Modern Tongues -- Are they Biblical?
[Note: Although some of the History of Tongues (Glossolalia) is rather Technical, if you will wade through this information and pay particular attention to the Biblical evidence concerning “Tongues” you will find this study quite thorough and its conclusions easy enough to understand. I have no intention to run down or belittle any persons who may “speak in tongues”, nor to condemn any particular denomination. I want only to examine what the Biblical position of Tongues is and draw any conclusions from that.]
Once a phenomenon peculiar in the most part to churches that considered themselves "Pentecostal," speaking in tongues is now accepted, sanctioned, and practiced by members of nearly all Christian denominations.1 One estimate from the early 1970's states "that in the United States, 200,000 - 300,000 Catholics, and some 100,000 Protestants, have become 'Pentecostal' or 'charismatic' and that 2,000 Presbyterian and Episcopalian clergymen have participated in or sponsored 'neo-pentecostal' groups."2 Today those numbers are much higher. Harvey Cox claimed in his 1994 book that the number of Charismatics “had soared to 410 million, with 20 million adherents being added every year.”3 According to the 2008 Encyclopaedia Britanica, “The number of Pentecostals and Charismatics in the world was reported to be 540 million.”4 As Watson E. Mills puts it, "today, no one doubts the size and importance of World Pentecostalism," and adds that "this 'new force' within Christendom . . . may well be one of the major contributions of America to twentieth-century Christianity."5
There can be little doubt that this "new force" is indeed contributing to and shaping twentieth-century Christianity. The charismatic movement is serving to unify Christians, regardless of previous background, under "one spirit" or perhaps, more accurately, under one "experience."6
On the surface this unification appears beneficial and hopeful. Christianity has long sought to unite its followers through a shared dependence upon the Holy Spirit and under the banner of brotherly love. As we look beyond the surface, however, we find the theological ramifications of the modern charismatic movement alarming. The way we approach the Bible, how we judge truth, and what we base our relationship with God upon, are all affected by modern charismatic thought and particularly by its emphasis upon the gift of tongues.
Not only has the gift of tongues become a unifying factor among Christians of vastly different belief backgrounds, it has also come to be viewed as "proof" of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Expressing this widely held belief, one writer states that "it is inconceivable that a supernatural experience like the baptism [of the Holy Spirit] should exist without a distinctive supernatural evidence. Tongues is that necessary evidence."7 This quite naturally leaves those who do not speak in tongues to conclude that they have not received the Holy Spirit's baptism and that they are in some way spiritually deficient.
Does the popularity of modern tongues prove their legitimacy? Does the unifying effect they seem to have show that they are definitely from God? Can speaking in an unknown tongue really be considered as proof of one's conversion and subsequent baptism by the Holy Spirit? And perhaps the most important question, can we ever safely judge truth by our experience?
A close examination and comparison of modern and Biblical tongues reveals some surprising answers. The majority of Biblical evidence concerning the gift of tongues, from the purpose of the gift, to its manifestation, to its importance in the believer's experience, wars against the modern-day theory and practice of the gift of tongues. This is not to say that there are not some difficult passages and issues to be dealt with when studying this subject, for example, 1 Corinthians 14. Even the Apostle Peter recognized that in Paul's epistles there "are some things hard to be understood" (2 Pet. 3:16). But when all the evidence is in, the sobering conclusion (unless one continues to judge truth by his experience) is that the modern manifestation of the gift of tongues is neither genuine nor Biblical.
In examining this subject, I would like first of all to consider the Biblical account of the original outpouring of the gift of tongues as found in Acts 2 to determine what the original gift was, why it was given, and what its purpose was.
"The book of Acts was, in all probability, written by Luke at Rome during the two years of Paul's first imprisonment there, A.D. 61-63."8 In Acts we find the only Biblical account of the first known incidence of the gift of tongues occurring on the Day of Pentecost.
Frank Stagg, Professor of New Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, points out there is some disagreement as to the trustworthiness of Luke's account. According to Stagg; "many scholars contend that Luke's account is secondary, not conforming to what actually occurred at Jerusalem." Others, he says, contend "that Luke's theological bias overrode the tradition with which he worked" or "that Luke was misinformed by his sources."9 To question the "trustworthiness" of Luke's account, however, is to question his inspiration as well. To suggest that he was misinformed by his sources, or that his personal bias overshadowed the accuracy of his account, implies that the Holy Spirit was not active in the formulation of Luke's narratives and casts doubt upon their Scriptural integrity. This position is totally unacceptable. A more plausible position is to accept the Scriptural authority and accuracy of Luke's account and to move on from there.
By far, the majority of scholars, even among charismatics, accept Luke's account as genuine and accurate and agree that the phenomenon of tongues on the Day of Pentecost was the gift of intelligible, previously unlearned, foreign languages.
According to Acts 1 and 2, the disciples (120 in number) gathered in the upper room to await the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When that outpouring came, "there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:3,4). The Jews who had come "out of every nation" came together "and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language" (Acts 2:5,6 emphasis supplied). Verses 9-11 then list 16 different languages which were used by the disciples to preach "the wonderful works of God."
The reaction of the local Jews, upon seeing and hearing this group of unlearned Galileans preaching with great power and in the various native tongues of those who were visiting for the feast, is quite understandable. They thought the disciples were drunk.10 It is evident that Peter is addressing these "local" Jews when he defends the other disciples against these charges, for he addresses his hearers as "ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem."11
Thus we see that the gift of tongues was given in order to enable the relatively small and unlearned group of Christ's disciples to share the good news about the Messiah with the mixed multitude of Jews from many nations who were gathered at Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. Those who accepted the gospel returned to their homelands with the "good news" and the Christian church was born! Although these Jews may well have been able to speak a common language, the gift of tongues served to impress the hearers with the Divine nature of message as they heard "the wonderful works of God" in their own languages.
Please note that the gift of tongues in Acts 2 is the gift of a previously unlearned foreign language, that it was used to preach the gospel, that it was given to bridge the gulf and break down the barriers between the believing Jews (Christians) and the non-believing Jews, and that no ecstatic utterance is presented or implied.
We are now prepared to take a look at the second recorded incidence of tongues found in Acts 10. The story centers around a group of Gentile believers, who, upon hearing Peter's sermon, spoke in tongues (Acts 10:44-46). The question is what kind of tongues were they?
Peter himself gives us the answer in Acts 11:15 where he rehearses the matter before the Jerusalem Council. He says "as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning" (emphasis supplied). Peter could hardly speak more clearly! The gift of tongues bestowed upon these gentile believers is the identical gift that was given to the believing Jews at Jerusalem during Pentecost. As we discovered from Acts 2, these were intelligible languages.
The gift in this instance serves a similar function to that of Acts 2. First, by allowing these believers to share the Gospel with the many people who traveled or did business in the capital city of Caesarea, and secondly, by breaking down prejudices. Unlike the Jerusalem incident, where the prejudice was between believing and non-believing Jews, in Caesarea the prejudice was between the believing Jews (including Peter) and the believing Gentiles. If the church was ever to fulfill its purpose, these prejudices had to be done away with.
Peter obviously got the intended message from his experience with Cornelius in Acts 10 for he says, "of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10:34,35). The gift of tongues confirmed that the Holy Spirit is no respecter of national origin and enabled Peter to argue effectively for the inclusion of Gentile believers into the church (see Acts 10:47 and 11:17).
The third incidence of the gift of tongues is found in Acts 19:1-6. Here we find that Paul "having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus." While here, Paul first preached to the dispersed Jews (disciples of John, see verses 1-3) who were awaiting the Messiah. These followers of John were now given "the rest of the story" so to speak, and were baptized in Jesus' name. "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them: and they spake with tongues and prophesied" (v.6).
Although there is no concrete Biblical "proof" that the tongues spoken by these disciples in this instance were intelligible languages, we have no good reason to think differently. It is a valid hermeneutical principle "that a difficult passage of the Bible be interpreted by a clear passage or clear passages. . . A distortion of this principle would be to take the opposite route, namely, to interpret a clear passage with an obscure or difficult one."12 As we have already seen, the first two instances of tongues involved intelligible languages. Why then would this third instance be different?
Sound reasoning, like that used by John Robertson in his book on tongues, leads one to the same conclusion. Robertson points out that like Corinth and Caesarea, Ephesus was strategically located to spread the gospel to all nations. It was a harbor town and a busy crossroads. By receiving the gift of foreign languages, these disciples were equipped to labor as missionaries in Ephesus and it's vicinity and also to go forth proclaiming the gospel in Asia Minor, an accomplishment attested to by the large number of churches established there.13 With the lack of any evidence that would lead us to a conclusion to the contrary, we must conclude that the manifestation of tongues in this instance is identical to the earlier two.
Thus far we have examined three of the four Biblical cases that deal with the gift of tongues. We have found that of the three that we have examined, all have complied with the original manifestation exhibited on the Day of Pentecost and recorded in Acts 2. And we have concluded that the gift of tongues in these instances was the gift of intelligible foreign languages, given for the proclamation of the Gospel, and quite often used to break down prejudices. They enabled their recipients to be effective witnesses.
We are now ready to examine the fourth and final Biblical passage dealing with the gift of tongues. Before we delve into First Corinthians 12-14, however, we need to consider a bit of the background behind Corinth, the unique church that was established there, and the letter that was subsequently written to it. Without this background we will be apt to miss the reasons that prompted the writing of this letter and will therefore be likely to misunderstand the message Paul is hoping to convey through it.
The city of Corinth was located "on the only land connection between northern Greece and the Peloponnesus" and "had harbors on two gulfs (the harbor of Cenchreae, about 7 mi. east of Corinth on the Saronic Gulf, and the harbor of Lechaeum, 1 1/2 mi. west on the Corinthian Gulf)."14 The population of the city consisted largely of Romans, Greeks, and Orientals, but it had a sizeable Jewish population as well. As much as two thirds of this population were slaves, and as Horn reports, "the city was universally known for its immorality."15
R. C. H. Lenski tells us that "Paul came to Corinth for the first time on his second missionary journey toward the close of the year 51," and he labored there for 18 months.16 He apparently labored first in the synagogue and then later "in the house of a proselyte named Justus, who, with Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, had believed."17 His efforts were successful, particularly among the Gentiles, and a flourishing church was established at Corinth. Paul was also successful in establishing "several churches outside Corinth, in the Province of Achaia."18 Paul left Corinth in the A.D. 53 and began his 3rd Missionary Journey (about A.D. 54-57) in which he devoted "3 years to the city of Ephesus and the Roman province of Asia."19 It was from Ephesus that Paul wrote his Epistles to the Corinthians in the spring and summer of A.D. 57.20
The need for the first Epistle came about as the result of doctrinal and practical problems that arose in the Corinthian church following Paul's departure. These problems included such things as the eating of meat sacrificed to idols, improper marriage and divorce practices, incest, the problem of legal litigation between members of the church, the perversion of the Lord's Supper, and the incorrect emphasis and misuse of spiritual gifts.
Paul was informed about these problems by Apollos (Acts 18:24 to 19:1; cf. 1 Cor. 16:12) and by members of Chloe's household (see 1 Cor. 1:11) who apparently entreated him (perhaps appealing to his Apostolic authority) to use his influence to correct this unfortunate situation. Thus, we find Paul trying to correct serious errors existing in a church full of immature Christians (the church was at most 5 to 6 years old and consisted of mostly Gentile converts) without the advantage of being physically present. How carefully, then, must he word his response! He must be careful not to unduly offend these "babes" in the faith, and yet must rebuke the serious errors threatening their spiritual well-being. He must at once try to encourage this zealous church in the recognition and proper use of spiritual gifts, while discouraging the false displays, competition, and pride that was apparently threatening to divide the church.
Paul was also aware of another factor affecting the Christians at Corinth, their pagan background. Many of these Christians had come out of religions where excessive religious practice and ecstatic display were the norm. H. Wayne House points out that there were three main cults whose influence may have been responsible for the ecstatic phenomenon seen at Corinth: "the Cybele-Attis cult, the Dionysian cult (both mystery religions), and the religion of Apollo."21
According to House, the Cybele-Attis cult was very extreme in nature. "Priests who were stirred by clashing cymbals, loud drums, and screeching flutes, would at times dance in a frenzy of excitement, gashing their bodies. Even new devotees would emasculate themselves in worship of the goddess."22
The Dionysian cult worshiped Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. Like the worshipers of Cybele-Attis, worshipers of Dionysus would be stirred by the beating of drums and would dance wildly until "at that moment of intense rapture they became identified with the god himself....They became filled with his spirit and acquired divine powers."23
The third major cult (and the one most likely to have influenced the people at Corinth) was that of Apollo. This religion did have temples located in Corinth and Apollo was worshiped at the shrine of Delphi (across the gulf from Corinth).24 Pythia, the Greek prophetess of Apollo at Delphi, is said to have been possessed at certain times by a god who would then speak through her, sometimes intelligibly and sometimes not; "the god entered into her and used her vocal organs as if they were his own, exactly as the so-called `control' does in modern spirit-mediumship."25
House concludes that: "with the ecstacism of Dionysianism and the emphasis on tongues-speaking and oracles in the religion of Apollo, it is not surprising that some of the Corinthians carried these pagan ideas in the church at Corinth, especially the practice of glossolalia for which both of these religions are known."26
With this background in mind we are ready to consider what Paul says about the gift of tongues in his first epistle to the Corinthians.27 As was mentioned earlier, the entire book of 1 Corinthians was written to correct errors existing in that church (each chapter deals with some abuse or another). Chapters 12-14 are no exception. Here is where we find Paul dealing with the abuses of an over-zealous church in the area of Spiritual gifts.
Paul begins his discussion of spiritual gifts in chapter 12 by assuring his listeners that he does not want them to be ignorant concerning Spiritual gifts (see v.1). He is quick to remind them, however, that when they were pagans they were led astray to idols, apparently by the manifestation of so-called spiritual gifts (see v.2). He is, in effect saying, "Brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant concerning Spiritual gifts, but be careful. You remember how, when you were pagans, you were led to worship idols. Let me explain a little more about how Spiritual gifts operate." Paul then goes on to clarify that there are many different Spiritual gifts, that each is given by the Holy Spirit as He sees fit, and that they are given "to profit withal" (see v. 4-11). It will become apparent later that one gift was being unduly stressed above the others and that this was the gift of tongues. Paul concludes his discussion in chapter 12 by asking a series of rhetorical questions: "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues?" (vss. 29-30 NIV). The obvious answer (though often overlooked by modern proponents of tongues) is NO.
Paul then spends the whole of chapter 13 stressing the fact that spiritual gifts are of absolutely no use unless they are exercised with love. The kind of love stressed in 1 Cor 13:1 is agape love. This is the supreme form of love, a love differing from erotic (or romantic) love, which may be selfish, or filial (brotherly) love, which often responds to the attractiveness of others. Agape love can be considered as an unselfish concern for others (even ones enemies). Paul says, that without this kind of unselfish concern for others, even the best of spiritual gifts are worthless.
Having connected this necessary factor to the exercise of spiritual gifts, Paul stresses how this type of love exhibits itself. He says that this love will lead one to be patient and kind. That it will not lead one to jealousy, or pride, or to the love of display. He says that those who possess this love will behave themselves in a proper manner (see v. 4,5). How these words must have cut into the hearts of his Corinthian hearers as they recognized the contrast between Paul's description and their own prideful behavior which was now threatening to divide and destroy the church!
As we move into chapter 14, we find Paul stressing the need for intelligibility in the assembly. Here he specifically addresses the misuse of tongues. Gordon D. Fee, in his excellent commentary on the first epistle to the Corinthians, sums up the situation thus far and launches us into our discussion of 1 Cor. 14 nicely when he says:
"Paul proceeds at last to offer specific correctives to the Corinthians' apparently unbridled use of tongues in the assembly. He began his argument with them by setting forth the broader theological framework in which these specifics are to be understood. In chap. 12 he argued for diversity, tongues being only one among many manifestations of the Spirit, who gives gifts to each as he wills for "the common good"(vv. 7-11). In chap. 13, reflecting on the theme of "the common good," he insisted that none of them, himself included, counts for anything, no matter how "spiritual" they are, if they do not likewise manifest love. Now he puts these together by insisting that in the gathered assembly the single goal of their spiritual zeal should be love (v. 1), which, as in 8:1, is expressed in the language of "building up" the church (vv.3-5, 12, 17, 26). This latter theme is developed in two ways: by insisting on intelligibility in the gathered assembly and by giving guidelines for order."28
Paul does make a few statements in chapter 14 that seem rather ambiguous and which, at first glance give support to those who argue that tongues are unintelligible or ecstatic utterances such as v. 2 where he says "anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit," or v. 14 where he states "if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful" (NIV). Careful examination, however, clarifies much. Remember that Paul is addressing a group of Christians, many of whom have come from pagan backgrounds, having had direct exposure to and experience with ecstatic tongue speech. Paul talks in a manner, and using terms that his hearers clearly understand.
In all of the mystery cults mentioned earlier, the primary goal of all their worship practices was to achieve a personal communion (or experience) with some saving deity.29 Speaking in an ecstatic unknown tongue was a highly prized experience because it offered "proof" that one had made a personal connection with "his" spirit, who then spoke through him. Thus, the Corinthians would understand what Paul was saying when he said that a person speaking in a tongue "utters mysteries with his spirit" (1 Cor. 14:2 NIV).
Paul does not always make it explicitly clear when he is speaking of the false (counterfeit) tongues or when he is referring to the true gift. In order not to unduly offend, he seems to mingle the two in his address. His predicament is obvious. He cannot simply condemn tongues, for he must leave room for the true gift to function. Neither can he come right out and condemn the Corinthians for their zealous practice of tongues speech (although they had obviously perverted the true gift) for fear of causing a dramatic split in the church and for fear of loosing those members who would not be strong enough to survive a direct public rebuke. Instead, Paul wisely lays down some guidelines that will permit the members of the Corinthian church to identify the true gift of tongues and be edified by it, while providing a framework for the operation of tongues that will effectively eliminate any false manifestations.
Thus we find Paul establishing a liturgical order for the operation of tongues within the church. However, nowhere do we find him lessening his emphasis that tongue speech should be clear, meaningful, and edifying for the church (see 1 Cor. 14:9,12,19,26). Obviously, a foreign language could be all of these things provided the hearers understood the language or an interpretation was provided.
One final argument that favors a foreign language interpretation of tongues in 1 Cor. 14 is the fact that Paul is writing this letter from Ephesus, where he was directly involved with another tongues experience (see Acts 19:1-6). As was mentioned earlier, we have every reason to believe (and no reason to believe otherwise) that tongues in this instance were indeed foreign languages. Therefore, we can rest assured that Paul's instructions to the Corinthians would be in harmony with his experience with tongues in Ephesus. The situations may be different but the gift (at least the true gift) was the same.
Also, since Luke was Paul's travelling companion, and since he wrote the book of Acts four to five years after the letter to the Corinthians was written, it is highly unlikely that Luke (who would have been familiar with Paul's letter to the Corinthians) would contradict Paul's understanding of the subject of tongues. With Luke's plain statements, that tongues were the gift of foreign languages, we have no reason to doubt that Paul was dealing with the same gift, albeit under different circumstances.
This brings us to the question of the post-apostolic accounts of tongues speech. Robert Glenn Gromacki, in his book The Modern Tongues Movement, gives a brief yet concise evaluation of each of the post-apostolic accounts of ecstatic tongues speech as well as the views of some early church fathers concerning the gift of tongues. Gromacki summarizes these accounts in this way:
"In the three centuries that followed the apostolic era, there are only two references to tongue-speaking (Montanus, and Tertullian who was a Montanist). The fact that Montanism reflected a false, egotistical view of pneumatology can hardly argue for the genuineness of Biblical glossolalia in that period. Therefore, there are no genuine cases of glossolalia in the post-apostolic era. Speaking in tongues had definitely ceased. The testimonies of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine confirm this conclusion."30
Since many Pentecostals point back with pride to Montanus in an attempt to support the idea that the gift of tongues includes ecstatic utterances, one more thing should be mentioned with respect to him. House tells us that "Montanus, a second-century heretic, known for his ecstatic excesses, was a priest of Cybele at one time."31 The Cybele-Attis cult was one of the three cults mentioned earlier who's ecstatic extremes may have had an influence on the worshipers at Corinth! Thus, it is ill-advised to look to Montanus as a credible source for the true gift of tongues.
When it comes to the interpretation of modern tongues no consistency can be found. When a recorded tongues utterance was played back for various people who claimed to have the gift of interpretation, no uniform meaning emerged. In fact, all the interpretations of the exact same recording yielded totally different definitions and meanings.32 This is consistent with the fact that ecstatic utterances are not meaningful languages. As such they cannot function to edify the church in a meaningful way.
Some tongues advocates, who do actually speak in a foreign language (but who do not understand what they themselves are saying), have been surprised to find out that they have actually cursed God while speaking in the spirit!33 This certainly does not imply that everyone who speaks in a foreign language tongue curses God, but it does point out the absurdity of the speaker being ignorant of the content of his or her message. Again, if we apply the Scriptural principle that tongues must carry a gospel content, we find that the modern gift of tongues (including those instances where actual foreign languages are spoken) often does not meet the Bible test for legitimacy.
The modern tongues movement has also placed undo emphasis on the role of tongues in relation to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The idea that one will speak with tongues when he has been baptized with the Holy Spirit cannot be supported by the Bible. Both Jesus and John the Baptist were said to be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth and yet we have no evidence that either of these men ever spoke in tongues (foreign languages or otherwise).
To insist that a believer must speak in tongues or to suggest that one can "learn" to speak in tongues is in direct opposition to Paul's statement that the Spirit distributes the various gifts as He sees fit (1 Cor 12:11) and to Paul's obvious conclusion that we do not all have the same gifts.34
Finally, the modern tongues movement’s emphasis on the use of tongues for personal edification runs contrary to the Biblical emphasis on the use of tongues for the edification of the church or for the common good.35
Thus, having examined and compared the Biblical passages concerning the gift of tongues with the modern charismatic movement's gift of tongues, and having found that the Biblical gift calls for the gift of a previously unlearned foreign language, a situation that requires the bridging of either a language or prejudicial barrier, an opportunity for the promulgation of the gospel (gospel content), and the edification of the church, we find that the modern tongues phenomenon, no matter how "real" it may be, is simply not Biblical. While Christians from all denominations have rushed to unite under a common shared experience, the theological ramifications of the modern tongues movement have gone largely undetected. Francis Schaeffer sees, "a parallel between the new Pentecostals and the liberals. The liberal theologians don't believe in content or religious truth. They are really existentialists using theological, Christian terminology. Consequently, not believing in truth, they can enter into fellowship with any other experience-oriented group using religious language."36
Almost all Charismatic’s have gone the same route. While professing great reverence for Jesus Christ and His Word, Charismatics have effectively nullified the claims of His Word upon their lives, by giving their experience precedence over the Bible. As Richard Quebedeaux puts it, "Neo-Pentecostals maintain that biblical authority (the word written) must always be subservient to the authority of the living, 'dynamic' word of God made known though the present activity of the Spirit Himself" (emphasis supplied).37
Thus Christianity is increasingly being guided by an experience which cannot be supported by the Bible and which, in fact, runs contrary to it. The dangers should be obvious.
The gift of Tongues was initially given by God (and has repeated when necessary) in order to cross the language barrier. It was the gift of a previously unlearned, yet legitimate, foreign language. It was given in order to spread the gospel to peoples that would otherwise not be able to understand the person speaking the message. The speaker of Tongues, clearly understands what he/she is saying and the gift was given in order to spread the gospel - not for the personal edifying or enjoyment of the person speaking in Tongues.
While it is tempting to judge Truth by our experience, experiences are not a safe guide because the devil is quite able to provide miraculous experiences (see Rev. 13:14). Truth must always be based on the Word of God and not by miracles or experience (no matter how pleasing and exciting they may be). May God help us to take our stand and base our experience solely on Word of God "which liveth and abideth forever" (1 Peter 1:23).
For a list of References used in this study, see below.
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1. Kenneth S. Kantzer, "The Charismatics Among Us." Christianity Today 24 (Feb. 1980): 245-249.,
2 . Leo Rosten, ed. Religions of America (New York: Simon and Schuster Inc., 1975), 591.
3. Harvey Cox, Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-first Century (Reading, MA: Addison-Wes¬ley Publishing Co., 1994), xv.
4. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 22 2008 http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-231742.
5. Watson E. Mills, ed. Speaking In Tongues. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1986), 8.
6. Since Pentecostal and neo-pentecostal groups can all be considered "charismatic," this term will be used to describe all such groups in the ensuing discussion.
7. What is the Good of Speaking in Tongues? p. 8. Quoted in Watson E. Mills, Speaking In Tongues, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1986), 4.
8. Siegfried H. Horn, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary. (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1979), 15. Note: This fact will become important later in the discussion of 1 Corinthians 14.
9. Frank Stagg et al., Glossolalia. (New York: Abingdon Press, 1967), 25.
10. R. Clyde McCone, Culture and Controversy. (Philadelphia: Dorrance & Company, 1978), 18-21, suggests that the charge of drunkenness was not made merely because these Galilean disciples were speaking in foreign languages, but because they were "unlearned and ignorant"(Acts 4:13), not having been educated in the rabbinical schools, yet were presuming to expound upon the Scriptures in profane languages (which he maintains they already knew). This point is well taken and may well have contributed to the accusation of drunkenness. However, to suggest that the gift of tongues was merely the power to witness boldly defies sound logic, proper Biblical hermeneutics, and the plain testimony of Scripture. If the gift of tongues was merely the gift of power, it could have and would have been described as such.
11. See Acts 2:14-40. In this context it is interesting to note the possibility that Peter did not speak in tongues on the Day of Pentecost. It is highly probable that he would use his mother tongue when addressing the natives of the area. See John J. Robertson, Tongues. (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1977), 15.
12. Gerhard F. Hasel, "Principles of Biblical Interpretation," in A Symposium on Biblical Hermeneutics, ed. Gordon M. Hyde. (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1974), 168.
13. Robertson, 26-28.
14. Horn, 236.
15. Ibid., 237.
16. R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul's First and Second Epistle to the Corinthians, (Columbus, Ohio: Wartburg Press, 1955), 13.
17. Thomas Charles Edwards, A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians. 2nd ed. (New York: A. C. Armstrong & Son, 1886), 13.
19. Horn, 238.
21. H. Wayne House, "Tongues and the Mystery Religions of Corinth," Bibliotheca Sacra 140 (Ap - Je, 1983), 136. The mystery religions referred to here are called such because of the vows to secrecy required of new members concerning their worship practices. Therefore very few specifics are known about these cults.
22. Ibid. House admits that he has found no evidence to indicate that a temple of Cybele-Attis was actually located in Corinth during the first century, but indicates that the Corinthians may have been familiar with this cult. This cult does play a prominent role in a subsequent discussion of Montanus.
23. Delphi, p. 76. Quoted in House, 137.
24. House, 137.
25. E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational. (Sather Classical Lectures, 25; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1959) 70. Quoted in Terrance Callan, "Prophecy and Ecstasy in Greco-Roman Religion and in 1 Corinthians," Novum Testamentum, 28, 2 (1985), 129.
26. House, 138.
27. 1 Cor. 5:9 implies, and commentators tend to agree, that a previous letter was written to the Corinthian church but unfortunately no copies have been preserved. See the introduction in Edwards, XV.
28. Gordon D. Fee. "The First Epistle to the Corinthians," in The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F. F. Bruce. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987), 652.
29. House, 136.
30. Robert Glenn Gromacki, The Modern Tongues Movement (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1967), 17. See pp. 11-17 for a summary of individual accounts.
31. House, 137.
32. Michael P. Hamilton, The Charismatic Movement. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975), 136.
33. James O. Beshires Jr., Praise The Lord. (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Company, 1979), 108-109. Beshires, a former Pentecostal preacher, gives some interesting insights into the causes and functions of signs and miracles within the Pentecostal church.
34. See 1 Cor. 12:4-11 & 14-19 cf. vv. 27-30.
35. See 1 Cor. 12:7 cf. 14:12.
36. Francis Schaeffer, The New Super-Spirituality (Downers Grove, Ill: Inter-Varsity Press, 1972), Quoted in Richard Quebedeauz, The New Charismatics (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1976), 171,172.
37. Richard Quebedeaux, The New Charismatics (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1976), 110-111.