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 About tongues, again...

I didn't want to throw this into an existing thread, where it might be lost, but I [i]did[/i] want to draw it to the attention of those who are sceptical either because they have only seen tongues which they believe are not from the Holy Spirit, or, they have not spoken in tongues, personally, and, or, they don't know anyone who does.

Some years ago, a German girl came to the UK to learn English - by training as a nurse. She had been accepted by a school of nursing, and was soon (first week) invited by a Christian to a church nearby, famous locally for being both Baptist and allowing the operation of the gifts in its Sunday services.

This girl came from a Catholic background, but had become an atheist, and had arrived in the UK as an atheist. Her acceptance of the invitation to church reflected her lonliness, rather than a desire to meet with God.

During the service, someone gave a word in tongues, of which she understood every word - God speaking to her personally - but, she was simultaneously aware the tongue was not being given in German.


I put forward this testimony as the explanation of the verse below, because I've been amazed on SI to meet for the first time, people who are genuinely sceptical about the validity of tongues, many of whom have no idea how the gift works, nor of how God gives the interpretation to someone (sometimes the person with the word in tongues), often [i]not[/i] the person who spoke in tongues. This interpretation has [i]nothing[/i] to do with 'understanding a language' and [i]everything[/i] to do with God interpreting the meaning to the interpreter (in this case, the girl I knew - who did not speak it out, under the cirucmstances) independently of any repetitous sounds in the word in tongues (which, incidentally, is [i]not[/i] a 'sign' that it was not a 'real' word in 'tongues').

Please read this verse carefully. It [u]does not say[/u] the disciples and apostles [u]spoke[/u] the languages which the hearers understood.... does it?


Acts 2 (KJV)
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not [u]all these which speak Galilaeans[/u]?

8 And how [u]hear[/u] we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11 Cretes and Arabians, [u]we do hear them speak in our tongues[/u] the wonderful works of God.

12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?


It seems to me there is an assumption in the minds of people who read these verses, that the Galileans were speaking the other languages - because we [i]assume[/i] they must have been for the others to 'hear' in their mother tongues. But, I offer that this is [u]not[/u] what the scripture says.

Maybe it requires a little lateral thinking, but, I find it perfectly accptable for God to be able to open the ears of the hearers to His words to each of them individually, just as He scrambled what was coming out of people's mouths at the tower of Babel, so that people could [u]not[/u] understand [i]each other[/i].

I'm sort of surprised I haven't seen this point raised in previous threads (except, perhaps, by me), because the 'interpretation' of the verses which mention 'hear' and 'hearer', do not insist the speakers were [i]speaking[/i] in the 'langugages' which the 'hearers' could understand. This little leap of totally human logic is being added by the reader.

Is this a fair comment? Do you see what I mean?

 2006/7/12 11:13
MSeaman
Member



Joined: 2005/4/19
Posts: 772
Michigan

 Re: About tongues, again...

I see exactly what you mean. I've heard of Missionaries going to countries that they didn't know the language, but through tongues the people understood them. Is that what you mean?


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Melissa

 2006/7/12 11:18Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: About tongues, again...

Quote:
Is this a fair comment? Do you see what I mean?


If I understand you properly this would mean that the miracle was experienced by the unconverted hearers rather than to the apostles, and does not seem to fit the Isaiah prophecy.
Quote:
“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.”
(Is 28:11 KJVS)


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Ron Bailey

 2006/7/12 17:13Profile
dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: About tongues, again...

Good post. I believe there's a great misunderstanding about the differences between interpetation and translation. Two different things entirely.


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D.Miller

 2006/7/12 17:23Profile
Christinyou
Member



Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3699
Ca.

 Re:

Hi Linn,

Quote:

"Is this a fair comment? Do you see what I mean?"

Answer: No not yet.

Either the apostles spoke in a language that the hearer understood in his own language, or the speaker spoke in their language specifically and in understanding in their own language spoken were edified in the things of God. Either way it was a miracle, and God was Glorified in the speaking. These are not unknown tongues or a personal heavenly language that edifies no one.
Maybe by ones own personal pride in the speaking, but no understanding. Like Paul, either speak with understanding or don't speak.

1 Corinthians 14:18-19 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

What language do you think God speaks. Unknown? I don't think so. What language does the Holy Spirit speak, Unknown? I don't think so either. In What language do we hear God, one that is understood for the upbuilding of the saints and the truth of the Word of Who This Jesus is that is birthed in us, even to the things we don't understand, they are revealed also. If we can't understand why listen? If we can't speak understanding why speak?

1Co 14:18
Verse 18. I thank my God. Paul here shows that he did not undervalue or despise the power of speaking foreign languages. It was with him a subject of thanksgiving that he could speak so many; but he felt that there were more valuable endowments than this. See the next verse.
With tongues more than ye all. I am able to speak more foreign languages than all of you. How many languages Paul could speak, he has nowhere told us. It is reasonable, however, to presume that he was able to speak the language of any people to whom God in his providence, and by his Spirit, called him to preach. He had been commissioned to preach to the Gentiles, and it is probable that he was able to speak the languages of all the nations among whom he ever travelled. There is no account of his being under a necessity of employing an interpreter wherever he preached.

In this I won't put God in a box and say even if Paul spoke to a people whose language he did not know, which one might have been Asian where he was forbidden to go, I can not say that if he new no Asian languages that God could not have made it possible for the Gospel to be heard.

I see no where in any of Paul's writings that he needed an interpreter, he either spoke a language that his hearers understood or he did not go there or speak there. No matter, 5 words, 1I 2will 3praise 4the 5Lord, rather than 30 minutes of speaking words no one understands especially ones self.

I have always understood what I read, or hear, maybe not the depth of understanding that comes by study and revelation by the Holy Spirit but I can read and my hearing is still able to understand what I am hearing audibly, praise God. Why is it that unknown tongues are unable to be written and unknown languages are able to be written and them interpreted? I go to a Pentecostal church and no one is writing notes on the tongues that are spoken or even able to write what is being said then interpreted. I see no interpreted tongues in the bible especially written unknown tongues, just unknown not acquired languages by learning from birth that can be interpreted, and then understood in our acquired languages.

In Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2006/7/12 20:33Profile
letsgetbusy
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Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re:

I think it is fair.

We try to put God into categories and systems that I think will be confounded when we all meet in glory. I mean that some of what we thought will be true, but there will be much we overlooked or just took at face value when there was much more.

I am not one to limit God. I think it is a legitimate idea. I was not there at Pentacost. I think we assume things must happen just like they did that one day. But I don't think we pray for earthquakes to drive people to Christ, but this was God's way in Acts.

I think we don't know as much as we think about what happened in those 28 books, and I think that we tend to forget about the other 27 books besides Acts 2. I don't see many riots, or preachers being punched in public, or Christians around here being thrown in jail, or people dropping dead for lying to the Holy Ghost, etc, etc, etc.

So it is interesting we have so many experts on tongues, and so few experts in continuing stedfastly in the apostle's doctrine, and I put that on myself, too.


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Hal Bachman

 2006/7/12 22:01Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
1Co 14:181Co 14:18
Verse 18. I thank my God. Paul here shows that he did not undervalue or despise the power of speaking foreign languages. It was with him a subject of thanksgiving that he could speak so many; but he felt that there were more valuable endowments than this. See the next verse.
With tongues more than ye all. I am able to speak more foreign languages than all of you. How many languages Paul could speak, he has nowhere told us. It is reasonable, however, to presume that he was able to speak the language of any people to whom God in his providence, and by his Spirit, called him to preach.


Are you saying that you think this passage refers to Paul's linguistic skills?


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2006/7/13 5:26Profile









 Re: About tongues, again...


Hi philologos,

Sorry my time online is short these days. Thanks for the questions.

All I mean is, that the disciples spoke in tongues, and as with my German friend, the Lord gave the other nationalities the interpretations as the tongues were being given.

Many many posts on SI suggest there are believers who think of tongues as speaking in recognised human languages (only) or of some gift of understanding the words which are spoken, rather than understanding that the interpretation is an entirely separate gift, which also by-passes the human intellect, in the same way as tongues does.

I'm not saying I don't believe human languages can be given miraculously, but I've heard many a tongue which led to an interpretation in English, which could not have been a word for word translation of what was said by the tongue-speaker-out.

Also, the scripture from Isaiah is not incompatible with what I'm trying to say.

Quote:
Are you saying that you think this passage refers to Paul's linguistic skills?

Personally, I don't think it does refer to his linguistic skills. I believe he is talking about a spiritual gift which has to do with communicating in and through the Spirit, from God to man, and from man to God.

I'm not sure how I would know if I was speaking in a 'tongue of angels', as that's not how it works for me. I find it deeply edifying to be able to speak in tongues, (different ones, sometimes), but have never prophesied in tongues to a church meeting. I also cannot say if I have ever [i]prophesied[/i] in tongues to myself, but I believe I prophesy [i]not in tongues[/i], both to myself and others, as the Spirit gives the word.

Bro dohzman,

Thanks for the encouragement. Good to know I communicated.

 2006/7/13 6:42
dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

Something else that seems to escape people is that tongues doesn't nessarily need to be human language >>> 1Co 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels >>>. :-) Just to re-state your comment above with the reference and set it alone, just incase someone needs that reference. God Bless


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D.Miller

 2006/7/13 11:59Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
All I mean is, that the disciples spoke in tongues, and as with my German friend, the Lord gave the other nationalities the interpretations as the tongues were being given.


but this would switch the miracle to the hearers which is not the sense I have in reading Acts 2. You seem to be suggesting that the hearers heard something that didn't actually happen; that the disciples all spoke in Language A but that the hearers heard Language B,C,D,E,F,G, etc. If I am understanding you aright I don't think that is what the passage is intending to convey.

It may well have been that for some reason God allowed the German friend to 'interpret' the tongue utterance but we cannot use this as a model and I doubt very much that she would have called what she 'heard' her 'own language'.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/7/13 12:20Profile





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