Jump to content


Photo

Speaking In Tongues - Acts 2


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
7 replies to this topic

#1 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

    Moderator

  • Admin
  • 34,729 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:03 PM

When we read Acts 2, there is no avoiding the fact that the first mention of the Holy Spirit gift of speaking in tongues demonstrates that it as for the use of preaching, and in foreign languages at that.

The method used by some pentecostals and charismatics of interpreting Acts 2 in terms of 1 Corinthians 14 creates a contradiction (which should be a warning in itself that this methodoloy is unsound), a contradiction for which they must then hastily build a solution.

This methodoloy is like saying:

'Having seen 'the devil cast down from heaven' in Revleation, we now need to go back to Genesis, and say that the serpent that tempted Eve actually represents the devil, a fallen angel.'

They have to interpret Acts 2 in the light of their understanding of 1 Corinthians 14 in order to make their case. In other words, they have to interpret 1 Corinthians 14 in their own special way, in order to then project that onto the clear record of Acts 2.

Acts 2 speaks for itself. It needs no interpretation. The projection of an interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14 onto the Acts 2 record is symptomatic of flawed exegesis.

It requires interpreting the Acts 2 record in a non-literal way, which is totally inappropriate - but it's something which is required in order to support this argument, and avoid the conclusion of what Acts 2 is indicating.

#2 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

    Moderator

  • Admin
  • 34,729 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:03 PM

Peter was not the principal speaker in tongues, but he did address certain of the audience while the other apostles were speaking in tongues.

Actually, it's clear from the record that Peter was only addressing a certain number of the audience. Having told us that the Jews from other countries heard the apostles speaking in the native tongues of these other countries (an undeniable miracle which modern day charismatics are wholly powerless to perform), Luke goes on to say that there was a different response from certain other members of the audience:

Acts 2:
13Others mocking said,  These men are full of new wine.


So:

- Those Jews from the other countries heard the apostles speaking in the native lanuages of these other countries.

- These 'foreign language' Jews did not mock, but were amazed, and said that they heard the 'wondrous works of God'.

- Certain other Jews, who did not understand the foreign languages spoken were the ones who mocked. Peter addresses them specifically:

Acts 2:
14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, {the mocking Jews}
Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.[/b]


So in fact, it was the local Jews of Judea and Jerusalem who mocked and thought the apostles drunk. Why? Because they heard the foreign languages spoken by the apostles, and didn't understand them.

#3 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

    Moderator

  • Admin
  • 34,729 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:03 PM

The 'foreign language' Jews, on the other hand, understood the apostles perfectly, because they were speaking in foreign languages:

5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.


1) These were real, legitimate, spoken languages. They were languages known to men and women, and in common usage.

Such is not the case with modern 'speaking in tongues'.

2) The words spoken in these languages by the apostles were intelligible.
When you listened to the languages they were using, you could actually understand what they were saying.

Such is not the case with modern 'speaking in tongues'.

7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?


3) They knew that these apostles were not speaking in their own native language of Syriac, with their own native dialect of Galilean. This was obviously a miracle.

The apostles were speaking in the native languages of these Jews from other countries, the languages 'wherein they were born'. There is no way to avoid this fact.

Such is not the case with modern 'speaking in tongues'.

#4 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

    Moderator

  • Admin
  • 34,729 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:04 PM

9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome,  Jews and proselytes,
11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.


4) The words which the apostles spoke were in dozens of different languages, all of them appropriate to the audience. The apostles could speak any language necessary.

Such is not the case with modern 'speaking in tongues'.

5) The audience understood the message which the apostles spoke. They could tell that the apostles were preaching to them the 'wonderful works of God'.

Such is not the case with modern 'speaking in tongues'.

#5 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

    Moderator

  • Admin
  • 34,729 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:04 PM

12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?


6) The majority of the audience (hence 'all'), were amazed, because this event was clearly miraculous. They didn't know what to think, but they knew what was being said.

Such is not the case with modern 'speaking in tongues'.

It is occasionally argued that the gift of tongues was not used in preaching the Gospel.

Scripture indicates otherwise:

Acts 14:
11And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.


These people were speaking in a foreign language. They were speaking a particular dialect peculiar to the Lycaonian province.

Acts 14:
13Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
14Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
15And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things?


Paul and Barnabas could not only interpret this 'speech of Lycaonia', but could speak it also - how? Neither of them were Lycaonians. It was because they had the Holy Spirit, and could speak in tongues - we know that Paul had this gift, because he tells us so in 1 Corinthians 14.

Incidentally, this language of Lycaonia was also used in the towns of Derbe and Iconium, as well as here in Lystra. When Paul preached in the towns of Derbe and Iconium, therefore (which we know he did), it would have been necessary for him to use this language there also.

#6 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

    Moderator

  • Admin
  • 34,729 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:04 PM

The conversion of Cornelius and his household is sometimes offered as an example of speaking in tongues which was not used to convince unbelievers:

Acts 10:
44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word.
45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit.
46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.


In this situation, the gift of tongues was not used to preach to Cornelius and his family - but then, no one has argued that it was. There is no doubt that this gift was provided as a sign of the acceptance of this household, and Peter says as much. But to whom was it a sign?

It was a sign to they of the circumcision - in other words, Jews. What was the sign? Speaking in tongues and magnifying God. This absolutely necessitates that these Jews understood what was being said in tongues.
Which they did:

46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.


What did they hear? Meaningless gibbering, incoherent babbling, vague moaning, and the odd moo?

No, we are told that they were heard magnifying God - their speech was intelligible. A miracle indeed! Romans, speaking to Jews in the Jewish language, and magnifying the God of Israel in the clearest possible terms! Praise God!

Such is not the case with modern 'speaking in tongues'.

#7 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

    Moderator

  • Admin
  • 34,729 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:04 PM

Now let's consider the situation in Ephesus. Why was it necessary that the 12 men to whom Paul gave the Holy Spirit speak in tongues? The reason, of course, was for the preaching work:

Acts 19:
10And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.


Twice we find in the record of the Ephesian preaching campaign, a reminder that this province contained both Jews and Greeks. We know that Greek provinces did not all speak koine Greek (even in classical times 3 different dialects were used, Attic, Ionic, and Doric), and our previous study of Acts 14 shows that regions such as Lycaonia had their own regional languages.

In order to reach both the Jews and the Greeks in Ephesus, apostles were needed who could speak in both languages.

The 'special evidence' of the gift of tongues that this was a miracle was the fact that these men who could speak in tongues could do what they had previously been unable to do.
They could speak in the native tongues of foreigners, and be understood.

Such is not the case with modern 'speaking in tongues'.

Pentecostals and charismatics often say that we can have the gift of tongues just as the apostles possessed it - we only have to ask.

But can they speak in tongues the way the apostles could?
I would suggest that the answer to this is no.
Nor can anyone else who claims to have the gift of speaking in tongues. No one.

#8 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

    Moderator

  • Admin
  • 34,729 posts

Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:05 PM

Pentecostals and charismatics sometimes say that 'sometimes' the gift of tongues provides the capacity to speak in a modern, communicable language. They place upon themselves the impossible burden of proof to demonstrate that speaking in tongues 'sometimes' provided the capacity to speak in a modern, communicable language, and at other times did not. This they cannnot do.

They also occasionally claim that some modern day Christians can sometimes speak in a modern, communicable language which they have otherwise not learned, by the Holy Spirit gift of tongues.

But what evidence of this can they provide? Where is the documented proof?

Why is this gift so vastly unpredictable? Why does it sometimes result in intelligible speech, and sometimes in unintelligble gibberish? Why is it not subject to the discretion of the user, as the gifts always were?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users