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This explanation of Holy Scripture intends to share exactly what the miraculous gift of tongues was; a gift the original early believers were gifted with, to allow the sharing of the gospel with people who spoke foreign languages.
Coherent Language or Jibberish?
The one who was speaking in tongues, likely did not understand the message he/she was delivering on behalf of God, out of their mouths.
It says that the person with the gift of tongues did not understand what they spoke (1 Cor 14:11, 14:13, 14:14) – however the words that they spoke were actual recognized languages that other people could understand in their different native languages (Acts 2:6, 2:8, 1 Cor 14:10);
And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
Acts 2:6, 2:8 ESV
¹⁰ There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning,
¹¹ 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.
¹² So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
¹³ Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.
¹⁴ For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.
1 Corinthians 14:10-14 ESV
As the person was speaking in a foreign language, they thus required a translator for the rest of say the native Hebrew speaking congregation, whenever they gathered together (1 Corinthians 14:27-28) – or the person speaking had to pray that he would be able to interpret the foreign language himself, so the congregation could understand (1 Corinthians 14:13);
If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
1 Corinthians 14:27-28 NIV
For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.
1 Corinthians 14:13 NIV
Purpose Of The Gift Of Tongues:
The gift of tongues was primarily given to some believers and not all;
‘…Do all speak in tongues?…’
(1 Corinthians 12:30 NIV)
This was so foreigners could hear the gospel in their own respective languages and help them better understand it (Acts 2:4-11).
The gift was initially given to simply assist in the spread of the good news of everlasting life being available me now to all who believe in G-d and in Christ (John 14:1, Isaiah 28:16, 50:10);
So then, tongues are for a sign,… to unbelievers…’.
(1 Corinthians 14:22 NASB2020)
Is This Gift Active Today?;
The gift of tongues ceased along with prophecy and other miracles quite some time ago. This is intended to ideally be shown in another explanation, G-d willing.
Peaceably, it is with the above explanation of what the gift of tongues actually is, and the fact that no person on this earth today actually performs it as it is intended to be used; that one can safely conclude that if they attend a church building or congregation who claim to use such a gift – they are sadly mistaken.
‘…the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light’
(Matthew 24:29 NIV)
‘…Night is coming, when no one can work.’
(John 9:4 NIV)
Therefore by allusion the following is applied, in this instance;
‘…if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with.’
(1 Corinthians 13:8 NASB2020)
Hoping it is fruitful.
May the Holy G-d bless you beyond maximum believing in His risen Son the Lord Jesus Christ (Adonai Yehoshua HaMoshiach). Amen.