dave_l — 2017-07-22T07:25:08-04:00 — #1
I'm interested in your thoughts about this unusual take on the events of Pentecost 33AD. I stumbled across it and failed to note the Theologian's name. But I think it was one of the well known from the Dutch Reformed community. So following is a synopsis of what I remember. If anyone knows the source please share it. Also comments welcome.
Paul says when someone speaks in tongues, they speak not to man but to God “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.” (1 Corinthians 14:2)
So this would mean that when the 12 Apostles spoke in tongues on the Day of Pentecost, the devout Jews from every nation who understood what they said according in their native tongues, must also have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the gift of Interpretation of Tongues being the evidence.
Because according to Paul, Tongues is not a human language. It only becomes a human language when interpreted. Overhearing the Apostles, they understood the angelic tongue as though spoken in their native languages. If all spoke in a different human tongue at the same time, who could understand anything? It would be unintelligible. But it appears, the disciples spoke in only one tongue, and each listener heard it transposed into their native tongue.
gao_lu — 2017-07-22T08:38:00-04:00 — #2
Do you think it is possible that there may be more than one phenomenon referred to as "tongues?"
dave_l — 2017-07-22T08:57:05-04:00 — #3
Thanks for the question;
The Pentecostals believe there are two types of tongues. A real unlearned human language as spoken by the disciples at Pentecost. And another "prayer language" that is not a human dialect. I think this is because Acts and 1 Corinthians do not match unless you see two distinct models. But if the devout (= God fearing born again) Jews also received the gift of interpretation at the time the disciples spoke, the 1st Corinthian definition covers both instances. And as far as I know, it is the only direct definition for tongues in scripture. The other taken from Acts is an interpretation of the events that might or might not be correct.
gao_lu — 2017-07-22T09:19:54-04:00 — #4
You have personal experience with both kinds of "tongues," correct? What do you make of them based on your experience?
dave_l — 2017-07-22T09:54:10-04:00 — #5
I do not think any Pentecostals or Charismatics have the gift they define as being actual human languages found in Acts. But all claim the "prayer language" found in 1st Corinthians. Many believe you do not have the Holy Spirit apart from that.
I used to speak in tongues in the sense Pentecostals do today. But I was never convinced it was real and long since have abandoned it.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-07-22T11:49:32-04:00 — #6
A few observations and remarks from the actual text of the passage in Acts 1:26 - 2:6.
Acts 1:26 - 2:1 (KJV)
And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
First point to note is that the record in Acts 2:1 carries on directly from Acts 1:26, as is indicated by the "And", which also continues in the next few verses in the same manner (btw, this is the use of the figure of speech polysyndeton, whereby several points in a listing are each emphasized by the use of the connecting word "and").
The text thus establishes also who the "they" of Acts 2:1 are, namely Matthias + the eleven apostles (and not the about 120 disciples who are merely mentioned in a passing comment earlier in Acts 1). The record in Acts 2:1ff continues with emphasized details about the 11+1 apostles. u
Acts 2:1 provides the information that these 12 were all with one accord in "one place", later on in v.2 described as "the house". No further direct information is given as what this "one place" / "the house" was, but later information mentions that what occurred happened around the "3rd hour" (which was an hour of prayer) and that there was a multititude gathered as well. From this information, it appears that the place / the house where this occurred was actually the immediate vicinity and area of the temple buildings.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And 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.
In these verses we learn that the twelve (Matthias + 11 original apostles) were in a position of sitting, and the text further gives the impression that things were in an orderly and decent fashion (no jumping up, no falling over, no more or less weird singing, screaming, no enthusiastic movements, etc.), even as they were filled with holy spirit.
Only at this occasion is there a mention of "appeared unto them (not to others or everyone else) "cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them" .... there is no mention of such being repeated at any other occasion in Acts or 1Co when believers received / were filled with holy spirit. This seems to indicate that this was some kind of a special phenomenon that happened at this one time at Pentecost, at the initial/first outpouring of holy spirit.
Important also to note is the truth, that it was not the spirit that began to speak but they (!!) began to speak; further the text further states that they spoke not in just one tongue but rather in multiple tongues, in "other (different, various) tongues (languages). However, what they did speak was not as they thought up or had prepared as in a sermon, but it was at the moment of them speaking as "the Spirit gave them utterance". In other words, the apostles did the speaking in different tongues, the content of their words was given them via the power of holy spirit which they had received by the Spirit (by God).
The mention that they spoke in "other" tongues (languages) indicates furthermore that they spoke not in their own learned normal or regular tongue/language that is known to them.
Something else to note, and specific to this occasion at day of Pentecost is that the apostles seem to have spoken in tongues at the same time, something which is later in 1Co where speaking in tongues is mentioned as part of an assembly of the congregation not to be done, as in such an assembly seeing not all should speak in tongues, but only two or three and in order and in connection with each one also using interpretation of tongues, so that the assembly may be edified.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
These next verses mention another specific point regarding the occasion at the day of Pentecost which is not mentioned as being a regular occurrence at any of the other instances mentioning people receiving holy spirit and/or speaking in other tongues ... the truth that other people present at the place did in fact understand what was spoken in a tongue / language, which was unknown to the speaker. This seems to be a miraculous occurrence, specific to what happened only on the day of Pentecost.
With 12 apostles amidst a gathering of a multitiude, their speaking in tongues does not have to be disorderly and confusing (as it would be within a much smaller assembly setting, when all present would speak in tongues), as there may have been smaller groups of devout Jews from an area who spoke and understood a particular language forming around one apostle speaking in tongues and the Spirit giving him utterance in the particular language of those who heard him, etc ....
That people understood what was spoken by the apostles in unknown tongues to them, means that the tongues / languages they were inspired by the Spirit to speak were in fact human tongues/languages .... something which 1Co 13:1 (set within the larger context -- 1Co 12 - 14 -- of the use of manifestations of the spirit within an assembly) indicates as a possibility when it mentions "whether I speak in tongues of men and of angels".
Thus, I do not think that there are two distinct and different kinds/types of "speaking in tongues" (such as a speaking in human language, and speaking in prayer language); rather speaking in tongues is a speaking enabled by the power of holy spirit received by a believer, by which the believer speaks in an unknown (not previously learned) language as the Spirit (God) inspires at the time when the believer speaks.
dave_l — 2017-07-22T12:47:53-04:00 — #7
Thanks for your contribution. I believe you reflect the basic Charismatic and Pentecostal view. What I presented is an alternative view for all to consider. Thanks for pointing out the Apostles only spoke in tongues. I made corrections to my original post.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-07-22T14:50:50-04:00 — #8
As far as I can read, I tried to stick with the Scripture text and from the text point out a few details which the text states .... apparently such an approach is called "Charismatic and Pentecostal" ?
I actually very much oppose pentecostal and charismatic doctrines and practices regarding what they call "gifts of the spirit" because what I have come to know regarding those circles appears to violate the teaching in Scripture in 1Co 12 - 14.
justin_gatlin — 2017-07-22T23:37:07-04:00 — #9
That is an interesting theory. The greatest appeal for the Calvinist would be the reinforcement of the doctrine of the new birth before faith and the elimination of the difficulty in verse 13. I do not think it is tenable because verse 6 says they each/every heard the message in their own language. This includes those who believed and those who scoffed; presumably the regenerate and the unregenerate. There is no indication that some heard in their own language and others did not - the whole crowd was able to. They also still need to receive the Holy Ghost in verse 38 by repentance and faith.
I assume that there is only one kind of tongues - the ability to speak in an unlearned language as a judgment sign against Israel (1 Corinthians 14:21-22). On the special occasion of Pentecost, they either spoke every language at once (or at least every relevant one) or each of the disciples spoke a different tongue, allowing all of those present to hear in their own language (less likely if only the apostles spoke, since it looks like at least 15 people groups were present). I think the need for one to interpret is if Paul is speaking Indonesian, and no one there naturally understands Indonesian. He is speaking to God alone when there is no interpreter, because no one but God understands the language. I think "the tongues of men and angels" in chapter 13 is poetic hyperbole, like giving your body to be burned (which had never happened at that point) or moving mountains. These were not the regular practice of Christians, but proved the case through hypothetical extremes.
tyrone_howard — 2017-07-23T02:07:01-04:00 — #10
There are diverse instances of tongues for the believer:
There is the tongue of the spirit, deriving from baptism in the Holy Ghost. Also known as praying in the spirit. - I have both seen this and can do this.( This is the easiest sign of baptism in the Holy Ghost but not the only one)
There is the speaking in unlearned tongues where you speak in a language you do not know nor have learned by the power of the Holy Gost usually for the purpose of communicating the gospel( an example of this is the miracle at Pentecost) - I have not witnessed this.
There is also the gift of tongue, as one of the 9 gifts of the Holy Ghost which should be present in the church: The spirit of Christ speaks to the church or a person through this tongue but there must be someone who possesses the gift to interpret also else better to remain quiet because it can't be understood without the gift of interpretation present also. The person may posses both gifts but does not have to. I have seen this myself.
dave_l — 2017-07-23T07:27:49-04:00 — #11
Thanks for looking into this.
I took this to mean the unbelievers who thought they were drunk.
I understand the Devout Jews to be born again in need of hearing the Gospel. Just as any believer in the Old Covenant.
One of the main reasons I think all tongues are not human languages is that Paul says they speak not to man but to God.
Again, thanks for your help. I need to prove or reject this theory.
dave_l — 2017-07-23T07:33:06-04:00 — #12
Thanks for your reply. As far as I can tell there is only one gift of tongues, what Pentecostals call the "prayer language". And the devout Jews overheard the Apostles speaking in tongues in this manner. Since they were devout Jews, already born again as any Old Covenant believer, they too had the Holy spirit, but at this point God gave them the gift of tongues interpretation too.
When later told to repent and be baptized in Jesus' name, being devout, their repentance would be in accepting the terms of the New Covenant in Christ. And the fulness of the Holy Spirit always follows repentance.
tyrone_howard — 2017-07-23T11:18:34-04:00 — #13
You are correct. There is only 1 gift of tongues.
There is also the sign of tongues as evidence of baptism in the Holy ghost.
We know these to be different because one is a sign which follows a believer and one is a gift specifically entrusted to a believer by way of the Holy Ghost. The scriptures specifically teach one as a sign, one as a gift. Just like the faith to be saved is not the same as the gift of faith. Every man was dealt a measure of faith to believe in God. Unto everyone is not imparted the Gift of Faith. A sign of a true believer should be able to lay hands on sick and they recover but not all are gifted the Power of Healings and Miracles.
I believe, from what I've expierenced Signs and Gifts do differ.
The miracle of Pentecost is just that, it is truly a miracle, a 180 from the miracle at the tower of babbel.
Also being filled with the Holy Ghost and having the fullness are different. The fullness, the 100 fold, spoken by in the parable of the sower and the prophecy of Joel has not come to the believer yet. We've seen in part but not in full. Filling of the Holy Ghost happens daily for believers who ask.
dave_l — 2017-07-23T11:27:31-04:00 — #14
I believe all mention of Tongues in the New Testament speaks of one and the same phenomena. That is, the Apostles spoke thus; “For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 14:2 (ESV)
The devout Jews also received the gift of interpretation as they overheard the Apostles "prayer language".
This is another topic but I believe tongues and prophecy ceased with the death of the last Apostle and with the completion of the New Testament canon.
tyrone_howard — 2017-07-23T11:37:14-04:00 — #15
We can only testify of what we've seen and heard, I've seen both the sign and the gift with regards to tongues.
Friend, fellow believer, nothing ceased with the death of the last apostle. I thought the same untill I met my wife and visited the church she grew up in. I have seen things, all 9 gifts of The Holy Ghost, I have been fortunate enough to be used by the Holy Ghost myself, with some of the gifts still occasionally for some regular for others, but not all at anytime. Keep searching. If in your heart you desire to see, Jesus will lead you to where you can. I ended up some 87 miles outside the city where I grew up, in a set apart body of believers in Holiness. I've seen the gifts of Miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation, faith, prophecy, discernment, wisdom, knowledge operate in a vessel. I cannot discourse on expierenced, and I understand this.
dave_l — 2017-07-23T11:45:10-04:00 — #16
But we cannot know if what you experienced is real unless the scriptures allow for it. And I do not think today's "Charismatics" or "Pentecostals" have the same gifts the church had during the first century.
tyrone_howard — 2017-07-23T11:51:03-04:00 — #17
Who will believe our report.....unto whom will the arm of the Lord be revealed...
dave_l — 2017-07-23T11:57:36-04:00 — #18
I spent several years in Pentecostal circles and probably have heard and seen all that you speak of. It was hard to see anything objectively being surrounded by peers. But the Lord led me into a different understanding of Acts and the related passages and I've never looked back.
justin_gatlin — 2017-07-23T17:12:47-04:00 — #19
I think if you read Acts 2 carefully, you will not see any support for this. They all heard in their own language.
But verse 38 clearly indicates that the Holy Spirit is still future for them, does it not?
It is a very interesting theory. I had never seen it before, and am glad to be aware of it.
For the issue of speaking to God, I think the whole paragraph sheds light. The unknown tongue is speaking to God if there is no one to interpret it. I do not see how that rules out the idea that it is a human language which no one present speaks (Either naturally or miraculously).
dave_l — 2017-07-23T18:14:25-04:00 — #20
“Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” Acts 2:13 (KJV 1900) = they misinterpreted what was being said.
"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:17 (KJV 1900)
Later Jesus breathed on the disciples causing them to receive the Holy Spirit "And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit." John 20:22 (ESV)
Plus faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit = you must have the Holy Spirit before you can believe.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV 1900)
“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.” 1 Corinthians 14:2 (KJV 1900)
“In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” 1 Corinthians 14:21–22 (KJV 1900)
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