Re: 1Cor. 14:14

Date: Sat Oct 14 1995 - 16:44:38 EDT

In a message dated 95-10-12 20:23:48 EDT, WINBROW write:

>I would add a paraphrase from John Kildahl concerning modern tongues
>speaking. We cannot find certain evidence documented by anyone qualified
>judge that any person has spoken in a language not previously learned while
>in a state of tongues speaking. He evidently tried over a long period to
>find such evidence.

It is for this very reason that I have found the modern day Pentecostal
experience to be personally (and let me emphasize PERSONALLY, so as not to
offend anyone) unsatisfactory. I could not, at least to my own personal
satisfaction, verify that (to borrow the Lukan phrase) "this was that which
was spoken by the prophet Joel." If there were some strong form of
verification available--such as a documented case of tongues-speaking in
which the speaker does indeed speak a real language unbeknownst to
him/her--it would certainly be readily available and tauted by proponents.
However, during the years I was a tongues-speaker, I was never exposed to any
such verification.

But everything I have written thus far is irrelevant to our understanding of
the phenomenon in the NT, and I have not written it to stir up controversy
over what is potentially a very volatile issue. My point is that today's
experience should not be used as a measuring-rod with which we can judge the
experience described in the NT. Indeed, it ought to be the other way around.
According to my reading of the NT, tongues-speaking was the Spirit-endowed
utterance of real language(s) unknown to the speaker. This is clearly the
case in Ac 2 (N.B.: Dr. Winbery's reference to DIALEKTOI), but I believe that
Paul also believed that the speaker spoke a real language which could, with
supernatural assistance, be "interpreted" (1 Cor 14:5). Note also Paul's
comment in 14:10-11 which very directly refers to real human languages, not
ecstatic utterances or gobbledygook; hence, the tongue-speaker's mind is
unfruitful, not because his/her utterances are meaningless in themselves
(Paul's analogies in vv. 7-9 surely argue against this), but because the
utterances are not in the mother-tongue of the speaker. Luke and Paul are
also in agreement on the point that tongues are directed toward God, not
human beings (1 Cor 14:2). Ac 2 was a singular occurrence at least insofar as
there were persons present who could understand what these voices were
articulating; but each utterance was a magnifying of God and His marvelous
deeds (v. 11), and do not appear to have been a form of preaching (as later
interpreters such as Chrysostom would have it).

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