Before I post, brother, remember I am not hard and fast about this view, but you are asking to best explain these verses, and this is the best teaching I have heard on the matter, but I am by no means claiming to be an expert on the subject.
1 Cor 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
The same word translated into tongue (glossa) in this passage is used 7 out of 8 times in the book of Revelation to refer to languages, and once to refer to the literal tongue. The books of Acts and Corinthians are the ones debated about so much, so using the other NT books, that same word is always used to speak about the literal tongue, someone's mouth, or a language.
Here is Acts for for the first four cases glossa is used:
2:3 it was something that could be seen above their heads
2:4 and 2:11 very clearly an earthly language that was understood by foreign listeners
2:26 the mouth
I am giving you my unbiased opinion, now. I have very close friends who speak in tongues. When I read this Scripture you refer to, I see Paul telling the Corinthians not to speak in a language that others can't understand. He is telling them not to try to recreate what happened on Pentecost for the sake of trying to impress anyone. And for that matter, that could apply whether you believe it is an earthly or heavenly language.
1 Cor 14:4 "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church."
Same for this verse.
What I see from taking the Greek and English on a level playing field, taking into consideration the other 26 times the word is used to judge the 21 that are under so much debate (the last two verses glossa is used in Acts and the 26 times it is used in 1 Cor 12-14), I end up leaning heavily toward the idea that it is a gift from above, but a language that is intended for someone to hear, as it happened in Acts 2.
If you believe God did something new with the case of Cornelius and when Paul laid hands on people, then so be it. But I believe the Scripture refers to a supernaturally-given language in order to get the gospel out to all nations, in the case of Acts 2, and in Acts 10, 19, and Cor 12-14.
| 2006/9/17 23:35||Profile|
Same greek, doesn't change what it still says.
"Edifies himself, not speaking unto men, but unto God". You can't avoid that.
A 'language' is simply a form of communication to SOMETHING.
Animals have 'language', So do angels, so do demons, and so does God.
Just like humans God has different 'languages' (including all of our human ones plus his own)
Your case saying that because of the greek word 'tongues', isn't solid. I ask that you use cement instead of mud. ;-)
Pentacostals just say 'tongues' cause it's their definition. But in all truth, it's simply a language as you said. But not always to man.
Some people try to 'teach' people how to speak in 'tongues' and that is simply demonic and flesh in nature. (Unless it's an actual language such as Spanish, English, Latin, etc.)
The bible speaks of 'different languages'. Now you might think that's 'men languages' but I think it's more complex than that (not much)
1. Prayer language
2. Needed interupter (to church)
3. To further the Gospel. (Acts 2)
The 1st and 2nd are described in 1 Cor.14
In chapter 14, Paul says he desires to speak in prophesy than in tongues because TONGUES DOESN"T PROFIT ANOTHER PERSON. (Read 14 a few times, I think within the 5 times, you should get the understanding to the text)
Now, if tongues was simply as you said (letsgetbusy) a man language, then tongues WOULD profit someone. Just as me and you are speaking, it's profiting each other. But if I wrote this reply to you in Latin, you'd probly wouldn't be able to understand it (neither would i..lol)therefore, it wouldn't profit you. And I also ask 'Why did Paul desire prophesy above tongues?' Why??
I hope that helps.
| 2006/9/18 0:21||Profile|
lovegrace, thank you for your input on this.
Letsgetbusy, THANK YOU for being willing to address some of the exact points/scriptures. I appreciate that you are not hard and fastset on this.
I would add this for a little more discussion.
First I appreciate the need to know the "original greek or hebrew definetion of words. However the verse context will define how that is to be understood. This may be a poor illustration but the word STOP means stop,simple. But stop what? What accompanies the word in the sentence/verse will define what is to be stopped. Same with the word languages. Languages means just that languages but what type and where and to whom is decided by what the writer says in the particular sentence.
When Paul says "he speaks to God "NOT" Men this is a very important distinction.
Also why would anyone need a "spiritual gift of interpretation? If the language is only a difrent earthly language for a foriegn speaker who comes into the assembly then why need the "spiritual gift of interpration? he already knows his own language and recognises it.
Another is Paul says "do not forbid speaking in tongues." Many in the church are forbiding the speaking of tongues.
I know there are abuses but Paul explains how to properly exercise this gift and all others.
Well I will stop with that for now. Lord bless, John
| 2006/9/18 0:55|
There is a tongue that needs interprertation and edifies the Body of Christ corporately, and then there is a tongue that edifies and builds up the inner man which is done in private. 1 Cor 14 makes that obvious. Paul thanked God he spoke in tongues more than everyone and he encouraged the Corinthians to speak in tongues.
| 2006/9/18 10:05||Profile|
| 2006/9/18 10:11|
Who knows. Maybe one day I could start speaking in tongues and come back and say you guys are right, but in the meantime, here are some old saints that seemed to lean the way I lean on this subject at the moment:
Geneva Bible on 1 Cor 14:2 - He reprehends their perverse judgment concerning the gift of tongues. For why was it given? The answer: so that the mysteries of God might be the better known to a greater number.
I think when Paul was saying that one that speaks in an unknown tongues edifies himself, I don't think it was a stamp of approval on speaking to build oneself up, but rather to speak in a language that 'all of us' can all understand.
John Gill on 1 Cor 12:10 - To another divers kinds of tongues;
whereby such could speak all manner of languages, which they had never learned, understood, and been used to: this Christ promised his disciples, when he sent them into all the world to preach the Gospel, (Mark 16:16,17) and so anticipates an objection they otherwise might have made, [b]how they should be able to preach it to all, so as to be understood, when they were not acquainted with the languages of all nations[/b] ; an instance of which we have in the apostles on the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2:4) and which continued many years after with them, and other persons in the churches; see (1 Corinthians 13:2) (14:5,22).
Matthew Henry on the same:
another divers kinds of tongues, or ability to speak languages by inspiration. To another the interpretation of tongues, or ability to render foreign languages readily and properly into their own.
Wesley on 1 Cor 14:
He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaks, in effect, not to men, but to God - Who alone understands him...Edifieth himself - Only, on the most favourable supposition.
I had not read Wesley's interpretation of this Scripture before, but it seems he saying the same thing I am. That the phrase 'edifieth himself' is not a stamp of approval, but pointing out the silliness of speaking a language others can't understand in a church service.
| 2006/9/18 22:14||Profile|
Yes it is silliness to speak in tongues out loud in the congregation unless you or someone else has gift of interpreting what was spoken. Tahts why Paul said if there is no one with gift to interpret then pray quietly to yourself.
One of several reasons many reject tongues is cuz if someone interprets how does anyone really know thats what was said? So abuse could occur. Thats where the prophets and teachers come in. If what was "interpreted" seems contrary to sound doctrine then they could speak on it and say this is not sound,(testing the spirits).
I have GREAT respect for Matthew Henry, Wesly etc. But no matter how great the man we must bend the knee to what scripture plainly teaches.
Remember I use the rule that the conclusion of a doctrine cannot render the other scriptures on that subject "void or unreasonable". God bless, John
| 2006/9/19 0:26|
I understand your veiwpoint, and I have drifted back and forth from one view to the other, and various views within the divisions. I just have rested on this one for the moment, but like I said, something could persuade me different, or I may stay here until we all meet in glory.
But, brother, what I do want you to see is that someone who doesn't agree with you is not necessarily ignoring Scripture, he is just interpreting them differently. I tried to go through the Scriptures that you asked about to prove that point, that I am not avoiding any of the Scriptures on the matter, but rather taking them all into consideration.
All this said, what kind of language was spoken in Acts 2; a language of heaven, or an earthly language?
"And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?"
| 2006/9/19 19:40||Profile|
Letsgetbusy. I like your humility. You've stated in the past two posts that your open to it. That to me, is great. Many people who discuss this, try to argue it and are stubborn and don't care to make changes if they find a fault in their doctrine, but you show humility, willingness to change, and to me that is commendable. Very commendable.
I have little time to discuss this with everyone. But bring your heart before God and He will teach you what His word said. You have enough humility to receive it (baptism of the Spirit, not nessecarily tongues) from God on your alone time. I challenge you, press in DEEPLY and ask Him on the matter.
| 2006/9/19 22:30||Profile|
i wish we had less christians who spoke in tounges and more who were humble and loved one another in the church..
| 2006/9/19 23:00||Profile|