What Is The Interpretation of Tongues Gift Mentioned In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11?
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 states: "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."
Please see our Question and Answer section on "What Is Speaking In Tongues?", "Are Tongues Estatic Utterances As Some Denominations Claim?", and "What Is The "Tongues" Gift of 1 Corinthians 12:4-11?" to answer what the "tongues" gift is since it is related to the "interpretation of tongues" gift.
This miraculous gift was a gift that was used by an apostle (2 Corinthians 12:12). It was also imparted to other 1st century Christians by the laying on of the apostles' hands (Acts 8:14-18; 19:1-7; 2 Timothy 1:6) to help mature the infant church (Ephesians 4:7-16) since the early church did not have the complete, written New Testament disseminated among all the congregations (as we have it today).
Since the church was so young and immature at that time (1 Corinthians 13:8-13) and the gospel needed rapidly to be spread, then these miraculous gifts would have helped break down the communication barrier between nations. The early Christians did not have to give years of study to learning these new languages either to speak or to interpret the message was being spoken in a different language in order for the audience who may have known a different language was in need of an inspired interpreter to understand the message (1 Corinthians 14:26-28).
Today, we no longer have the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit available to us because miracles were given in the early church for the purpose of confirming the word of God (Mark 16:17-20). We have the fully confirmed and revealed written word of God that is sufficient for us today (2 Peter 1:3; Jude 1:3). In order to spread the gospel today in other foreign countries, we must study the native language of that country and be able to interpret for others who may not know that native language in order to effectively communicate to the audience.
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