There have been a great many wonderful believers that hold to the practice of "speaking in tongues", "speaking an unknown tongue", or "private prayer language" but what does the Bible really say about this practice.

Let's examine some of the tongue verses. I have bolded and underlined some of the tongue references.

And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
(Mark 16:17 ESV)

Signs to unbelievers given by the early disciples.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord* in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs--we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."
(Acts 2:1-11 nkj)

Notice that these devout men from many nationalities heard the gospel in their own language. The word for tongue as in Acts 2:4 is glossa - Strongs:

glōssa gloce'-sah
Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired): - tongue.
In Acts 2:6 the men are amazed because they heard them in their own language, the word for language here is:

From G1256; a (mode of) discourse, that is, “dialect”: - language, tongue.

Later from these audible signs, spoken from these men who had not learned the language of these lost foreigners, over 3000 men were saved.

Other scriptures from Acts that also use the greek word glossa for tongues: Acts 10

And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, "Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
(Acts 10:45-47 ESV)

Another example of the gospel being portrayed to foreigners through the power of God by pouring out a new tongue one that was previously unknown to those sharing the good news.

And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all. And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.
(Acts 19:4-9 ESV)

These new believers were ordained by the laying on of hands and given the gift to share the gospel in other languages. Many still did not believe in that area.

Examples from 1 Corinthians, also the Greek word glossa is used for tongues:

to another performance of miracles, to another prophecy, and to another discernment of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. It is one and the same Spirit, distributing to each person as he decides, who produces all these things.
(1 Corinthians 12:10-11 NET)

It is interesting to note that in each example there is the speaker of the language and the hearer who understands it - not everyone at Pentecost understood the tongue. Some just thought the men were drunk. Those that God was touching understood the good news in their own language and believed.

And God has placed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, gifts of healing, helps, gifts of leadership, different kinds of tongues. Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they? Not all have gifts of healing, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they? But you should be eager for the greater gifts. And now I will show you a way beyond comparison.
(1 Corinthians 12:28-31 NET)

Different kind of languages, the speaker of the language may not understand it, but there is also a interpretor or rather a translator. The word used for interpret is:

From G1223 and G2059; to explain thoroughly; by implication to translate: - expound, interpret (-ation).

1 Cor 13 speaks on the insignificance of being able to share in other languages (glossa) without love:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-2 ESV)

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
(1 Corinthians 13:8-11 ESV)

The gifts of prophecies and languages have apparently ceased, why? That which was in part (the canon of scripture) is now complete, those things needed for signs to unbelievers are no longer used. (that does not mean that God does perform miracles and giftings just they are not for signs)

Perhaps the hardest of understanding of tongues comes form 1 Corinthians 14. I am copying the whole thing because it is so important not to pull out one thing or another ( I will bold the word tongue and interprets):

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 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. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say "Amen" to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, "By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord." Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order.
(1 Corinthians 14:1-40 ESV)

Some of the points that can be seen from the above chapter:

1. Tongues are a language (glossa) and should not just be noise (If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? verse 7.)

2. Tongues must contain teaching, knowledge, doctrine or revelation. verse 6.

3. There is a difference between the gift of tongues and the gifts of understanding tongues, sometimes you could have both. Paul states that it is not good to just pray in an some languages because the mind does not understand it, you should be able to understand it to pray in it. verse 2.

"Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also;"

4. These languages (tongues) were not meant for for the believers but were signs to the lost. verse 22.

5. If there is no one present to interpret the language (tongue) then it should not be spoken. verse 28.

6. God is not a God of confusion but peace and these gifts must be done in the prescribed fashion. verses 33 and 40.

The list above is almost all of the references to the gift of tongues in the New Testament.
If you have a question about these things or disagreement please leave me a comment.



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I am not near a seminary or cannot always find someone to ask a deep theological question.  I would like someone to explain it to me in a way that I can understand it, preferably in a classroom setting.  I have found a place that I can spend hours learning from,

I can hear chapel services live or archived from chapel chapel. chapel

I have read some interesting arguments how many (non-Israelite?) American and British people are somehow related to Ephraim, usually based on Genesis 48:17-19,

When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. And Joseph said to his father, "Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head." But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations."

The word multitude of nations can also mean fullness of nations (goyim). So from this scripture they take it that the 10 tribes coming from Ephraim, who were later taken captive, and supposedly lost, also blended into the nations that make up Europe and America. The Messanic viewpoint on how mixed they became varies.

I do not agree with this, and I see it as a very real threat. Many cults and christian groups use it as part of their main doctrine. eg. LDS - "Mormons" have a history of making Israel and Native Americans synonymous, some WCG churches also take some of the British/Anglo-Israelite perspective. Some branches of Messianic Judaism also take the "Two House Theory".

Here are links concerning Native Americans and lost Israelite's - what are Native American's according to the LDS church?

Link of Historical Worldwide Church of God doctrine

One Messianic Judaism Two House view

I would like to show a good refutation of all of this. I will copy a small quote from the website but to really get a good understanding you might want to read the whole article.

A movement alternately known as the "Ephraimite," "Restoration of
Israel," "Two-Covenant Israel," or "Two House" movement has recently
gained ground in some areas among ardent Christian Zionists. Proponents
of this movement contend that members of the "born-again" segment of
the Christian church are, in fact, actual blood descendants of the
ancient Israelites who were exiled in the Assyrian invasion of Israel
in 722 B.C.E. Their agenda is to "prove" that Christians are the
northern tribes - which actually detracts from our Savior, Yeshua.
Originally, the Messianic Jewish movement was all about bringing Jews
to faith in Messiah, nothing more. It was NOT about
separating Jews from Gentiles in some sort of a hierarchy of faith. The
bottom line for the "two-house" lie is that it is nothing more than
"replacement theology" because, if "everyone who believes in Yeshua" is
suddenly a Jew, then where are the Gentiles who will make the Jews
jealous (Romans 10:19; 11:11, 11:14; John 1:11-12, Acts 15:14)?
Check out this link on the refiners fire.



There are so many public figures that try to explain earth being less than 10,000 years old. Why must it be so young? I take a literal viewpoint too and yes I can add up the ages of time since Adam I don't quite make it to 7000 but there the argument stops. Think Biblically for a second, does the Bible explain how and when God created the heavens and the earth? No, in fact the book of Job said that we would not know his power or how he created everything. Scripture does say he spoke it into existence.

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. (5) Who determined its measurements--surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Job 38:4-5 ESV
But notice this:
"For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other."
Isa 45:18 ESV
Did you notice that it was not created empty and it was formed to be inhabited?

Ok so then take Gen 1:1-2 ESV,

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (2) The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Was the earth empty? I think so, when did it become empty.. well perhaps there is some division of time between Gen 1:1 and 1:2.

Some day there will be new heavens and earth,

"For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain.
(Isa 66:22 ESV)

This will actually be the same earth we are on today but it will be reborn through fire it was at least once destroyed through a flood (this may have been different than that at Noah's day)

and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
(2Pe 3:6 ESV)

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
(2Pe 3:7 ESV)

In these instances it talks about two different earths' both are the same planet but have been restored and re-created upon.

Barnes' notes says this about 2 Peter 3:7,

"The world that then was ... - Including all its inhabitants. Rosenmuller supposes that the reference here is to some universal catastrophe which occurred before the deluge in the time of Noah, and indeed before the earth was fitted up in its present form, as described by Moses in Gen. 1."
So what was the original creation like, that is beyond this scope. I will dare to dream that there may have even been some kind of pre-adamic man (maybe they were the angels present at the second creation event)

a quote from talmud:

Talmud - Mas. Pesachim 54a - Seven things were created before the world was created, and these are they: The Torah, repentance, the Garden of Eden, Gehenna, the Throne of Glory, the Temple, and the name of the Messiah. The Torah, for it is written, The Lord made me [the Torah] as the beginning of his way. Repentance, for it is written, Before the mountains were brought forth, and it is written, Thou turnest man to contrition, and sayest, Repent, ye children of men. The Garden of Eden, as it is written, And the Lord planted a garden in Eden from aforetime. The Gehenna, for it is written, For Tophet [Gehenna] is ordered of old. The Throne of Glory and the Temple, for it is written, Thou throne of glory, on high from the beginning, Thou place of our sanctuary. The name of the Messiah, as it is written, His [the Messiah's] name shall endure for ever, and has exited before the sun!

Good scientific refutation of young earth creationism can be found here:



An excellent article on what was required of God's people when they looked at Moses and the bronze serpent.

The questions stated is what was required for God's people to be saved from the fiery serpents. God changes people when they take his salvation. People are not changed until they are his. Repentance begins by going our way and then finding God's way.

I am curious about something. In accordance with theology of Islam - why was man created? I understand basic tenants of Christian theology that man was created to honor and love God and to have fellowship with him are there any similarities. Anyone is welcome to reply. Thank you for your input.


Interesting article about our approach to sharing the "good news"


I gathered my students around in an alley, took the pamphlet in my hand and said, “I’m going to give you the best advice for reaching people in Boulder.”

Then I threw the pamphlet over my shoulder.

Amid the laughter and high-fives, I then realized I had about two minutes to communicate what had been brewing in my heart and mind for years—it was a collision of culture and theology.

Check this out at:


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