Were the tongues the same?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by John of Japan, Sep 8, 2012.

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Are the tongues in Acts and 1 Corinthians the same?

Poll closed Oct 8, 2012.
  1. The tongues in Acts 2 and 1 Cor. 12-14 are the same.

    28.6%
  2. The tongues in Acts 2 and 1 Cor. 12-14 are different.

    64.3%
  3. Other.

    7.1%
  4. I don't know.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    In his thread on 1 Cor. 12-14, awaken and I disagreed on whether or not the tongues in Acts and 1 Cor. were the same or not. I asked him to prove that they were the same, and he thought he did. But frankly, I was just getting started. For the record, I believe the tongues in Acts 2 were a miraculous ability to witness of Christ to others in their own languages, which the disciples had not learned. But the tongues in Corinth were simply languages (the port of Corinth was bound to have many foreigners, and the spiritual gift was the ability to easily learn and translate (the gift of interpretation) foreign languages, something very handy for us missionaries.

    Consider:

    In Acts 2 they had just been witnesses of Christ's resurrection and had been praying for days in the upper room. In 1 Cor. they were such a bad church that Paul had to rebuke them for allowing sins that were not even tolerated by the heathen!

    Acts 2 was a fulfillment of prophecy, but in 1 Cor. Paul was rebuking them for doing prophecy wrong.

    Acts 2 was all about the fullness of the Holy Spirit, but 1 Cor. 12-14 doesn't even mention it, and it is arguable whether or not the whole book even talks about it!

    In Acts 2 there were 3000 saved, but when Paul referred to tongues in 1 Cor. 12-14 there is nothing about anyone being saved!

    To put it another way, in Acts 2 evangelism to the lost took place, but in 1 Cor. the tongues were to church people.

    In Acts 2 there were no limitations given for the tongues, but in 1 Cor. there are various limitations laid down by Paul: not all speak with tongues (12:30), love is more important (ch. 13), it is better to prophesy than to speak in tongues (14:5), everyone should not speak in tongues at the same time (14:23), always have an interpreter (14:27), etc.

    I think these are enough differences to get started. So the burden of proof that the tongues in Acts and 1 Cor. are the same is on those who believe so. Things that are different are not the same. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  2. John of Japan

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    On that other thread I asked awaken at least a couple of times to prove that the tongues in Acts and 1 Cor. were the same. He seemed to think he had, but I just re-read the whole thread, and he never dealt with this question per se. Finally on p. 11 he said this after I said he had not proven this:

    Let's take a look at that verse. The word "understanding" there is the Greek word nous, which is usually translated "mind." I believe it should be translated that way here, too. So then it becomes, "my mind is unfruitful." That doesn't mean I don't understand what I say in tongues, it means that my mental effort has not produced anything. So this verse certainly does not prove that the tongues in Acts and 1 Cor. 12-14 are the same.
     
  3. Winman

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    Well, my take on this verse is that these persons were praying in a language that they themselves did not know, which did not help them (unfruitful) and that Paul is saying he will pray in a language he does know.

    So, my take is that he is telling persons not to pray in a language they do not understand. It is all summed up in verse 19;

    1 Cor 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

    Tongues were a way in the early church to spread the gospel. On the day of Pentacost the disciples were able to speak in the languages of all the Jews who had come from other countries to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. As we know, at least three thousand were saved, and so took the gospel home with them that they might tell the Jews in their countries the gospel. This was the purpose of tongues.

    Tongues are not to be spoken for show, they are to teach others. This is what Paul is saying in verse 19.
     
  4. John of Japan

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    Did you read my second post about 14:14? V. 19 has the same Greek word, often translated "mind." Paul is not saying he did understand what he was saying it, that it was something only known in Heaven. He was saying he used his mind to speak in tongues/languages, something not done by the Charismatics, who just let themselves go and don't even understand their own private prayer language.

    Moreover, how do you account for all of the differences in tongues in Acts and tongues in 1 Cor. 12-14? There are even more than I gave above:

    In Acts 2, all the believers spoke in tongues. In 1 Cor., they were specifically told that all do not speak in tongues.

    In Acts 2 it was correct, in 1 Cor. it was to be corrected.

    And on and on.

    P. S. Remember that in 1611, when our KJV was translated, "tongue" meant language. Just look at other verses in the Bible, such as:
    "Hebrew tongue" (John 5:2, Acts 21:40, 26:14, Rev. 9:11, 16:16), "their proper tongue" (Acts 1:19), "our own tongue" (Acts 2:8), "every kindred and tongue" (Rev.

    In short, in the KJV, in every other NT usage of the word tongue outside of 1 Cor. 12-14, it either means normal language or the literal tongue in the mouth. So why would it all of a sudden mean something different in 1 Cor.?
     
  5. Winman

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    Perhaps I am not following exactly what you are saying. I am a simple person, and I understand scripture in a simple way.

    The key (to me) to vs. 14, is vs. 13;

    1 Cor 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
    14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

    If Paul were praying in a language he understands, there would be no reason to pray that he also be able to interpret.

    Or, there might be a different understanding. Perhaps Paul was speaking to those who only understood Latin, but he was speaking in tongues in Greek which he understood. So in verse 13 he is saying he should pray that he can translate the Greek to Latin so his hearers could understand what he is saying or praying.

    This is possible, but does not make much sense to me. Why? Because Paul said he spoke in more tongues than them all, so it is very likely he could speak directly to these persons in their own language.

    I rather think Paul is saying that he was speaking in a tongue that he himself did not understand, which is unfruitful. He does not know what he is saying. So, he is praying that he also have the ability to interpret this unknown tongue, so that he might be able to convey this prayer or message to others.

    Whatever, what I do understand from this chapter is that we are never supposed to speak in tongues for show. The object of tongues is to speak to others in a language they understand. If you happen to be speaking in a language your hearers do not know, whether you yourself understand this language or not, there must be someone there who can interpret this language so that all can be told what is being said or prayed.
     
  6. Winman

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    I have read this more carefully now, and I think I am beginning to grasp what you are saying.

    I did a word search in Strong's for this word "nous" and I agree with you that in every case the person understood what they were thinking.

    I do believe verses 15-16 support your view.

    1 Cor 14:16 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?
    17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

    I believe these verses support you, Paul is speaking of giving thanks or blessing with the spirit. Verse 17 does seem to imply he knows very well what he is saying, because it says only "the other" is not edified.

    This would make verse 13 simply to say that a person who speaks in an unknown tongue to his audience should pray he be able to interpret his language to the other. In other words, he should pray for the ability to interpret his own language to the others.

    John, you speak another language, so you can answer this, when you speak to the Japanese, do you first think in English, and then translate? Or do you think in Japanese?

    Does the word "interpret" in vs. 13 carry the same meaning as "translate"?
     
    #6 Winman, Sep 8, 2012
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  7. DHK

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    1 Corinthians 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

    1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

    I also am a missionary and had to learn other languages.
    In verse 13 it refers to the one who had the gift of tongues had to pray that God would give him the gift of interpretation as well. If the language could not be understood by all it could not be spoken.

    In verse 28 it makes it more clear. All that speak in tongues had to have an interpreter or they had to keep quiet. There were no exceptions.

    If I came to you, and you only know English; I speak to you in another language--the language I learned on the foreign mission field, what benefit what it be to you? None! Paul emphasized understanding. There must always be understanding. If there was no understanding there was no benefit in speaking in tongues. Tongues or languages were actual known languages of the time.
     
  8. Winman

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    Oh, I agree. I believe the whole point Paul was making is that if we speak in some unknown tongue it is useless. It is speaking into the air.

    I looked up the word interpret used in vs. 13, and one of the definitions was "translate". That is what I was asking.

    I could be wrong, but this gives me the impression that Paul was saying we should ask for the ability to speak to our hearers in their language.

    For instance, I can only speak English, so if I were invited to speak to a Spanish audience, I should pray to be able to translate the English in my mind to Spanish and speak in their language. It does not mean this "unknown tongue" is unknown to me, but to my audience.

    Yes, no?
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    There's no way to tell. Why would they be different? It isn't something we can know. (Specifically about the Acts 2 passage.)
     
  10. John of Japan

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    Thanks for thinking this through with me!
    No, I think and speak strictly in Japanese. It is a mark of being a beginner in the language to think first in one's own language and then translate in your head.
    Yes it does. It is used for that in Acts 9:36, "Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas."
     
  11. John of Japan

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    I've given 8 differences between the two passages on tonges. If we can't tell, why are there so many differences?

    If I gave you eight differences between two animals, what would you think? :smilewinkgrin:

    One says" Whiiii." but the other says "Moo."
    One runs fast, the other runs slow.
    You don't want to drink the milk of the one, but the other gives good milk.
    One doesn't have horns, the other does.
    We have races with one, but not the other.
    One is much taller than the other.
    One has an elongated head, the other doesn't.
    One can kick the fire out of you, the other is a lousy kicker.

    So, are the animals the same? :laugh:
     
    #11 John of Japan, Sep 8, 2012
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  12. awaken

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    First thing you need to ask is .....

    Who were the 120 believers talking to when they spoke in tongues? Notice that they were all together in one place, then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they all began speaking in tongues. Since they were all speaking in foreign languages, they could not have understood each other. Therefore, they were not talking to one another, but notice that there was no-one else around at this point for them to be talking to. They were talking to God and praising Him in tongues in the Holy Spirit, which is one of the primary purposes for tongues.

    Notice the sequence of events here: 120 believers all began rejoicing and praising God in tongues at the same time. This noise drew a crowd. The people in the crowd recognized their native languages being spoken.

    This crowd did not gather until they heard the noise of 120 people all talking at the same time and rejoicing and praising God. Many Christians assume that when the disciples spoke in tongues at Pentecost it was for the purpose of witnessing to this crowd in their native languages, but in reality the disciples were not talking to the crowd at all. The disciples were all together in a house, rejoicing and praising God in different languages.

    The people in the crowd said, "we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" In other words, the disciples were praising God, telling Him of His wonders, as in Psalms 40:5 and 66:3..

    Again... The purpose for tongues at Pentecost was not for sharing the Gospel with foreigners in their native languages. In fact, nowhere does the New Testament say that speaking in tongues is for witnessing to foreigners
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Somehow you've missed the whole point of the thread. I have given 8 serious differences between the tongues in Acts 2 and the ones in 1 Cor. 12-14. If they are the same, why so many differences?
     
  14. awaken

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    Tongues are are the same...they are from the Holy Spirit and no one can speak in tongues without having the Holy Spirit. They are manifestation of the Spirit...we have gone around and around on this and this thread is not going to solve anything unless you address the question asked. Because it will prove they are all the same!

    Who where the 120 speaking to?
     
  15. John of Japan

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    You don't seem to be used to Internet forums. What you are trying to do is called hijacking the thread. This is my thread and it is about the differences between the tongues in Acts and those in 1 Cor. I would appreciate it if you would stick to that topic.

    So why are the two cases of tongues so different if the tongues themselves are the same, as you hold? I have given 8 differences and could give more.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    The timing of the arrival of the others does not give indication as to who the tongues were for. But the fact that the disciples were speaking in the language of the people that heard them, and they had never learned these languages before, shows that the gospel being spoken in tongues was for the "foreigners". Add to that the fact that about 3000 people were added tot he church on that day.

    1Co 14:22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.
     
  17. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Good Answer !!

    Very Good Answer Rev !!! I'll quote the whole verse and a few more below just for clarity and emphasis....
    1 Cor.14:22-29 says, vs22 - "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.

    vs23 - If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

    vs24 - But if all prophecy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

    vs25 - And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

    vs26 - How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

    vs27 - If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

    vs28 - But if there be no interpreter,let him keep silence in the church;and let him speak to himself and to God.

    vs29 - Let the prophets speak two or three,and let the other judge."


    As Bro.John says, "Things that are different are not the same". The passage above describes the ORDERLY way to conduct a local New Testament Church service in which both believers AND non-believers may be present.

    I do believe that it differs from Acts 2 in that this church is already established (albeit,in disarray) and the one in Acts 2 is still in the PROCESS of being established. This was a very transitional time for the church.

    I also believe the scriptures clearly demonstrate in Acts 2 that the gift of tongues given to those present on the Day of Pentecost were indeed legitimate human languages MIRACULOUSLY GIVEN to men who had never previously learned them for the purpose of preaching and spreading the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in that place on that day and in vs 41 it proclaims that "the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." To which I will say....HALLELUJAH!!!

    In MY opinion, there is evidence that the "gift of tongues" as given in Acts 2 is still "operative" in the Corinthian church but it was obviously being mis-used and as such was subject to rebuke and the instruction by the Apostle Paul. The gift itself had not changed but the peoples use of it had taken on the appearance of what we would call today "show-boating". As a matter of fact,the whole of 1 Corinthians chapter 14 is a study in church ORDER which in fact ends with Paul saying in vs 40, "Let all things be done decently and in order."

    That's my take on things after reading this thread and enjoying it. I will now recede back into the shadows from which I came....:laugh:! Besides...my fingers are worn out...I am a two-finger typist and it took me 45 minutes to accurately type this (I had to be very careful since I was typing out portions of God's Word!):type:

    Bro.Greg
     
  18. DHK

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    Are you sure about that?
    Mormons speak in tongues.
    Hindus speak in tongues.
    Even the Haitian Voodoo priests speak in tongues.

    Does that sound like all speaking in tongues is done by the Holy Spirit?
    You said:
    "No one can speak in tongues without having the Holy Spirit."

    Even 1Cor.12:1-3 nullifies that.
     
  19. awaken

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    Because you know to answer this question will disprove your theory.
    But I will address what you have stated....so that I will not "hijack" your thread.

    You are trying to prove what by this? That tongues are not the same because Corinthians is a carnal church? This only proves that you do not have to be a mature christian to manifest the Holy Spirit. He never said they could not manifest or were not manifesting...just that they were doing it out of order.

    The validity of an "administration of the Holy Spirit" never depends on the spiritual maturity of believers in the church or their conduct. It stands as independent truth regardless of how God's people live. This argument has no merit in the discussion other than to be used as a "smoke and mirror" tactic. It is like saying Christ's salvation isn't importand because some of his people sin and act in an unrighteous manner from time to time. The salvation provided by Jesus Christ is true, even if no one on earth believes in it. It's the same way with the gifts of the Spirit, including tongues.

    Tongues represents a spiritual way to speak (pray) to God. And Paul considered speaking in tongues important and practiced it more thatn the Corinthians- so the carnality argument has no meaning.

    "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 Cor. 14:2)

    Paul said "I thank God, I speak with tongues more than ye all" (1 Cor. 14:18)
    The scriptures do not teach anywhere that tongues is a "badge" for spiritual maturity.
     
  20. DHK

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    Paul did not consider it an important gift; that is why it is listed last in 1Cor.12:28. Here you have taken these verses out of context.

    In verse two, "he that speaks in another language does not speak unto men." It is unprofitable. This is a rebuke. Don't do it, he is telling them. Why? All that you are doing is speaking mysteries. Who wants to hear mysteries. Speak the truth so that people can understand it. That is the meaning of the verse. He was not advocating speaking in tongues.

    In verse 18 he thanks God that he spoke in tongues more than they, because they abused the gift, and the gift was not necessary for them to use. They should seek after more profitable gifts such as prophesy or teaching--those gifts which would edify the body. In fact, Paul himself said that he would rather speak five words with understanding then 10,000 words in tongues. Put in that perspective, tongues didn't have much value did it?
     

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