Speaking in Tongues A Historical, Psychological, and Biblical Analysis
by Robert Sungenis
The first recorded evidence of tongues-speaking, also know as glossolalia (Greek: glwssa lalia), dates back to 1,100 B.C. Known as the Report of Wenamon, cultic figures are said to have uttered ecstatic speech while worshiping certain deities. This phenomenon, which came from the Byblos on the Syro-Palestine coast, also spread to many other regions
From the Hellenistic era, Plato (429 - 347 B.C.) wrote of his acquaintance with religious ecstatic speech in his works the Phaedrus, the Ion, and the Timaeus. He remarks that the speaker was oblivious to what he was saying: "Even as they who deliver oracles and the soothsayers say many and excellent things, but know nothing of what they utter." (NPNF2, v. 12, p. 169). Plato remarks on the recipients altered state of consciousness resulting in the inability to function normally. He considered them possessed by an external force. At times he mentions that other manifestations appeared alongside the ecstatic speech, sometimes including physical healing. Virgil (70 - 19 B.C.) in the Aeneid, makes reference to the Sibylline priestess of Delos who engaged in ecstatic speech as part of her religious rituals. In the Greek mystery religions, especially the Osiris cult, glossolalia was a common occurrence. Here the Greek terms pneu:ma (pneuma = "spirit") and lalei:n glwvssais (lalein glossais = "to speak in tongues") are used. This evidence shows that tongues-speaking was not an entirely new phenomenon in New Testament times.
The New Testament
The gift of tongues appears in several places of the New Testament. First, that the gift would be manifested in the New Testament is prophesied by Jesus in Mark 16:17 ("they shall speak with new tongues"; Greek: glwvssaiV lalhvsousin kainai:V). The first occurrence of tongue-speaking is recorded in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came upon the twelve apostles. Men from fifteen different nations were gathered in Jerusalem on that day of Pentecost and each of them heard the gospel in his own tongue. The second occurrence of tongues is recorded in Acts 10 when the gentile convert, Cornelius, spoke in tongues after he received and accepted the gospel Peter preached to him. The next instance is in Acts 19:1-6 when the Ephesian converts spoke in tongues at their receiving of baptism into Jesus. Finally, those in the Church of Corinth are given the gifts of tongues as recorded in 1 Cor. 12-14. There may have been other churches who received the gift of tongues, but the New Testament does not record any. The closest reference is St. Paul's mention of the gift of prophecy present in the church of Rome ( Rom. 12:6).
Unlike the tongues which occurred in the Greek mystery religions, the tongues of the New Testament raise a question concerning the form in which the tongues appeared, that is, whether they were in foreign languages or unintelligible ecstatic utterances of no known linguistic origin. Acts 2 indicates that the tongues of Pentecost came in the form of foreign languages, or at the least, the tongues were heard as if they were foreign languages. The other accounts in Acts are not explicit as to form, but seem to follow the form of tongues given at Pentecost, especially since Peter, after hearing Cornelius speak in tongues, states that his experience was the same as the apostles' experience at Pentecost (Acts 11:15).
The specific instances of tongues in the New Testament set the gift apart from the tongues of the Greek religious cults, since the latter are known to be exclusively ecstatic utterances not foreign languages. Yet, the possibility that New Testament tongues could also have come in the form of ecstatic utterances is suggested in the account of tongues at the church of Corinth, as noted by the following points:
1. The tongues-speaker at Corinth is said to speak "mysteries to God" (that no one else understands (1 Cor. 14:2). This means that tongues were not exclusively for men to hear, but were also a form of communication with God. It would make little sense for such private communication to be in the form of an earthly foreign language, since one native language would be no better than another in communicating with God. Moreover, Paul acknowledges the existence of the "tongues of angels" in 1 Cor. 13:1, implying that the heavenly beings have a language all their own. If the tongues of Corinth were similar to this angelic language, it would be a Spirit-inspired language for communication with God. In Romans 8:26-27, Paul teaches that the Spirit, even on a non-miraculous plane, intercedes to God for the Christian with "groanings too deep for words."
2. The tongues-speaker at Corinth is said to edify himself (1 Cor. 14:4). Although the primary purpose of tongues was not self-edification but church-edification, nevertheless, when spoken in private it served a viable function for those who desired to strengthen their relationship with God.
3. The tongues at Corinth required someone to interpret, either the person who spoke the tongue (1 Cor. 14:13) or another person present in the assembly (1 Cor. 14: 27-28). This was not true of the three tongues instances recorded in the book of Acts. This suggests that the tongues at Corinth were of such an other-worldly linguistic origin that no one on earth could understand them without a special interpreter.
4. The tongues at Corinth are not associated with a "language" but to a "sound" (Greek: fwnw:n "phonon") (1 Cor. 14:10-11). This contrasts with the tongues at Pentecost which were heard as a "language" (Greek: dialevktw/ "dialektos") (Acts 2:6, 8; cf., Acts 1:19; 21:40; 22:2; 26:14).
5. Tongues at Corinth were used to give thanks to God (1 Cor. 14:16-17). This shows again that tongues were not used exclusively for preaching the gospel to pagans, as in Acts 2, but were also used for devotion.
6. Tongues were also a private gift, a gift which Paul himself says he used (1 Cor. 14:18-19). A private use, as noted above, implies a special language between God and man, similar to the angels.
7. In 1 Cor. 14:23, Paul states that an unbeliever or ungifted person hearing everyone speak in tongues would determine they were all "insane." Although not definite, an ecstatic utterance might be more susceptible to such an accusation than the linguistically based nature of a foreign tongue.
Other facts, however, do not rule out the conclusion that tongues were in the form of foreign languages:
1. As indicated in Acts 2:5-11, each locale of the world had a specific language. The Corinthians would have spoken the language common to their area, which would have been Greek. Any language outside that area would have been foreign to them. If the gift of tongues were in the form of a foreign language, God could have inspired any of the other regional languages to be spoken in the Corinthian church. In such cases, the foreign language tongue would not have been understood without an interpreter.
2. When Paul warns of the misuse of tongues in 1 Cor. 14:21, he quotes from Isaiah 28:11. The context of Isaiah 28 indicates that the tongues in view are foreign languages, namely the language of the Assyrian invaders. As Paul quotes the passage to the Corinthians he does not feel the need to explain whether there is a difference between the form of tongues among the Corinthians and the foreign languages of the Assyrians, except that it is implicitly understood that the latter did not speak under the power of the Holy Spirit. By quoting Isaiah 28:11 Paul seems to assume the Corinthians know that tongues come in the form of foreign languages.
3. In 1 Cor. 12 and 13 as well, Paul apparently does not see the necessity to redefine the form or nature of tongues after Pentecost before giving guidelines for its use in 1 Cor. 14. If there had been a major difference between the tongues of Acts 2 and the tongues of 1 Cor. 12-14, it seems reasonable to assume that Paul would have given some explanation to the reader, unless, of course, the transition from foreign languages to ecstatic utterances is relatively unimportant to Paul.
4. The word "tongue" is consistently used in the New Testament to refer to a common, or foreign, language. The same is true in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament Hebrew. The phenomenon of ecstatic utterance is not developed at all in the Bible.
5. The word "interpretation" (1 Cor. 14:5: diermhneuvh/) in the New Testament always refers to the interpretation of a foreign language (cf., John 1:38, 42; 9:7; Hebrews 7:2).
6. On Paul's third missionary journey, around 53-56 A.D., Acts 19 records that the twelve Ephesians spoke in tongues. According to estimates of chronology gleaned from the historical narratives of the New Testament, the tongues at Ephesus were spoken at the approximate time 1 Corinthians was written. Since the Ephesians were speaking in tongues as a continual fulfillment of the events at Pentecost, it would be strange for Paul to be dealing with one kind of tongues with the Ephesians and another kind with the Corinthians, especially when Paul gives no clear indication of such a change.
From this opposing evidence, it remains a possibility that there were two different forms of tongues in the New Testament, foreign languages and ecstatic utterances. A third possibility also exists, however. Biblical tongues may have always come in the form of a Spirit-inspired ecstatic utterance. Such utterances would have no known linguistic background. They would be classed as a spiritual or heavenly language. As directed by the Holy Spirit, at various times the ecstatic utterance could be interpreted by the hearers as a known language, as such as occurred at Pentecost. In the account of Acts 2:6-8, stress is laid on the fact that the men assembled heard the language of their respective nation being spoken. It is also implied by the words in Acts 2:4 ("they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues") and Acts 2:6 ("hearing them speak") that the twelve apostles were all speaking at once. One would expect confusion in such a scene, but each man heard the plurality of apostles speak in his own language. Hence, it is possible that the apostles were speaking in a heavenly utterance while the Spirit made their utterances intelligible to each man present. Support for this possibility comes from the distinctive words used in Acts 2:6. After stating that the apostles spoke in other tongues, Acts 2:6 describes the incident as:
" And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because they were each one hearing them speak in his own language."
The word "sound" is used to describe the tongues-speech. It is from the Greek word phonee and refers to a voice, noise or sound, but not specifically a language. "Sound" is in the Greek singular, which if significant would mean that the tongues-speaking of the twelve apostles was considered as one unit of speech, and thus suggests that they all spoke at one time. In addition, "sound" is a Greek feminine noun which matches the feminine noun "tongues" in Acts 2:4. The word "language" in Acts 2:6 is the Greek word dialektos, (ijdiva/ dialevktw/ = "one's own language") which refers to a specific language. With all this information we can postulate that a simultaneous sound came from the mouths of the apostles, but when it reached the ears of the audience it was transformed into specific languages, as directed by the Holy Spirit for each man present. This transfer from sound to language would also explain why men from fifteen different nationalities heard all their dialects from only twelve apostles. With tongues issued as one sound but heard as different languages, hypothetically, there could have been fifty nations present at Pentecost and all would have heard their own language from only twelve apostles.
In the church of Corinth, tongues would have continued as a heavenly sound but it would now require the assistance of an inspired interpreter to put the meaning in a known language, whereas at Pentecost the Holy Spirit alone put the inspired utterance in a known language. If there was no interpreter in Corinth, then the heavenly sound would be spoken to God alone and subsequently edify the individual. It is not surprising, then, that in 1 Cor. 14:10-11 Paul associates tongues with the same Greek word for "sound" as used in Acts 2:6, rather than describing tongues as a "language."
Post- New Testament
After the New Testament age, one of the first accounts of tongue-speaking comes from a movement of spiritual excitement under the leadership of Montanus, circa 156. A self-claimed recipient of God's revelation, Montanus reacted against the institutionalized church of his day. His millennial teachings and strict asceticism were not favored by the Church, which was seeking to make a distinction between apostolic and post-apostolic times. Morever, the Church recognized only its bishops as the true representatives of the apostles in contradistinction to street prophets such as Montanus. This initial struggle between the Church and the charismata would set the stage for many centuries to come.
Among the early Fathers of the Church, only a few address the issue of tongue-speaking. Polycarp (69 - 159), who knew John the Apostle, writes of having deep forms of prayer, but he says nothing about tongues. Justin Martyr (110 - 165), in his famous Dialogue with Trypho, wrote about the continuance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit but he does not include tongues as one of those gifts. Irenaeus (120 - 202), a student of Polycarp, wrote in Against Heresies that he "heard of" some in the Church who spoke in different kinds of language. Since Irenaeus was a contemporary of Montanus it is likely that he was referring to him. Irenaeus writes of no personal experience of tongue-speaking. Tertullian (160 - 220) is assumed to have embraced tongue-speaking, since in his earlier life he was associated with the Montanists. In Tertullian Against Marcion he prescribes tongue-speaking to his followers, but gives no personal testimony of having such an experience himself.
Eusebius (260 - 340), in his Ecclesiastical History, fills his writing with sarcasm and ridicule of a certain sect of tongue-speakers. Origen (185 - 254), in his Apologetic to Celsus makes reference to "strange, fanatical and quite unintelligible words" spoken by some in the Church. He also makes reference to the continuation of the signs "from the beginning of Christ's ministry," but it is not explicit that Origen included tongue-speaking in these gifts. Others who supported tongue-speaking but give no personal testimony of the experience themselves include: Novatian, bishop of Rome from 251 to 253; Hilary of Poitiers (300 - 367), and Ambrose of Milan (340 - 397). The Egyptian monk Pochomius (292 -348) is reported to have spoken the "language of angels" and another instance of Greek and Latin of which he supposedly had no time to learn.
From the third century onwards, with the decline of Montanist influence and the persistent reluctance of the Church Fathers, tongues were no longer regarded as a common practice. Most of the references to tongues concerned why the phenomenon which occurred in biblical times was no longer happening (Kelsey, p. 39). The fall of the western part of the Roman Empire during the fifth century produced two strands of Catholic Christianity. Experiences such as visions, tongues and other such phenomenon, were more compatible with the eastern than the western tradition. Forced to take over the responsibilities of the state, the church of the west became more practical minded and authoritarian. The church in the east, however, not having great secular responsibilities, developed its faith more mystically. Thus, the west generally interpreted tongues as a sign of demon possession. Still, in the east there is little documented evidence of tongues for a definitive judgment of its validity.(Culpepper, p. 40)
In the fifth century, Chrysostom (344 - 407), bishop of Constantinople, formalized the prohibition against tongues: He writes:
" This whole phenomenon is very obscure, but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such then as used to occur but now no longer take place. And why do they not happen now? Why look now, the cause too of the obscurity hath produced us again another question: namely, why did they then happen, and now do so no more?" (Homilies on First Corinthians, xxix, 1, NPNF2, v. 12, p. 168).
Even at the mention of tongues in 1 Corinthians 12:28, Chrysostom writes:
"...Divers kinds of tongues." Seest thou where he hath set this gift, and how he every where assigns it the last rank?" (Homily xxxii, NPNF2, v. 12, p. 187)
During the same time, Augustine (354 - 430), who set the mold for western Christianity for seven hundred years, elaborates on the cessation of tongues:
" In the earliest times, 'the Holy Ghost fell upon them that believed: and they spake with tongues' which they had not learned, 'as the Spirit gave them utterance.' These were signs adapted to the time for there behooved to be that betokening of the Spirit in all tongues over the whole earth. That thing was done for a betokening and it passed away."
To Augustine, tongues were a special apostolic dispensation for evangelizing and no more. In referring to the baptism of the Spirit he wrote:
"For the Holy Spirit is not only given by the laying on of hands amid the testimony of temporal sensible miracles, as was given in former days to be the credentials of rudimentary faith, and for the extension of the first beginning of the church. For who expects in these days that those on whom hands are laid that they may receive the Holy Ghost should forthwith being to speak with tongues?" (Homilies on 1 John VI 10; NPNF2, v. 7, pp. 497-498).
Again, Augustine writes:
" ...whereas even now the Holy Ghost is received, yet no one speaks in the tongues of all nations, because the Church herself already speaks the languages of all nations: since whoever is not in the Church receives not the Holy Ghost." (The Gospel of John, Tractate 32).
Pope Leo I the Great (440 - 461) sided with Augustine's view and had a vast influence in his time upon the doctrines of the church. (Hamilton, p. 68). After Leo's reign there is virtually no literature concerning tongues until about the twelfth century.
In the subsequent development of western Christianity in the 6th through the 10th centuries, tongue-speaking came to be looked upon with grave suspicion. Evidence shows that the experience still occurred but it was preponderantly linked with demon possession. Around the year 1,000, the Catholic Church outlined various signs of demon possession in the Rituale Romanum. Among other proofs, signs of possession were the following: "...ability to speak with some facility in a strange tongue or to understand it when spoken by another; the faculty of divulging future and hidden events..." Catholic theologian Ronald Knox elaborates on this Middle Age view:
"I do not mean to deny the existence of glossolalia all through the period under discussion. To speak with tongues you had never learned was, and is, a recognized symptom in case of alleged diabolical possession. What does not appear is that it was ever claimed, at least on a large scale, as a symptom of divine inspiration, until the end of the seventeenth century." (Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion, p. 551).
Still, isolated instance of tongues appeared before then. Around the twelfth century, a Benedictine abbess, Hildegard of Bingen (1098 - 1179) was reported to have sung unknown words in what she described as "concerts in the Spirit." Although it is believed that her songs contained a combination of the local German dialect and Latin, she felt strongly that the Holy Spirit guided her. Unpersuaded, she was pronounced as demon possessed by some of her contemporaries. About a hundred years later, Spanish born St. Dominic (d. 1221) was reported to have spoken German after much prayer. St. Anthony of Padua (d. 1231) wrote that "his tongue became the pen of the Holy Spirit."
In 1247, however, St. Thomas Aquinas, whose desire was to address every Christian belief in his renowned Summa Theologica, included a response to the phenomenon of tongues. He concluded that tongue-speaking had happened when God offered it, but it no longer happened. He writes:
" We are to understand, then, that the giving of the Holy Spirit was to be certain, after Christ's exaltation, in a way in which it was never before. It was to have a peculiarity at his coming, which it had not before. For we nowhere read of men under the influence of the Holy Spirit, speaking with tongues they had never known, as then took place, when it was necessary to evidence his coming by sensible miracles." (Commentary on the Gospel of John, ch 32).
After this, in conjunction with many reports of miraculous activity in the hundred years following Aquinas, in 1350, St Vincent Ferrer is reported to have spoken in tongues. While in Genoa, he spoke to a group of men and women of mixed language backgrounds, all of whom were said to have heard him in their own language. The story is as follows:
"It was at Genoa, that people first realized the existence of a daily miracle which had been worked continuously for four or five years...Everywhere he [St. Vincent] went he was understood by all...Once it was realized what was happening it was not long before this remarkable phenomenon was being discussed with enormous interest right through the town...What language was the preacher using, for all were ready to swear that he was using their native tongue? At last a deputation of the learned men of Genoa put the question to Vincent himself."
"You are all wrong and all right, my friends," said the friar with a smile, "I am speaking Valencian [a Spanish dialect], my mother tongue; for except for Latin and a little Hebrew, I know no other Spanish. It is the good God who has rendered this intelligible for you."
This fact was juridically attested at the process of the saint's canonization by more than a hundred witnesses; they say that it was not merely the general sense that they understood, but they could appreciate every turn of expression...Furthermore, distance made no difference to them, for those on the outskirts of the huge crowds could hear as distinctly as those who were close to the pulpit (Angel of the Judgment: A Life of St. Vincent Ferrer, 1953, p. 137-138).
In addition to tongues, Vincent healed the blind, deaf, lame, and those who were possessed. He raised some from the dead. His public miracles were in the thousands.
In the sixteenth century, similar occurrences, including speaking in tongues, were reported of two more Catholic saints, Francis Xavier and Louis Bertrand. (Kelsey, p. 50).
It is not hard to see that Catholic history has been filled with tension over the issue of tongue-speaking. As noted previously, it has been a continuous battle between the charismata and the institution of the Church. From the Desert Fathers to the Medieval monks, most of the new communities which sprang up, thousands of them, were more or less charismatic in their beliefs, and this went on despite church regulations forbidding the creation of new communities. The Fourth Lateran Council had curtailed the founding of new religious orders of any kind, yet the order of St. Francis (the Franciscans) and the order of St. Dominic (the Dominicans) were established nonetheless. The second Council of Lyons tried to renew the prohibition of the Lateran Council, but it also failed to stop the tide.
During this time, Joachim of Fiore (1132 -1202) initiated a spiritual revival that influenced the whole of the later medieval period. Joachim attacked the Scholasticism of the period and accused its adherents of denying the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A subsequent group called the Joachimites became the source for most of the mysticism of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the 15th and 16th centuries, groups under the name of Illuminati, which included such mystics as John of Avila (1500 - 1569), Teresa of Avila (1515 - 1582); John of the Cross (1542 - 1591), and Ignatius Loyola (1491 - 1556), write of many miraculous phenomena occurring in their lives, including tongues (Laurentin, pp. 138-142). In his work Spiritual Journal, Ignatius makes daily mention of "loquela" (ecstatic speech) that came to him in prayer. Yet he also writes that he was not sure whether the experience was caused by God or a demon (Ibid., pp 84-85).
With only scattered records of tongue-speaking in the Middle Ages, there was little reason for the Protestant Reformers to consider a case for tongues. There exists, however, one biography of Luther which claims that he himself spoke in tongues. This might not be surprising considering that Luther often dabbled in the mystical side of Christianity and wrote several books on his experiences. In the writings of his contemporary John Calvin, however, there is no reference to the mystical or to speaking in tongues. A little more lenient, yet maintaining the unlikelihood of tongues, Francis Bacon concluded that speech between the celestial and the physical would not be contrary to any laws of nature, yet it must be against God's special law for man (Kelsey, p. 53).
Among the Anabaptists, who were known as the radical wing of the Reformation, its adherents were not content with the emphasis on the sola scriptura of Luther and Calvin. They claimed that the inward voice of the Holy Spirit takes precedence over the external word of Scripture. Many reports of highly-charged gatherings, which included tongue-speaking, are recorded in Anabaptist literature. The Anabaptist's stress on the Holy Spirit's activity coincided with the another reactionary movement to the Reformation, Pietism. Like the Anabaptists, the Pietists gave primacy to emotion in Christian experience. It was a philosophy that could not be undone. Pietism set in motion the forces which continued to exercise influence long after the movement itself had spent its force.
In 1685, Louis XIV of France rescinded the Edict of Nantes, which had formally given Protestant denominations religious liberty. One group, the Hugenots, were pressured with persecution to return to the Catholic Church. Clement XI referred to them as the "ancient Albigensians," since they sprang from the same culture. The group was well-known for its ecstatic prophecies, prodigies, voices, preternatural lights in the sky, and was stirred by the publication of Pierre Jurieu'sL'accomplissement des propheties in 1689 (Ferm, p. 115). In this group, little children were reported to experience ecstatic manifestations, including tongues-speaking. Some reports indicate thousands of occurrences in one province. These episodes continued until 1711, twenty-six years after the rescission of Louis XIV. The children became known as the "little prophets of Cevennes." (Kildahl, p. 16). Other French Hugenots, however, deplored what they termed as the excesses of the Cevennes Hugenots.
The Jansenists, led by Cornelius Jansen, a reactionary element of the Catholic Church in the 17th century, were the next group to advocate and practice tongue-speaking. Similar to such reactionary groups as the Anabaptists and Pietists from Protestantism, the Jansenists emphasized experience in the Christian life. Curiously, the Jansenists held to the same views of absolute predestination as the Protestant Calvinist's of the 16th century, yet the latter showed no penchant for tongue-speaking.
In the latter half of the 17th century Quaker communities sprang up in England, and their emphasis was also on experiencing the movement of the Holy Spirit in visible and internal signs. Candidates for the Quaker ministry were not formally ordained as in other Protestant denominations, rather, they waited for the "inner light" of the Spirit to prompt one of their members to begin each Quaker gathering. Tongues-speaking was a usual part of these impromtu services. Ann Lee (1736 - 1784) started a separate group called the Shakers. A well-organized and productive group, Shaker services were noted for emphasis on the movement of the Holy Spirit, which at times would become so enthusiastic that the members would have uncontrollable "shakes" in the aisles. These incidents often included tongue-speaking, as well as other manifestations (Gromacki, p. 21).
Almost one hundred years passed from the time of Ann Lee till the next recorded evidence of tongues. Edward Irving (1792 - 1834), who created the Catholic Apostolic Church, never spoke in tongues himself but became a prominent figure in religious circles teaching others to speak in tongues. This movement was partially due to the French Revolution which had provoked in England an interest in apocalyptic thought. Irving's over-bearing spiritual excitement, accompanied by equally strong opinions about the state of the Protestant churches, caused him to be excommunicated from the church of Scotland. His "twelve apostles" continued their tongue-speaking until 1879 (Kelsey, p. 57).
After these smaller communities exhausted their influence, the Moravian missionary movement and the Methodist revival continued the trend of personal religious experience in Protestant denominations. Charles Wesley (1707 - 1788) made no claim to have received the gift of tongues, but he gave no doubt that the gift was manifested in some of his contemporaries (Culpepper, pp. 41-43). In his 1777 book, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, Wesley's doctrine of the second blessing, a view which taught that one became instantaneously sanctified, was the central emphasis of Methodism in its early days. Wesley taught that sanctification is based on faith but God gives such faith only to those who seek it. Tongue-speaking had to be sought in order to obtain the full blessing. Neither infidelity from within nor great opposition from without was able to turn Methodism away from this emphasis (Ibid., p. 44). John Fletcher (1729-1785), who called Wesley the "holiest man he had ever met, or expected to meet, this side of eternity," furthered the movement by assigning the biblical name "Baptism of the Spirit" to the experience of tongues-speaking.
American revivalism, under leadership of Charles Finney (1792 - 1875), added to Wesley's doctrine by emphasizing the role of the emotions in changing the life of the individual. As part of his methodology he deliberately sought to produce a state of emotional excitement in his audiences, which would then sweep away opposing inhibitions in his revival meetings (Ibid., p. 45). But as Methodism began to suffer from the onslaught of liberal theology from Europe, many began to leave the mainline church to form separate groups. These groups carried along the Wesleyan second blessing theology and became known as the Holiness and Pentecostal churches (Ibid., p. 46).
In Mormonism, tongue-speaking was practiced from the beginning of the movement. In referring to tongues Joseph Smith wrote: "We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, and interpretation of tongues..." (Book of Mormon, Article 7). At the dedication of the temple in Salt Lake City, hundreds of elders were reported to have spoken in tongues. Soon, however, the practice was discouraged by the leaders because it brought ridicule and disrespect from those unsympathetic to Mormonism, a religion that had suffered much persecution prior to their eventual settlement in Utah. The attitude of the Mormons in those times may well give a clue as to why the practice of tongues dropped from sight in the first centuries of the church (Kelsey, p. 58).
A significant advancement in the cause of tongue-speaking came with Charles Parham, who has been called the father of the modern Pentecostal movement. He opened a Bible college in Topeka, Kansas, where he taught his students that the sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was speaking in tongues. On January 1, 1900, his student, Agnes Ozman, received the so-called baptism. The rest of the students shortly followed suit. Outside of John Fletcher in the late 1700's, this was the first occurrence in modern times when speaking in tongues was associated with the Holy Spirit's baptism (Dillow, p. 9). Much of the enthusiasm generated by Parham soon dissipated, however, after he was arrested for various immoralities (Bauman, p. 34).
In light of the above experience of a female tongues-speaker, it is worthy to note that as instances of tongues-speaking have been meticulously reported in the twentieth century, the documentation shows that 85% of all tongue-speakers are women (Goodman, p. 74). For those who base their experience on biblical directives, such evidence presents a curious anomaly, since in 1 Cor. 14:34, immediately after his directives concerning tongues, Paul commands women to be silent in the assembly. Indeed, the New Testament gives no evidence of a woman speaking in tongues. In a similar vein, in 1 Timothy 2:12-15 Paul commands that women are not to rule in the Church, but it is a fact that in many Protestant denominations, of which a significant percentage foster tongue-speaking, women serve as pastors (Ibid). In Catholic Churches, though women are barred from the priesthood, nevertheless many are put in positions of lay leadership with control over the instruction on charismatic gifts.
Speaking in Tongues A Historical, Psychological, and Biblical Analysis 3
Philosophical and Psychological Background
One of the more serious problems associated with the modern tongues movement is that many of its leaders have fallen into sexual immorality (Smith, p. 23). Some researchers have cited examples of the vilest of crimes, including murder, committed by those who even at the moment were being "baptized" or seeking the baptism (Ibid., 111). In the 1970's, when the tongues movement in North America reached a fever pitch, similar experiences are recorded. The 1980's saw the demise of such tongues-preaching Pentecostal ministers as Oral Roberts, Jim Bakker, and Jimmy Swaggart, the latter two falling into gross immoral behavior.
Fostering this kind of immoral behavior, potential tongue-speakers are told to empty themselves of any personal inhibitions so as to allow the Spirit to manifest itself. One study noted the following incident:
" In Jalisco, Mexico, the Holy Spirit possessed three men and women, and they began to tear the clothes from their bodies there in front of the congregation. What a situation for the pastor. He began beating them with his belt and suddenly they knew where they were and started grabbing for their clothes, and their relatives in the church began dressing them" (Goodman, p. 65).
In spite of these social anomalies, modern adherents to the tongues movement claim that they are following a totally different world view than traditional western Christianity. It is claimed that western Christianity bases its knowledge of God and reality on sense experience, which means that men of such mentality have no direct contact with the spiritual realities lying behind the material world, a world view associated with Aristotelean modes of thought. The correct view, claim the tongue-speakers, is that man can know God directly. It maintains that man has knowledge of God and reality not only through sense experience and reason but also through direct experience of the non-physical world, which is associated with the Platonic mode of thought (Kelsey, p. 170). Not surprisingly, many modern tongue-speakers look back to the teachings of Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768 - 1834) who was himself an advocate of Platonic philosophy and translated many of Plato's works. To Schleiermacher, religion is at its best an intuitive grasp of dialectical thought, and an emotional response to its insights. Doctrine is dependent on religious experience, not experience on belief in dogma (Ferm, p. 693-694).
Opponents of the modern tongues movement retort that such distinctions in philosophies do not really strike at the essential differences or controversy surrounding the issue. Although it is true that western Christianity has been influenced by Aristotelianism, there has also been a substantial influence from Platonism. Both of these Greek modes of thinking, which were expressed in Neo-Platonism, were used by Augustine as he set the mold for western Christianity in the Middle Ages. Augustine had understood the interplay between the physical and non-physical worlds, but for other reasons he was adamant against speaking in tongues. Following Augustine, other theologians such as Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Siger of Brabant were, on the one hand, practical and logical about the Christian faith, but, on the other hand, did not deny the immanence of the supernatural (Ibid., p. 695).
As the philosophy of Platonism was used to give credibility to tongue-speaking, movements in the field of psychology also gave impetus to its advancement. With their stress on the subconscious - the very source from which various forms of modern glossolalia have been attributed - Sigmund Freud (1865 - 1939) and Karl Jung (1875 - 1960) gave scientific credence to speculative theories of the non-physical world. Freud taught that there were non-physical forces which influenced human actions, while Jung's psychoanalytic theories went so far as to dabble in the occult (Kelsey, p. 184). Prior to this, William James (1842 - 1910) had already set the stage for modern psychological theories, postulating that man's religious response was a product of the subconscious mind. Theologians such as Rudolph Otto (1869 - 1937) followed this line of thinking and attributed man's spiritual emotions to the subconscious.
Jung pursued his theories more vigorously than all the others, however. He maintained that man not only had a psyche "below" consciousness, but also a psyche "above" consciousness (Jung, Collected Works, 1953, v. 12). He had frequently expressed, in connection with various kinds of experiences, that men are in contact with a realm of being which is not material. He writes:
" The tremendous power of the objective psyche has been named "demon" or "God" in all epochs with the sole exception of the recent past. We have become so bashful in matters of religion that we correctly say "subconscious" because God has in fact become subconscious to us" (Kelsey, p. 197).
Jung postulated that the psyche which he saw in his patients and in himself is in contact with a psychic world containing elements which are superior to human consciousness. Not surprisingly, tongue-speakers find great support in the references to glossolalia that Jung recorded in some of his works. The following is part of a letter, dated February 23, 1955, to Theodore Flournoy, a colleague of his:
"Speaking with glossolalia is observed in cases of ekstasis (predominance of the subconscious). It is probably that the strangeness of the subconscious contents not yet integrated in consciousness demands an equally strange language" (Ibid.).
Jung's theories, of course, created quite a stir. More and more psychologists, psychoanalysts, and eventually theologians became interested in his theories. A meeting concerning tongue-speaking was held with various clergy members in New York city in 1962. Sargant, an English psychologist, after observing a few revivals in which such things as snake-handling and tongues-speaking were practiced, concluded that such experiences were similar to reactions from electric-shock therapy. It was postulated that both tongues-speaking and shock therapy exhibit a cortical excitement which breaks up the individual's prior conditioning and frees him to develop new patterns of thought and behavior. Some have concluded that this phenomenon might explain the sense of freedom which so often occurs in the experience of glossolalia, as well as the change which so often occurs in the lives of the subjects. Yet other psychiatrists have theorized that tongue-speaking is a form of dissociation resembling that of schizophrenia. Although some tongue-speakers have been clinically classified with a neurosis, there are many who show no signs of abnormality. Some of these in the normal category compare the mental dissociation experienced in tongue-speaking to that of nocturnal dreams. Support for this theory is drawn from the fact, as even Jung himself suggested, that Scripture records God using dreams as a means to contact men directly (Kelsey, p. 211).
Critics point out that, as tongue-speaking advocates rely on particular philosophic and psychoanalytic theories to gain acceptance, it is significant that there is virtually no distinction made between man's individual psyche and direct divine revelation as recorded in Scripture. This fact is evident in that most of the literature in support of tongue-speaking focuses on the mental decision one makes to speak in tongues and very little on the act of tongues-speaking being a purely untaught and spontaneous action directed by God, as even biblical dreams were, in the Scriptural record. Tongue-speakers reply that the mental preparation allows one to receive the gifts of tongues through the subconscious, yet they admit that biblical directives do not prescribe such preparatory actions before receiving direct revelation from God.
On a related front, tongue-speakers' reliance on theories in psychology for support and credibility inadvertently opens the phenomenon up to the incisive scrutiny of those same psychological theories. Altered states of consciousness and abnormal personality development are among the major headings in this area. On the physical level, testimonies of the accompanying manifestations of tongue-speaking are crying, high blood pressure, locked jaw, hot flashes, chest pressure, ballooning cheeks, head swelling and shrinking. Outside observers will usually see tightly closed eyes, rapid breathing, goose pimples, twitching, flushed face, lacrimation, salivation, perspiration, inability to swallow, rigidity of limbs, trembling, spasms, and unusual kinetic behavior (Goodman, p. 58). Salivation is sometimes so intense that afterward there are hand-sized or even larger pools of clear saliva on the floor. These kinds of symptoms are usually characteristic of altered states of consciousness. Hyper arousal in glossolalia is also similar to many hallucinatory experiences, as well as dreaming (Ibid., pp. 59-60). Hyper arousal often leads to mental dissociation. One recorded incident reveals the following:
"Very soon, Floriano goes into a trance and subsequent glossolalia. Despite his very dark complexion, his flush is quite visible. He is totally oblivious to the fact that I have the camera, and later the microphone, trained on him, the latter often very close to his face (Ibid., p. 64).
While speaking in tongues, Consuelo remembers:
"I was floating a little above the ground and one by one everybody else around me was being snatched away, upward, until I was all alone" (Ibid., p. 66).
The hypnotic trance is a learned behavior, and once learned, its repetition is assured. Although not all researchers attribute to the church leader the decisive role, most give him significance comparable to that of a hypnotist. Also important for the entrance into the trance state is the suggestive influence of other persons present who are already in the trance state (McDonald, p. 81). Due to repeated suggestion as to what is expected of one, and the repeated appeals to "yield oneself to the power," many writers have concluded that hypnotism is frequently involved in causing tongues:
"There is no doubt that both self and group suggestion play some role in this phenomenon. The fact that speaking in tongues is a contagious phenomenon is another evidence of the influence of suggestion. It is something that has to be "caught".... In this respect it resembles the barking and jerking which occurred in the Kentucky revivals in which thousands were caught up into ecstasy even against their wills" (Smith, p. 107).
As noted earlier, a consistent criticism levied against modern tongue-speaking is that it lacks the spontaneity of the tongues experienced in biblical times. Along with the abundant literature promoting tongue-speaking, most followers have to be coached, coaxed, and forced into their utterances. Adherents of tongue-speaking present formulas and instructions designed to teach interested parties how to speak in tongues. To counter this, some adherents admit that people are coached into the initial stages, but that the continuation of the experience is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Smith, p. 96). Yet various Pentecostal and Holiness ministers will grant that many of their members only pretend to receive the gift, and many who really do speak in tongues give no evidence of any genuine fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Not surprisingly, it is also admitted that demon possession may be a cause for tongue-speaking (Ibid., p. 102-103).
Still, many classical Pentecostal and Catholic charismatics would deny that tongue-speaking is a learned behavior. Not to do so would be tantamount to denying that it was a gift of the Holy Spirit. Most of the psychological research shows, however, that modern glossolalia is a learned behavior in the sense that it is something almost everyone is capable of doing. It is a natural ability such that the person uses the phonetic material already in his/her linguistic background (McDonnell, p. 84). Although some researchers do not believe tongues is a learned behavior because of many reported cases in which it occurred without the speaker having come into contact with others who also spoke in tongues, it is admitted that almost everyone has the innate ability to do so, given the proper teaching, circumstances and motivation. Moreover, it has been found that some who begin to speak in tongues privately often do so as a result of auto-hypnosis and autosuggestion, two common phenomena in psychology (Smith, p. 70).
Beside the self-induced mental disengagement that plays a large part in glossolalia, there are several other psychological factors involved. First, the expectation of speaking in tongues is set up. As cited earlier, there is a central oft-repeated tenet that achieving tongues is of utmost religious importance. If tongues does not ensue, the initiate is admonished to continue to pray, to fast, and not to resist the power. Secondly, both the laity and the clergy recognize the significance of the behavior as cementing the congregation. At times, it can be the single most powerful cohesive factor of the group (Goodman, p. 89). Yet as psychologist John Kildahl has noted, tongues also produces a divisive element. While they generally show love to the members of the group, they often exhibit a subtle disrespect for those who do not speak in tongues or do not share their views about tongues. This feeling of love and acceptance within the group but ill will toward non-tongue speakers is dependent upon the recognition that they have a common enemy composed of those who do not speak in tongues or do not consider it a work of the Spirit (Ibid., p. 68-71). Thirdly, the rewards are great for the individual. He is taught to expect the reassurance of the working of the Spirit in his life. Fourthly, there is the specific conditioning aimed at reassuring the supplicant that speaking in tongues is indeed possible. This is carried out by word of mouth and demonstrations in sermons and altar calls, respectively. In charismatic churches, the latter are part of every service and nearly always feature tongue-speaking (Ibid., p. 89).
With these inducements at the foreground, the supplicant's efforts are successful and he actually begins speaking in tongues. In some, the transition from language to dissociative vocalization is subtle. The meaningful speech slowly dissolves, as if wiped away, and the patterns of glossolalia take over. The first utterance may be a shout or a stutter. Subsequent utterances will exhibit tremendous pulse frequency. In successive trials the character of the tongues utterance will change exhibiting less energy, loudness, and intensity over a two or three year period (Ibid., 93-97).
Some peculiarities in the content of glossolalia show that the influence of the group, along with the tongue-speaker's own personality and background, are intrinsically involved in the experience. The following is a transcribed recording of a tongue-speaking experience of a man at St. Vincent Church in Mexico City:
7. hunda / handa landa
8. kala / handa landa / lo lo lo
9. kada / handa
10. anda lo lo lo / ihikada / handa lo lo / lodi
11. kada / handa
12. lulodi / ikada / handa
13. lokodu / handa
This particular case study reports that if a comparison is made of this utterance with those of his parishioners, the model orientation of the latter becomes quite evident. Two of his pulses "hunda" and "handa" keep recurring in the parishioners pulse inventory. This is an example of how the subject has salvaged sections and remnants of someone else's utterance structure and has made them part of his own performance (Goodman, p. 108).
The next example is an utterance spoken in the same Mexican church. The struggle to achieve vocalization seems very arduous. Juan claps extremely fast, then slows down, speeds up once more, prays loudly, but no tongues ensues. Finally there is a single phrase "ai / sic / sio," but the attempt aborts. His prayer becomes very long and drawn out and is at variance with his fast clapping. Then the glossolalia level is achieved but neither the volume nor intensity attain the level of the previous year he spoke in tongues. Background glossolalia among the members was of the form "sic, sic, sic," at the time Juan began to speak. The following is a transcribed recording of Juan's tongue-speaking experience of 43 seconds:
1. si : sic / syo:h
2. si : c / s
3. si / sic sic sic
4. ?c sic / so
5. A sia / sia sie so
6. si / so
8. c : sia / sia s
9. si syo
10. a : si sy
11. si / si sy
12. iai a / si ?
13. ?c si (coughing, lengthy pause until next utterance)
14. a / a / a / si
15. si / sye
A second utterance achieved later in the same altar-call has a markedly lower intensity and lasted 31 seconds. A third utterance of only 17 seconds, with considerable volume and intensity, gave evidence that Juan was attempting, by whatever mechanism, to push himself into a higher-level dissociation (Goodman, pp. 118-119).
Speaking in Tongues A Historical, Psychological, and Biblical Analysis 4
The conclusions from the ten case studies are:
1. Tongues-speaking is not productive. Once an audio signal has been internalized, it becomes stereotyped. This was noted also by other observers.
2. The stereotyped utterance mirrors that of the person who guided the tongue-speaker into the behavior. There is little variation of sound patterns within the group arising around a particular guide.
3. The tongues-speaking changes over time apparently as a function of the attenuation of hyper arousal dissociation.
4. Tongues-speaking is lexically non-communicative. The utterance of the tongue-speaker and his listeners do not share a linguistic code. What it does communicate is, initially, the commitment to the group, and later on, a sharing of its ritual behavior with all that this involves on the personal and social side (Ibid., p. 132).
5. Tongue-speakers have a high frequency of repetition in their speech; similar sounding syllables are repeated over and over again.
6. Tongue-speakers' utterances are very similar to their own language background.
7. Tongues-speech usually contains excessive use of one or two vowels.
8. Tongues-speech does not have any specific language structure.
9. There is a markedly greater length of the interpretation as compared with the length of the tongues utterance.
10. There is much inconsistency in the interpretations of the same tongue utterance.
11. In many groups, there is a predominant King James style English in the interpretation (Dillow, p. 168).
As noted earlier, there is a marked similarity between the disposition of some tongue-speakers with those who have been classed with neurotic disorders. In addition, a comparison of the actual utterances of tongue-speakers with other human utterances of a non-religious background reveal that certain psychiatric patient's vocal patterns resemble modern glossolalia. Of several vocalizations assembled of patient's speech patterns, those produced by chronic schizophrenics resemble in every way a classical tongues utterance (Ibid., p. 125). Since tongues are not a normal experience, it is not surprising that terms such as hysteria, partial catalepsy, neurosis, and similar expressions frequently occur in analysis of this subject (Smith, p. 105). Unfortunate examples are cited of individuals who have spoken in tongues and have been so overwhelmed by the experience that they never again regained psychological equilibrium (Kelsey, p. 207).
Often, after the tongue speaker has been exercising the experience for a few years, there are certain internal temptations he meets to deny its genuineness. The first temptation is to say to oneself, "I am just making this up." Forceful instructions are given by the leaders to dispel this belief. Secondly, after the initial joy and enthusiasm has worn off, tongue-speakers often feel that the experience is no longer benefiting them and consequently they often neglect it or allow it to fall into disuse. A third crucial factor is the disillusionment and loss of confidence in the authority figure who introduced them to tongues, which eventually results in the cessation of tongue-speaking for the individual (Smith, p. 99). Kildahl writes: "While glossolalia is not the same as hypnosis, it is similar to it and has the same roots in the relationship of the subject to the authority figure" (Kildahl, p. 55). In the battery of psychological tests administered by Kildahl, he interpreted them as revealing that tongue-speakers are more submissive, suggestible, and dependent upon a leader than those who do not speak in tongues. Moreover, Kildahl concludes that the benefits reported by tongue-speakers are dependent upon acceptance by the leader and other members of the group, and upon their evaluation of the significance of the experience rather than upon the actual experience itself.
Evidence has also been discovered that tongues has an unusual appeal for individuals with weak egos and other psychological inadequacies. From his psychological testing, Kildahl concludes:
"Anxiety is a prerequisite for developing the ability to speak in tongues, and anxiety-free individuals were less apt to seek this kind of experience, while those with a low level of emotional stability tended to be extreme in their affirmation of the benefits of glossolalia...the more integrated the personality, the more modest are the tongues speaker's claims regarding the significance of tongues" (Ibid., pp. 58-60).
Although the above psychological results are persistent among most of the researchers, other researchers report that, as a whole, tongues-speakers are probably as healthy mentally as other people (Hamilton, p. 39). But even these favorable assessments nearly always add a "nevertheless," or some other qualification (Kildahl, p. 65).
An interesting comparison between socio-psychological theory and glossolalia has been put forth by Wayne E. Oates. Oates uses the theories of Jean Piaget and Harry Sullivan on language development in children, comparing them to the psychological motivations of tongue-speakers. This study is particularly significant because of its association to the allusion St. Paul makes to "speaking as a child" in reference to tongues (1 Corinthians 13:11).
According to Piaget's theory, a child's speech is of two varieties, ego-centric and socialized. In ego-centric speech the child is oblivious to his hearers. It is speech in which the presence of other serves simply as a stimulus to speak, called the "collective monologue," and it expects no response from the listener. Oates has classified the act of speaking in tongues in the collective monologue category. Socialized speech is when the child begins to exchange ideas with other people. Oates attributes the conversations among tongue speakers about the art of speaking in tongues with socialized speech. As tongues-speaking becomes more acceptable in any given church, and as the movement matures, Oates see this as a shift in the emphasis from the ego-centric character of tongues to its social value (Oates, pp. 84-89).
Harry Sullivan , in An Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry, also develops Piaget's theory. He uses the term "parataxic" to describe ego-centric speech. In parataxic speech, the child utters unintelligible words that are pleasant and meaningful to him. The task for the mother is to identify this speech with the child's specific needs. When the mother cannot understand the connection, this produces "parataxic distortion" in the child. In adult life, these distortions linger and create various types of communication breakdowns and personality disturbances. Oates concludes that glossolalia is the result of an age of mass communication breakdown in society. This forces various attempts at "childhood parataxis" in order to release the tension created by confused conventional speech (Ibid, pp. 90-91). Accordingly, it is not unusual for tongues-speaking to be prominent in groups who have more or less become disillusioned with or have withdrawn, to some degree, from the society around them.
Perhaps not unrelated to this phenomenon is the dramatic increase in tongue-speaking among the Pentecostal and Holiness movements in the early 20th century. Author Morton Kelsey has called it nothing less than a "theology of tongues." It is significant, however, that Pentecostalism did not begin as a movement until people began to think about the experience of tongues. The precursor of Pentecostalism, the Holiness movement in the late 19th century, had featured tongues-speaking at revival meetings for emotional stimulus, but it was not as much identified with the accounts of tongues in the book of Acts. The Pentecostal movement was the first to seize on the term "baptism of the Spirit" from the book of Acts to identify tongue-speaking with biblical directives (Kelsey, p. 69).
The Holiness movement developed in the wake of a growing breakdown of governmentally enforced orthodoxy in the late 18th century. The rationalism and materialism brought in by the liberal denominations from Europe had seeped into the traditional American churches. Darwin's evolutionary theory which prompted the denial of a literally inspired Bible, and Horace Bushnell's (1802 - 1876) denial of a need for a Christian conversion experience, caused many to leave the traditional churches, one of them being the Holiness group. In kind, the Holiness movement reacted against the liberal-social gospel and its accompanying worldliness. In turn, it offered a grass roots, enthusiastic, and transforming Christian experience. Stress was put on the individual and his striving for perfection. Being branded by the traditional churches as fanatical, the Holiness movement became more close-knit than ever. The individual believer was persuaded by the group to gain higher experiences with God. This pressure reached fruition in the Pentecostal movement. Now the individual was taught to strive for the third blessing of God. Conversion and sanctification were the first and second blessings, respectively, but they were to be followed by the baptism of the Spirit. Literature describing the experience began to proliferate. To prove that one was a "real" Christian over against the false Christians of the liberal churches, speaking in tongues became the ultimate standard of measurement. Later, tongue speaking was considered an added blessing from God in the new age of the "latter rain," rather than a judge of genuine Christianity. As cited earlier, this "new age" hypothesis was also brewing in the social sciences. Freud, Jung, and various socio-political historians were teaching the same idea in the secular world (Ibid., pp. 75-77).
Later, groups such as the Assemblies of God, the Christian and Missionary Alliance and the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship, all began to organize and refine their conception of the baptism of the Holy Spirit for display to the rest of the world. As the movements progressed in the early 20th century, tongue-speaking was introduced into almost every denomination across America. It had become evident that the liberal social gospel was only an illusion and thus the return of the emphasis on the individual and his personal experience fought its way back into the traditional churches. Resistence was still maintained by the older generation but tongue-speaking continued to grow rapidly among the young (Kelsey, pp. 95-97).
Outside of the fringe groups, the first account of a so-called "orthodox" tongue-speaking was in 1960 in Van Nuys, California at a prominent Episcopal church. This report created quite a stir and it opened the door for other pastors to satisfy their curiosity about the possibility of tongues in their own churches. The movement spread to college campuses, the first being Yale University, which had previously been notorious for its agnosticism and liberalism. As tongue-speaking spread into the more educated of society, it wasn't long before polemical stands in favor of tongues were produced by prominent ministers and priests in all the traditional churches (Kelsey, pp. 126-128). When one reflects back on the societal turmoil of the mid- and late 1960's, the theories of Oates and Sullivan, previously mentioned, find fertile ground of support.
Although there had been no reports of tongue-speaking in the Catholic Church for more than a century, it became heavily influenced by the experiences of Protestant churches, especially since Vatican II (1963) had formally broken down many of the divisions between Catholics and Protestants. The first recorded experience of tongue-speaking in the Catholic Church came in 1967 at Duquesne University of the Holy Ghost Fathers. Stressing the need for the Holy Spirit in their lackluster ministries, Catholic laymen began to consort with various Protestant Pentecostal pastors who were gathering in large numbers of people. In the Fall of 1966, meetings between the two churches were held at Duquesne. By January 1967, a number of Catholic students report instances of tongue-speaking. This phenomenon also spread to the prestigious Notre Dame University in Indiana. In 1967 there were less than 100 participants in the annual Notre Dame Christian meetings, but this figure rose to 30,000 in 1974, most of whom were Pentecostal in their theology. By 1975, there were approximately 4 million Catholic Pentecostals in the world with strongholds in France and Puerto Rico. As the Pentecostal influence became more integrated within the Catholic Church, there were no official expressions of opposition from the hierarchy (Laurentin, pp. 11-22). In fact, Yves Congar, O.P., commented in the French journal La Croix: "We are seeing the beginning of a very promising movement. We must find for it a name that is beyond reproach" (January 19, 1974). By Pentecost Sunday of 1975, the term "Charismatic" had been coined. Fr. Walter Abbott, S.J., then associate editor of America magazine (noted today for its avant-garde Catholicism), wrote that "the Charismatic renewal was decisively accepted into the Catholic Church."
Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, Leon Joseph Suenens, was one of the main figures in promoting the Charismatic movement, initiating expansive policies for its growth. From 1974-1986, Suenens drafted a series of six articles, the "Malines documents," which detailed the personalities and ideas he wanted fostered in the Charismatic movement, among them being ecumenism, social action, and the strange phenomenon of "slaying in the spirit," which had its origin in the Protestant Holiness and Pentecostal groups from the beginning of the tongues movement at the turn of the twentieth century. "Being slain" occurs when a tongues-speaker, or other willing recipient, is vigorously thrown backward. The agent for the force is attributed to the Holy Spirit, yet it is clearly evident that in most cases the leader makes contact with the recipient by a hard blow to the latter's forehead. (The phenomenon of "falling backward" is associated with tongues in Isaiah 28:13, the context from which Paul quotes in regards to the abuse of tongues in 1 Cor. 14:21, which will be covered later in this essay).
In Kansas City, Missouri, July 1977, a large multi-denominational gathering of 50,000 Baptists, Anglicans, Lutherans, United Methodists, Pentecostals, non-denominational Christians, Messianic Jews and Roman Catholics was organized. The theme of the gathering centered around the "Baptism of the Spirit" and the goal was to break down denominational walls. This gathering would be hailed as the foundational meeting for the next two decades. In the same year, the Catholic magazine, New Covenant (Our Sunday Visitor Press), stated:
" This Kansas City conference brought together for the first time Christians from three traditions of the charismatic renewal, the classic Pentecostals, the neo-Pentecostals and the Catholic Pentecostals. This historic gathering was a first response to a directive word that was spoken by the Lord at a conference on the charismatic renewal in 1974. At that time, the Lord expressed his desire to bring the three streams together, a sign of hope for all Christians. The Lord called us to reach beyond our denominational walls to work and pray aggressively for a higher goal, the unification of all Christianity."
In this statement are two significant presumptions. First, it is claimed that God spoke directly to the leaders to organize the charismatic gathering, and second, that individuals outside the Catholic Church were recognized as full-fledged Christians no different than Roman Catholics and that Catholic were allowed and encouraged to mingle with them.
Dr. Vincent Sinon (Protestant Pentecostal) stated at this 1977 conference: "The three streams of Pentecostalism have come together tonight because we are one in the Spirit. At a press conference he stated regarding unity: "The place to start is with a common spirituality; and the number one thread that holds us together is Baptism of the Spirit."
In June of the Celebrate Jesus 2000 conference twenty-three years later, Vincent Sinon stated in the welcome letter to the attendees:
" This congress at Celebrate Jesus 2000 follows conferences in Kansas City , New Orleans , Indianapolis , and Orlando . At each of these gatherings people from Christian denominations and traditions gathered to exalt in the name of Jesus, worship in the Holy Spirit, and answer the call to world evangelism in our generation."
Franciscan University of Steubenville, one of the leaders in the Catholic charismatic movement, advertised the Celebrate Jesus 2000 event as "The Streams of Christianity are Gathering" and it promoted it as the paramount gathering of the Jubilee Year, inviting all charismatics, Catholic and non-Catholic, to attend.
Celebrate Jesus 2000 listed forty-seven different speakers, mostly prominent Protestants, including Pat Robertson from the nationally televised 700 club, John Arno from the Toronto Blessing charismatic revival of 1997, and radio personality Jack Hayford. Many leading Catholic personalities were also present. The conference drew about ten thousand people, of whom the majority were Catholics.
Social Movements and Behavior Associated with Glossalalia
Until the charismatic renewal in the Catholic Church in 1967, theories of economic and cultural deprivation were accepted as the impetus for experiences of glossolalia. But the Neo-Pentecostalism that emerged in the Episcopal church, and which spread to the Presbyterian and Lutheran churches, had begun to shatter such theories. People of education, position, and means in the professional and business world were practicing tongues. In vivid contrast, early classical Pentecostalists had been anti-institutional, anti-creedal, anti-authoritarian, and anti-intellectual (McConnell, pp. 15-16).
To explain these phenomenon from a sociological point of view, an analysis of religious movements appeared in the work of Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch. Their distinction between sect and church became known as the church-sect theory. Basically, it postulates that religious movements begin as sects that break off from an existing church for economic reasons. In 1936, Anton Doisen had agreed with the church-sect theory and added what he called the "pressure of crisis situations." As late as 1972, remnants of the crisis theory lingered in the work of Paul Qualben. In Qualben's study with John Kildahl, financed by the National Institute of Health, they found that 85% of the tongue-speakers he interviewed had experienced a clearly defined anxiety crisis preceding their tongues-speaking. Their anxiety was caused by such things as marital difficulties, ill health, or financial problems.
In 1940, John Holt had stressed social disorganization, which he theorized gave rise to the Pentecostal experience in certain cities. The theory states that a migration took place from a rural to urban setting. When the rural met the urban, a "cultural shock" was precipitated. Since the rural families were originally close knit, the unfriendliness of urban life stimulated highly emotional worship services to regain the closeness lost in city life. Emile Durkheim coined the word "anomie" to define such a process (Ibid., pp. 19-24). Until Pentecostalism, and more exactly tongue-speaking, found its way into the upper classes and educated, these social deprivation theories were quite prominent.
The years from 1960-1975 were filled with honest "reconsideration" of glossolalia. All major denominations began to relax the restraints of any prohibition. In 1973, Pope Paul VI, in addressing the characteristics of charismatic renewal, specified "the taste of deep prayer, personal and in groups, a return to contemplation...a great availability for the calls of the Holy Spirit..." Since Paul VI did not admonish tongue-speaking, this was most readily interpreted as a sign of approval among its adherents (Ibid., pp. 64-65).
These various movements created an ecumenical consensus among tongue-speakers that stretched across the nation and the world. During this period, tongues-speaking and other kinds of prophetic utterances, became less and less unacceptable when judged by dominant middle class values (Ibid., p. 112). Psychological studies, which prior to 1967 were mostly negative in character, began to shift toward positive evaluations. William J. Samarin, who has the most documented studies on glossolalia, states that it is not at all unlike other kinds of speech humans produce in more or less normal circumstances, in more or less normal psychological states (Ibid., 117). As Samarin gave his approval of glossolalia on a psychological level, this dressed up the movement to become socially acceptable. Since Samarin, however, stated that glossolalia is strictly a learned behavior for both normal and abnormal people, this did nothing to support the thesis among tongue-speaking enthusiasts that the tongue-speaking experience came from the Holy Spirit.
After 1975, further studies from scientific disciplines began to exhibit almost exclusively neutral estimations of the tongue-speaking experience. Tongue was now termed "free vocalization" among some psychologists, and was said to be of non-trance origination and psychologically unharmful. Criticism of earlier psychological evaluations is common, claiming that those studies were done to measure the degree of social deviance rather than develop what free vocalization is in itself (Poythress, pp. 370-371). In the context of contemporary worship, however, it is still not clear among this new breed of psychologists just what the nature of free vocalization is, whether it be remnants of foreign languages, something resembling infantile babbling, or some type of spiritual language. For the tongue-speaker, however, it is always possible to claim that his tongues speech is in coded language which only certain persons of a spiritual mind-set can understand (Ibid., pp. 373-375). These positive psychological evaluations have led some theologians to defend tongue-speakers from abusive criticism.
Speaking in Tongues A Historical, Psychological, and Biblical Analysis 5
Biblical Analysis of Tongues
Despite the foregoing negative evidence, a biblical study of tongues must first recognize that there is no single verse of Scripture which states that the gift has completely and forever ceased, never to be manifested again. Although passages such as 1 Corinthians 13:8 indicate a cessation of the gift, the verse is neither specific as to the time the cessation will occur, nor whether or not after such a cessation tongues could return intermittently. Many Protestant groups claim that at the end of the Apostolic Age, which is marked by the death of the last apostle, tongues-speaking came to an abrupt end, coincident with the cessation of the inspired word of God, or general revelation, at the completion of the New Testament. Along with the cessation of tongues, these groups believe that miracles, prophecies, visions and other such supernatural activity also ceased.
The Catholic view maintains that although general revelation has ceased, private revelation has not ceased, nor have private manifestations of miracles, prophecies, visions, or any other divine gift. In other words, the gifts of the Holy Spirit remain intact, albeit some of them may not be as common as in the early days of the Church, since some gifts perhaps fell into disuse as circumstances demanded. The Church's only stipulation is that anything of a private origin will not be required as necessary for belief, but can be used for edification and devotion. The Church also warns that the demonic world continues its own supernatural activity, such that miracles, prophecies and tongues may be mimicked by forces opposed to God and the Church. Moreover, the Church has certainly not ruled out that claims to private revelations may indeed be the product of an individual's over-active imagination. Which of these three sources is at work at any one time is a matter the Church decides when she deems appropriate, yet she does so only in a small percentage of the reported cases.
Yet even with the open-minded posture of the Catholic Church to private revelation, one must acknowledge that supernatural occurrences are rare, as even the Church herself admits. In her entire history, only a select few individuals have received private revelation in the Catholic Church. Most of its greatest saints and theologians make no claim to receiving private revelation. Moreover, the Church has always been infested with charlatans and self-proclaimed messengers of God who make it appear as if miraculous occurrences are the norm rather than the exception. Thus, with the freedom given in the Catholic Church, there is just as much or more caution.
One possibility to be kept in mind when examining the modern tongues movement is that all three causes: (1) the Holy Spirit; (2) the demonic world, and (3) man himself; may be active in producing what we see today and in the recent past. If it is accepted that the Holy Spirit moved saints such as Teresa of Avila, Anthony of Padua, or Francis Xavier to speak in tongues for the benefit of those in their missionary audience, then there is no reason to deny that such an occurrence could happen in our day, especially since the Church has never forbidden speaking in tongues (Also 1 Cor. 14:39: "Forbid not to speak with tongues"). The Holy Spirit moves as He wills, and where He blows is often a mystery to us (John 3:8). That being said, it is reasonable to postulate that, if the true gift of tongues were manifested among certain people today, then either the demonic world or the psychologically unstable and egotistically motivated would seek to mimic such divine manifestations in an effort to grab the limelight and/or to deceive the followers of Christ.
On the demonic side, the counterfeiting of divine miracles is as old as the Bible itself. The first recorded instance occurred during the Israelites' departure from Egypt in the 15th century B.C. The book of Exodus records that Pharaoh's magicians could perform many of the same miraculous feats as Moses (Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7). These miracles persuaded Pharaoh that there was some legitimacy to his claims against the Israelites. By the same token, Pharaoh's magicians could not perform all of Moses' miracles (Exodus 8:18; 9:11), which shows that the underworld is limited in its power to deceive.
Similarly, Paul warns the Corinthians, in no uncertain terms, that Satan and his angels come into the Church masquerading as an angels of light, disguising themselves as "apostles" of Christ (2 Cor. 11:13-15). In the next chapter Paul specifies what the signs of an apostle are: "The signs of an apostle were performed among you...signs and wonders and miracles" (2 Cor 12:12). The Revelation of John tells us that the demonic world has these same powers (Rev. 13:14; 16:14; 19:20). We also know that when Jesus began His ministry in Israel, demonic activity became quite pronounced, which is the reason we read of so many demon possessions in the Gospels. These simultaneous occurrences show that when God performs miracles it is not unusual to see the demonic world attempt to counterfeit those miracles in an effort to take back control of the people.
We also know that, whether in league with the demonic world or independently initiated, certain men in history have shown the unique ability to gather a following of people. Sometimes it only takes one powerful idea and the ability to communicate that idea to create a huge following. The wise Gamaliel of Acts 5:35-39 recognized this principle when debating whether he should oppose the new Christian movement. Most people are natural-born followers, and since they cannot figure out the sometimes confusing issues of life themselves, they are constantly searching for a charismatic figure to lead them to safety. The demons prey on such mentality, and so do men of ill will. Hence, it remains a distinct possibility that certain men will use human nature's awe and fascination with the miraculous, including tongues-speaking, to draw them away from the truth.
With these biblical guideline in the forefront, we will now proceed to examine the specific evidence concerning tongues in the New Testament.
1 Corinthians 13:8: The Cessation of Tongues
One might wonder if there is any evidence in Scripture regarding whether the gift of tongues would continue past the age of the Apostles or terminate sometime within their ministry. In the midst of his discourse on tongues in the letter to the Corinthians, Paul touches on the cessation of tongues in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12. He writes:
" Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known."
For this particular study, we are naturally drawn to the words "if there be tongues, they will cease," for this tells us quite clearly that tongues will eventually cease. Yet, although the cessation of tongues is clear, the passage is ambiguous as to when this eventuality will occur. Moreover, the verse does not specify whether tongues could cease temporarily and then return intermittently. Since Paul's major concern in the text is the elevation of love as the most superior gift of God, he puts very little concentration on tongues. Nevertheless, there are some hints as to what Paul meant by the phrase "they will cease."
The most interesting piece of evidence is that Paul chose a different Greek word for the cessation of tongues than he did for the doing away of prophecy and knowledge. The Greek word for "cease" is pauvsontai (root = pauomai), whereas the Greek word for "done away" is katarghqhvsontai (root = katargeo). We must assume that this choice of words is no accident. The word katargeo refers to a non-physical destruction by means of a superior power coming in to replace the power previously in effect. It is used in such passages as Hebrews 2:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 2 Thess. 2:8. In the Corinthian epistle, Paul uses it in 1:28; 2:6; 6:13; 15:24, 26. The other distinguishing feature of this word is that it is in the Greek passive voice, which means that the superior force is acting directly upon prophecy and knowledge in order to replace them.
The next question regards whether there is anything in the context of the passage that identifies this superior force and tells us when it will act upon prophecy and knowledge. The choices are limited to the phrases "when the perfect comes," "face to face," and "then I shall know fully" (1 Cor. 13:10-12). The difficulty with these descriptions, however, is that the identity of the word "perfect" is not specified; "face to face" is more of a metaphor than a time factor; and "then I shall know fully," is not time specific. Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of these three phrases gives a strong indication of the timing Paul has in mind. We could categorize all the phrases in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 with their counterparts as follows:
Knowledge and Prophecies
Present .......................................... Future
"mirror dimly"........................... "face to face"
"know in part"........................... "know in full"
If the reference to "face to face" is not merely a metaphor, but a veiled description of some future event, there is only one event to which it could refer. In Rev. 22:4, which is a description of the eternal state, it is said that Christians will "see His face." Similarly, 1 John 3:2, in reference to the Second Coming of Christ, says "when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is." Likewise, Matthew 5:8 states that the pure in heart will "see God." Thus, it seems likely that "face to face" is a reference to the beginning of eternity in heaven.
Regarding Paul's reference to "perfect," he gives a good clue to his intentions in Philippians 3:12, 21. The first verse states that Paul has not yet become "perfect" in this life, and the latter verse explains when Paul expects the imperfect state to cease. It will cease when He "will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory..."
It is also true that Paul refers to our present state as "perfect" or more specifically a striving for the "perfect." For example, in Ephesians 4:13-14 he writes:
" ...until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming."
The words "knowledge" "mature man," "fulness" and "children" are some of the same concepts Paul uses in the verse under study, 1 Corinthians 13:8-12. In both passages, Paul teaches that we are striving for these ultimate levels of attainment. It is only natural to assume that at some point in the future they will be fully realized, and if they don't come sooner, they will definitely come later at the Second Coming of Christ.
One interesting fact about the metaphors Paul uses to describe the passing away of knowledge and prophecy is that after 1 Corinthians 13:8 the gift of tongues has been eliminated from the discussion. Only prophecy and knowledge remain in the discussion at verse 9, and of these two, knowledge seems to be the last survivor in verse 12. In any case, Paul implies that tongues will cease prior to knowledge and prophecy, and thus prior to the arrival of the "perfect" and "face to face." If this is his meaning, he seems to reinforce it by the particular verb he chooses to picture the cessation of tongues. As noted earlier, Paul picks the Greek word pauomai. This word means to stop or cease, usually immediately (cf., Luke 5:4; 8:24; Acts 20:1; 1 Peter 3:10; 4:1). This suggests that tongues will have an abrupt end. It will not linger for a while and then fade away gradually. It will be here one day and gone the next. This conclusion agrees with the testimony of the early Fathers who wrote that, except for fringe reports of tongues, the gift had ceased already by the time of their writing.
There is another dimension to the Greek word pauomai which sets it apart. In distinction to katargeo, which is in the Greek passive voice, pauomai is a middle deponent verb. This means that rather than being acted upon by an outside force, tongues will act on itself to cease. How this will happen is not clear. In the New Testament, there is no other gift that is said to "cease." Since tongues was a gift prompted by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 1 Cor. 12:4-11), its cessation must entail a cessation of the power of Holy Spirit for that particular gift. Understanding the Spirit's withdrawal in light of the Greek middle voice of pauomai, we can surmise that tongues would cease when it needed to cease, that is, when there was little need for the gift, rather than, as is the case with knowledge and prophecy, being done away by a major event, such as the Second Coming of Christ. Tongues will cease without incident and without being linked to other historical events.
The likelihood is that the need for such a gift would become less and less frequent as the Church became more established in the world. But this does not mean that when tongues ceased it could never again appear at another place and time, for there is nothing in Paul's writings which explicitly says that the gift could not be manifested, along with the other gifts, right up until the end of time. The cessation of tongues about which Paul speaks could very likely refer to an intermittent cessation, as the Holy Spirit saw fit to do, and as He does with most miraculous activity. Similar to the other miracles of the Holy Spirit (prophecy, miracles, revelation, healing), although they were manifested infrequently, they continue unabated throughout the Church age.
Such intermittent cessation of tongues may help explain why, on the one hand, most Fathers of the Church and medieval theologians report that the gift of tongues was not active in their day, yet, on the other hand, through two millennia of Catholic history, there are scattered yet consistent reports of Catholic saints speaking in tongues. In many cases, the Catholic missionaries would most likely not know the language of the people to whom they wished to preach the gospel, hence the Holy Spirit could have inspired the gift of tongues to help the missionaries communicate with the indigenous people, much like the Holy Spirit did at Pentecost. When used properly, tongues were a means to preach the gospel, as is plainly evident when the apostles spoke in tongues at Pentecost to men from 15 different nations who heard God's word in their own language (Acts 2:1-11). Indeed, the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32, which Pentecost fulfilled, states that God will pour out His Spirit in the "last days...and your sons and daughters shall prophecy..." Since there is nothing specific said about tongues in Joel's prophecy, it must then be assumed that when Joel refers to the "sons and daughter prophesying" he is including tongues under the general heading of prophesying. According to the metaphors of 1 Corinthians 13:9-12, prophecy is said to continue up until the arrival of the "perfect" and "face to face," which, as noted above, refers to the eternal state when the Christian will see God. Moreover, the New Testament gives no time-limit to the duration of the "last days," and, in fact, assumes that the "last days" are an open-ended time interval transpiring till the Second Coming (2Tim 3:1; Heb 1:2; Jam 5:3; 2Pet 3;3; Catholic Catechism, para 732). If so, then there is no reason why tongues could not reappear at the Holy Spirit's discretion.
Speaking in Tongues A Historical, Psychological, and Biblical Analysis 6
1 Corinthians 14: The Abuse of the Gift of Tongues
Although they were designed to help the church, tongues became quite a divisive issue among the Corinthians. According to the account in 1 Corinthians 14, there were several abuses occurring. Among them are: (1) several people spoke in tongues at the same time; (2) a majority of the church would speak in tongues at any given gathering; (3) tongues were spoken without interpretation being given or sought; and (4) women were assuming roles of authority and speaking tongues in the church. All these created confusion in the Church instead of edification. In answer to this, Paul assured the Corinthians that God is not the God of confusion and that something was amiss at Corinth (cf., 1 Cor. 14:33).
Since God is not the author of confusion, this means that God was not initiating all of the tongues-speaking occurring in the Corinthian church. It is reasonable to postulate that the Holy Spirit would neither cause someone to speak in tongues at the same time another person was speaking, nor cause someone to speak without inspiring someone else with the gift of interpretation to interpret the tongue, nor cause women to speak in tongues if, as 1 Cor. 14:34 shows, He intended them to remain silent.
This being the case, it means that the unrestrained tongue-speaking must have been coming from another source. The two possibilities remaining are the demonic world and the mind of the Corinthian church member. We have already noted that Paul warned the Corinthians that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light, masquerading in the Church as an apostle of Christ. We also noted that since he and his minions have the power to mimic the miracles of God, it is highly plausible that the demons were prompting at least some of the tongues in the Corinthian Church, influencing those whose allegiance to God was poor or non-existent (cf., 1 John 2:18-19). This would account for the confusion that was created, for if, as Paul affirms, God is not responsible for the confusion, then another entity must be responsible for it. Along these same lines, we must also realize that, if the Corinthians were being faithless and disobedient, God could allow demons to enter the church as a form of chastisement. Regarding prophets in rebellion, such passages as Ezekiel 14:6-11 and 1 Kings 22:22-23 show that God takes an active role in permitting them to speak words of deception.
The other possibility for the confusion, of course, is the Corinthians themselves who, according to Paul's warnings, perhaps wouldn't need prompting from a demon to exercise their overly-inflated spiritual egos. Blurting out something akin to tongues-speech in order to gain recognition may have come as naturally to them as walking or talking. According to 1 Cor. 12:30 and 14:5, the Holy Spirit did not give all the Corinthians the ability to speak in tongues. Hence, some of the Corinthians that did not have the gift could have become jealous of their brothers who did, and thus be led to pretend that they also had the gift. This is not a far-fetched possibility, since the Corinthians were infamous for their jealousy over one another (1 Cor. 3:3-5).
A possible mitigating factor here is that Paul does not explicitly mention the alternative origins (eg., demons or man) of tongue-speaking that are not inspired by God. He merely says that God is not the originator of confusion. We can conclude from this that God will not initiate an illicit tongues experience. Whether the proper protocol of tongue-speaking is being followed is of paramount importance in discerning if the particular manifestation is indeed from God. If the rules are not being followed, it is a corollary truth that the tongues-speech is not of divine origin, for God would not contradict His own mandates. The only other possibility is that if God gave someone the power to speak in tongues without an interpreter being present Paul commands that person "to speak to himself and to God" (1 Cor. 14:28), but such an occasion would be rare as well as irrelevant to the issue at hand.
A more subtle explanation Paul offers for the presence of illicit tongues-speech is suggested in 1 Cor. 14:21, in the somewhat strange and seemingly out-of-place reference to the Old Testament. Paul warns the Corinthians as follows:
" In the Law it is written, "By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me," says the Lord. So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers..."
We must do some unpacking of this verse in order to understand precisely what is being said. The first point of notice is that Paul is quoting from Isaiah 28:11-12. This is a direct translation from the Hebrew, omitting only a small portion of verse 12 and adding "says the Lord" at the end. Paul also exercises some literary freedom in making the passage speak in the first person ("I will speak to this people"), whereas Isaiah wrote in the third person ("He will speak to this people"). We might wonder why Paul added this obscure quote to his text, since without it he could have easily made his point to the Corinthians that tongues should not gain the ascendancy over prophecy. Indeed, the use of the Isaiah quote becomes all the more intriguing when it is noted that the unbelievers in view are the apostate Jews of the 8th century B.C. just prior to their ultimate punishment from God, who used the Assyrians to totally destroy them in 722 B.C. The Jews, who had rejected the clear words of God spoken through the prophets, had fallen into such unbelief that God told Isaiah He would now let the foreign tongues and stammering lips of Assyria do His speaking to Israel for Him. Isaiah records the condition of Israel in 28:7-8:
"And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink, they are confused by wine from strong drink; they reel while having visions, they totter when rendering judgment. For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place."
Isaiah continues with God's resolution in 28:9, 13:
" To whom would He teach knowledge? And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast?...So the word of the Lord to them will be 'Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there,' that they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared, and taken captive."
The phraseology "Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there" are Hebrew monosyllables resembling the babbling of a baby. The sound would be something like: "tsa, latsa, tsa, latsa, ka, laka, ka, laka." Because they have rejected His clear words, God will now speak to them in gibberish, like that of a baby, only the words will not come from a gentle infant but from the fierce mouths of their Assyrian oppressors.
The same description of judgment over one hundred years later against the nation of Judah is recorded in Jeremiah 5:15. For Judah's apostasy the Lord brought the babbling tongues of the nation of Babylon against them. He says:
" 'Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,' declares the Lord. 'It is an enduring nation; it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say."
In verses 20-23 Jeremiah continues:
"'Declare this in the house of Jacob, and proclaim it in Judah, saying, 'Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not. 'Do you not fear Me?' declares the Lord. 'Do you not tremble in my presence.'...But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart. They have turned aside and departed."
At this point in Israel's history, there were many false prophets who were causing the people to turn away from the true faith. In Jeremiah 23:11-12, God complains to Jeremiah that
"...both prophet and priest are polluted; even in My house I have found their wickedness," declares the Lord. "Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, they will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; for I shall being calamity upon them, the year of their punishment," declares the Lord."
Continuing in verses 14-15, he writes:
"Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: the committing of adultery and walking in falsehood...All of them have become to Me like Sodom, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets, behold I am going to feed them wormwood and make them drink poisonous water, for from the prophets of Jerusalem pollution has gone forth into all the land."
Finally in verses 16 through 32 He warns that the prophets of Israel speak from their own mind:
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, "do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord....I did not send these prophets but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied....I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, 'I had a dream, I had a dream!'...Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams," declares the Lord...and led My people astray by their falsehoods..."
The prophet Ezekiel records the same phenomenon. In Ezekiel 13:2-9 the Lord speaks to him these words:
"Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy from their own inspiration, 'Listen to the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God, "Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing....So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations..."
Describing God's judgment as coming in the form of foreign tongues was first prophesied to Israel in the 15th century B.C., just prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. Among the blessings and cursings that were detailed on Mt. Gerazim, one of the latter is stated in Deut 28:49-50 as:
"The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, a nation of fierce countenance who shall have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young."
The other mention of the nation of "fierce countenance" (Hebrew: az panim) is in Daniel 8:23. Like Deut 28:50, this passage concerns God's use of a foreign king to come against His people of God as a means of judgment against them. The distinction of Daniel's account is that, according to Daniel 8:17-19, 26, it is a prophecy of the "time of the end" which "pertains to many days" in the future. What "end" he has in view is not abundantly clear, but it is said to include a king who will come after the reign of Greece, the third kingdom in Daniel's visions.
Two possibilities have been advanced for the identity of this future kingdom. The bulk of modern scholarship, following the view of the third century historian Porphyry (who claimed that the Jews of the second century B.C. placed historical events in the mouth of Daniel as prophecy), assigns the fourth kingdom to the Roman Empire that conquered the Greeks. The king in view is said to be the Seleucid ruler Antiochus Epiphanes IV who reigned from 175-163 B.C. and who desecrated the Jewish religion as recorded in the books of Maccabees. If this is true, the "end" in view would be the demise of Old Testament Judaism.
The problem with assigning the fourth king to Antiochus Epiphanes IV is that, not only does it deny to Daniel the gift of true prophecy, but Antiochus fulfills virtually none of Daniel's descriptions about the fourth kingdom. Beginning with Daniel 7:7, the fourth beast is "dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong," "different than all the beasts that went before it" and "it had ten horns." The fourth beast is further explained in Daniel 7:23 as the "fourth kingdom...which will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it." In Daniel 8:23-25 the same king is said to be "skilled at intrigue" that his "power will be mighty" that he "will destroy to an extraordinary degree...mighty men and the holy people" and will "cause deceit to exceed by his influence" and even "oppose the Prince of princes." Antiochus Epiphanes IV hardly fulfills any of these things predictions. Although he severely persecuted the Jews, he was publicly humiliated by the Roman Senate and finally retreated in defeat to Syria, his place of origin (Giuseppi Ricciotti's The History of Israel, p. 43; See also Edwin R. Belvin's The House of Seleucus, pp. 138-145, as cited Desmond Birch's Trial, Tribulation and Triumph, p. 486).
In place of modern scholarship, the Fathers of the Church, with Jerome as the chief exegete, agree in consensus that the fourth kingdom, or the "little horn," is a future kingdom. It will be divided into ten kingdoms, from which the future Antichrist will come, the man of sin described in 2 Thess. 2:3-10. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) champions this same view, and cites the Fathers Irenaeus, Cyril of Jerusalem, Chrysostom, Hilary, Theophilactus, Oecomenius, Tertullian, Lactantius, Ambrose and Jerome as its adherents. Jerome writes:
" Therefore, let us state what all the ecclesiastical writers have passed down the following: At the consummation of the world, when the Kingdom of the Romans has been destroyed, when ten kings shall have divided the territory of the Romans between themselves, an eleventh shall rise to a small kingdom, who when he shall have overcome three of the ten kings, ie, the king of the Egyptians, of the Africans, and of the Ethiopians and consequently as we learn more manifestly - whom he shall have killed, the other seven kings shall submit their necks to the victor" (Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, Vol. LXXV A, S. Heironymi Presbyteri Opera, Pars I, Commentoriorum in Danielum, p. 844).
Of the future Antichrist, Jerome writes:
"Nor do we think him to be the Devil or a demon (as some others do), but one of mankind in whom Satan shall dwell totally...his mouth uttering great boasts, for he is the man of sin the son of perdition, such that he will seat himself in the temple as if he were God" (Ibid).
If true, then this places the king of "fierce countenance" in the distant future long after Antiochus Epiphanes.
In addition, the distinguishing feature of the man of sin, according to 2 Thess. 2:9, is that he draws his power from Satan and performs "signs and lying wonders." Active in this deception is God Himself who will "...shall send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie" (verse 11). As noted previously in Ezekiel 14:6-11 and 1 Kings 22:22-23, God takes an active role against prophets who rebel against Him, causing them to speak false prophecies. The work of the "man of sin" coincides with the works of the "dragon, the beast and the false prophet" mentioned in Rev. 13:14; 16:14; 19:20 who perform signs and miracles to deceive the whole world. It is against the Church herself that the attack of these demonic forces is primarily targeted.
Hence, the "king of fierce countenance" who comes with "another tongue," first prophesied as a means of God's judgment in Deut 28:50, and partially fulfilled in the destruction of Israel and Judah by the Assyrians and Babylonians, respectively, is finally fulfilled in the prophesy of Daniel 8:23-25. This final king will be worse than all before him. As Daniel describes him, he will be skilled at understanding the secrets of life, and with his great power and deceitful signs he will destroy the holy people of God. When this will all occur we do not know, but we do know that it must occur before Christ will return again. As the Catholic Catechism says:
"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh" (Para 675).
Thus we see that the passage Paul chooses from the Old Testament to make his point to the Corinthians is no ordinary passage. Implicit in his selection of Isaiah 28:11 and its related passages is an indictment against the Corinthians for their unbelief, an unbelief characterized by their abuse of tongue-speaking, among other things. It is not surprising to see this indictment in the Corinthian letter, for up until chapter 14 where the tongues issue is directly addressed, every prior chapter of the Corinthian letter carries with it some form of indictment against them for their unruly and immoral behavior. The abuse of tongues was a symptom of a much larger problem.
Paul begins his warning to them in 1 Cor. 14:20, saying, "Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; in evil be babes, but in your thinking be mature." A childlike immaturity, which is precisely the spiritual condition of the Corinthians, would be very attracted to the pomp and pageantry associated with tongue-speaking. As Paul had made clear in the opening chapters of the letter, the Corinthians were vying for ascendancy in the church, one saying "I'm of Apollos," the other saying "I'm of Paul," and another "I'm of Cephas," and yet another "I'm of Christ" (cf., 1 Cor. 1:11-12; 3:3-5, 21; 4:6), and as a result they ran the risk of destroying the church by their prideful divisions (cf., 1 Cor. 3:10-17). The proliferation of tongues in the Corinthian church was one of the greater divisive issues. The more they spoke in tongues above that which was ordained of God, the more they harmed the church and subsequently opened themselves up to God's judgment. Inordinate tongues-speaking was one of the means of building the church with "wood, hay and straw" due to the divisions it caused (1 Cor. 3:12) and in 1 Cor. 3:17 Paul was adamant that "If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are."
In 1 Cor. 10:1-13, Paul warned the Corinthians by comparing them to the Jews of the Old Testament. The Jews were "baptized" in the sea and ate a spiritual food and drink similar to what the Corinthians had experienced in their Christian baptism and Lord's Supper. In fact, Paul says, the Jews actually had Christ "following them" in the form of a "spiritual rock," similar to the Corinthians who had Christ in the Eucharist. Yet, Paul warns, even with all those spiritual blessings the Jews sinned grievously in the wilderness, and God subsequently destroyed them for their unbelief. In 1 Cor. 10:6 and 11 Paul warns that those incidents were written down in the Old Testament precisely to serve as warnings to the Corinthians that God will not tolerate sin and unbelief among His people.
Hence, although when used properly tongue-speaking was a blessing of God and a means to communicate the gospel, it could easily turn into a curse and the very means by which the Corinthians might fall from the faith. In fact, in 1 Cor 14:22, Paul specifies that "tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers, but prophecy is not for unbelievers, but to those who believe." The "unbeliever," as Paul goes on to describe in verses 23-25, would be someone who happens to attend a Corinthian eucharistic celebration.
Paul never says, however, that the Corinthians' tongues-speaking is a sign to the "ungifted" or "unbeliever" that actually enters the Corinthian Church (1 Cor. 14:23-25). The hypothetical entrance of the "ungifted" and "unbeliever" is used only for the purpose of illustrating to the Corinthians how silly they look when the whole church is speaking in tongues. Practically speaking, tongues could not be a sign to the ungifted or unbelieving man of the street, since, according to Paul's reasoning, upon hearing tongues they would walk away in disgust thinking the Corinthians to be insane.
Moreover, it would be a contradiction for Paul to establish tongues as a sign to unbelievers in 1 Cor 14: 21, but then discourage giving tongues as a sign to the unbeliever who walks into the Corinthian church. According to Paul's reasoning, the only "sign" to which the unbeliever or ungifted will respond is prophecy, since when he hears the clear word of prophecy he will "fall on his face and worship God." Hence, the only logical reason for Paul to quote the passage in Isaiah 28 concerning the Assyrian tongues which were given as a sign to the Jews of their unbelief is that the inordinate proliferation of tongues by the those in the Corinthian church serves as a sign their unbelief.
To Paul, and of course God, prophecy was to be the superior gift to tongues, for no other reason than that it contained the clear and unmistakable message of God. Yet the Corinthians were attempting to make tongues the superior gift. As noted earlier, the Corinthians went beyond what God actually inspired and thus began to create their own version of tongues, resulting in several people speaking at one time or out of turn (many of them women who were told to keep silent), often with no interpreter, causing mass confusion within the church.
Proliferating tongues-speaking beyond what God allowed would be very easy to accomplish. One did not have to think of what he was going to say. All one needed to do was speak in an unintelligible utterance and hope that the church would believe that God was actually speaking through him. Tongue-speaking was much easier to camouflage than prophecy, since if no interpreter was present the church would not know whether the tongue speaker was divinely inspired or speaking from his own mind. But in attempting to speak in a prophecy, a charlatan would have a much harder time passing the scrutiny of the church, since the words of a prophecy would be clearly understood by all present such that those same hearers would subsequently hold the speaker accountable to whatever he prophesied. If his prophecy was never fulfilled, the "prophet" would easily be exposed as a fraud.
For anyone attempting to make himself appear more spiritual than others in the church, as was the penchant of many of the Corinthians, tongues would be the perfect means to gain such status, since the risk of having someone find out he was a fraud was minimized by the fact that no one in the church understood what the tongue-speaker was saying in order to hold him accountable.
So what is the bottom line in all this? Paul is warning the Corinthians that a proliferation of tongues in the church means that the occurrence is illicit. The more the Corinthians engage in this behavior the more they show themselves to be unbelievers like the Jews of Isaiah's time who no longer wanted to hear the clear words of prophecy and thus God forced them to hear His word through the babbling tongues of their Assyrian oppressors, but obviously it was a word of judgment, not blessing. As Paul says in 1 Cor. 14:22, tongues are a "sign to unbelievers." Paul's introduction of the word "sign" appears as a commentary on the incident recorded of the Jews in Isaiah's time, the people of God in that day, but who became apostate unbelievers. The "sign" the Jews were given for their unbelief and God's ensuing judgment was tongues - a tongue, which at God's direction, replaced the clear word of prophecy.
Similarly, when Jesus began preaching to the Jews, He taught them in parables, not because He was trying to make things clearer, but to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 6:9-10 which stated that, because of their obstinate unbelief, God would speak to them in "veiled" language so that they would not understand Him. In this way, God took an active role in reinforcing their decision to disbelieve Him (cf., Matt 13:13-15). Likewise, the Corinthian's spiritual immaturity prompted them to elevate tongues as the superior gift, and, in turn, God would allow the mass proliferation of this unintelligible speech to be their panacea, all the while serving as a sign of their sin and rebellion.
It is important to note here that in the case of rebellion, God is not neutral. He will judge apostates, and will do so much more swiftly than He will judge atheists and agnostics. As noted previously, Paul warned the Corinthians about God's judgment against their spiritual abuses in 1 Cor. 3:17, making it clear that God would destroy those who destroy His temple. The other New Testament writers give similar ominous warnings. In 1 Peter 4:17, Peter warns that "judgment begins with the household of God," and John's Revelation speaks of seven churches in the first century who were warned and judged for their sins of apostasy (Rev. 2-3).
As Paul records earlier in his letter, the Corinthians had already experienced a taste of judgment when God took the lives various members for abusing the Eucharist (1 Cor. 11:29-30). We see that, prior to the judgment, God allows the apostates to continue in their pernicious ways so that their sin accumulates and is ripe for judgment (Gen 15:16; 2 Macc 6:12-17). Prior to this, God gives space for repentance, as Paul did for the Corinthians. But at the end of his second letter to the Corinthians we find that many had still not repented of their sins and Paul warns them that they are on the brink of judgment (2 Cor. 12:20-13:10).
In regard to tongues, if the Corinthians went against God's wishes and sought to elevate tongues as the premier gift of the church, God would allow them to go down that path, but at the same time, the subsequent proliferation of tongues would serve as a sign of their false belief and God's ensuing judgment. In 1 Cor. 14:23 Paul says that the unbeliever or ungifted man who walks in would hear everyone speaking in tongues and say "you are insane," which, when juxtaposed with verse 25, really means "God is not among you." Ironically, the unbeliever or ungifted man would serve as the "prophet" who foretold the horrible spiritual condition of the Corinthians.
Speaking in Tongues A Historical, Psychological, and Biblical Analysis 7
The Tower of Babel
The incident in Corinth is not unlike the other tongues-related judgments God issued in the Old Testament. Genesis 11 records the first incidence of unintelligible tongues serving as a judgment from God. As the story goes, various men proposed to build a tower that would reach unto heaven. This tower was to serve as a central place of commerce. It would be so high that all the people could see it from great distances and thus be able to stay close to it and never separate from the commercial metropolis. Such plans were against God's command to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth" laid out in Genesis 1:28 and reiterated in Genesis 9:1-7 after the Flood. In fact, it was the first incident of population control, for the men of those days refused to spread out and fill the earth with people. They wanted everything for themselves.
In order to stop this disobedience, God caused the men to speak in different languages so that they could not understand one another. As a result, they could no longer build the tower or commune with one another, and were thus forced to separate into different parts of the earth. Not surprisingly, the name given to the place where the confusion of tongues occurred was Babel (Genesis 11:9), which is the origin of the colloquial expression "babbling," when someone is uttering incomprehensible sounds.
By analogy, the story of the tower of Babel has relevance to the situation at Corinth, for, similar to the men of Genesis, in 1 Cor. 3:10-17 Paul speaks of the Corinthians as being in a building project of their own, but the tower they are building is God's tower. As they build God's tower the Corinthians are to: (1) build only on the foundation that has already been laid, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:10-11); and (2) build with proper materials (1 Cor. 3:12-13). If they fail to do so, they will be "destroyed for destroying the temple" (1 Cor 3:17). In Corinth, the main sin causing the destruction of the church was prideful divisions. Divisions are caused by jealousy and strife, which Paul mentions specifically in 1 Cor. 3:3. Jealousy and strife are caused by the divisiveness of tongues, wherein one claims that it is the superior gift and the foremost sign of the Holy Spirit, which is a lie. To do so is to build the temple of God with wood, hay and straw, as Paul warns against in 1 Cor. 3:12-13.
The Israelites had done something similar in their day. After having despised the prophetic word of God, Ezekiel says the Jews began building the house of God with untempered mortar and whitewashing the outside to make it look fashionable (Ezekiel 13:10-11; 22:28-31). In doing so, they created their own religion to replace the religion of God. The Corinthians, by building on the wrong foundation and/or building with faulty materials, were similarly destroying the temple of God, and God would "consume them with the fire of his wrath" just as He had done to the Israelites.
In light of these warnings, we must be very careful to look at tongues from the proper biblical perspective.
First the New Testament does not regard tongues as a prominent gift of the Holy Spirit. The latter books of the New Testament do not even mention the gift of tongues. This is clearly evident in listings of the spiritual gifts and offices (cf., Rom. 12:4-8; Eph. 4:11-12; Gal. 5:22; 1 Pet. 4:7-11; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6). This suggests that the gift of tongues was already ceasing in the biblical times, which coincides with the preponderant evidence from the earliest Fathers of the church. Indeed, tongues is the only gift that the New Testament specifies will "cease" at some point in time. Yet, even when tongues are viable they are classed as one of the least important spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:1-25). In the book of Acts, which contains the most instances, tongues are spoken by only three groups of people: the twelve apostles, Cornelius, and the twelve Ephesians. In Acts 2, the 3,000 converts at Pentecost are not said to speak in tongues, nor are the 5,000 believers of Acts 4:4. Indeed, in the sum total of Christians mentioned in the book of Acts, less than 1% of them receive the gift of tongues. At Corinth, Paul gave strict instructions that only two or three could speak in tongues at any given assembly, which is a small percentage of the actual numbers in the congregation. This is quite unlike modern forms of tongues-speaking in which often twenty or even hundreds of people speak in tongues at the same time (Goodman, p. 74). Moreover, when spoken in biblical times, tongues were a spontaneous phenomenon, quite unlike the coaching, coaxing and teaching characteristic of the many illicit experiences of tongues recorded in modern times.
The information we have gathered leads us to several important conclusions about tongues-speaking. Although the New Testament does not specify that the gift of tongues would no longer be manifested in the Church before the return of Christ, it severely warns against any illicit elevation of tongues over the other gifts, and warns, in no uncertain terms, that a mass proliferation of tongues in the church is a sign of sin and unbelief. The unbelief is not of a nature that denies God or Christianity, but one that creates a pseudo-faith. Although when used legitimately, tongues remains a gift of God, nevertheless, history shows that legitimate tongues-speaking is a rare occurrence. It is a gift given to very selective people in very selective instances. Conversely, in the modern movement, tongues-speaking is advertised with a very high-profile of acceptability and accessibility. Underneath this profile, however, there is an almost total disregard for the biblical directives regarding tongues speaking, which in itself suggests an illicit origin. The preponderance of research shows that modern glossolalia is a self-generated and learned experience, showing all the signs of a classic psychologically induced phenomenon which relies solely on the vast pool of information already stored in the linguistic background of its recipient. Coupling this with the fact that tongues speech is common in many pagan religions, cults and heretical groups, which produce tongues in unique states of hyper-arousal and mental dissociation, it must be concluded that most of modern tongues is far removed from the legitimate gift described in the New Testament.
There is, however, one dimension about modern tongues which is closely akin to the tongues of biblical times. As the church of Corinth found itself in the midst of a mass proliferation of tongues, Paul characterized it as a sign to unbelievers of God's ensuing judgment. So, too, a proliferation of tongues in modern times is a sign of God's ensuing judgment. Indeed, the presence of tongues on a mass scale would be one of the signs God is permitting to occur in order to show the world its desperate spiritual condition. It is a sign that judgment looms ahead, even as God judged apostate Israel by the babbling tongues of the Assyrian and Babylonian invaders. As God complained to Jeremiah that the prophets in those days were speaking from their own mind yet declaring their words were from the Lord , so too, many today have done the same. For this God's judgment will indeed be severe.
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Hearken not to the words of the prophets that prophesy to you, and deceive you: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord" (Jeremiah 23:16). END
Bauman, Louis, S. The Tongues Movement, 1963. Belvin, Edwin R. The House of Seleucus, 1966. Birch, Desmond. Trial, Tribulation and Triumph, 1996. Carroll, Leonard, R. The Glossolalia Phenomenon, 1966. Culpepper, Robert H. Evaluating the Charismatic Movement, 1977. Dillow, Joseph. Speaking in Tongues, 1978. Ferm, Virgilius. Encyclopedia of Religion, 1959. Goodman, Felicitas D. Speaking in Tongues: A Cross Cultural Study of Glossolalia, 1972. Gromacki, Robert G. The Modern Tongues Movement, 1972. Hamilton, Michael P. The Charismatic Movement, 1975. Laurentin, Rene. Catholic Pentecostalism, 1977. Kelsey, Morton, T. Tongue Speaking, 1968. Kildahl, John P. The Psychology of Speaking in Tongues, 1972. Knox, Ronald. Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion, 1950. McDonnell, Kilan. Charismatic Renewal and the Churches, 1975. Oates, Wayne E. Glossolalia, 1967. Poythress, Vern S. "Linguistic and Sociological Analyses of Modern Tongue Speaking." Westminster Theological Journal, Vol. XLII, 1980. Ricciotti, Giuseppi. The History of Israel, 1955. Sherrill, John, They Speak in Other Tongues; Smith, Charles R. Tongues in Biblical Perspective, 1972. Unger, Merrill F. New Testament Teaching on Tongues, 1971.
1. The Greek word for "tongue" is (glôssa) and the Greek word for "speak" is (laleô).
2. NPNF II, V. 12, p. 169.
3. Greek dialektos also used in Acts 1:19; 21:40; 22:2; 26:14.
4. The 15 nations are: Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya around Cyrene, Rome, Crete, Arabia.
5. Kelsey, p. 39.
6. Culpepper, p. 40.
7. NPNF II, v. 12, p. 168.
8. Homily XXXII, NPNF II, v. 12, p. 187.
9. NPNF II, vol. 7, pp. 497-498.
10. The Gospel of John, Tractate 32.
11. Hamilton, p. 68.
12. Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion, p. 551.
13. ST, Commentary on the Gospel of John, Ch 32.
14. Angel of the Judgment: A Life of St. Vincent Ferrer (Notre Dame: IN, Ave Maria Press, 1953), pp. 137-138.
15. Kelsey, p. 50.
16. Laurentin, pp. 138-142.
17. Ibid., pp. 84-85.
18. Kelsey, p. 53.
19. Ferm, p. 115.
20. Kildahl, p. 16.
21. Gromacki, p. 21.
22. Kelsey, p. 57.
23. Culpepper, pp. 41-43.
24. Ibid., p. 44.
25. Ibid., p. 45.
26. Ibid., p. 46.
27. Article 7, The Book of Mormon.
28. Kelsey, p. 58.
29. Dillow, p. 9.
30. Bauman, p. 34.
31. Goodman, p. 74.
33. Smith, p. 23.
34. Smith, p. 111.
35. Goodman, p. 65.
36. Kelsey, p. 170.
37. Ferm, p. 693-694.
38. Ibid., p. 695.
39. Kelsey, p. 184.
40. Jung, Collected Works, Vol. 12, (New York, 1953).
41. Kelsey, p. 197.
43. Kelsey, p. 211.
45. Goodman, p. 58.
46. Ibid, pp. 59-60.
47. Ibid, p. 64.
48. Ibid, p. 68.
49. McDonald, p. 81.
50. Smith, p. 107.
51. Smith, p. 96.
52. Ibid., p. 102-103.
53. McDonnell, p. 84.
54. Smith, p. 70.
55. Goodman, p. 89.
56. Ibid., p. 68-71.
57. Ibid., p. 89.
58. Ibid., p. 93-97.
59. Goodman, p. 108.
60. Goodman, pp. 118-119.
61. Ibid., p. 132.
62. Dillow, p. 168.
63. Ibid., p. 125.
64. Smith, p. 105.
65. Kelsey, p. 207.
66. Smith, p. 99.
67. Kildahl, p. 55.
68. Ibid., pp. 58-60.
69. Hamilton, p. 39.
70. Kildahl, p. 65.
71. Oates, pp. 84-89.
72. Ibid., pp 90-91.
73. Kelsey, p. 69.
74. Ibid., pp. 75-77.
75. Kelsey, pp. 95-97.
76. Kelsey, pp. 126-128.
77. Laurentin, pp. 11-22.
78. La Croix, January 19, 1974.
79. Unfortunately, Scripture does not have good things to say about those who "fall backward" (Gn 49:17; Is 28:13; 1Sm 4:18; Jn 18:6).
80. McConnell, pp. 15-16.
81. Ibid., pp 19-24.
82. Ibid., pp 64-65.
83. Ibid., p. 112.
84. Ibid., p. 117.
85. Poythress, pp. 370-371.
86. Ibid., pp. 373-375.
88. See also 1 Corinthians 14:39: "Forbid not to speak with tongues."
89. 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; James 5:3; 2 Peter 3:3; Catholic Catechism ¶ 732.
90. Hebrew: (az panim).
91. See Giuseppi Ricciotti's The History of Israel, p. 43. Also Edwin R. Belvin's The House of Seleucus, pp. 138-145, as cited in Trial, Tribulation and Triumph by Desmond Birch, p. 486.
92. Jerome writes: "Therefore, let us state what all the ecclesiastical writers have passed down the following: At the consummation of the world, when the Kingdom of the Romans has been destroyed, when ten kings shall have divided the territory of the Romans between themselves, an eleventh shall rise to a small kingdom, who when he shall have overcome three of the ten kings, ie, the king of the Egyptians, of the Africans, and of the Ethiopians and consequently as we learn more manifestly - whom he shall have killed, the other seven kings shall submit their necks to the victor." Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, Vol. LXXV A, S. Heironymi Presbyteri Opera, Pars I, Commentoriorum in Danielum, p. 844. Of the future Antichrist, Jerome writes: "Nor do we think him to be the Devil or a demon (as some others do), but one of mankind in whom Satan shall dwell totally...his mouth uttering great boasts, for he is the man of sin the son of perdition, such that he will seat himself in the temple as if he were God." Ibid.
93. Paragraph 675.
94. Goodman, p. 74.