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Speaking In Tongues

By Venus A. Jackson

This lesson An In Depth Analysis Speaking in Tongues

is to explain the Speaking in Tongues, to define what is it is and how we are supposed to operate it in.


First of all speaking in tongues is defined by dictionary.com as:

a form of glossolalia in which a person experiencing religious ecstasyutters incomprehensible sounds that the speaker believes are alanguage spoken through him or her by a deity.

The gift of speaking in tongues is defined as by British dictionary.com as:

n utterance, partly or wholly unintelligible, believed by some to beproduced under the influence of ecstatic religious emotion andconceived to be a manifestation of the Holy Ghost: practised in certainChristian churches, usually called Pentecostal Also called glossolalia

Glossa (greek word for tongue) is defined as the tongue of man, tongue of language, different languages- supernatural intervention

Examples of the Bible References to Tongues in the Old Testament

Many people attempt to use Isaiah 28:11 as justification of speaking in Tongues because Paul quoted it in 1 Corinthians 14:21. The scripture actually discusses how God will use foreigners with different foreign languages to speak his people and the will not listen because of their disobedience.  All reference in Old Testament speaks in tongues as foreign language spoken by men and not used in the Holy Spirit context. 

Examples of the Bible References to Tongues in the New Testament

  • Act 2: describes the day of Pentecost, where the apostles gathered together and the Holy Spirit rested on them like a fire. Here the speaking of the tongues is meant of known man tongues (different languages) – this is a sign to display to the unbelievers that Holy Spirit is present.
  • Jesus also discusses (new tongues) Mark 16:17 – he states that tongues will be used to cast out demons.
  • Acts 10 – discusses Cornelius conversion. This where Peter was approached and led by the Holly Spirit to go to Cornelius, for what purpose he did not know. When he got there he converted the Gentile Cornelius and once they received the Lord Jesus the Holy Spirit instantly came upon them in the evidence of speaking of tongues. This example of public example of speaking in tongues this was used as sign of Christ to unbelievers and gentiles.
  • Act. 19 – RWP commentary says Paul went To Ephesus and found some (learners) or disciples of Christ that were baptized by water the baptism of John, Paul explains that this baptism is for repentance, this was baptism before Christ and that they must be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Once he baptized them in the name of Jesus and laid hands on them they received the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues and prophesy.
  • Tongues and interpretation of tongues are spiritual gifts  are shown in 1 Cor 12: 10, 28
  • Also with the gift of tongues you have responsibility to encompass yourself in Love 1 Cor. 13:1

1 Corinthians 14 Step by Step analysis DRB (Catholic Bible)

Here Paul is explaining the Gift of speaking of tongues and explains the protocol in which to use


 1Co 14:1  Follow after charity, be zealous for spiritual gifts; but rather that you may prophesy.

1Co 14:2  For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man heareth. Yet by the Spirit he speaketh [VJ1] .

1Co 14:3  But he that prophesieth speaketh to men unto edification and exhortation and comfort.

1Co 14:4  He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself: but he that prophesieth, edifieth the [VJ2] .

1Co 14:5  And I would have you all to speak with tongues, but rather to prophesy. For greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues: unless perhaps he interpret, that the church may receive [VJ3] .

1Co 14:6  But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you either in revelation or in knowledge or in prophecy or in [VJ4] ?

1Co 14:7  Even things without life that give sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction of sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

1Co 14:8  For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

1Co 14:9  So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue plain speech, how shall it be known what is said? For you shall be speaking into the air.

1Co 14:10  There are, for example, so many kinds of tongues in this world: and none is without voice.

1Co 14:11  If then I know not the power of the voice, I shall be to him to whom I speak a barbarian: and he that speaketh a barbarian to me.

1Co 14:12  So you also, forasmuch as you are zealous of spirits, seek to abound unto the edifying of the church.

1Co 14:13  And therefore he that speaketh by a tongue, let him pray that he may [VJ5] .

1Co 14:14  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth: but my understanding is without fruit.

1Co 14:15  What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, I will pray also with the understanding, I will sing with the spirit, I will sing also with the understanding.

1Co 14:16  Else, if thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that holdeth the place of the unlearned say, Amen, to thy blessing? Because he knoweth not what thou [VJ6] .

1Co 14:17  For thou indeed givest thanks well: but the other is not edified.

1Co 14:18  I thank my God I speak with all your [VJ7] .

1Co 14:19  But in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may instruct others also: than ten thousand words in a tongue.

1Co 14:20  Brethren, do not become children in sense. But in malice be children: and in sense be perfect.

1Co 14:21  In the law it is written: In other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people: and neither so will they hear me, saith the [VJ8] .

1Co 14:22  Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to believers but to unbelievers: but prophecies, not to unbelievers but to [VJ9] .

1Co 14:23  If therefore the whole church come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in unlearned persons or infidels, will they not say that you are mad?

1Co 14:24  But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not or an unlearned person, he is convinced of all: he is judged of all.

1Co 14:25  The secrets of his heart are made manifest. And so, falling down on his face, he will adore God, affirming that God is among you indeed.

1Co 14:26  How is it then, brethren? When you come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation: let all things be done to edification.

1Co 14:27  If any speak with a tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and in course: and let one interpret.

1Co 14:28  But if there be no interpreter, let him hold his peace in the church and speak to himself and to [VJ10] .

1Co 14:29  And let the prophets speak, two or three: and let the rest judge.

1Co 14:30  But if any thing be revealed to another sitting, let the first hold his peace.

1Co 14:31  For you may all prophesy, one by one, that all may learn and all may be exhorted.

1Co 14:32  And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

1Co 14:33  For God is not the God of dissension, but of peace: as also I teach in all the churches of the saints.

1Co 14:34  Let women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak but to be subject, as also the law saith.

1Co 14:35  But if they would learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church.

1Co 14:36  Or did the word of God come out from you? Or came it only unto you?

1Co 14:37  If any seem to be a prophet or spiritual, let him know the things that I write to you, that they are the commandments of the Lord.

1Co 14:38  But if any man know not, he shall not be known.

1Co 14:39  Wherefore, brethren, be zealous to prophesy: and forbid not to speak with [VJ11] .

1Co 14:40  But let all things be done decently and according to order.



As you can see speaking in tongues is a sign that you have been baptized by Holy Spirit. Please be mindful this is just one of the spiritual gifts. It does not mean that if you don’t receive this gift you have not been received the Holy Spirit, remember there are a number of spiritual gifts. The caveat about tongues that this is to be used in your prayer between God unless he has called someone else to interpret it for the benefit of the unbeliever or for the mass body. Speaking in tongues for the prayer and worship between you and God are acceptable but also remember what Paul says pray in your mind as well to gain complete understanding.

 [VJ1]Here is talking about Heavenly Tongue . [VJ2]Basically saying that this private language between you and God  [VJ3]Example of  Public Tongues used to give the church a message. [VJ4]If there is no interpretation there is no revelation for the listener [VJ5]He instruct to pray so you can help edify the church if you are in a public setting and praying for the congregation.  [VJ6]If no interpretation how will one receive the blessing [VJ7]Paul says he has the gift of speaking in tongues  [VJ8]Cross-reference of Isaiah 28:11 [VJ9]This the foreign language and the heavenly language with interpretation [VJ10]Paul asking you to quail you spirit in order for other to be delivered if there is no interpreter because this a private language for your prayer to God [VJ11]Paul says he words are not saying that speaking in tongues is not permitted but all must be don as 1 Cor 14:40 instructs. That speaking in tongues is gift given by Christ.

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