Are Tongues Estatic Utterances As Some Denominations Claim?
No. There are several reasons why "tongues" in the New Testament were real, human languages (such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Koine Greek, Latin, etc.). The miraculous ability to speak in another language one has never studied is special because it was only given to a few Christians in the first century A.D. until the infant church of the first century came to maturity in order to confirm that the partial revelations were from God (Mark 16:20; 1 Corinthians 13; Ephesians 4:7-16).
Some denominations try to get around this idea by pointing out that it is an "angelic" or "heavenly" language that can be understood by God. Some misuse verses such as 1 Corinthians 13:1 and 14:26-28.
In 1 Corinthians 13:1, Paul is stating that the language of angels is a real, intelligible language that could be understood. When Gabriel the angel communicated with Zechariah (Luke 1:13-20) and Mary (Luke 1:26-35), did they not understand Gabriel? Of course they did!
In 1 Corinthians 14:26-28, Paul is communicating to the church at Corinth who were abusing miraculous gifts (originally designed to be used in a proper manner). In verse 28, if there was no interpreter for the foreign-language speaker, then the foreign-language speaker was to keep silent. Why? Because no one in the audience could understood what he was saying and thereby would not be edified in the faith. Paul then says, "then let him speak to himself and to God." Paul is stating that he is to talk within himself (knowing that it is from God) and only God would understand.
Luke shows evidence that these were real, human languages. There are several indicators in the text. In Acts 2:4: "And they [the apostles - SF (Acts 1:26)] were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Notice that the apostles already had a tongue before the Holy Spirit empowered them. They spoke Aramaic (a real human language) and most likely Koine Greek (since some of them wrote in that real human language such as Peter). This corresponds in great parallel with Mark 16:17: "they will speak with new tongues."
In Acts 2:6, the crowd to whom the apostles are speaking are confused "because everyone heard them speak in his own language." Notice that the word "language" (Greek word - dialektos [we get the English word "dialect" from this word]) is another synonym that Luke uses for the word "tongue". He uses them interchangeably throughout this context.
In Acts 2:7, then the crowd asked the question, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?" Why would they ask that question? Because Galilee was not particularly known as the seat of intellectualism; thus, these men would most likely not have been schooled and trained in the foreign languages they were miraculously speaking.
In Acts 2:7, the crowd states: "And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?" Is it not the case that a person begins to learn a real human language when they come from the mother's womb? Yes.
Notice the crowd understands what the apostles were speaking - "the wonderful works of God". When denominations speak in tongues (as they define them), you cannot understand what they are saying! This crowd knew that the apostles were communicating intelligble speech, not unintelligble speech.
There is one other place that no doubt it is speaking of real human languages. In 1 Corinthians 14:21,22, Paul is quoting from the Old Testament in verse 21. It comes from Isaiah 28:11,12. In the remote context, Isaiah is dealing with the northern kingdom of Israel who were sinning against their Creator. God had used Isaiah as His mouthpiece, whom Israel could clearly understand because he spoke to them in the Hebrew language that they understood. Even though they heard the clear message in their own Hebrew language, they rejected it. God was going to judge the northern kingdom by sending them into Assyrian captivity in 722 B.C. Israel would not be hearing a understood language now, but would now hear a foreign language - the Akkadian language of the Assyrian invaders - " For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people". Akkadian was a real human language.
Tongues were real human languages, not estatic utterances as some denominations claim.
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