, God will accept all their prays as their inner intent is to worship a GOD?

    Ignore capitals please

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with tongues not being real. I am a highly educated woman who studied psychology of religion and also experimente with concepts such as gifts of the Holy Spirit. I have spoken in tongues. In one case I started speaking in tongues and was curious about what language I was speaking in. To my shock I found a book called the 100 names of Allah and
    discovered those prhases in the dictionary in the back. I was essentially saying Halleluah! in old Aramaic and the phrase was “Alleluah! Alleluah! (sp) All of creation says that!” Meaning all of God’s creatures are glad to be alive and praise the Lord for that. Another time when I was speaking, the same book helped me understand why I was saying Mount Tabor over and over again. That mount is in the Judeo Christian Bible. These experiences and Ken Wilbur’s comments on tongues in some of his books helped me understand that what is being dealt with here is the psychospiritual aspect of human beings, human bodies. And indeed much of the interpretation of the Bible and probably other scriptures is about that–proper interpretation, that is.

    • mario

      I disagree with tongues not being real. WHAT ARE THE BIBLE VERSES THAT YOU ARE USING THAT DETERMINES IN YOUR MIND THAT TONGUES ARE REAL. I am a highly educated woman who studied psychology of religion and also experimente with concepts such as gifts of the Holy Spirit. I have spoken in tongues. DO YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE REAL HOLY SPIRIT TONGUES AND THERE IS COUNTERFEIT TONGUES ( FAKE TONGUES) In one case I started speaking in tongues and was curious about what language I was speaking in. SO THE HOLY SPIRIT DID NOT GIVE YOU THE INTERPRETATION, HOW LONG AFTER YOU SPOKE IN TONGUES DID YOU EVENTUALLY GET TO SEE THE PHRASES IN THE BOOK ? To my shock I found a book called the 100 names of Allah and discovered those prhases in the dictionary in the back. I was essentially saying Halleluah! SO THE WHOLE TIME YOU SPOKE IN TONGUES YOU REPEATED THE SAME PHRASE OVER AND OVER AGAIN, AND ALL IT MEANT WAS HALLELUAH? SO YOU WERE IN ACTUAL FACT SAYING “PRAISE THE LORD” OVER AND OVER AGAIN in old Aramaic and the phrase was “Alleluah! Alleluah! (sp) All of creation says that!” Meaning all of God’s creatures are glad to be alive and praise the Lord for that. Another time when I was speaking, the same book helped me understand why I was saying Mount Tabor over and over again. DID YOU ACTUALLY SAY MOUNT TABOR OVER AND OVER AGAIN, SO IT WAS NOT A HEAVENLY LANGUAGE BUT YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE SAYING That mount is in the Judeo Christian Bible. These experiences and Ken Wilbur’s comments on tongues in some of his books helped me understand that what is being dealt with here is the psychospiritual aspect of human beings, human bodies. And indeed much of the interpretation of the Bible and probably other scriptures is about that–proper interpretation, that is. SO NOW YOU ARE GOING BY KEN WILBUR’S COMMENTS, WHY NOT READ THE BIBLE YOURSELF AND SEE IF WHAT YOU ARE DOING, SHOW US IN THE SCRIPTURES WHY YOU ARE SPEAKING IN UNKNOWN TONGUES THAT COULD BE CURSING GOD OR BE EARTHLY LANGUAGES.
      WOULD YOU NOT BE CONCERNED IF YOU MAY BE CURSING GOD?

      • aaquadrat

        WOULD YOU NOT BE CONCERNED IF YOU MAY BE CURSING GOD?

        In fact, no. I would not be concerned if someone interpreted my utterances as “cursing God” when my deepest intention was to praise him or be near to him. Doesn’t the Bible over and over stress that God sees beyond the appearance and looks into the heart? E.g. doesn’t he reveal to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16,7 “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
        What is your image of God? Are you arguing from a fear-based conception of God?

  • Teresa

    Well said.
    My adult daughter enter into a pentecostal revival church. She really thinks she was lead from God to join this group. They believe all members have the gifts of tongues.
    Many years ago i was caught up into this and i am grateful that I fell out of this. It was too emotional and draining. It unsettled my true spirit.
    My question is.. how can i saved my daughter from being mislead. My wish is to have my real daughter back. Her real self.
    I trried to talk with her but we always argue. Now, I dont bring up the topic and I hope she wakes up to the truth.
    Your advise is much appreciate
    Thank you

    • Marchello

      Your daughter has a basic human right to follow whichever religion she chooses. If she was living a homosexual life and you disagreed would you post online that you want her to stop? hmmm

  • mario

    Reply ↓
    Marchello
    February 22, 2018 at 11:22

    I agree with you we could debate for the next generation, but one is for sure Gods Word. Many people have come and gone with their theories and different movements throughout the centuries.

    But have you read the Word for yourself, Acts and Corinthians. By reading the Word yourself without the influence of all these comments which at first you thought it to be true and later you see that it was false doctrine.

    Lets stick to the gospel, Christ came as a human, baptized by John the Baptist, shared his blood on the cross and was raised from the death and sits at the right hand of the Father.

    Experiences, feeling and emotions can lead us astray but by Grace though Faith we can stand for righteousness

  • Doug

    If tounges were real I would like to see a group of speakers simultaneously utter the same syllables in their unknown language. As a practitioner who has paced prayer rooms with dozens of fellow tounge talkers I can accurately say this never happens. Another good test would be to have two interpreters in separate rooms after a tounge message is given separately and compare the interpretation. If the same interpretation were given then that would be significant. But I suspect the two interpretations given by the spirit would be radically different.

    • aaquadrat

      Doug, what do you mean by “tongues were real”? They are real. But with near certainty they are not languages in the sense of human languages with grammar, vocabulary etc. There are gazillian forms of expression and communication that do not involve full-fledged human languages.

  • Drake

    If the Pentecostal church members often speak in tongues then why is it never done in Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, and many other mainstream churches?

    • mario

      APART FROM PENTECOSTALS THESE OTHER RELIGIONS ALSO SPEAK IN TONGUES

      WHY DO THE TONGUES SOUND THE SAME AS PAGAN BELIEVERS

      TONGUES SPEAKERS ALSO INCLUDE

      Assemblies of God, United Pentecostal Church International, Church of God (Cleveland), The Salvation Army, and the Greek Orthodox Church.

      Buddhism, Hinduism

      Major World Religions
      Muslims
      The Church of Jesus Christ
      Church of Jesus Christ Christ of Latter Day Saints

      North Borneo priestesses chant incantations to a Gusi in a language of the spirit world.
      In Micronesia and the Solomon Islands, priests and priestesses open themselves to having spirits speak through them in the language of the spirit world,
      Yanagide of Moji City and the Zar cult in Ethiopia, practice speaking in tongues.

      Like shamans, practitioners of voodoo speak in tongues during their rituals.
      The Quillancinga and Pasto groups of the Andes tribes recite prayers in unknown languages during healing as well.

      COULD THE ESTIMATED 100 MILLION TONGUE SPEAKERS TODAY BE WRONG ????

      TONGUES EXISTED 100 OF YEARS BEFORE THE PENTECOSTAL TONGUES TODAY

      Tongues as we see it today did not come about as a result of studying the Bible. It just out of the blue happened. It should be of extreme concern to all Christians, because as already shown, it is not uniquely a Christian practice by any means. Various studies have revealed that speaking in tongues is present in non-Christian religions all around the world. It is practiced in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Siberia, Arabia, Burma, and Arctic regions just to name a few. Glossolalia is found among the Eskimos, Japanese séances in Hokkaido, in a small cult led by Genji Yanagide of Moji City, the shamans in Ethiopia in the zar cult and various spirits in Haitian Voodoo and is also found extensively in African tribal religions.

      WHO HAS THE COUNTERFEIT ?

      • Marchello

        As this discussion continues into another year of circular arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ tongues its important to note that some commentators come from a dead form of Christianity known as ‘cessationism’. These are so called Christians who the Bible warns about ‘having a form of godliness but deny the power thereof’. In Jack Deere’s intriguing book, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, he suggests the following hypothetical situation and result: “If you were to lock a brand-new Christian in a room with a Bible and tell him to study what the Scriptures have to say about healing and miracles, he would never come out of the room a cessationist.”

        • mario

          Hi Marchello

          In Jack Deere’s intriguing book, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, he suggests the following hypothetical situation and result: “If you were to lock a brand-new Christian in a room with a Bible and tell him to study what the Scriptures have to say about healing and miracles, he would never come out of the room a cessationist.” BEING LOCKED IN A ROOM WITH THE BIBLE WOULD HE START SPEAKING IN TONGUES AND HEAL PEOPLE AND SEE MIRACLES?

          • Marchello

            Hi Mario

            As I said, and it’s rather boring now, these arguments will no doubt continue for years to come! lol

            I’ve previously provided you with information from Church history involving famous Christians and Holy Ghost Revivals that the dwindling number of cessationists must either ignore or attempt to rewrite to fit their heretical viewpoint.

            The following is unashamedly copied and pasted from http://pneumareview.com/answering-the-cessationists-case-against-continuing-spiritual-gifts

            “Many good books have been produced showing the frequent outbreak of miracles and spiritual gifts throughout church history (See also the excellent series by Richard Riss entitled “Tongues and Other Miraculous Gifts from the 2nd to 19th Centuries” which appeared in the first five issue of the Pneuma Review, Fall 1998 (Vol 1 No 1) through Fall 1999 (Vol 2, No 4)).
            We will offer only three seldom-quoted examples of many hundreds available. Chapter 22 of St. Augustine’s City of God is devoted to the story of how Augustine himself became a full blown “charismatic” after being a bit of a theological cessationist.
            He repudiates his previous position, and provides examples of over seventy miracles he recorded in and around his churches. Augustine com­plains in section 22,8 that contempor­ary miracles are relative­ly unknown not because they no longer occur, but simply because of bad communication and because people are condi­tioned to disbelieve them. Pope Gregory VI in writing about the successful evangelism of Britain enthused: “…great miracles imitate powers of the apostles in the signs they [perform].” Much later, Luther seems to have undergone a similar conversion to that of Augustine toward the end of his life.”

            Mario, please apprise me of ANY cessationists held in higher esteem than Augustine or Luther in Christian history.

            To all you readers, like it or not, spiritual gifts as mystifying and strange as they are, have always been part of the true Christian church from its birth at Pentecost through to today. Sure there have been cults and extreme unscriptural behavior (as with any religion) and people who lose their faith. But Charismatic Christianity has a well recorded history and none of you scientists and sceptics can change that. Go do some more research…

            Marchello

            • Anonymous

              I totally agree. I did not believe in God, did not attend Church, never read the Bible, Wanted to test God to see if He really existed, God seen my heart that l truly wanted to know the truth, and not being influenced by anyone at all. Said a simple prayer asking God to reveal Himself to me if He really existed, and l was immediately on my knees, speaking in tongues and singing in tongues for over an hour. The people who don’t believe in the gifts from The Holy Ghost will have their day to give an account, some tongues are not of this world but are meant for God’s ears to hear and understand. Also just to let you know l have spoke in fluent German that l have never been exposed to but a couple in church that came from Germany approached me and asked me how did l know what they were praying for and how was I speaking in their language as if l lived in the part of Germany they came from. I told them l had no clue what language l was speaking nor did l understand what l spoke. They both said it was a direct answer in our language to something we were praying about. They thanked me and l said it was my honor to serve The Lord and do His will. I’d be very careful knocking the gift given to Christians from The Holy Ghost, because you surely don’t want to commit the ONLY unpardonable sin, blasphemy of The Holy Ghost. Rather be safe than sorry for all eternity. Open your hearts and stop trying to stop people from receiving the gifts from The Holy Ghost of God. Every knee shall bow and every TONGUE shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, like it or not scientists and everyone else doing satans work. Amen. Let it be written and let it be done. You’ve been warned people

              • Dave Post author

                How do you know that you experienced something supernatural from a god, and did not simply subconsciously copy those around you in the church doing exactly the same?

                Please also supply the contact details of this German couple so that we may independently interview them and verify this claim. Also advise on when this happened and where.

                test the spirits to see whether they are from God” – 1 John 4

            • mario

              “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be
              false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies…” —2nd Peter 2:1

              Our fundamental Bible churches today are filled with ignorant believers who view Martin Luther as a great hero of the faith. Tragically, Martin Luther was a heretic! I realize this comes as a shock to many Christians; but, the proof is undeniable. The Biblical teaching of being saved by faith alone is often attributed to Martin Luther; BUT, nothing could be further from the truth.

              Indeed, Luther and the other reformers did challenge the Catholic Church that sold indulgences and offered a “works-based” type of salvation. However, just because Martin Luther protested against the Catholic Church doesn’t mean that he was saved. Martin Luther often taught that salvation was based on faith alone, and not received based upon a person’s meritorious works; however, Luther’s idea of faith alone does not conform to the Biblical teaching that baptism is not required for salvation.

              While it is understood that the opinions of men are in no way authoritative when it comes to God’s plan for salvation, it is nonetheless interesting to note that Martin Luther believed wholeheartedly in the necessity of water baptism as a prerequisite for salvation.

              WHAT WOULD SAY TO THIS

              Should we go by MAN or Gods word ?

              Lets read what the word says on speaking in tongues. How many times did it occur in the Book of Acts? How many years apart sis it happened? Who required SIGNS?.

  • Dwight

    Reading about what most of you believe helps me understand how people can join a cult. I used to think wonder how people can be so clueless and just believe anything, but you all helped me understand how people, even today, can be followers and not even question anything. Do you really, truly believe in speaking in Tongue? I mean seriously? What about someone walking on water? Really? Or someone turning water into wine? I know of a lot of you probably want to so banks believe in something supernatural, it’s like the acient Greeks with their Greek gods, or natives with their multiple gods. I’m sure you all feel that is redicioulas to have a sun god or a moon god right….well what about worshipping to a person that supposedly could walk on water or rose from the dead. We are smarter people now days, we have all of this technology and knowledge at our fingertips. Educate yourselves from actual scientific facts, not what a book of rumors and stories that many many many people rewrote over time.the bible is like the exercise of telling one person a story, then they tell to the next person, who then tells the next and so on. The end result will be completely different p, with imbelishes and things added. That’s the bible.

    • aaquadrat

      Er, Dwight, it is not as simple. Science speaks about the repeatable, the laws that we perceive to hold categorically, like gravity etc. It does not make a statement about things that are not repeatable, like what a historic person did or could have done. It does not disprove that people rose from the dead. Even assuming the persistence of the physical laws at all times, it does not even exclude the possibility of raising from the dead, it might only assign it a low probability.

  • Russell

    Wow, Dave first posted this in July 2010 and it has generated a great deal of passionate response. I just stumbled across it searching for relative information. Glad I did. It now gives me an opportunity to share my thoughts and experience. I am a practicing Christian. I was born and raised Catholic, and as a young adult gravitated to various Protestant denominational ideas, and ultimately pentecostalism where I too believed that tongues were actually being spoken, and that I too did on few occassions. Prayerfully, I asked God for guidance and wisdom on the matter that so many seem equally certain and confused about. And He provided as always reminding me that He is not the author of confusion. My belief therefore that tongues as practiced today in many churches has now changed. I do concur that most of it is intentional and self generated. I am still a believer in God and His word, and believe in the apostolic message of salvation, but speaking in tongues I have concluded is meaningless and is no indicator or proof that His Spirit has fallen on anyone save the early church following the upper room experience which had a supernatural utility and purpose. Believers and nonbelievers should pray for wisdom as I did. He will answer.

  • Kavik

    Mike – “I guess the Apostle Paul was deluded when he said that he was glad that he spoke more in tongues than others? Someone should have told him it was all in his mind and make believe.”

    As someone already alluded to, Paul was, for his time anyway, a “world traveler”. He was most likely familiar with several languages; though quite frankly, he could have travelled just about anywhere in the Mediterranean basin knowing just two: Greek and Latin. He was simply stating that he was glad that he spoke more languages than most people he was addressing. Being multi-lingual would allow him to spread the message of Christianity to more people in their native language (or should I say – ‘native tongue’).

    Carole – Some tongues (languages) are recognizable. My mum gave a message in tongues at a Sunday meeting and there were a couple who had lived in Africa, they said she had an African dialect. Tongues of angels and of men. One chap in our meeting, though not entirely all in the French language, gives messages in tongues and I recognize some words as French as I learned it at school.

    Unfortunately, most accounts of tongues coming out as real language are all anecdotal at best. It is almost inevitable that if someone were producing random free vocalization, a few of their ‘words’ are going to be real words in a language spoken somewhere. That does not equate with that person being able to speak that language. If one of the syllables uttered were, say “apa” – it doesn’t mean anything in English, but I’d be willing to bet that it means something in probably several (if not more) real languages spoken somewhere.

    Sort of something akin to the old saying, “sit 100 monkeys in front of 100 typewriters for 100 years and one will turn out the works of Shakespeare.”

    There are just too many variables that could easily explain these situations. Did the couple from Africa simply state that what was being produced sounded like an African language or was an actual African language? i.e. did they recognize it as a real language (if so, which) or something that “sounded African”?

    The person who mixed some French with his glossolalia – does anyone have any idea what his exposure has been to French? It’s not uncommon for people to include a few words in their “tongue” in a language they may be familiar with. There’s a great example that was recorded from a person from New Zealand who clearly used corrupted forms of several English words as well as a few Maori words in their glossolalia. Getting back to your example, why would there only be a few words in French? Why not the whole sequence? That just doesn’t stand to reason.

    “Tongues of angels” as Paul uses it, is complete hyperbole. It was not ever meant literally.

    The thing is, there are no two ‘tongues’ that will ever sound the same as they are based primarily upon the speaker’s own native language and typically contain a subset of sounds found in that language (no two speakers will ever use quite the same subset of sounds). In this sense, one could say that there are thousands of “tongues”, or just as many different ‘tongues’ as there are tongues-speakers. If indeed “tongues” were a heavenly language, why would there ever be need of more than one??

    • Carole

      You’re totally wrong Kavik! Do you speak in tongues? I doubt it with what you’re saying. As I said to Mario ‘its better felt than telt’. I know some Pentecostal churches are way, way off the mark, which is a problem perhaps, though I’m blessed in going to a church that has sound doctrine and only preaches from the Bible, the true Word of God. My life changed for the better 38 years ago when I received the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues. At that time I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and the knot in my stomach was no more and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my dial for days. My experience hasn’t changed and, of course, we all have our problems at times, its part of life but I have the Lord now and I no longer rely on anything such as alcohol. The answer is ‘KISS’ ‘keep it simple stupid! John 3:3-8 ‘the Spirit breathes where it wills or wishes ‘pneuma = spirit’ where we get the Greek word pneumonia from. Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:18) obviously saw or heard something as he thought he could buy the power – it was those that had received the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues that he actually heard. Mario, Acts 2:3 ‘cloven’ here means ‘to divide throughout’. I’m probably wasting my breath, so I’ll say cheers and I hope one day the Lord will reveal himself to you both BUT you have to seek Him first with a humble heart. Humbles yourselves under the mighty hand of God. I’ll say goodbye now. Carole

      • Kavik

        Respectfully, no, I don’t think so.

        There are absolutely no references in the Bible with respect to “tongues” (read “languages”) that can not be explained in light of real language and what was happening both historically and culturally at that given time, whilst what modern tongue speakers are doing is easily explained in term of modern linguistics. There is no contradiction between ‘tongues’ and ‘real language’ in the Bible. The usage of ‘tongues’ makes it sound like something it simply is not; one of the pitfalls of using 17th century English in the 21st century.

        Anyone can ‘speak in tongues’; it’s just random free-vocalization, non-cognitive non-language utterance. It’s a question of overcoming any ‘weirdness’ one may have/feel about playing with one’s language to begin producing the glossolalia. As a Linguist, I play with the sounds of language all the time, so in a sense, I “speak in tongues” almost every day.

        Tongues as they are used today by Christian practitioners are a relatively recent phenomenon (to Christianity that is, certainly not to other cultures and religious paths).

        Speakers will argue that the origin/reference is Biblical, but it simply is not.

        James K.A. Smith in “Thinking in Tongues” (April, 2008) sums it up nicely where, in reference to the origins of modern tongues, he writes “The miraculous phenomena that manifested themselves at the Azusa Street revival, for example, compelled serious and sustained reflection. The events needed explanation (since it was painfully obvious that xenoglossy was not, as Parham fervently believed, what was happening), and the Pentecostal preachers and leaders turned to the resource that was most important to them: the narrative of Scripture. The resulting implicit theology was not a synthesis of revelation and philosophy but rather a synthesis trying to make sense of the experience in light of the narrative of Scripture.”

        In short, looking for a way to legitimize what they were doing by ‘proofing‘ it in the Bible, despite the obvious absence therein of anything resembling modern tongues – call it what you will, but the result was a virtual re-definition of Scripture with respect to the understanding of “tongues” for this group of Christians.

        I don’t know why there’s such an insistence on equating “tongue(s)” to something other than what the word actually means – a (real) language. Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians have to justify/legitimize/proof what they’re doing in light of Scripture. What they’re looking for though, just isn’t there; it never was. But without tongues, some Pentecostalism/Charismatic denominations fall rather flat; so what is in the Bible is reinterpreted to make what they are doing there.

        As to benefits of ‘speaking in tongues’ such as you describe – this is no more different than the benefits one can derive from deep spiritual meditation or even religious chants. I totally agree that there are definite benefits in the practice, and it can certainly be argued that it is a way for the practitioner to establish a closer relationship with the divine, but whether tongues, chants or meditation, all are simply a tool by which to accomplish this.

        • aaquadrat

          Kavik writes:

          There are absolutely no references in the Bible with respect to “tongues” (read “languages”) that can not be explained in light of real language

          Except for the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

          Take chapter 12, 1-11: “Tongues” and their interpretation is conceived as a manifestation of the Spirit, and it is mentioned in one breadth with “message of wisdom”, “message of knowledge”, “faith”, “gifts of healing”, “miraculous powers”, “prophecy”, “distinguishing between spirits”. These are all spiritual and supernatural capabilities. Why would something mundane as speaking a foreign language end up in the same pot as “miraculous powers” or “prophecy”?

          I can well consider glossolalia as something miraculous, since I cannot explain it in my everyday experiences, but why would I attribute spiritual powers to someone speaking in French to me?

          Or take chapter 14, 2: “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed no-one understands him”. If I speak French, surely someone can understand me. If I produce glossolalia instead, no one will understand me. So, what would Paulus likely refer to by “tongues” here?!

          I can’t help but finding the assertion “tongue = foreign language” ridiculous. I’d put it in the corner of an ideological rationalization.

          • Kavik

            Except for the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

            I have to disagree. Let me back up a second and preface this with the following:

            Pentecostal and Charismatic ‘tongues-speakers’ look for Biblical references for what they are doing; however, they are simply not there. The resulting implicit theology is not a synthesis of revelation and philosophy, but rather a synthesis of trying to make sense of the “tongues experience” in light of the narrative of Scripture.

            In other words, a way to legitimize the modern phenomenon by ‘proofing‘ it in the Bible, despite the obvious overwhelming absence therein of anything resembling modern tongues – call it what you will, but the result was a virtual re-definition of Scripture with respect to the understanding/justification of modern “tongues” for this group of Christians.

            One of the best examples of this is with Paul’s letter. There just isn’t anything there that can’t be explained in light of real language.

            Take chapter 12, 1-11: “Tongues” and their interpretation is conceived as a manifestation of the Spirit, and it is mentioned in one breadth with “message of wisdom”, “message of knowledge”, “faith”, “gifts of healing”, “miraculous powers”, “prophecy”, “distinguishing between spirits”. These are all spiritual and supernatural capabilities. Why would something mundane as speaking a foreign language end up in the same pot as “miraculous powers” or “prophecy”?

            That’s a good and fair question, and this is probably not the best way to answer; I know what I want to say, but it’s a matter of writing it so it makes some degree of sense, so at any rate…I wish I had some specific examples/references of this, but what has always struck me as sort of odd is that in many ancient cultures (particularly European and Middle Eastern it seems), the ability to be multi-lingual, to be able to speak, or translate, or write foreign languages, or any combination of the three, seems to have been looked upon or held in very high regard. A person who had a natural “knack” or ability for learning languages and did so (whether for the benefit of a particular king/ruler, his tribe, his people, whatever) was typically regarded with some degree of wonder and awe – their ability was often considered to be a ‘gift from the gods’. Again, I wish I had specific examples from different cultures and had a better understanding of why this was, but it seems to almost universal in areas where typically only one or two languages is spoken. It is quite possible that it is because a country’s or people’s language was oftentimes considered to be a gift from (the) God(s). It seems here, we are seeing the Hebrew/Jewish version of this concept; i.e. the ability to speak several languages regarded as a special gift bestowed upon humans by the divine.

            The ability to be able to speak in various languages is said to be a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

            People associate the term “spiritual gift” with it though, and the connotation/understanding is that it’s some sort of ability which is different from a natural ability/talent, which God gives someone when converted/saved. One didn’t have them prior to being saved, and then once saved, God gave them to him/her. All Charismatics would see them as obviously being supernatural in their manifestation.

            Why, however, does any ability that God chooses to give us, particularly given for the intent of being used to better the church (as these 9 ‘gifts’ are), need to be considered extraordinary, miraculous, or almost required to be called supernatural?

            Given the ordinary nature of most of these, why shouldn’t the ability in various languages be the bent/knack of some to ease the problem of communication in the church? These manifestations after all were given for the common good, not for some individualistic purpose.

            It is better perhaps to see these ‘gifts’ as God-given natural abilities. Given, perhaps, with the intention that they are to be used for spreading or evidencing of His glory among people.

            Further, you have to also keep in mind that ‘tongues’ as used in the Bible is nothing more than real human language(s).

            With respect to language, any person who has a God-given ability to pick up foreign languages seemingly effortlessly can be said to have the “gift of tongues”. Just as anyone who has exceptionally keen insight may be said to have the “gift of prophecy”, a village/tribal elder steeped in knowledge, wisdom and lore, the “gift of wisdom”, etc.

            So too could a person using a foreign language to administer to non-English speaking members of a congregation – perhaps stuck and struggling, not sure what or how to express a given topic, and draws on the H/S for inspiration, then suddenly starts speaking on the topic for an hour, very confident in what they’re saying. I would argue that this could also certainly be interpreted as the “gift of tongues”.

            Again, the above is perhaps not the best way to put what I’m trying to say, but hopefully it makes some sense.

            I can well consider glossolalia as something miraculous, since I cannot explain it in my everyday experiences, but why would I attribute spiritual powers to someone speaking in French to me?

            I suspect many people may think the same way simply because they don’t really have an idea of what it is they’re doing or, perhaps better said, how they’re doing what they’re doing. Glossolalia can be relatively easily explained if one wishes to know what it is and how it’s produced, but I suspect many Christians who practice it would rather not be told.

            Well, I don’t think anyone would. The purpose of this manifestation (i.e. people who had the ability/gift to learn languages quickly and easily) was for the church to encourage and evangelize people who spoke languages other than that spoken in a given church. In the case of Corinth, to gain converts from other parts of the world where Greek was not spoken via believers who spoke these languages.

            Some would argue that the ‘gift of tongues’ entails that the language(s) in question would be instantly known by the speaker without having to learn them, but there’s no real evidence to suggest that.

            Or take chapter 14, 2: “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed no-one understands him”. If I speak French, surely someone can understand me. If I produce glossolalia instead, no one will understand me. So, what would Paulus likely refer to by “tongues” here?!

            Many use 1 Cor. 14:2 as “proof” of tongues being spiritual language(s) – but upon closer examination, it simply describes real language, though a foreign one to the “hearers”. Note that, contrary to how some are taught to look at the passage, nowhere does it state that the speaker does not understand what he himself is saying. It’s just not there.

            To explain it further, if I attend a worship service in ‘East Haystack’, Alabama two things are going to be evident: one; there’s only going to be so many people at that service (i.e. there will be a finite given amount of people there) and two; the chances that anyone in East Haystack speaks anything but English is pretty slim to nil. If I start praying aloud in say Lithuanian, there’s no one at that service that’s going to understand a word I’m saying. Even though I’m speaking a real language, no one there will understand my “tongue”. That does not mean or imply that no one else understands Lithuanian; just no one at that particular service. So it ends up being a “real language no one understands” (within that given context). To the people listening to me, I am speaking ‘mysteries” in the Spirit (i.e. I’m praying earnestly from my heart and from deep within my being = praying ‘in the spirit’). Further, because no one else understands me, I am, in effect, praying just to God.

            I can’t help but finding the assertion “tongue = foreign language” ridiculous. I’d put it in the corner of an ideological rationalization.

            Not sure why this is difficult – the word ‘tongue’ (Gk. glossa) means ‘language’. The usage of ‘tongue’ in place of ‘language’ in many Bible translations is rather archaic, though we still use it today in certain expressions (e.g. we speak of someone’s native ‘tongue’). I think because ‘tongue’ is used instead of the more modern word ‘language’, people tend to associate it with something mysterious and something it never was.

            • Kavik

              I can well consider glossolalia as something miraculous, since I cannot explain it in my everyday experiences, but why would I attribute spiritual powers to someone speaking in French to me?

              This may better explain my take on “spiritual gifts” –

              Considering the fact Paul wrote three letters to three different groups of believers describing spiritual gifts and did not routinely repeat the same list of gifts, it’s probably safe to assume there are additional spiritual gifts unlisted in his writings.

              I would,in fact, argue that for Christians, any natural God-given talent may be said to be a “spiritual gift” if used in the ministry of God. Paul describes nine specific ones in his letter to the church in Corinth that he felt were the most important to further the message of Christianity in that church and perhaps also in that area of the world.

              The spiritual “gift of tongues” (read “manifestation of languages”) therefore is not just a knack/ability for learning languages easily than others, but more so, using that ability in spreading the message of Christianity and to the further glory of God.

              The same may be said of the “gift of interpretation” (i.e. the translation of said languages)

              • aaquadrat

                Kavik, thanks for your answer. I am just incredibly mystified by your interpretation of 1st Corinthians. Let me quote some more verses which I think point to “tonges = glossolalia” rather than “tonges = foreign languages”.

                Chapter 12, 10: “… to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”
                Speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues seem to be two different things. That does not make sense for natural languages. You can’t speak a language if you do not understand it, and vice versa.
                However, you can produce glossolalia without understanding its meaning (if there should be a meaning). And you can be inspired by glossolalia to say something as its “interpretation”. Think of the string of sounds uttered in glossolalia as a “random seed” to trigger some thoughts/memories/imagination that are thought of as its “interpretation”. [Er, yes, I am computer scientist.]

                Chapter 13, 1-2: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love … If I have the gift of prophecy…”
                Again, like in Chapter 12, tongues is paralleled with prophecy, both intuitive (supernatural is debatable) rather than rational capabilities. Paul mentions both “tongues of men” and “tongues of angels”. The latter is certainly not a natural language, but could mean glossolalia. The former would likely mean natural languages. So Paul says something that virtuous speech and beautiful “angelic speech” (certainly not a language known to men, what else than glossolalia) are worthless without love.

                Chapter 14,2: “…they utter mysteries by the Spirit”. Foreign language utterances are not “mysteries by the Spirit”, certainly not to the speaker.

                Chapter 14,13: “For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say”.
                If I speak something in French, I do not need to pray for the interpretation. I can simply say the same thing in English. If I speak glossolalia, I have no clue what it means, so I can hope to be given the interpretation by God if I pray. Why would Paul ask the speaker of just a foreign language to pray for the interpretation? How do you imagine the scenario? Some guy who does not speak Greek even though living in Corinth and being a member of the congregation there, this guy going to the service and praying out loud in his own language that no one else understands, and then praying for a translation to Greek, and something forms in his mind, and he speaks perfect Greek and everyone understands him?? And this happening on a regular basis so Paul needs to discuss the ordering of the service according to this phenomenon? Come on.

                Chapter 14,14: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.”
                Sounds like an accurate description of glossolalia to me. Matches the findings that the higher language centers in the brain are not involved (“mind is unfruitful”). [Certainly he did not have brain imaging, but only introspection to come to this formulation.]

                From there, Paul seems to equate “praying in a tongue” with “praying with my spirit”.

                Chapter 14,15: “I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding.”
                Seems like Paul implies that “praying with his spirit” excludes understanding. Again a good match for glossolalia.

                I can’t see a natural reading of 1st Corinthians 12-14 with your thesis that Paul just talks about foreign natural languages here. Your thesis seems very contrived.

                I have seen people quote Ch. 13,8 “where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled” as an argument why modern Charismatic practice is “ungodly”, but I have never heard anyone denying that glossolalia is reported and discussed in the New Testament. I am greatly puzzled here.

                • Kavik

                  Aaquadrat – I’ll respond to your post as quickly as time allows. A lot of points to comment about!

                • Kavik

                  Apparently, due to size, I’ll have to comment in two separate posts, so 1 of 1 –

                  _Chapter 12, 10: “… to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”

                  Speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues seem to be two different things. That does not make sense for natural languages. You can’t speak a language if you do not understand it, and vice versa.
                  However, you can produce glossolalia without understanding its meaning (if there should be a meaning). And you can be inspired by glossolalia to say something as its “interpretation”. Think of the string of sounds uttered in glossolalia as a “random seed” to trigger some thoughts/memories/imagination that are thought of as its “interpretation”. [Er, yes, I am computer scientist.]_

                  Yes, it would seem so at first, but the early church services were modeled after Jewish ones at which the rabbi/teacher spoke in the sacerdotal language of Hebrew and there was another person by his side (this person had a specific title that escapes me at the moment) who translated what the teacher was saying into the vernacular of the audience (Aramaic or Greek as the situation warranted) since by the 1st century AD, virtually no one in the audience would have understood Hebrew.

                  So in light of this, Paul separates the two, speaking and translating, even though they obviously go hand-in-hand. You can speak a language but not be very good at translating (as stupid as that sounds). Translation work (particularly simultaneous interpretation – think of a UN translator/interpreter) is actually not as simple as it may seem.

                  Not sure I’d agree that the glossolalia would be the inspiration for the interpretation so much as the person offering the interpretation being inspired by his/her faith and belief. Interpretation of glossolalia may also be said to be self-created based on one’s deep faith and belief. But, I do see your point in the ‘random seed’ analogy.

                  _Chapter 13, 1-2: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love … If I have the gift of prophecy…”

                  Again, like in Chapter 12, tongues is paralleled with prophecy, both intuitive (supernatural is debatable) rather than rational capabilities. Paul mentions both “tongues of men” and “tongues of angels”. The latter is certainly not a natural language, but could mean glossolalia. The former would likely mean natural languages. So Paul says something that virtuous speech and beautiful “angelic speech” (certainly not a language known to men, what else than glossolalia) are worthless without love._

                  Here’s a bit more on Paul’s use of hyperbole in his letter (taken from an article written by a N. Busenitz, April, 2014). He explains it better than I can:

                  The phrase in 1 Corinthians 13:1 is parallel to Paul’s subsequent statements (in v. 2) of knowing “all mysteries and all knowledge” and of having “all faith so as to [literally] remove mountains.” Both of those statements articulate hyperbolic impossibilities (since no one can know all the mysteries or have all knowledge or possess all faith). In verse 3, Paul gives additional extreme examples: giving “away all my possessions” and giving “my body to be burned.” While martyrdom is obviously possible, it still fits the pattern of Paul’s use of extreme examples in order to illustrate a crucial point: even the most superlative expression of any gift (including that which is impossible) would be worthless if it is devoid of love.

                  One of the things that is important to note about the grammar of 1 Corinthians 13:1 is that, in the Greek, it literally reads: “If with the tongues of men I speak and of angels.” That construction is unique and occurs only here in the New Testament. The grammar suggests that Paul intentionally separated the tongues of men from the tongues of angels, articulating the normal expression of the gift of foreign languages before emphatically inserting a hypothetical hyperbole. This pattern is seen in Paul’s subsequent examples as well.

                  Based on a comparison of all of Paul’s hypothetical examples in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, a strong case can be made that the apostle was using superlative, hyperbolic, and extreme examples to showcase the superiority of love. This contextual consideration leads us to conclude that the “tongues of angels” was a rhetorical expression, used by Paul to make a point. It did not describe the actual gift of tongues, which consisted only of “the tongues of men.”

                  When the grammatical and contextual evidence is considered, the “tongues of angels” simply does not provide Charismatics with Biblical support for a non-human form of tongues.

                  Chapter 14,2: “…they utter mysteries by the Spirit”. Foreign language utterances are not “mysteries by the Spirit”, certainly not to the speaker.

                  I think you have to take the whole passage into account to understand what is meant.

                  If I attend a worship service in ‘East Haystack’, Alabama two things are going to be evident: one; there’s only going to be so many people at that service (i.e. there will be a finite given amount of people there) and two; the chances that anyone in East Haystack speaks anything but English is pretty slim to nil. If I start praying aloud in say Lithuanian, there’s no one at that service that’s going to understand a bloody word I’m saying. Even though I’m speaking a real language, no one there will understand my “tongue”. That does not mean or imply that no one else understands Lithuanian; just no one at that particular service.

                  There’s a few things here to note – first, the passage in no way even remotely suggests that the speaker does not understand what he himself is saying; it’s the audience who do not understand, as they don’t speak his language. It ends up being a real language “no one understands” (within that given context). To the people listening to me, I am speaking “mysteries”. An idiomatic expression akin to our “it’s all Greek to me”, i.e. we have no clue what he’s saying; thus, he’s “speaking mysteries”.

                  Praying “in the Spirit” is another misinterpretation by Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians. Praying in the Spirit does not refer to the words we are saying (i.e. the language we’re praying in). Rather, it refers to how we are praying. Praying in the Spirit is praying according to the Spirit’s leading. It is praying for things the Spirit leads us to pray for.

                  There is no reference to ‘languages’ in any of the three places mentioned above. If the current phenomenon is found here, it is because it has been read into it. ‘Pray in the Spirit’ has come to mean in common Pentecostal/Charismatic parlance, ‘Pray in tongues’.

                  _Chapter 14,13: “For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say”.

                  If I speak something in French, I do not need to pray for the interpretation. I can simply say the same thing in English. If I speak glossolalia, I have no clue what it means, so I can hope to be given the interpretation by God if I pray. Why would Paul ask the speaker of just a foreign language to pray for the interpretation? How do you imagine the scenario? Some guy who does not speak Greek even though living in Corinth and being a member of the congregation there, this guy going to the service and praying out loud in his own language that no one else understands, and then praying for a translation to Greek, and something forms in his mind, and he speaks perfect Greek and everyone understands him?? And this happening on a regular basis so Paul needs to discuss the ordering of the service according to this phenomenon? Come on._

                  No, that’s not at all what I’m suggesting. I’m going to try to explain this in light of real language as best I can…..

                  The text does not necessarily imply that the person speaking is also going to be doing the translation; it just says he should pray that he can translate what he’s saying – it doesn’t indicate how the translation is to be done. The assumption is that the person speaking will also be doing the translating, but it could just as well imply that if he’s planning on praying aloud at a public meeting, to pray that he’s able to secure a translator for himself.

                  There is no specific time frame referenced – most people would imply that his ability to translate would be instantaneous, but it could just as well imply that he should pray that (at some point) he’ll also be able to translate (whether he himself learns the local language well enough, or he has someone translate for him).

                  As I mentioned earlier, it’s one thing to speak another language but another thing to interpret/translate.

                  If my native language is English and I learn German enough to be able to speak it to get by, it does not necessarily mean I can adequately translate; I may be able to get across the gist of what I’m trying to say, but to express the nuances, particularly with things like prayer, is actually quite a difficult task.

                  As an example, a few years ago, I translated a simple four-line “meal grace” used in Scouting into a few local Native American languages. Four incredibly simple lines in English, but maddeningly difficult to accurately translate into these languages and try to capture all the nuance and exact meaning of the English original. I never expected it would take anywhere near as long as it did.

                  Given then the difficulties faced in translation/interpretation, it is not at all unreasonable for a person in a multi-lingual church situation to ask God for help so that the rest of the church can be edified through their participation. Again, it should also be pointed out that the interpretation is not confined to the one speaking as referred to in v13 and in v5. Verse 28 indicates others also can interpret, and of course, there’s no specific time frame referenced.

                  Paul then goes on to indicate, that if the person can’t translate (whether himself or through a translator), he should keep quiet and pray silently to himself.

                  As R. MacLachlan write in his book “Tongues Revisited”, “Assuming modern tongues is what is referred to in 1 Corinthians 14, and God’s intention is to edify the church – as is emphasized constantly throughout the chapter – why does he activate someone to exercise the phenomenon but not in all cases provide an interpreter? In fact, why does he give a ‘message’ in a language not known to anyone in the church at all? If edification is what he intends, (and emphatically it is, as this chapter makes plain), why put hurdles “tongues” in the way of it?”

                • Kavik

                  Here’s 2 of 2 –

                  _Chapter 14,14: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.”

                  Sounds like an accurate description of glossolalia to me. Matches the findings that the higher language centers in the brain are not involved (“mind is unfruitful”). [Certainly he did not have brain imaging, but only introspection to come to this formulation.]
                  From there, Paul seems to equate “praying in a tongue” with “praying with my spirit”._

                  The results from the study done by the University of PA that you refer to (the one where they did SPECT imaging of tongues-speakers) seem to support the idea that the reason the language centers of the brain are not overly active during the production of glossolalia (“tongues”) is because glossolalia is not language. I think the results could be skewed either to support or refute “tongues”; thus, should not be relied on as evidence or proof to support either view.

                  “If I pray in a language, my spirit prays, but my understanding/mind produces no fruit”

                  Again to paraphrase a little from the aforementioned book, Tongues Revisited…..
                  What is the fruit that a person’s mind bears? I think the reasonable answer is ‘understanding’. An important question must also be asked. Where does a person’s mind bear fruit or produce understanding? The Charismatic response is, ‘In the person’s own mind.’ This hinges on the use of the word “akarpos” (unfruitful) in Greek. It can be used either with and active meaning or a passive meaning. Charismatic Christians take the meaning as passive; producing no understanding in the speaker’s mind.

                  However this answer is clearly wrong. The text identifies the fruit of a person’s mind as being the understanding that occurs in the mind of others, not their own! This is an extremely important point as virtually the whole charismatic view of ‘tongues’ finally swings on the word ‘unfruitful’ referring to the speaker’s own mind.

                  Akarpos, may be also used passively – that part of the text does not center on the activity or nonactivity of the speaker’s mind, but rather on potential benefit derived by listeners.

                  The whole context of 1 Corinthians 14 is the effect upon the hearers of untranslated languages. Paul’s concern is the edification of the group. Therefore, 14:14 should be taken as “My spirit prays but my mind does not produce fruit [in others].” In other words, my mind, my understanding, i.e., the fact that I understand what I’m saying, produces no fruit in others (since they don’t understand my language).

                  It is interesting to note that Luther’s Bible of 1545 renders the phrase as “my mind/understanding brings no one fruit.

                  One has to wonder if perhaps Luther understood the passive meaning of the phrase.

                  _Chapter 14,15: “I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding.”

                  Seems like Paul implies that “praying with his spirit” excludes understanding. Again a good match for glossolalia._

                  I will pray with my spirit, i.e. pray in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit, and according to His will, and I will also pray with understanding.

                  In other words, not only will I pray and be edified through my own prayer – which I understand but others don’t – I will also pray so that fruit is produced in the congregation to their edification. The same goes for singing. It hinges back to the verse before it. The idea of the speaker’s understanding also producing fruit (understanding) in the audience’s mind.

                  This thought is then extended and clarified in v16 and v17 where a person who doesn’t understand the praise being given to God can’t say ‘Amen’ to your thanksgiving. He doesn’t know what you are saying. You’re giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.
                  I don’t think “understanding” is excluded here since it really refers to the audience, not the speaker.

                  I can’t see a natural reading of 1st Corinthians 12-14 with your thesis that Paul just talks about foreign natural languages here. Your thesis seems very contrived.

                  I don’t think so. As I’ve attempted to demonstrate above, each passage can be understood in light of real language.

                  I have seen people quote Ch. 13,8 “where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled” as an argument why modern Charismatic practice is “ungodly”, but I have never heard anyone denying that glossolalia is reported and discussed in the New Testament. I am greatly puzzled here.

                  I think that hinges on the Pentecostal/Charismatic understanding of “tongues”/glossolalia. For these Christians, “tongues” can only mean glossolalia, otherwise what they are producing/doing doesn’t have any Scriptural reference. The word used was ‘glossa’ and its meaning is ‘language’ – Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians are reading into the text something that is just not there.

                  I think some of this centers on the meaning of the phrase “(praying) in the Spirit”.

                  It’s only mentioned three times in the Bible (Corinthians, Ephesians, and Jude).

                  The Greek word translated “pray in” can have several different meanings. It can mean “by means of,” “with the help of,” “in the sphere of,” and “in connection to.” Praying in the Spirit does not refer to the words we are saying. Rather, it refers to how we are praying. Praying in the Spirit is praying according to the Spirit’s leading. It is praying for things the Spirit leads us to pray for.

                  Therefore, praying in the Spirit should be understood as praying in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit, and according to His will, not as praying in “tongues”.

                • Kavik

                  Here’s 2 of 2

                  _Chapter 14,14: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.”

                  Sounds like an accurate description of glossolalia to me. Matches the findings that the higher language centers in the brain are not involved (“mind is unfruitful”). [Certainly he did not have brain imaging, but only introspection to come to this formulation.]
                  From there, Paul seems to equate “praying in a tongue” with “praying with my spirit”._

                  The results from the study done by the University of PA that you refer to (the one where they did SPECT imaging of tongues-speakers) seem to support the idea that the reason the language centers of the brain are not overly active during the production of glossolalia (“tongues”) is because glossolalia is not language. I think the results could be skewed either to support or refute “tongues”; thus, should not be relied on as evidence or proof to support either view.

                  “If I pray in a language, my spirit prays, but my understanding/mind produces no fruit”

                  Again to paraphrase a little from the aforementioned book, Tongues Revisited…..

                  What is the fruit that a person’s mind bears? I think the reasonable answer is ‘understanding’. An important question must also be asked. Where does a person’s mind bear fruit or produce understanding? The Charismatic response is, ‘In the person’s own mind.’ This hinges on the use of the word “akarpos” (unfruitful) in Greek. It can be used either with and active meaning or a passive meaning. Charismatic Christians take the meaning as passive; producing no understanding in the speaker’s mind.

                  However this answer is clearly wrong. The text identifies the fruit of a person’s mind as being the understanding that occurs in the mind of others, not their own! This is an extremely important point as virtually the whole charismatic view of ‘tongues’ finally swings on the word ‘unfruitful’ referring to the speaker’s own mind.

                  Akarpos, may be also used passively – that part of the text does not center on the activity or nonactivity of the speaker’s mind, but rather on potential benefit derived by listeners.

                  The whole context of 1 Corinthians 14 is the effect upon the hearers of untranslated languages. Paul’s concern is the edification of the group. Therefore, 14:14 should be taken as “My spirit prays but my mind does not produce fruit [in others].” In other words, my mind, my understanding, i.e., the fact that I understand what I’m saying, produces no fruit in others (since they don’t understand my language).

                  It is interesting to note that Luther’s Bible of 1545 renders the phrase as “my mind/understanding brings no one fruit.

                  One has to wonder if perhaps Luther understood the passive meaning of the phrase.

                  _Chapter 14,15: “I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding.”

                  Seems like Paul implies that “praying with his spirit” excludes understanding. Again a good match for glossolalia._

                  I will pray with my spirit, i.e. pray in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit, and according to His will, and I will also pray with understanding.

                  In other words, not only will I pray and be edified through my own prayer – which I understand but others don’t – I will also pray so that fruit is produced in the congregation to their edification. The same goes for singing. It hinges back to the verse before it. The idea of the speaker’s understanding also producing fruit (understanding) in the audience’s mind.

                  This thought is then extended and clarified in v16 and v17 where a person who doesn’t understand the praise being given to God can’t say ‘Amen’ to your thanksgiving. He doesn’t know what you are saying. You’re giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.
                  I don’t think “understanding” is excluded here since it really refers to the audience, not the speaker.

                  I can’t see a natural reading of 1st Corinthians 12-14 with your thesis that Paul just talks about foreign natural languages here. Your thesis seems very contrived.

                  I don’t think so. As I’ve attempted to demonstrate above, each passage can be understood in light of real language.

                  I have seen people quote Ch. 13,8 “where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled” as an argument why modern Charismatic practice is “ungodly”, but I have never heard anyone denying that glossolalia is reported and discussed in the New Testament. I am greatly puzzled here.

                  I think that hinges on the Pentecostal/Charismatic understanding of “tongues”/glossolalia. For these Christians, “tongues” can only mean glossolalia, otherwise what they are producing/doing doesn’t have any Scriptural reference. The word used was ‘glossa’ and its meaning is ‘language’ – Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians are reading into the text something that is just not there.

                  I think some of this centers on the meaning of the phrase “(praying) in the Spirit”.

                  It’s only mentioned three times in the Bible (Corinthians, Ephesians, and Jude).

                  The Greek word translated “pray in” can have several different meanings. It can mean “by means of,” “with the help of,” “in the sphere of,” and “in connection to.” Praying in the Spirit does not refer to the words we are saying. Rather, it refers to how we are praying. Praying in the Spirit is praying according to the Spirit’s leading. It is praying for things the Spirit leads us to pray for.

                  Therefore, praying in the Spirit should be understood as praying in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit, and according to His will, not as praying in “tongues”.

                • Kavik

                  Looks like I can’t post two longer comments right after one another. It times out on me. I’ll post “part 2 of 2” ASAP.

                • Kavik

                  _Chapter 14,14: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.”

                  Sounds like an accurate description of glossolalia to me. Matches the findings that the higher language centers in the brain are not involved (“mind is unfruitful”). [Certainly he did not have brain imaging, but only introspection to come to this formulation.]
                  From there, Paul seems to equate “praying in a tongue” with “praying with my spirit”._

                  The results from the study done by the University of PA that you refer to (the one where they did SPECT imaging of tongues-speakers) seem to support the idea that the reason the language centers of the brain are not overly active during the production of glossolalia (“tongues”) is because glossolalia is not language. I think the results could be skewed either to support or refute “tongues”; thus, should not be relied on as evidence or proof to support either view.

                  “If I pray in a language, my spirit prays, but my understanding/mind produces no fruit”

                  Again to paraphrase a little from the aforementioned book, Tongues Revisited…..

                  What is the fruit that a person’s mind bears? I think the reasonable answer is ‘understanding’. An important question must also be asked. Where does a person’s mind bear fruit or produce understanding? The Charismatic response is, ‘In the person’s own mind.’ This hinges on the use of the word “akarpos” (unfruitful) in Greek. It can be used either with and active meaning or a passive meaning. Charismatic Christians take the meaning as passive; producing no understanding in the speaker’s mind.

                  However this answer is clearly wrong. The text identifies the fruit of a person’s mind as being the understanding that occurs in the mind of others, not their own! This is an extremely important point as virtually the whole charismatic view of ‘tongues’ finally swings on the word ‘unfruitful’ referring to the speaker’s own mind.

                  Akarpos, may be also used passively – that part of the text does not center on the activity or nonactivity of the speaker’s mind, but rather on potential benefit derived by listeners.

                  The whole context of 1 Corinthians 14 is the effect upon the hearers of untranslated languages. Paul’s concern is the edification of the group. Therefore, 14:14 should be taken as “My spirit prays but my mind does not produce fruit [in others].” In other words, my mind, my understanding, i.e., the fact that I understand what I’m saying, produces no fruit in others (since they don’t understand my language).

                  It is interesting to note that Luther’s Bible of 1545 renders the phrase as “my mind/understanding brings no one fruit.

                  One has to wonder if perhaps Luther understood the passive meaning of the phrase.

                  _Chapter 14,15: “I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding.”

                  Seems like Paul implies that “praying with his spirit” excludes understanding. Again a good match for glossolalia._

                  I will pray with my spirit, i.e. pray in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit, and according to His will, and I will also pray with understanding.

                  In other words, not only will I pray and be edified through my own prayer – which I understand but others don’t – I will also pray so that fruit is produced in the congregation to their edification. The same goes for singing. It hinges back to the verse before it. The idea of the speaker’s understanding also producing fruit (understanding) in the audience’s mind.

                  This thought is then extended and clarified in v16 and v17 where a person who doesn’t understand the praise being given to God can’t say ‘Amen’ to your thanksgiving. He doesn’t know what you are saying. You’re giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.
                  I don’t think “understanding” is excluded here since it really refers to the audience, not the speaker.

                  I can’t see a natural reading of 1st Corinthians 12-14 with your thesis that Paul just talks about foreign natural languages here. Your thesis seems very contrived.

                  I don’t think so. As I’ve attempted to demonstrate above, each passage can be understood in light of real language.

                  I have seen people quote Ch. 13,8 “where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled” as an argument why modern Charismatic practice is “ungodly”, but I have never heard anyone denying that glossolalia is reported and discussed in the New Testament. I am greatly puzzled here.

                  I think that hinges on the Pentecostal/Charismatic understanding of “tongues”/glossolalia. For these Christians, “tongues” can only mean glossolalia, otherwise what they are producing/doing doesn’t have any Scriptural reference. The word used was ‘glossa’ and its meaning is ‘language’ – Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians are reading into the text something that is just not there.

                  I think some of this centers on the meaning of the phrase “(praying) in the Spirit”.

                  It’s only mentioned three times in the Bible (Corinthians, Ephesians, and Jude).

                  The Greek word translated “pray in” can have several different meanings. It can mean “by means of,” “with the help of,” “in the sphere of,” and “in connection to.” Praying in the Spirit does not refer to the words we are saying. Rather, it refers to how we are praying. Praying in the Spirit is praying according to the Spirit’s leading. It is praying for things the Spirit leads us to pray for.

                  Therefore, praying in the Spirit should be understood as praying in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit, and according to His will, not as praying in “tongues”.

            • Amy

              The way I understand it, the gift of speaking and understanding in a different language was a beautiful gift by God when he changed the language of the people that were trying to build the tower to Heaven. I was raised pentecostal and taught very strictly their beliefs. My family is still pentecostal and I have a great respect for them all, I respect anyone that can live each day in kindness, love, and faith. I ran across this while researching the Bible for myself as well as for my daughter. I am trying to understand Gods Word for myself without influence. There are many things I don’t understand and sometimes feel like I shouldn’t even question what was taught to me but until I can tell my daughter Why without saying, “That is just the way it is and you are not to question it.” I will continue my quest of understanding thru reading, praying, and researching the Word of God. I have really enjoyed reading all the comments on here! Not one view on here is any less than the other, nor is one person on here the hail Mary of truth while the others are fumbled. I 100% believe our personal relationship with God and how much faith we allow ourselves to walk in, will ultimately be our guide to understanding, not what some scientist said. What scientist would admit to and proof anything for a Christain?Why would they go against their
              own values, beliefs, teachings, studies, peers, and everything else related to science to admit a supernatural force liken to the very one they believe never existed? Why would I believe any study done by someone that thinks they are related closely to a monkey and we are all simply evolved gorillas? I don’t hold much regard in the main article as I found it to be rather distasteful and actually sad, I feel sorry for the author. Enlightment should only come thru self discovery…If not wouldn’t you always question the validity? I would and I wish you all the best journey you could possibly have. One Love

              • Dave Post author

                Hi Amy,

                I think I should add one key observation – No amount of belief makes something a fact.

                You will need to ask yourself this question. Are you interested in knowing what is actually true, or simply embracing a belief that is popular?

                The one person that will always be inclined to fool us the most is ourselves, and so we all need to start by working out a reliable way of determining what is and is not objectively true. If you don’t have a reliable way of doing that, then you can’t really have any confidence in any conclusions.

      • Lin

        Mike, you’re being analytical. No offence. If you experience it, you know its right and you are in tune with God. The natural man understands not the things of God. Challenge Him!! All the talk in the world is futile. He simply lays it down and if we follow it, we’ll get the answer. Repent, be baptised and guess what you’ll receive the Holy Spirit. Say hallelujah over and over and your tongue WILL change. You have to be absolutely sincere in your approach. Test it! But all the waffle in the world (as we do), will bring about nothing. He promises and it’s there if we check in.

        • Linda

          Whether the tongue sounds like a natural language or not is irrelevant. It can though as proven by certain comments here. My words are short and hopefully sweet. When you debate against tongues, you’re debating against God. Man is so clever in his own mind that he doesn’t see the real picture. We love to analyse. We get on our soap box. I’m amazed at how many comments are on here arguing away at the tongue issue. You know what – the thing that man cannot control is the tongue. It’s full of envy, strife etc. that’s why the Lord chose the tongue and takes control of it. Speaking in tongues is a sign you have received God’s Holy Spirit. I know I’ll cop it for my frank outburst, but I’m not worried. Stop debating and put it to the test. You’ll know then it’s for real. Stop arguing with the creator. Humility is called for. It’s been made complicated when it’s all so simple. Repent, be baptised and you will receive the HS. It’s a promise AND GOD DOES NOT LIE!!! Amen and amen.

          • Kavik

            The “tongues” Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians are producing today is an entirely self-created phenomenon. It is non-cognitive non-language utterance; random free vocalization based upon a subset of the existing sounds of the speaker’s native language, and any other language(s) the speaker may be familiar with or have had contact with. It is typically characterized by repetitive syllables, plays on sound patterns and over-simplification of syllable structure.

            There is nothing that these ‘speakers’ are producing that cannot be explained in natural linguistic terms.

            Conversely, there are no Biblical references to ‘tongues” that cannot be explained with respect to real language.

            The idea that debating against tongues is debating against God doesn’t stand as there is nothing in the Bible that references what Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians are doing. There’s no arguing against the Creator here; just a total re-definition of Scripture by tongues speakers to proof what they are producing is in the Bible.

            People seem to forget that “tongue(s)” is just a somewhat archaic word for “language(s)”. Replace “tongue(s)” with “language(s)” in these passages and the whole modern concept of “tongues” begins to sound considerably less mysterious and mystical/angelic. Indeed, it begins to become difficult to posit the modern Pentecostal/Charismatic concept of ‘tongues’.

            Pentecostal and Charismatic ‘tongues-speakers’ look for Biblical references for what they are doing; however, they are simply not there. The resulting implicit theology is not a synthesis of revelation and philosophy, but rather a synthesis of trying to make sense of the “tongues experience” in light of the narrative of Scripture.

            In other words, a way to legitimize the modern phenomenon by ‘proofing‘ it in the Bible, despite the obvious overwhelming absence therein of anything resembling modern tongues – call it what you will, but the result was a virtual re-definition of Scripture with respect to the understanding/justification of modern “tongues” for this group of Christians.

            “Tongues” is simply not what its ‘speakers’ want/need it to be.

            Modern tongues is just another tool, like chanting or meditation, etc.; a way by which one may establish a closer relationship with the divine. In this respect (i.e. as the tool it is), it can be quite powerful to accomplish this goal. Known by many different names, “tongues” is practiced by many cultures and religious beliefs from all over the world; it is relatively new to Christianity and certainly not unique to it.

            Frequently going hand-in-hand with tongues, “interpretation” may also be said to be a self-created phenomenon. Interpretations, inspired by one’s deep faith and beliefs, are typically inordinately longer than the actual glossic utterance. The relatively generic messages however do not suggest anything divinely inspired. This is clearly evidenced in that the same glossic string played to ten different interpreters yields ten non-related results. In “tongues”, a ‘big brown dog, can also be a ‘small white cat’.

            The common answer is that God/the Holy Spirit gives different interpretations to different people. To paraphrase from a few writers…Pentecostal Darwinism however, does not exist – there’s no mutation or transformation of one message into several for the sake of justifying an obvious discrepancy. If this were the case, it would completely eradicate the need for ‘tongues’ in the first place. It’s akin to improv. You’re an actor. What’s your motivation? You’re God, and you want to say something encouraging and/or inspiring to the gathered audience. Improvise. Go!

        • mario

          Where in the word of God do we any just say repeat hallelujah. When anyone received the sign gift it was instant. Not something one could be taught,

          So with OUT repenting AND being water baptised YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE THE GIFT OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES?

          so its not the holy spirits gift, YOU HAVE TO BE SINCERE IN YOUR APPROACH, SO YOU ARE THE CAUSE OF THE GIFT.

          DOES THE BIBLE ALL SPEAK IN TONGUES ? If so we all should be pastors, prophets, teachers ect OR WE ARE ALL the eye, the foot , the body, the hip???

          • Linda

            I’m not going to elaborate. As you say hallelujah your tongue will change. You have to be of a contrite heart. It’s there for all but not all will take heed. Without my Spirit, you are none of mine. I’ve told you how to receive it. It’s now up to you. Stay skeprical if you want to. My sheep know my voice. Amen

            • mario

              Thanks for the comments. We should also understand we believe by faith and not by sight,

              So one has to beware as we know emotions, feeling and experience can not be relied upon as they change. But Gods work never changes

    • rusonik

      i had a neighbor who claimed to the capacity to speak in tongues and she claimed that she was speaking in ancient hebrew. I asked her how she knew it was in ancient hebrew, and she stated that it sounded like the hebrew she heard on TV. I pointed out that hebrew was already a dead language by the time of the so called biblical timer of christ. And today, hebrew is taught like latin ( phonetically) and we have no way to know what the original hebrew alphabet sounded like. And se was just mimicking what she heard on TV and just making up words. She asked me how I knew this, and i responded in actual hebrew to answer her question. I was immediately told to leave the house.

      • Kavik

        I think this is very typical – people say it “sounds like” language X, not “it IS” language X.

        We do know what Hebrew sounded like in the first century AD – not sure if that’s what’s used/taught in Judaism today with respect to reading from Torah, etc. It is different from modern Hebrew.

  • mario

    Hi Mike
    January 7, 2018 at 02:55

    Paul wrote 1 Corinthians about 25 years after Pentecost. What happened before that

    Pentecost from then what happened Pentecost : Holy Spirit and tongues

    4 years later again at Samaritan Peter and John : Holy Spirit NO tongues
    5 years later Paul conversion Ananias : Holy Spirit NO tongues
    19 years later Cornelius conversion Peter : Holy Spirit and tongues
    23 years later Ephesus Paul : Holy Spirit and tongues

    What was tongues at Pentecost ?
    What was tongues 19 and 23 later ?? SURELY EARTHLY EARTHLY LANGUAGES ? IF PAUL SPOKE MORE EARTHLY LANGUAGES THAN MOST FOLK AT THAT TIME
    PAUL COULD SAY “I SPEAK MORE TONGUES THAN ANYONE “.

    BUT IF YOU CONCLUDE THAT PAUL MEANT, HE SPENT MORE TIME PRAYING IN HEAVENLY TONGUES THAN ANYONE ELSE, HOW WOULD HE KNOW THAT?
    LOTS RELIGIOUS FOLKS COULD BE SPEAKING IN TONGUES 1,2,3,5,10, OR MORE HOURS A DAY, HOW WOULD PAUL KNOW HOW MANY HOURS EACH PERSON SPOKE IN TONGUES?? Example could Paul really know how many hours he prayed? what about LUKE 2:37 ” and then was a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.”

    The listeners listed all their various nationalities and observed again that they HEARD the speakers speaking of the mighty deeds of God in their own tongues (glossa), meaning EARTHLY languages. The miracle HEARING, I could be speaking Galilean but you heard it in English.

    Initial giving of the Spirit to different people groups in the book of Acts:
    (1) Jews (Acts 2),
    (2) Samaritans (implied in Acts 8:18),
    (3) Gentiles (Acts 10)
    (4) disciples of John the Baptist (Acts 19)

  • Mike

    I guess the Apostle Paul was deluded when he said that he was glad that he spoke more in tongues than others? Someone should have told him it was all in his mind and make believe.

  • mario

    Hi Carol

    I KNOW WE ARE ON A DIFFERENT SUBJECT. BUT THANKS FOR THE COMMENTS : IRON SHARPENS IRON

    Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    The Hebrew word yom and its plural form yamim are used over 1900 times in the Old Testament. . . . Outside of the Genesis 1 case in question, the two-hundred plus occurrences of yom preceded by ordinals all refer to a normal twenty-four hour day. Furthermore, the seven-hundred plus appearances of yamim always refer to a regular day. Thus, it is argued that the Exodus 20:11 reference to the six yamim of creation must also refer to six regular days.1

    For example, have you read Numbers 7 recently? It is one of those boring sections that you would rather skip over in your Bible reading plan, forgetting what 2 Timothy 3:16 says! Well, in Numbers 7, the tribes of Israel bring their gifts for the Tabernacle to Moses. In Numbers 7:12, we read that the tribe of Judah brought their offering on the first day. On the second day, the tribe of Issachar came (Numbers 7:18. Zebulun brought their offering on the third day (Numbers 7:24). Since a day with the Lord is as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8), was poor old Moses sat there for 12,000 years, waiting for these offerings? Of course not! These were 12 literal 24-hour days. And the grammar of Numbers 7 is identical to that of Genesis 1. In fact, outside of Genesis 1, there is not a single example of the word yom being used with a number, where it does not mean a 24 hour day. So, there is no reason to interpret Genesis 1 in any other way than to state that it refers to 24-hour days.

    Why did God take six days?
    Was there death, pain, and suffering before Adam and Eve’s sin?
    At the close of the Creation Week, God called everything He had made “very good.” This is powerful evidence against the idea that long ages of suffering and dying took place before the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, appeared.
    If you think about it, an infinite Creator God could have created everything in no time. Why, then, did He take as long as six days? The answer is given in Exodus 20:11. Here we find that God tells us that He deliberately took six days and rested for one as a pattern for man—this is where the seven-day week comes from. The seven-day week has no basis for existing except from Scripture. If one believes that the days of creation are long periods of time, then the week becomes meaningless.

    The Bible tells us that Adam was created on the sixth day. If he lived through day six and day seven, and then died when he was 930 years old, and if each of these days was a thousand or a million years, you have major problems! On the fourth day of creation (Genesis 1:14-19), we are given the comparison of day to night, and days to years. If the word “day” doesn’t mean an ordinary day, then the comparison of day to night and day to years becomes meaningless.

  • mario

    Carole
    January 4, 2018 at 10:23

    Is there any scriptures that command or instruct us to speak in tongues. If tongues is so important why is it not a requirements for bishop, Elders, pastors and deacons.

    See 1 Timothy 3:1–7: “Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”

    See Titus 1:6–9 “An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it”

    See 1 Timothy 3:8–13 “In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus”

    IF SPEAKING IN TONGUES IS NECESSARY AND IMPORTANT SHOULD THEY NOT ELDERS, DEACONS AND PASTORS HAVE THEM MORE THAN AN ORDINARY PERSON NOT ASSIGNED TO A POST?

    WHY IS TONGUES NOT A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT ? Galatians 5:22-23 ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” SHOULD IT BE ?

    For many years SPEAKING IN TONGUES it was confined to the Pentecostal churches, but now crosses all denominational lines in the form of what is called the Charismatic Movement. Even Roman Catholics, Protestants, cults, and some who call themselves Baptists, practice tongues and have joined the movement

    Are tongues in your assembly different from all these other tongues ? because everything is done decently and in order. You have up to 3 messages in tongues with an interpretation after each message and then at the most, 3 prophecies. IF THE MESSAGES ARE INTERPRETED WHY NOT JUST HAVE THE MESSAGE IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE TO START WITH. WAS SPEAKING IN TONGUES IN ACTS 2 NOT “magnifying and glorifying GOD” IN COMMON EARTHLY LANGUAGES.

    YOU MENTIONED THE FOLLOWING, I ANSWERED WITH CAPITALS TO MAKE IT EASIER TO UNDERSTAND

    We are expected to repent REPENT FROM WHAT, REPENT FROM OUR SINS, OR REPENT FROM UNBELIEF TO BELIEF IN JESUS, OR REPENT FROM OUR MISTAKES (turn away from our own ideas) WHAT IDEAS DO WE TURN FROM ? get baptised SO TO BE BORN AGAIN WE NEED TO BE WATER BAPTISED ? (the Greek word meaning inundated) NOT sprinkled, christening is not mentioned in the Bible (how can a baby or small child repent) AND you shall receive the Holy Spirit.SO WE RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT BY BEING WATER BAPTIZED ? Speaking in tongues is the outward manifestation of an inward experience.DOES THE BIBLE NOT SAY NOT ALL SPEAK IN TONGUES ??? SO IF I DO NOT SPEAK IN TONGUES I AM NOT SAVED , I HAVE NOT GOT THE HOLY SPIRIT ???

    Its to be used in our daily prayer life SO SPEAKING SOMETHING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND, IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER. DID JESUS SPEAK IN TONGUES AS HE WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. DID HE EVER INSTRUCT HIS DISCIPLES OR THE JEWS TO SPEAK IN TONGUES ??? as well as in the operation of the Spiritual Gifts during a meeting. I prefer not to say church as ‘The Church’ is the Body of Christ and without receiving the Holy Spirit speaking on tongues you are none of His. Repent, get baptised and receive the Holy Spirit. I promise you your life will change forever for the good. Basically turn or burn! The Lord Jesus Christ is at the door He’ll be back soon. Have a look around you, greed, no morals, boasters, children disobedient to parents, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Do it, you have no excuse and as the scripture says ‘a fool in his heart says their is no God’. Receive the Spirit speaking in tongues and walk on in that way before the Lord returns.

    SO YOU ARE SAYING ONE MUST REPENT (FROM WHAT)
    BE WATER BAPTISED
    SPEAK IN TONGUES OTHERWISE ONE IS NOT SAVED ???? is that what the bible teaches ?

    • Carole

      Mario.

      Repentance means basically to turn away from our own way of thinking and turn to the Lord. Before I was baptised under the water, I didn’t really know what repentance was so I said in my mind ‘forgive me Lord for sinning against you, my parents and my own body’ (anorexia). Just a few scriptures for you. Mark 16:15-20, Acts 2:4,38, Acts 10:44-46. The Lord Jesus had no need to speak in tongues He was God as a man. Men and women including Mary and the Lord’s disciples were there on the day of Pentecost where they were filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues. The folk in the Old Testament didn’t receive the Holy Spirit as such though they were moved by it at times, it wasn’t there time but some saw it from a far off. We are in the last of the latter days and the Lord’s return is imminent. We have to be filled with His Spirit, and walk on the Spirit until the day of His return. Yep ‘repent, get baptized and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Hope this answers some of your questions. I live in the southern hemisphere nowadays so its after 11 pm here. Cheers, Carole

      • Carole

        Good morning Mario. Yes unless we receive the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues we aren’t saved. The elders, bishops, etc of the NT did speak in tongues. I read my Bible for a few years before I was saved. I could understand some of the Gospels, i.e, Matt-John but as soon as I received the Spirit (speaking in tongues) and looked at God’s Word (Bible) I said to my mum ‘wow its speaking to me’. Genesis to me back then was just about ‘thou and thee’ now its clear. The Lord didn’t create the world in 7 consecutive days as some would believe, as the Hebrew word ‘yom’ means ‘an unspecified period of time NOT a day’. Note too that the Lord created ‘man’ on the 6th day in Gen.1, and in Gen. He made man i.e Adam and Eve, being 8th day man as we are today. Cheers, Carole

        • Carole

          How can one explain receiving the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues to those that haven’t received it? Well my late Pastor used to say ‘its better felt than telt’ ….. not grammatically correct, of course, though it makes a lot of sense to me. I can only suggest that you get down on your knees and ask the Lord to fill you. You really have to want it and approach Him in a humble manner (on your knees), ask from the heart and say a few hallelujahs. It happened to me as I said 38 years ago, it can happen to you too. My job is to witness to people ‘go out and preach my Gospel ….. he that believes (adheres to ,trusts in, obeys) shall be saved. He’s saying repent, get baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit and you shall SPEAK IN TONGUES. That is the beginning of one’s salvation. Be like a child and do what He says, not what I say. Many are called but few are chosen. I’m not here to win arguments but to save souls for the Lord. I came to the Lord as a child (humbly, I mean), I didn’t ask questions, I just did what was pointed out to me from the Bible. There are assemblies all over the world that believe in the same message as we do and they’re now part of us. PNG has thousands of Spirit Filled folk and they have lots of baptisms every week, they’re simple people (not unintelligent). As Anglo-Saxon Celtic folk we could learn a lot from them,. They have nothing in the natural sense but they are richer than millionaires because He cares! Ask the Lord to direct you to the Truth. Pilate asked Jesus ‘what is truth?’, he was looking at it straight in the eye! No man can come to the Father but by Him (Jesus Christ). Why should I make stories up or tell a lie, what does that profit me? Nothing! I am telling you the absolute truth. I’m praising the Lord for my salvation and my wonderful life in Him. He provides all my needs, not necessarily my wants. I’d be pushing up daisies if not for Him choosing me. How blessed I am. Living in this horrid world today, I regularly quote a scripture “a thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right BUT it shall come nigh thee (me)”. As I said do what He says. That great and terrible day of the Lord is night at hand. Great for Spirt filled overcoming believers but terrible for everyone else. Take care. Read the scriptures I’ve suggested. Carole

  • Carole

    The Lord expects us to do everything decently and in order as the scriptures says and not to burst out in tongues willy nilly. The assembly I attend does everything decently and in order. We have up to 3 messages in tongues with an interpretation after each message and then at the most, 3 prophecies. I received the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues 38 years ago, that experience has never left me. At that time I suffered with anorexia nervosa, the Lord heal me. We are expected to repent (turn away from our own ideas), get baptised (the Greek word meaning inundated) NOT sprinkled, christening is not mentioned in the Bible (how can a baby or small child repent) AND you shall receive the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues is the outward manifestation of an inward experience. Its to be used in our daily prayer life as well as in the operation of the Spiritual Gifts during a meeting. I prefer not to say church as ‘The Church’ is the Body of Christ and without receiving the Holy Spirit speaking on tongues you are none of His. Repent, get baptised and receive the Holy Spirit. I promise you your life will change forever for the good. Basically turn or burn! The Lord Jesus Christ is at the door He’ll be back soon. Have a look around you, greed, no morals, boasters, children disobedient to parents, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Do it, you have no excuse and as the scripture says ‘a fool in his heart says their is no God’. Receive the Spirit speaking in tongues and walk on in that way before the Lord returns.

    • Kavik

      “Speaking in tongues is the outward manifestation of an inward experience.”

      Yes, but that outward manifestation is entirely self-created. Modern ‘tongues’ are simply a tool. Read some of the posts below.

      Modern tongues are non-cognitive non-language utterance based primarily upon the speaker’s own native language.

      There are hundreds of examples which have been recorded and/or transcribed and analyzed. Not one has ever been found to be real language let alone something that was/is spoken somewhere in the world.

      • Carole

        Hi Kavik

        Some tongues (languages) are recognisable. My mum gave a message in tongues at a Sunday meeting and there were a couple who had lived in Africa, they said she had an African dialect. Tongues of angels and of men. One chap in our meeting, though not entirely all in the French language, gives messages in tongues and I recognise some words as French as I learned it at school.

  • Dan O'Brien

    Hello! I found your excellent post after a search related to an unrelated idea. As someone who was a full-on tongue talking, prophecying, vision having freaknut pentecostal for twenty years, I feel I may have an interesting perspective on such things and even though this is an old post, I can’t help but say my tuppence worth.

    I am now an atheist, after realising over an agonising few years that everything I’d built my life on for most of my adult life was a crock of shite.

    I was previously involved with the “Toronto blessing” and went to a Pentecostal Bible College for two years, amongst other things studying New Testament Greek and a smattering of O.T. Hebrew, along with a very strangely skewed version of Church History. I know the Bible better than anyone I’ve ever met and I can categorically say I don’t believe a word of it.

    As for ‘tongues’ I came to the conclusion long ago that it is, as this article partly suggests, a taught response that is not entirely without it’s merits as a form of releasing your innermost feelings in the form of random gibberish and, depending on your variety of lunacy, groaning, weeping, laughing and making pronouncements of meaning and feigned power. It feels really nice to do, and one sometimes enters into a similar state to some forms of meditation. Especially if you do the “soaking” stuff where you all lie around on the floor with floaty music and say and sing things as ‘the spirit’ moves you. But as for the act itself, it’s completely meaningless. You may as well be blowing rasberries. Actually at some of the wilder meeting I attended as a young Christian, I’m pretty sure some people did. I’m also fairly sure I remember people making animal noises too. I semi-rejected that stuff after a short while and became a mostly sensible member of ‘new wave’ type churches like NFI and Vineyard.

    If you’d asked me about it a decade ago I’d have spouted the same guff that all the religious people below have done. It’s simply impossible, within the evangelical mindset to accept information that disagrees with your understanding of how the world works. It truly seems to be clearly fallacious because you have ‘experienced’ God in a very real way, so everything is viewed from a highly skewed pespective.

    It’s really difficult to allow yourself enough doubt to honestly assess your own experience. For me this process took many years, and was made possible in part because my health collapsed while I was a believer. I had no energy to read or listen to audio books, or talk to people. I just had to sit and think, and in that situation you naturally become more honest with yourself.

    I’m going to post a slightly edited version of this post on another thread btw. I like your website by the way. If you’re interested in a highly unusual version of a ‘testimony’ I’d love to write about it some more.

    • Scott

      The human Spirit desires EXPERIENCE, it does not differentiate good from bad, and it certainly does not speak through us, but rather within us.
      We are here to experience life for our Spirit, Higher Self, Soul, etc., and whether it be deemed evil, good, perfection or a lie, it is still experience that feeds our Spirit. On a human level speaking in tongues is unfortunately a farce, but on a Spiritual level the delusion we see from the religious minded is exactly as it should be.

    • aaquadrat

      Thanks for sharing, Dan. You say “releasing your innermost feelings in the form of random gibberish”, and maybe this is actually the point of the exercise. Opening up. I feels like reaching a higher state of mind. However, it does not work in the same way if your are not believing something meaningful/Divine is happening.

  • Kavik

    @J

    Though they’re long, I think you need to read through some of the comments below with respect to the concept of modern tongues and various studies done. I think they will provide a better insight to the phenomenon of modern tongues/glossolalia.

    Speaking in tongues is a real phenomenon but, for Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians, a very modern one (though glossolalia itself is very ancient); no two are ever the same.

  • mario

    Hi all

    Speaking in tongues as per Acts 2.

    When you received tongues did you hear the sound of a mighty rushing wind? Did you see cloves like fire rest upon you? Did tongues come immediately ? or were you taught how to pray in tongues?

    Did any of the people that received the gift of tongues at Pentecost, then teach other believers to speak in tongues? Is this biblical.

    Does the bible say its for all believers?

    • Lin

      It’s not actaught language but on receiving it your tongue changes. Tests have been done to see if it’s just man going blah blah…. they found out it wasn’t but something they couldn’t explain. The power of God. Better felt than telt!!!!

      • Kavik

        Not sure what tests you’re referring to, but the only ones I know of were done by the UP using SPECT imaging several years ago. The results of the study were exactly as one would expect. The language centers of the brain were not overly engaged in producing “tongues” because modern ‘tongues’ are not language; they are non-cognitive non-language utterance; self-created random free vocalization which is based upon the speaker’s own native language (and any other s/he may be familiar with of have been exposed to).

  • J.

    Hello there! I feel prompted to comment, because this article actually doesn’t provide “hard solid scientific proof that [speaking in tongues] is not real.”

    First, this article is a “secondary source.” This means that the author is not publishing his own findings, but is reporting on the findings of others. Therefore, the margin for error in communication is increased: without reviewing the cited sources, we cannot know if the author of this article is presenting study findings accurately. (Therefore, we cannot accept the author’s assertion that his article offers scientific proof.)

    Secondly, the author’s following claim raises a red flag: “Modern practitioners claim that what they are doing is exactly the same as the experience described within the Book of Acts (2:1-13), however one huge discrepancy is that the story within Book of Acts describes recognised languages from all around the Roman Empire being spoken. In stark contrast, nobody understands the modern mindless babbling.” This is an incorrect and false assertion. I have personally heard reports of people praying in tongues unknown to them, only for the tongue to be recognized by another individual as a modern day language. I do not expect anyone to read the statement I just made and believe in the gift of tongues, or that the reports are true. I only ask readers to consider that reports contrary to the author’s assertion DO exist. (This further negates the “proof” supposedly offered in this article.)

    Thirdly, the existence of false practitioners of tongues (people who imitate or create language-like sounds out of deep belief or a desire to deceive) is not sufficient to negate the existence of legitimate practitioners of tongues. Similarly, false practicing born of a desire to “blend in” to a spiritual community does not negate the existence of impartation of real tongues. (My third point actually reminds me of an episode of “Friends.” Phoebe attempts to teach Joey basic French, which Joey needs for an audition. Joey imitates Phoebe’s inflections and syllables, but he never speaks a legitimate French word. However, although Joey is just making convincing noises, Phoebe is speaking a real language.)

    Finally, there are several issues with the research cited in this article:
    – We do not know if any of the research conducted was skewed by research bias.
    – The sample from “Abnormal Psychology” was unrepresentative: only 60 out of thousands of unbelievers were studied; and apparently, they were all undergraduates at the same university.
    – The article states that the study in “Abnormal Psych” found that “20% could accomplish it . . . and 70% could succeed . . .” but the author of this article does not define what “it” is. A made up language? A real language that was unknown to every student? A made up language very similar to a language that each student spoke? The answers to these questions could increase or decrease the study’s validity.
    – We do not know if the people Samarin sampled all defined “speaking in tongues” the same way, nor can we deny the possibility of uncontrolled/unknown variables that may have impacted his studies.
    – There appears to be a lack of repetition among the studies. Scientifically speaking, if study findings cannot be replicated, the findings of the initial study are typically considered anomalies.
    – Only three studies were referenced. All of the studies are rather outdated, and two were published during the same year. These facts do not invalidate the study’s findings, but they imply that research on the subject is limited. (Unfortunately, we can’t take the author’s word for there being “a lot of independent studies” done – because accepting his word does not follow the scientific process!) This is a phenomenon dating back to Ancient Rome, with worldwide reports of its occurrence. Additional studies are therefore warranted before a definite conclusion can be reached.

    The research critique in my final point presents questions that may be answered by reviewing the studies themselves, and/or by additional research. However, they are questions worth asking, because they offer insight into the validity of the research, and because this article fails to address them.

    In conclusion, I wrote this comment to demonstrate that despite the author’s claims, this article fails to offer scientific proof that the gift of tongues is not real. When a reader employs critical thinking, the flaws in this article are very evident; so much information is lacking, and the author’s examination of the gift of tongues is far from scientific. Academically speaking, this article has little merit. One might find that the same can be said of the sources cited. I won’t tell you what to believe in, but please don’t take this article’s word for it.

    • Kavik

      @J

      Although somewhat lengthy, I think you need to go through the comments below to get more insight to the modern phenomenon of tongues with respect to studies and general comments.

      Tongues/glossolalia is a real phenomenon, but for Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians, a very modern one (glossolalia itself though is very ancient); no two tongues are ever the same (as they are self created) which negates any sort of idea of the ‘universality’ of tongues.