Forum for ex-members of Revival Churches
Revival_Centres_Discussion_Forums > Bible, Beliefs, Scriptures and 'The Word' > Please Consider - An examination of Revivalist teachings and 'doctrines' Go to subcategory:
Post New Topic Post Poll Reply
Author Content
Ex_Member
  • Rank:
  • Score:0
  • Posts:0
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:21/09/2018 12:36 AM

Date Posted:11/03/2007 2:45 PMCopy HTML

Hey, all. 

It would be a gross understatement to suggest that the Revivalist groups have completely misunderstood the biblical teaching on 'tongues'. What I aim to do in this brief post is demonstrate why the above statement is true, in the hope that the people who continue to struggle with the effects of Revivalist teaching on 'tongues' might actually be able to put the subject into its proper context, and so enjoy a measure of peace. Importantly, I've no intention of addressing the supposed validity or otherwise of modern 'tongues' as found in either Revivalist or Pentecostal circles. My goal will simply be the summarising of the scriptural witness, rather than attempting any sort of defence for the modern expression. And, of course, I've written from the perspective that it's the Bible that should inform the Christian's belief insofar as this topic is concerned. 

I'll begin by listings several positive and negative statements that will inform this post, commencing with the positive. First, that there is such a thing as 'speaking in tongues', and that it is presented in Scripture as being wholly miraculous in origin (rather than the wholly learned behaviour which is frequently the case nowadays). Second, that the Bible presents two distinct sets of spiritual phenomena haphazardly translated as 'tongues' in the English New Testament (NT). Third, the Bible further indicates that the second set of phenomena, the 'unknown tongue' referred to in 1 Corinthians, is a specific 'spiritual gift' that is available to some Christians throughout the Church Age. 

Insofar as the negative statements are concerned, I'll begin by suggesting that that 'tongues', in either form, is not the same as the 'gift' of the Holy Spirit that Scripture describes. Second, that according to Paul, an overemphasis on the supposed benefits of the spiritual gift of 'tongues' is a sure sign of religious immaturity, human sinfulness and misplaced pride/arrogance. Third, that being able to speak/pray in 'tongues' is not a sure indication that one is saved. Finally, fourth, that 'tongues' is not presented in Scripture as being a supernatural aid to preaching, as being somehow intended for use in a polylingual cultural environment or context. 

But first a caveat: I teach biblical Greek. When making my assessments below, I consider closely what the New Testament as originally written (in Greek) says, and then according to the rules of koine Greek grammar and syntax. If anyone wishes to disagree with my conclusions, then such a one will need to be able to marshal a rebuttal that demonstrates that I've erred in my understanding of the language. Simply saying, 'nope', because of a philosophical disagreement with where my conclusions lead, just won't cut it. Sorry, but uninformed speculation isn't worth as much as is an informed opinion, and when it comes to this subject not all opinions are created equal. 

Those who have more than simply a casual interest can locate more detailed discussions in the various articles on the subject that appear at 'PleaseConsider' (www.pleaseconsider.info), as well as the essay that I wrote on Mark 16, and which is located elsewhere on this forum.

The first record in the NT of 'tongues' as a miraculous reality occurs in Mark 16:17, where it's referred to as one of five'signs' that would demonstrate the uniqueness of the Christian community over and against every other socio-religious community. Grammatically, the list of 'signs' that Mark recorded conforms to an indicative sub-set known as categorical/generalising plurals, that is, whilst they are generic in usage, they serve to describe a distinct category of 'things', over and against every other category of 'things'. 

Next, it's important to note that this listing of categorical/generalising plurals is found in a sequence of conditional clauses (i.e. "... the one who ... and is ... will be...", "... these signs will ... those who ... they will ... if they ...", etc). Grammatically, this indicates that the listed 'signs' are intended to be taken as predictions rather than as promises. Further, they are presented as a 'set' or 'class', which means that none of the five 'signs' in Mark 16:17 is a promise made by God to an individual believer. According to the canons of Greek grammar, categorical/generalising plurals, when used conditionally, demonstrate the predictive action of something (in our case, God) creating an effect within a sub-set or unique class of reality (in our case, his being at work within the Christian Church corporately). 

We next encounter 'tongues' in the following chapters of Acts: two (twice: vv. 4 and 11), ten (v. 46) and nineteen (v. 6). The actual Greek word used in each of these occurrences is glossais, which is the dative, feminine, plural form of the noun for 'tongue' (and is also the form of the word that's found in Mark 16:17). This impresses that Luke (like Mark) intended for us to understand that real languages were being spoken during each of these events. In the first instance (revolving around Pentecost), following the flow of the conversation that Jesus had with his eleven closest surviving disciples prior to his ascension (read 1:2-11 and 1:21-26), we discover that the promise of a specific empowering of the Holy Spirit would fall upon the small band of apostles only. This is what is recorded in chapter two. 

In the second instance (chapter ten), the same phenomena occurs with respect to the first fully gentile believers. In the final instance (chapter nineteen), Paul imparts the Holy Spirit to a group of John the Baptist's former disciples. So what the three events have in common is this: (1) the Holy Spirit overshadowed three distinct groups of people collectively (i.e. none of these accounts records individuals), (2) that the three groups of people spoke in real languages (again, collectively). And finally, (3) that each of these three 'Acts' occurrences fulfills the predictive 'sign' that was indicated in Mark 16:17. 

Moving on to briefly consider 1 Corinthians chapters twelve through fourteen, where we encounter the longest NT discourse on the subject of 'tongues'. Paul introduces and briefly touches on the topic in chapter twelve (thrice: vv. 10, 28 and 30), where he positively lists 'tongues' among a broader number of nine 'manifestations' that are given by the Holy Spirit to individuals, and then for the benefit of the Church collectively. Paul uses the inflected form, glosson, the genitive, feminine, plural form of the noun for 'tongue'. The use of this inflection might indicate that the 'language' that results is rather 'unique', but it certainly does indicate a clear distinction between the real languages recorded by Mark, and by Luke in the three passages of Acts; and what Paul is now discussing in chapter twelve of his first letter to the church at Corinth. Had Paul had in mind what Mark and Luke had in mind, then he would've used the same (common) form of the word, instead of opting for a particularly uncommon form. 

In chapter thirteen, Paul distinguishes between human speech forms, and the implied 'angelic' speech form which 'tongues' apparently represents (see v. 1). He does this by using the standard term for human language, the one found in both the Gospel According to Mark, and in the Acts accounts. Having made the distinction, it was natural for him to apply the standard inflection in this instance. However, in chapter fourteen, the predominant form of the Greek word for 'tongue' that's used is glosse, the dative, feminine, singular inflection. That Paul used a singular form of the standard word for human language, again, wasn't particularly strange, as it served to indicate that Paul fully acceptedthat the gift of 'tongues' imparted by the Holy Spirit to some believers, represented a true and legitimate form of communication, albeit one directed towards God alone. 

So, in summary, the witness is clear. Miraculous 'tongues' are a reality, or at least they are when considered from a biblical perspective. The scriptural record also clearly indicates two separate and distinct forms: (1) an authentic miracle of human languages: a form which was limited in scope, and is only recorded as having been spoken by groups of people collectively. This form was further unique in that it was intended to authenticate a new work of God, and it resulted from the direct overshadowing of the Holy Spirit (as is recorded thrice in Acts). This extraordinary 'miracle of languages' is to be distinguished from, (2) the more common yet still authentic manifestation of potentially non-human/angelic speech. 

This, the second type of 'tongues' was spoken by a number of individuals within the church at Corinth, and then only when such individuals had been given the specific gift by the Holy Spirit. And, of course, not only was the Corinthian form of 'unknown tongues' different to the 'known languages' described in Acts, so too was the function: the purpose of the Corinthian type is expressly stated as being for thebuilding up of the church for the common good (see 1 Corinthians 12:7, and 14:26).

Revivalists invariably quote Acts 2:38 as a supposed proof text that 'tongues' somehow equates with being the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is shown to be nonsense when one approaches the passage in Greek. The relevant clause in verse thirty-eight is ten dorean tou hagiou pneumatos, which in English is properly translated,"...the gift, the Holy Spirit." The reason for this is, "... the Holy Spirit" is grammatically a genitive of apposition in Greek, in other words, the 'gift' that is being referred to in the clause is the Holy Spirit himself.

Nowhere in Acts chapter two do we find the miracle of human languages referred to as being a gift; further, it ceases to be the subject of the discussion after Acts 2:13! In 1 Corinthians 12:1, Paul doesn't use any Greek word for 'gift' when he lists nine spiritual manifestations. What he does apply is a specific term that means, "... that which is graciously bestowed". In other words, 'tongues' is properly the bestowal of a measure of spiritual grace, and not specifically a 'gift', per se. 

Now before anyone accuses me of semantic wrangling, it's important to understand that it doesn't really matter. From verse seven onwards we discover that the various 'gifts' being discussed can'tbe viewed as being synonamous with the Holy Spirit himself (in other words, the gift(s)aren't the Holy Spirit given, as we find to be the case in Acts 2:38), but specific 'gifts' that the Holy Spirit givesto others. In Corinthians, the Holy Spirit is the Giver, rather than the gift given. This is further supported by the fact that in 14:14, Paul very specifically states that when he prays in 'tongues', it's his human spirit that's doing the praying, not the Holy Spirit. 

A singular purpose behind Paul writing 1 Corinthians chapters twelve through fourteen was his attempt to qualify the unhealthy level of attention that certain of the Corinthian believers held with respect to the gift of 'tongues'. He begins immediately by advising them that there are diversities of spiritual gifts, but that in spite of this, they all stem from the one Spirit (12:4-7). Verses twelve through thirty-one seeks to explain that there is unity within this diversity with respect to the various manifestations of the Spirit, and he does this by drawing an analogy between the church and a human body (where 'eyes' aren't 'ears', etc). 

In verse twenty-seven the word translated 'you' into English is a Greek plural, which shows that the church is the body of Christ collectively, with the individual believers comprising the various functions of that body (i.e. 'eyes', 'ears', 'mouths', etc). Chapter thirteen reinforces that any exercising of a 'gift' must be underpinned by love rather than by pride. Chapter fourteen constitutes the 'slap' on the wrist. 

Now, with respect to the mistaken view that ifone can speak in 'tongues', one can be confident that one is 'saved'; we must acknowledge that the Bible nowhere teaches this position. In point of fact, no overt, outward spiritual manifestation is provided by Scripture as a form of concrete proof that someone is in a right standing with God. Jesus speaks of such misplaced confidence (read 'self-deception') in Matthew 7:21-23. In spite of the fact that some people will claim kinship with Christ based on the ability to perform powerful, supernatural deeds (e.g. prophesying in Jesus' name, casting out demons in Jesus' name, working miracles in Jesus' name); Jesus will turn to some and say,"...away from me you evildoers, I NEVER knew you". Tough, huh? The fact is, Scripture repeatedly lets us know that both the 'saved' and the 'unsaved' will be identifiable by the 'fruit' that is displayed in their lives (see Matthew 7:15-20, cf. Galatians 5:19-24 and Ephesians 5:9). 

Finally, with respect to the mistaken view that biblical 'tongues' was intended to provide an ability to preach in a polylingual cultural millieu; well, this view doesn't fit what we read in Scripture either. Let's begin by considering the miracle of human languages that the twelve apostles spoke on the Day of Pentecost first. To start with, the languages were only one 'sign' among several that God chose to demonstrate on that day (the powerful sound of a rushing wind, the wind visibly turning into something that appeared like sheets of flame, etc). So it's a pretty shaky piece of ground on which to pitch one's doctrinal tent, should one start selecting one 'sign' as being the most important whilst rejecting the others. 

Further, the languages that were spoken by the apostles on that day were representative o fthe geographical regions encapsulating the Jewish dispersion, in other words, the aim that day was strictly at Jews rather than at people more generally. Finally, when it came time to actually preach, Peter used the one language common and understood by everyone from Africa to Asia, Palestine to Europe: Greek! Nope, 'tongues' didn't equal 'language for preaching purposes' in Acts two (or Acts ten and Acts nineteen for that matter)! When we consider the 'unknown tongue' of 1 Corinthians 12:10, we find Paul listing the supernatural ability to speak in 'tongues' with the equally supernatural ability to 'interpret' said 'tongues'. Nothing is said of the purpose of these joint gifts until later, in chapter fourteen. There, beginning with verse six we find the context indicates that the 'tongue' gift is incomprehensible to both speaker and hearers. Further, in verse nineteen Paul specifically says that he would rather speak a few words in a language understood to all, then a myriad of words in a 'language' that only God understands. This, of course, is in keeping with his teaching that 'spiritual gifts' are for the building up of the Church! Paul isn't providing instruction on evangelism in 1 Corinthians, his focus isn't on those outside the church, but on those within it. 

To close, there is nothing in Revivalist dogma, experience or practice that in any way is supported by what we read in the various accounts in Acts. These describe the miracle of human languages. Consider Acts 2 as the common test case: (1) the 'tongues' spoken at Pentecost were actual, understood human languages. (2) They were one of several miraculous phenomena that occurred in close order. (3) They were spoken by the twelve apostles only. (4) They were spoken by the twelve apostles (i.e. by arepresentative groupof people) simultaneously. (5) No-one was 'seeking' for this 'experience', and certainly not to validate their relationship with Christ! In other words, what happened at Pentecost was different in form, function, purpose, extent and nature to what individual Revivalists might like to claim for themselves with respect to their supposed 'salvation' experiences. 

From the standpoint of Scripture, the single phenonmenon of 'tongues' that Revivalists might be able to claim affinity with, is the type referred to in 1 Corinthians as the 'unknown tongue'. And, of course, this particular manifestation isn't the 'gift' that is referred to in Acts 2:38! 

In short, Revivalists are expert at reading into the Bible what they hope to find; but are rank amateurs when it comes to reading out of Scripture what's actually there. What they preach about 'tongues' is wrong. They can neither build, support nor sustain a case for their beliefs from what Scripture actually says! If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to take this to the next level, and describe (again from Scripture) why the 'unknown tongue' isn't a gift given to all believers, and further, why it's the least importantof all God's gifts. But that will be for a later time. 

God bless,

Ian

Ex_Member Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #1
  • Rank:
  • Score:0
  • Posts:0
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:21/09/2018 12:36 AM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:11/03/2007 7:25 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Sott1 fficeffice" />



For what it's worth, I would like to briefly as I can, tell you my experience of tongues

Since early childhood up until I was converted to the GRC in 1968 (excommunicated in 1981),  I often used to pretend to mimic a Chinaman and speak out in their language. It must have been impressive and somewhat annoying to people that heard me as I used to get comments like, here comes the Chinaman again, chink,etc., (By the way, I am true blue . After being witnessed to, I accepted the word and at a house meeting with Noel Hollins and others got down on my knees to "receive". After awhile I told Noel that I wanted to receive also. It was a big let down as he said that I had received the Holy Ghost, because I was speaking in tongues. All that I was doing was my Chinaman thing. I was always skeptical after that.

 Because of this experience I came to following conclusion to which I am comfortable with, but not exhaustive.

In the last four years I have been able to really look into things from sources such as websites like zhubert.com and Young's bible dictionary etc., and see for myself what is.

Many articles and comments, many plausible, have been written about the tongues and not unique to Christianity. Scientific studies, voodoo, witchcraft, some pagan worship, to name a few. Even people suffering from schizophrenia. A close friend, now ex GRC'er, witnessed a person (GRC'er) having an attack, screaming out in "tongues" into a drain culvert and later when Police where taking him away still yelling out in "tongues" from inside the divisional van.( Holy Spirit????)

I believe we have a human trait that gives us the ability to come out in an acquired language or a babbling under certain conditions, a spiritual thing maybe? The Corinthians lived in a time when witchcraft, pagan worship and the like was rife, it was their way of life. It seems obvious they must have brought it over into the church,  and why Paul had to instruct them to use it for the right reason.

I feel tongues do have a roll to play in the church today, but only in the context of edification.

Acts 2: 4 They spoke in other (Grk: xenos,strange or foreign) tongues......Spirit (hagion, set apart, holy)

1 Corinthians 14:14- Unknown tongues. (Unknown not in original). Just reads tongues (glossa)My spirit (little "s"- Grk:pneuma ).        Just a couple of references.

 

 

 

 

dogmafree Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
  • Rank:Poster Venti III
  • Score:9580
  • Posts:416
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:22/02/2006 12:26 AM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:11/03/2007 9:14 PMCopy HTML

Several years ago, I attended a meditation workshop, a non-religious setting at a meditation centre. The workshop was a kind of an intro into many different techniques, exploring how very diverse the basic practice of meditation can be.

Among many other techniques, we were invited in one group session by the instructor to let ourselves freely speak gibberish. She started herself, demonstrating how easy it is to just 'let go', open your mouth and utter away. Well in no time, the room was full of about 25 people happily glossalating.

What an amazing miracle!

"for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Shakespeare (Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2)
old holborn Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #3
  • Rank:Regular Member
  • Score:4430
  • Posts:217
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:27/11/2005 8:22 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:11/03/2007 10:18 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : SOTT1

Hey, all.It would be a gross understatement to suggest that the Revivalist groups havecompletelymisunderstood the biblical teaching on 'tongues'.What I aim to do in this brief post is demonstratewhythe above statement is true in the hope that the people who continue to struggle with the effects of Revivalist teaching on 'tongues', might actually be able to put the subject into its proper context and so enjoy a measure of peace. Importantly, I've no intention of addressing the supposed validity or otherwise of modern 'tongues', as found in either Revivalist or Pentecostal circles. My goal will simply be the summarising of thescriptural witness, rather than attempting any sort of defence for the modern expression. And, of course, I've written from the perspective that it's the Bible that should inform the Christian's belief insofar as this top

Great stuff as usual,and necessary, to  dismiss and demolish the RF heresies., and help those of us who still retain some of the brainwashing recieved. I'ts re-assuring to find the conclusions I've come to confirmed by  an obviously well researched, knowledgeable,and intelligent post.

Not being able to claim any of those attributes myself, only an ability to seek out and pick the brains of those who do have them, I sometimes wonder why we have to do that,  why a simple message "Believe in me" (trust, rely on, cleave to ) has from Paul onwards, become so complicated that only intelectuals can now decipher the surrounding  mud they've stirred up.

I mean, until todayI did'nt know my catagorical/generalising plural from my dative feminine plural,and If I was asked I would'nt be able to explain the difference, or the importance to any one, but with my limited intelect, I'm quite capable of understanding and passing on the message of salvation Jesus explained simply, to simple folk like me. All the rest to my mind is the equivalant of argueing over how many angels can balance on the end of a needle, a subject that occupied the minds of intelectuals for years.

Why do we get so concerned about the different ways people get spiritual uplift, and express it, rather than rejoicing in the fact that they are in their own way giving glory to God, and are for him rather than against him as so many are ?

No doubt I shall be informed in due course, maybe in language I can understand,but I shant necessarily feel oblidged to take it as gospel. Dont do that any more. Laugh 





"But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord "
notolegalism Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #4
  • Rank:Lurker
  • Score:130
  • Posts:5
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:09/03/2007 12:31 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:11/03/2007 11:21 PMCopy HTML

Good exegeses there Big Fella....  One question ... Which was written first ?? Marks Gospel or Pauls letter to the Corinthians ??.. I have always understood that it was Pauls letter that was written first and if I am correct then in my opinion this puts the bullit through the revivalist position on its over emphasis on Mark 16... But then I also consider that the revivalist position on Mark 16 is but merely prooftext...

cheers and blessings

notolegalism 

RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #5
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:12/03/2007 11:01 PMCopy HTML

SOTT

How do my following experiences fit with your exegesis? (Genuine curiosity here ... not a challenge) No doubt it's typical of those to whom you have ministered over the years. I want the bible to be the framework through which I interpret my experience. (Sorry about the mixed metaphor. Can't think of anything better right now.)

I called myself a Christian (after a Billy Graham -style decision for Christ) years before coming into contact with RCI. I chose to be baptised at the first RCI meeting I attended, which was the day after a former school-mate told me about his "conversion".  I "spoke in tongues" while praying after I was baptised, when I changed my prayer from whanting to speak in tongues to wanting to have anything God wanted to give.

Immediately (nanoseconds) after I spoke in tongues for the first time I felt that I had met God whereas for years prior to that I (thought I) knew about God. At the same time (well when I read the bible a few hours later) the words of the bible seemed to come alive to me. When I "pray in tongues" I find it easy to come to a place of "communion" with God within moments and when I'm "in communion" with Him I find it a great pleasure to "pray in tongues".

My (subjective) perception is that something "real" happened to me. Do you believe there was there some experience identifiable in the bible here? Was the "speaking in tongues" just a psychological phenomenon that happened at the same time as the Holy Spirit touched me? Is it possible that the "speaking in tongues" experience was from God, rather than just my mind?

PS I have visited your website

 

 

Uncoolman Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #6
  • Rank:Poster Venti III
  • Score:10080
  • Posts:324
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:05/04/2003 2:38 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:13/03/2007 5:43 AMCopy HTML

Hi, all.

I'd like to briefly answer the various questions/respond to the following points:

1) Brolga: Acts 2: 4 They spoke in other (Grk: xenos,strange or foreign) tongues......Spirit (hagion, set apart, holy) ... 1 Corinthians 14:14- Unknown tongues. (Unknown not in original). Just reads tongues (glossa)My spirit (little "s"- Grk:pneuma ).

Well I'm looking at my Greek NT right now, and the Greek word that's found in Acts 2:4 isn't the one you've listed above (i.e. 'xenos'), but is 'heterais', which is the dative, plural form of the noun 'heteros', and which means "different, or other". You are correct with respect to your second claim; however, that 'unknown' doesn't appear in the passage of 1 Corinthians 14:14. It's a word that's regularly added by English translators to explain the context of the discussion in greater detail.

2) Microsoft: do either of you speak and understand FLUENT ancient greek?

No-one actually 'speaks' koine Greek anymore (it's something of a 'dead' language). But I certainly can read it (fluently), and further, I also teach it to theology undergraduates at tertiary level.

3) Old Holborn: I mean, until today I did'nt know my catagorical/generalising plural from my dative feminine plural,and If I was asked I would'nt be able to explain the difference, or the importance to any one, but with my limited intelect, I'm quite capable of understanding and passing on the message of salvation Jesus explained simply, to simple folk like me.

True enough! The reason that I provide the relevant grammatical data in my essays/posts is so that anyone who wishes to, can go away and check/confirm my conclusions for themselves. I choose not to follow the Revivalist pastor approach, to simply say/write something and then just expect everyone to believe me. I give the TRUTH with PROOF!

4) Notolegalism: Which was written first ?? Marks Gospel or Pauls letter to the Corinthians ??

Paul's letters to the Corinthians were written first. Mark's gospel was written about 15 years later, and the final verses of chapter 16 were probably written a further 60 years later!

5)RF on the edge: My (subjective) perception is that something "real" happened to me. Do you believe there was there some experience identifiable in the bible here? Was the "speaking in tongues" just a psychological phenomenon that happened at the same time as the Holy Spirit touched me? Is it possible that the "speaking in tongues" experience was from God, rather than just my mind?

Well, your personal experience wasn't all that different from my own, and it's quite possible that something 'real' did in fact happen to you. But to be honest, I'm not in any position to judge, one way or the other. If what you experienced has brought you closer to God, further that it's sharpened your perception of your own sinfulness, and that it's prompted you to a greater capacity for loving the 'lost' and serving others (daily); then likely as not God was at work. According to Scripture, these are precisely the effects that 'authentic' encounters with God will have on a believer. However, in spite of the impact that spiritual experiences may have on a believer, the Bible teaches us not to judge our spirituality against such encounters. Spiritual 'fruit' remains the biblical measure of spiritual maturity.

God bless,

Ian
Ex_Member Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #7
  • Rank:
  • Score:0
  • Posts:0
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:21/09/2018 12:36 AM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:13/03/2007 10:02 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Brolga



to SOTT1Thankyou S1, I stand corrected on Xenos etc.I was expanding on the word "hetros" from Youngs, Index-Lexicon to the New testment, andfound the word "strange" as the same meaning as different or other as you pointed out, and connected it with actual foreign (xenos)languages. My error. Wish I had more accurate material to work with.B.





Brolga,

Don't worry about it. My advice, though, is to avoid trying to 'exegete' Scripture from the original languages unless you've actually mastered those languages to begin with. Further, linguistic exegesis doesn't really occur at simply the lexical level (e.g. individual words), but more at the syntactical level (the meaning and relationship of words when used in combination: clauses, sentences, phrases etc).

Blessings,

Ian
RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #8
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:13/03/2007 9:32 PMCopy HTML

SOTT1

Thanks for your reply. I didn't really intend for you to judge my spirituality, an obvious impossibility to which
you have responded graciously.

Awareness of my own sin ... I've always been so conscious of it (and 1 John so clear) that I thought LRL meant he always tried to avoid consciously sinning when he asserted, "I do not sin." How shocked I was to be told by those who knew him well that he really was asying he was sinless. And my pastor tells me that there are still pastors who actively preach sinlessness. As Harry Who would say, "Amazing." (1960's TV - Get Smart) Greater capacity - I believe yes. Actually putting it into practice - (without using this as a cop out for not mixing faith and works) I rely on God's mercy for my shortcomings.

I think I need to be more clear about my question. I am asking about personal prayer "in tongues". As I understand it your exegesis finds 2 biblical facets to "speaking in tongues". First the use of known human languages in Acts, and second, "non-human, angelic" tongues used for building/strengthening the church. I was questioning "praying in tongues" as part of personal "closet" prayer. (You know the scriptures that we use to justify that.) (I do give "messages in tongues" and "interpretations" as well.) This seems to be a third facet of "speaking in tongues" that your exegesis does not find in the Bible. Am I correct that you don't find this facet in the Bible? If so, that would seem to leave me in the same basket as the meditators mentioned above by DogmaFree.

RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #9
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:13/03/2007 9:46 PMCopy HTML

SOTT1

I meant to add: I've met so many "tongues speakers" with "rotten" fruit that it's an object lesson to me that the Bible means what it says regarding judging trees by their fruit.

Also, a plain indication of your understanding of the legitimacy of personal prayer "in tongues", would be for you to say whether or not you "pray in tongues" as part of your personal prayer.
Ex_Member Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #10
  • Rank:
  • Score:0
  • Posts:0
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:21/09/2018 12:36 AM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:14/03/2007 5:58 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : RF_on_the_edge
'morning, RFOTE.

I think I need to be more clear about my question. I am asking about personal prayer "in tongues". As I understand it your exegesis finds 2 biblical facets to "speaking in tongues". First the use of known human languages in Acts, and second, "non-human, angelic" tongues used for building/strengthening the church. I was questioning "praying in tongues" as part of personal "closet" prayer. (You know the scriptures that we use to justify that.) (I do give "messages in tongues" and "interpretations" as well.) This seems to be a third facet of "speaking in tongues" that your exegesis does not find in the Bible. Am I correct that you don't find this facet in the Bible? If so, that would seem to leave me in the same basket as the meditators mentioned above by DogmaFree.  Paul states clearly that the purpose behind the various manifestations of the Spirit remains the 'building-up' of the Church, rather than the 'building-up' of the individual. However, Paul does imply that 'tongues' can be used in a more 'private' context (see, e.g. 1 Corinthians 14:1-4). Personally, and I certainly wouldn't suggest that my own habits be used as an examplar, I do occasionally pray in 'tongues'. But such would make up no more than 5% of my prayer time at most. Prayer, you see, is communication between a believer and his God. Communication involves conscious action: it requires attentiveness, openness and a measure of focussed concentration. Prayer in 'tongues' doesn't really meet these conditions or considerations, consequently, it can degenerate into little more than truly mindless 'babble'.

Many Revivalists tend not to give much in the way of demonstration of spiritual maturity, because for them, 'tongues' equals 'prayer'. Consequently, they never learn the spiritual discipline of waiting quietly on the Lord, or of hearing his voice. Sadly it's true that a good many Revivalists really are 'clanging cymbals' in the truest sense of the word: (and to mix my metaphors) capable of demonstrations of lots of heat, but not an awful lot of light

Finally, let me finish by suggesting that praying in 'tongues' isn't necessarily prayer in the Spirit. But such is probably for a later post.

God bless,

Ian
RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #11
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:15/03/2007 7:35 AMCopy HTML

To SOTT1:

Thanks for the clear reply.

Prayer = communication (and all that implies): absolutely agree. I even preached (with a cute PowerPoint presentation) along those lines at a midweek meeting a few (3 or 4?) years ago. I believe that was part of the Spirit's work as He laid ground work for some changes I've seen in my local fellowship over the last year or two. (I remember being particularly moved to speak on the topic as I was seeking God's inspiration regarding what to say and how to say it.)

I often speak with my understanding to God during the day, but rarely during my dedicated prayer times (although I do listen for His thoughts). What an opportunity to stengthen a weakness there is here!


praying in 'tongues' isn't necessarily prayer in the Spirit


After meditating a little on this, I think I agree with where I think you're going, and I await your post with interest (... and I'll "prayerfully" search the Scriptue in the meantime).

 

Uncoolman Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #12
  • Rank:Poster Venti III
  • Score:10080
  • Posts:324
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:05/04/2003 2:38 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:15/03/2007 9:12 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : RF_on_the_edge

Hi, RFOTE.

What I've included here, is a direct cut-and-paste from an article that I wrote a few years ago, and which appears at 'PleaseConsider' (www.pleaseconsider.info). It might be of some interest to you, and may help to generate some discussion.

God bless,

Ian

"Praying in the Spirit"

Introduction

Frequently one will hear, in certain religious circles, a statement that is curiously suffixed with the words, "...in the spirit." The impression that the speaker wishes to convey, more or less, is that a spiritual state exists wherein it is possible for certain Christians (the so-called 'Spirit-Filled') to move beyond the carnal to the strictly spiritual level. Or, to put this another way, for such people to be involved in something that is truly spiritual, and is only possible for the truly spiritual.

Support for the Revivalist position that 'speaking in tongues' equals 'prayer in the Spirit', is drawn, principally, from two passages: (1) 1 Corinthians 14:13-16 [explicitly], and (2) Jude 19-20 [implicitly]. Of the two, the first is the most frequently presented:

Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 1 Corinthians 14:13-16 (KJV)

For the sake of comparison, the same passage is rendered in the New International Version (NIV) as:

For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?

It is noteworthy that both translations make it quite plain that it is the person's spirit who is doing the praying when the 'unknown tongue' is operative, and not the Holy Spirit. However, the King James Version obscures this, if just a little, subsequent to the interrogative clause, by translating proseuchomai to pneumati as, "...I will pray with the spirit," where the New International Version supplies: "...I will pray with my spirit." The outcome that frequently results amongst Revivalists, whose preference is for the King James Bible over modern versions, is the (subconscious) apprehension that the passage is a direct reference to the Spirit of God praying through the individual in a ?heavenly' language. The question that few such people seem to grapple with, however, is this: can such a position be viewed as a valid interpretation in light of what the underlying Greek text actually states? The position that this short essay proposes, would answer the question with an unapologetic 'no'.

Allusions to Pentecost?

I would suggest the principle reason this misunderstanding occurs, has little more to do than with the appearance of the two English words 'tongues' and 'spirit' in such close proximity. When so read, the Revivalist immediately recalls the miraculous account recorded in the second chapter to the book of Acts, which also presents the same two English words in relatively close proximity. An instant mental/psychological association is made, due to a constantly reinforced Revivalist pre-understanding concerning 'tongues', and the die is cast. To the Revivalist, First Corinthians 14 and Acts 2 discusses precisely the same theme!

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:4 (NIV)

It is when the two passages are compared, that the points of contact which, at first glance, seemed so obviously apparent, are found to be much less so. We discover, first of all, that the languages spoken by the Apostles at Pentecost were 'heterais', that is, "...of a different nature, form or kind{1}" to that which the men ordinarily spoke. We learn, a little later in the chapter, that these were also known, and comprehensible, human languages. It is then ascertained that the Apostles were not in control of the 'tongues' that they spoke, given that it was the Holy Spirit, and not their individual spirits, which 'enabled' their speech. The Greek verb that has been translated ?enabled' is edidou, which means both: "...to cause to happen, especially in reference to physical phenomena...[and] to bestow something{2}." The Holy Spirit, then, was the direct cause, as well as the agent, of the manifestation of languages evidenced on that day. None of this, however, was the case with the Corinthian believers. Paul states, without reservation, that it is the human spirit [pneuma mou, 'my spirit'], which causes and controls the (gift of) tongues to be uttered, and not the Holy Spirit. Paul also clearly states that such 'tongues' are completely unintelligible (vs. 9). Briefly:

1. Pentecost demonstrated the divinely ordered, divinely controlled, manifestation of miraculously imparted human languages, which were understood by others. At Corinth, by contrast, we note the utterance of divinely ordered, humanly controlled, non-human languages that were not understood by others{3}.

2. The 'manifestation of languages' at Pentecost was accompanied by several rather notable, and unavoidable, audio-visual signs. This is not the case with regards to the 'gift of tongues' at Corinth.

3. The 'manifestation of languages' at Pentecost was thoroughly corporate, whilst the 'gift of tongues' at Corinth was thoroughly individual.

Having established from chapter fourteen of First Corinthians, that prayer in tongues is prayer in/with the human spirit, how, then, should we understand the reference in Jude?

How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost... Jude 18-20 (KJV)

Or, as the New International Version proposes:

They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

Immediately we note several points. Initially, we comprehend that both the content of the passage, as well as the context, is significantly different to that which appears in the paragraph in the Corinthian account. Importantly, we also note that the New International Version adds an 'and' where the King James Version is lacking, thereby creating a disjunction between the person 'building him/herself up in his/her most holy faith' and he or she 'praying in the Holy Spirit.' This is significant. The reason this occurs is due to the NIV translators understanding 'pray' (a participle in the Greek, yet a transitive verb in English), and ?building up' (which is also a participle) as being attendant circumstance{4} to the imperative 'keep' in verse 21: "build yourselves up...pray." The KJV translators, by contrast, understood the participles as being instrumental{5}, that is, as the means by which the readers were to maintain themselves within the love of God. My own judgment favours the KJV at this point{6}.

Given all this, we read that believers are specifically instructed to increase themselves in their holy faith (in this instance 'faith' being a reference to the body of objective and established beliefs, rather than to one's subjective personal assurance) by praying in the Holy Spirit. The conceptual linkage between sound doctrinal understanding, and prayer in the Holy Spirit, therefore, cannot be avoided. This being so, just what does it mean to pray in the Holy Spirit?

As was alluded to previously, the Greek preposition en ('in') serves to qualify the nouns Pneumati and Hagio, as well as the participles proseuchomenoi ('to pray') and epoikodoumontes ('to build up'); and so expresses a distinctively Christian concept. It has been established by grammarians that no non-Christian Greek writer in history had ever referred to someone as being 'in' another person, yet this is precisely how the early Greek Christians understood their spiritual condition. The uniquely Christian sense, then, should be recognized as being figurative, denoting the sphere within which an action occurs, or the element or reality in which something is contained or consists. Put more simply, just as one can be "...raised in the Lord," so too can one "...pray in the Holy Spirit," or have one's conscience confirmed "...in the Holy Spirit{7}," or describe the Kingdom of God as being "...in the Holy Spirit{8}," or even go so far as commending oneself "...in purity, patience and kindness, in the Holy Spirit{9}." Given that the grammatical constructs are precisely the same in all these examples, and given that no Revivalist would ever go so far as to state that the above examples somehow refers to 'tongues', why do Revivalists insist that Jude 20 should be taken as the one exception that proves the rule? They do so because their presuppositions, biases and pre-understandings would not allow them to perceive the passage in any other light.

Conclusion

To pray in the Holy Spirit is to pray in communion and relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is to put on the mind of Christ, thereby aligning one's prayer with, and opening oneself to, the will and leading of the Spirit of God. As such, this remains the one form of prayer that is only possible for those who are in close fellowship with the Spirit, through the Person of Jesus Christ.

When a Spirit-gifted person exercises his or her endowment, and prays in 'tongues', according to the Apostle Paul it is the person's human spirit that is operative. The circumstances as they existed at Corinth also demonstrates, very clearly, that such prayer need not be in accordance with the will of the Holy Spirit at all, or be functioning by people who have put on the mind of Christ. Paul's stinging rebuke to the wayward believers soundly demonstrates that, in the case of certain of the Corinthians at least, such prayer was carnal, through and through. This is a factor that every Revivalist needs to consider, given the undue focus and attention that 'tongues' receives in Revivalist fellowships.

According to Scripture, then, prayer in the (Holy) Spirit is not the same as prayer in 'tongues', and, further, not all prayer in 'tongues' is truly spiritual.

[1] J.H. Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, HUP, 1886, s.v. eteroV
[2] F.W. Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed., UCP, 2000, s.v. didwmi
[3] The reference to the "...tongues of men and angels..." in 13:1 should not be assumed to be Paul's position concerning the nature of the gift of tongues. The passage literally ?drips' of rhetorical irony in Greek, and so simply presents Paul's understanding with regards to what the carnal Corinthians were claiming for themselves
[4] A function of participles, it refers to an action that is somewhat independent of the main action of a sentence
[5] Denotes agency, means or cause
[6] Instances such as this one reinforces the need for Christian teachers to be competent in the use of the biblical languages, if for no other reason than to make responsible exegetical decisions
[7] See Romans 9:1
[8] See Romans 14:7
[9] See 2 Corinthians 6:6
RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #13
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:19/03/2007 7:30 AMCopy HTML

The meaning of "in the Spirit" - well said. What blinkers I had, making a convenient exception for Ju 20.

Also, I see now that I've been reading (Holy Spirit) into "the" in 1 Co14:14 (KJV) instead of just reading the obvious context (my spirit) as per the previous verse. And the KJV hasn't even been my "reading" bible for years. Just goes to show the potential psychological problems with perception are alive and well in this mind. Amazing!!

Is your exegesis of the meaning of "faith" in Ju 20 based on the context of avoiding being led away from "the faith once delivered to the saints"?

Ex_Member Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #14
  • Rank:
  • Score:0
  • Posts:0
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:21/09/2018 12:36 AM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:19/03/2007 8:43 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : RF_on_the_edge

Hey, RFOTE.

The meaning of "in the Spirit" - well said. What blinkers I had, making a convenient exception for Ju 20.  It happens. After all, the various Revivalist groups condition the way people think, not simply what they think.

Also, I see now that I've been reading (Holy Spirit) into "the" in 1 Co14:14 (KJV) instead of just reading the obvious context (my spirit) as per the previous verse. And the KJV hasn't even been my "reading" bible for years. Just goes to show the potential psychological problems with perception are alive and well in this mind. Amazing!!  Again, don't be too surprised at the 'junk' thinking that you've been conditioned to follow in the RCI/RF. Just smile a little each time it dawns on you that you've read into Scripture what you've been led to believe, rather than reading out of Scripture what's actually there. You're one of the lucky ones: you've actually discerned what's been going on

Is your exegesis of the meaning of "faith" in Ju 20 based on the context of avoiding being led away from "the faith once delivered to the saints"?  More or less. The grammatical structure of the Greek text identifies 'faith' as the subject in Jude 20. This lets us know that Jude intended us to understand that a 'body of beliefs' was what he was on about, rather than one's personal assurance. As you rightly said, 'THE' faith...

Blessings,

Ian
MothandRust Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #15
  • Rank:Forum Oracle
  • Score:41380
  • Posts:1877
  • From:Australia
  • Register:27/02/2004 11:21 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:23/03/2007 10:47 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Brolga

Acts ch 8 we read about Phillip going to Samaria and preaching Christ to them, performing miracles and signs etc., A certain Simon the sorceror believed and after he was baptized, wanted to pay money after he observed  Peter and John, who had also come down to Samaria,  when they laid hands on the people, they received the Holy Spirit.  Was he hearing them speaking in tongues as at pentecost or what?

This is another piece of scripture Revivalists put forth as evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit , i.e. speaking in tongues. Something spectacular must happen for someone like Simon to want to offer money. 


I suppose in context something miraculous did happen, but someone walking into town making a bunch of sounds that didn't make sense wouldn't really be all that impressive would it? Be honest with yourselves Revival. Be honest. No magician nowadays or thenadays would be amazed by a couple of people speaking gibberish.

Acts 8:17 While Philip was a miracle worker without being an apostle he was an apostolic legate. It was only through the apostles presence that supernatural gifts were manifested. Peter and John came to the Samaritans who had already received the word of God and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and still did not have the Spirit.

There was some type of outward sign it doesn't tell us what exactly what it was. Naturally the Revivalists will 'say' it was tongues, but to do so would be an assumption only... and one they would have natural bias towards seeing they relate tongues to everything.

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #16
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:24/03/2007 6:49 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : SOTT1

I've been following your "discussion" with GWM re 1 Co 14:21 and Is 28. Your argument makes sense to me, but one secondary issue I'm struggling with is the meaning behind "... but to those who do not believe". No doubt you've covered it, but I've missed it.

Is the meaning behind this expression something like this? Listen, speaking in tongues just does not minister to the church, even though it does have a slight value for those outside the church (cf Mk 16)? That would be an RF accomodation of your argument.

MothandRust Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #17
  • Rank:Forum Oracle
  • Score:41380
  • Posts:1877
  • From:Australia
  • Register:27/02/2004 11:21 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:24/03/2007 8:10 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Brolga

My thoughts here (probably not the most influential)  is that, because of the signs and miracles wrought by the Apostles, Simon the Sorcerer could see how the people could be changed from their dogmatic beliefs to Christianity so easily, after the Holy Spirit was given.   (good party trick, hey!!) 
I like your reasoning here... shaving away the unecessary assumptions with the Occam's razor:  Occam's razor - lex parsimoniae (law of succinctness or parsimony): entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, which translates to: entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity. This is often paraphrased as
 
"All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one."
[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
Ex_Member Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #18
  • Rank:
  • Score:0
  • Posts:0
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:21/09/2018 12:36 AM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:25/03/2007 10:10 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : RF_on_the_edge

Again, RFOTE.

I've been following your "discussion" with GWM re 1 Co 14:21 and Is 28. Your argument makes sense to me, but one secondary issue I'm struggling with is the meaning behind "... but to those who do not believe". No doubt you've covered it, but I've missed it...Is the meaning behind this expression something like this? Listen, speaking in tongues just does not minister to the church, even though it does have a slight value for those outside the church (cf Mk 16)? That would be an RF accomodation of your argument.  I'm not too sure what's at issue in the above question. If I'm correct in what I think you're concerned with, my response would be that the uninterpreted 'tongues' of Corinthians functions in much the same way as did the foreign 'tongues' of Isaiah: it repels those who don't believe, and consequently, presents as a stumbling-block to them believing. Further, the 'sign' of Mark 16 likely refers to the manifestation of languages that was evidenced at Pentecost, more than it does the Corinthian 'unknown tongue'. But this position is simply my extrapolation of my own exegeses, and I wouldn't presume to be overly dogmatic one way or the other.

Hope this clarifies things a bit.

Ian
RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #19
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:25/03/2007 7:46 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : SOTT1

Rephrasing my qn: My reading (of translations) of 1 Co 14:22, is that since tongues are "... a sign ... to those who do not believe", they must somehow point to God as our Creator, awesome and worthy of our worship. Uninterpreted tongues are somehow a pointer to God for non-Christians. In contrast, (intelligible) prophecy is for Christians. Is my Revivalist mindset blinding me to something you see in Paul's words? (On reflection I realise that God flags his justice as well as His mercy, but I'm seeing +ve in v22.) 

Your comment that "uninterpreted 'tongues' of Corinthians functions in much the same way as did the foreign 'tongues' of Isaiah: it repels those who don't believe, and consequently, presents as a stumbling-block to them believing" is certainly true for some people and consistent with Isaiah and verses 23ff, but doesn't seem to fit with v 22. Are you saying that Paul is warning that uninterpreted tongues are actually a pointer to unbelievers that they should beware places where it occurs, or something similarly -ve?

If the sign referred to in v 22a is as you say, wouldn't the message of the sign be directed to the believers? "Children, look what the effect is on unbelievers! It's just the same as what your forefathers experienced." That message to believers seems to be made in v 23ff, rather than here.

My Revivalist mindset reminds me of people who testify of being convinced that God is present when they hear tongues + interpretation - a positive sign. Could the Jews who came into a Christian "tongues gathering" at Corinth have been reminded that just as babble was a sign to their forefathers, this babble was a sign to them?  Do you see any room for a +ve sign being referred to here e.g., when there are 2 or 3 interpreted tongues (as per v 26-28)?

Again ... is there some serious unscrambling I need to do (ask God for enlightenment regarding) to see that it's all about being repelled?

Hmmm ... I'm waffling. I'll stop now.

PS Glad to see your humility re dogmatism :-)

PPS I had to change my avatar from the cynical, worldly-wise cartoon character (something to which I sometimes aspire) to something more befitting the true me (for now) - a Mr Invisible

 

 

Ex_Member Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #20
  • Rank:
  • Score:0
  • Posts:0
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:21/09/2018 12:36 AM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:26/03/2007 4:24 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : RF_on_the_edge

Hi, RFOTE.

Rephrasing my qn: My reading (of translations) of 1 Co 14:22, is that since tongues are "... a sign ... to those who do not believe", they must somehow point to God as our Creator, awesome and worthy of our worship. Uninterpreted tongues are somehow a pointer to God for non-Christians. In contrast, (intelligible) prophecy is for Christians. Is my Revivalist mindset blinding me to something you see in Paul's words? (On reflection I realise that God flags his justice as well as His mercy, but I'm seeing +ve in v22.)  I think your 'Revivalist' mindset just might be affecting how you perceive this verse Consider, the term 'sign' in verse 22--when taken in complete isolation--is completely unqualified. The qualification; however, is introduced in verse 21, then reinforced in verse 23. We discover that uninterpreted 'tongues' serves to repel the unbeliever, but (so verse 24) should s/he witness prophecy (by contrast), then s/he is convicted. Verse 22 is sandwiched between verses 21 and 23, both of which clearly present uninterpreted 'tongues' in a negative light.

Your comment that "uninterpreted 'tongues' of Corinthians functions in much the same way as did the foreign 'tongues' of Isaiah: it repels those who don't believe, and consequently, presents as a stumbling-block to them believing" is certainly true for some people and consistent with Isaiah and verses 23ff, but doesn't seem to fit with v 22. Are you saying that Paul is warning that uninterpreted tongues are actually a pointer to unbelievers that they should beware places where it occurs, or something similarly.  What I'm suggesting is that, according to Paul, uninterpreted 'tongues' won't function as a positive sign to unbelievers, as something that would draw them in for a 'closer look'. But just the opposite. Perhaps the hermeneutical problem is that Revivalists have a tendency to read verse 22 in isolation of the preceding and following verses? Consequently, they infer a 'positive' when a 'negative' is actually in view.

If the sign referred to in v 22a is as you say, wouldn't the message of the sign be directed to the believers? "Children, look what the effect is on unbelievers! It's just the same as what your forefathers experienced." That message to believers seems to be made in v 23ff, rather than here.  Again, all I can suggest is to suspend immediate judgement on the implications of verse 22 as it might appear in isolation, but to read it in the context of the preceding and following verses. And, of course, remember that chapters 12 and 14 of this epistle are actually a little disparaging towards 'tongues', generally. Paul's intent behind the use of 'gifts' was to attract and edify. Uninterpreted 'tongues', to him, apparently did neither.

My Revivalist mindset reminds me of people who testify of being convinced that God is present when they hear tongues + interpretation - a positive sign. No doubt, but I'd also suggest that these same people were likely as not 'coached' in the Revivalist position re: 'tongues' before they heard such for themselves. In any case, I've ample anecdotal evidence that posits a position to the contrary, for what such is worth.

Could the Jews who came into a Christian "tongues gathering" at Corinth have been reminded that just as babble was a sign to their forefathers, this babble was a sign to them? Do you see any room for a +ve sign being referred to here e.g., when there are 2 or 3 interpreted tongues (as per v 26-28)?  Personally, I doubt it. I find it difficult to accept that Paul was inferring something positive from what is clearly an extended corrective to something negative.

Blessings,

Ian
RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #21
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:27/03/2007 6:20 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : SOTT1

Thanks for the instruction. I think I get the idea of what you think I should see. I absolutely agree with the need to understand and read the Bible in context.

I like to be able to see where other people are coming from even when I disagree with them. I'm not disagreeing with you, but I just don't see, despite its logic, your understanding re 1 Co 14:22 as a natural reading of the (translated) text ... yet??! I'll keep looking until I do see, though.

Metaphors of blinkers and scales over the eyes come to mind. I think of when I was a tertiary student leaning to use a lens stereoscope. The other 19 members of the class found their eyes/minds clicking into place to perceive the images in stereo within a few minutes. It wasn't 'til just before the end of the 2 hour prac. that stuff fell into place for me. Without being complacent, maybe there's an application of Ec 3:1here. (Also, I like to think of myself as a divergent thinker, but maybe I'm being taught a lesson about pride too.)

Thank God it hasn't been this difficult to 'get' all the points you've made in your writing :-)

Regards

PS

In any case, I've ample anecdotal evidence that posits a position to the contrary, for what such is worth

Absolutely. I thought I alluded to it in one of my comments.

Ex_Member Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #22
  • Rank:
  • Score:0
  • Posts:0
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:21/09/2018 12:36 AM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:27/03/2007 9:02 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : RF_on_the_edge

Hey again, RFOTE.

Thanks for the instruction. I think I get the idea of what you think I should see. I absolutely agree with the need to understand and read the Bible in context.  I'd prefer to think of this as more a 'shared conversation' than a bit of 'instruction'. Theology, after all, is dialogue rather than monologue

I like to be able to see where other people are coming from even when I disagree with them. I'm not disagreeing with you, but I just don't see, despite its logic, your understanding re 1 Co 14:22 as a natural reading of the (translated) text ... yet??! I'll keep looking until I do see, though.  Don't sweat it too much. I could be wrong

Metaphors of blinkers and scales over the eyes come to mind. I think of when I was a tertiary student leaning to use a lens stereoscope. The other 19 members of the class found their eyes/minds clicking into place to perceive the images in stereo within a few minutes. It wasn't 'til just before the end of the 2 hour prac. that stuff fell into place for me. Without being complacent, maybe there's an application of Ec 3:1here. (Also, I like to think of myself as a divergent thinker, but maybe I'm being taught a lesson about pride too.)  The world, like the Church, would be a far less enjoyable and interesting place if we all thought, spoke, acted and believed after the same fashion. My God seems to like diversity (never mind 'divergency'--a bad pun I know, but what can you do?), consequently we all stand to learn something unique and important from hearing other peoples' perspectives. I've found your own to be very refreshing and helpful. So thank you.

Thank God it hasn't been this difficult to 'get' all the points you've made in your writing :-)  Ha, ha! Many would probably disagree with you there!

God bless,

Ian
RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #23
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:28/03/2007 7:34 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : Nahum 1v7


Of course if you keep looking you will see, but who's to say SOTT1 is right?

Seems SOTT1 agrees with you here.

For me, 'see' doesn't automatically mean 'agree'. I like the way 7 Secrets of Highly Successful People puts it: 'Seek first to understand, then be understood'. A number of scriptures come to mind supporting that principle.


 Keep seeking God bro and let HIM lead you into all truth.

Amen. I'm treating this as an exercise in 'iron sharpening iron'. Still, I have found, seen, been shown, had revealed to me (etc) where I've been reading into (instead of from) the text. And that's despite my decades long intellectual commitment to read 'from', and be led by the Holy Spirit. I'm being taught yet another lesson in humility it seems.

 

RF_on_the_edge Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #24
  • Rank:Regular Poster
  • Score:3180
  • Posts:156
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:12/03/2007 10:25 PM

Re:A little more on 'tongues'

Date Posted:31/03/2007 2:24 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : SOTT1

I reckon I can see your perspective now. It clicked after I read the notes on 1 Co 14 from Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (an oldie but a goody?) http://www.ccel.org/j/jfb/jfb/JFB46.htm#Chapter14

Unfortunately  I'm almost convinced it's a better explanation of the text than what I previously thought!  I'm still working through it.

Post New Topic Post Poll Reply
RCI prophesies
Copyright © 2000-2019 Aimoo Free Forum All rights reserved.