Bible Articles on the Topic of Glossolalia

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Speaking In Tongues: Self-Suggestive Hypnotism?

Can we know what physically happens in the modern-day Pentecostal experience of talking in a tongue? There is evidence, which we will come to later, that there is often some degree of faking. But it cannot be all a hoax — they cannot be all faking? With the great majority, as in the case of Pat Boone, something really happens. A good illustration to begin with, is the testimony, back in the 1960s, of a [brother] who was brought up in a Pentecostal atmosphere before he [left]. He wrote:

Bible Basics: Gifts of the Holy Spirit

At various times in His dealings with men, God has delegated the use of His power (“Holy Spirit”) to men. However, this has never been in the form of a “blank cheque,” as it were, enabling them to do what they wished; always the use of this Holy Spirit has been for a specific purpose. When it was accomplished, the gift of the Holy Spirit was withdrawn. We must remember that God’s spirit acts in a way which forwards the purpose which is in His mind. His purpose often allows short-term suffering in the lives of men in order to bring about His long-term purpose, so it is to be expected that His Holy Spirit would not necessarily be used to alleviate human suffering in this life. Any such relief it does achieve will be for a higher purpose of expressing God’s mind to us.

The Withdrawal of the Gifts of the Spirit

The miraculous gifts of God’s spirit will be used again by the believers in order to change this present world into God’s Kingdom, after the return of Christ. The gifts are therefore called “the powers of the world (age) to come” (Hebrews 6:4-5); and Joel 2:26-29 describes a great outpouring of the spirit gifts after the repentance of Israel.

Is Pentecost Happening Today — (Part 2)

Since penning the opening article in this series, considerably more evidence has come to hand of the great upsurge in Roman Catholic circles of claims to have the gift of tongue-speaking. One Catholic paper has reported.¹

Is Pentecost Happening Today?

It is the conviction of the present writer that the broad, general answer is a clear—“No”. Those communities which claim the name “Pentecostal” are far removed from the communities pictured in the Acts of the Apostles and letters of Paul. It is easy to dismiss the matter from the mind, perhaps indulge in a little scoffing, and leave the matter there. But the easy way is not the right way. The right way demands that we know something about this problem, because it is a major problem; and if we are to witness the truth of the Gospel effectively, we must become far more aware of the problems which are generated by the “cult” of tongue-speaking which is sweeping through much of the religious world.

The Gift of Tongues: Two Schools of Thought

E. S. writes: There seem to be two schools of thought regarding the phenomenon in the 1st century church called in the New Testament the Gift of Tongues. One is that in every case the gift was the capacity to speak in another language. Adherents to this view base their arguments mainly on the narrative of Acts 2 concerning the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

Speaking in Tongues

An ABC investigative report on the phenomena of tongues (or glossolalia) in the Pentecostal Charismatic movement in the United States with parishioner interviews from the congregation of the Randy and Paula White ministries.

What is Speaking in Tongues?

Pentecostalism has a particular focus on faith healing and speaking in tongues. ABC News Online goes behind the scenes to see what’s involved.

Glossolalia: The Science of Speaking in Tongues

Dr. Indre Viskontas speaks with young members of the Freedom Valley Worship Center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania about their first experiences of speaking in tongues. Next, Paul De Lacy, Associate Professor of Linguistics at Rutgers University, speaks with Indre about the language of speaking in tongues.

What is Speaking in Tongues?

So what does the Bible really say about speaking in tongues? Nathan Busenitz, Assistant Professor of Theology at The Master’s Seminary, explains in the latest edition of “Ask a Professor.”

The Rise of Pentecostalism

Live music, bright flashing lights, a large crowd of young people waving their hands in the air and a sound crew mixing audio in the background.So far, it fits the bill for your everyday gig.But add speaking in tongues, divine healing and a hip-looking middle-aged pastor preaching with his smartphone and what you actually have is a service for one of Australia’s fastest growing religious movements: Pentecostalism.

The Shocking Truth About the Gift of Speaking in Tongues

What does the Bible teach about this gift of speaking in tongues? This video addresses the touchy subject of speaking in tongues. What is the gift of tongues? What are some misconceptions of tongues? How should it be used in the church?

Ex-Christian Answers “What’s Up with Speaking in Tongues?"

Lee, an ex-Pentecostal Christian, regularly answers questions about Christianity, and in this episode, addresses questions concerning the practice of speaking in tongues. Forced by her mother at an early age to speak in tongues, Lee provides some insights into this trademark of Pentecostalism.

Speaking in Tongues: Alternative Voices in Faith

Those Christians who speak in tongues say they don’t care at all about what others think. What matters most for them is that they believe that God is speaking through them. Their experience, also known as “glossolalia,” is their unique connection to God, they say, in a language He understands, even if they don’t.

Solving the Samaritan Riddle

What is the “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” and when and how does a Christian obtain it? Is it received in the holy sacrament of Confirmation? Is it a second blessing which is always evidenced by the gift of speaking in tongues? Or is this something every Christian gets automatically when she believes?

What If You Used to Speak in Tongues?

Listen to a first person testimony on how she used to speak in tongues.


tung: Almost invariably for either לשׁון, lāshōn, or γλῶσσα, glṓssa the latter word with the cognates ἑτερόγλωσσος, heteróglōssos, “of strange tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:21), γλωσσώδης, glōssṓdēs, “talkative,” English Versions of the Bible “full of tongue” (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 8:3; 9:18), γλωσσοτομέω, glōssotoméō, “to cut out the tongue” (2 Maccabees 7:4), δίγλωσσος, díglōssos, “double-tongued” (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 5:9; 28:13). In 1 Timothy 3:8, however, “double-tongued” is for δίλογος, dílogos, literally, “two-worded.” Where “tongue” in the King James Version translates διάλεκτος, diálektos (Acts 1:19; 2:8; 21:40; 22:2; 26:14), the Revised Version has “language,” while for the King James Version “in the Hebrew tongue” in John 5:2; Revelation 9:11; 16:16 (Ἑβραΐστί, Hebraistí) the Revised Version has simply “in Hebrew.” In addition, in the Old Testament and Apocrypha, the King James Version uses “to hold one’s tongue” as a translation for various verbs meaning “to be silent”; the Revised Version in the Old Testament writes “to hold one’s peace” and in the Apocrypha “to be silent,” except in Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 32:8, where the King James Version is retained (σιωπάω, siōpáō).

Tongues, Gift of

A spiritual gift mentioned in Acts 10:44-46; 11:15; 19:6; Mark 16:17, and described in Acts 2:1-13 and at length in 1 Corinthians 12 through 14, especially chapter 14. In fact, 1 Corinthians 14 contains such a full and clear account that this passage is basic. The speaker in a tongue addressed God (1 Corinthians 14:2, 14:28) in prayer (1 Corinthians 14:14), principally in the prayer of thanksgiving (1 Corinthians 14:15-17). The words so uttered were incomprehensible to the congregation (1 Corinthians 14:2, 14:5, 14:9, etc.), and even to the speaker himself (1 Corinthians 14:14). Edification, indeed, was gained by the speaker (1 Corinthians 14:4), but this was the edification of emotional experience only (1 Corinthians 14:14). The words were spoken “in the spirit” (1 Corinthians 14:2); i.e. the ordinary faculties were suspended and the divine, specifically Christian, element in the man took control, so that a condition of ecstasy was produced. This immediate (mystical) contact with the divine enabled the utterance of “mysteries” (1 Corinthians 14:2)—things hidden from the ordinary human understanding (see MYSTERY). In order to make the utterances comprehensible to the congregation, the services of an “interpreter” were needed. Such a man was one who had received from God a special gift as extraordinary as the gifts of miracles, healings, or the tongues themselves (1 Corinthians 12:10, 12:30); i.e. the ability to interpret did not rest at all on natural knowledge, and acquisition of it might be given in answer to prayer (1 Corinthians 14:13). Those who had this gift were known, and Paul allowed the public exercise of “tongues” only when one of the interpreters was present (1 Corinthians 14:28). As the presence of an interpreter was determined before anyone spoke, and as there was to be only one interpreter for the “two or three” speakers (1 Corinthians 14:28), any interpreter must have been competent to explain any tongue. But different interpreters did not always agree (1 Corinthians 14:26), whence the limitation to one.

Tongues, Interpretation of

in-tûr-prḗ-tā ́shun. See SPIRITUAL GIFTS; TONGUES, GIFT OF.


Glossolalia or speaking in tongues, according to linguists, is the fluid vocalizing of speech-like syllables that lack any readily comprehended meaning, in some cases as part of religious practice in which it is believed to be a divine language unknown to the speaker. The term derives from glōssais lalō, a Greek phrase used in the New Testament meaning “speak in, with, or by tongues [i.e., other languages]” (1 Corinthians 14:18). The related term “xenolalia” or “xenoglossy” is used to describe the phenomenon when the language being spoken is a natural language previously unknown to the speaker. Glossolalia is practiced in Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity as well as in other religions.


Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Protestant Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.


Xenoglossy (/ˌziːnəˈglɒsi, ˌzɛ-, -noʊ-/), also written xenoglossia (/ˌziːnəˈglɒsiə, ˌzɛ-, -noʊ-/), sometimes also known as xenolalia, is the putative paranormal phenomenon in which a person is able to speak or write a language he or she could not have acquired by natural means. The words derive from Greek ξένος (xenos), “foreigner” and γλῶσσα (glōssa), “tongue” or “language”. The term xenoglossy was ostensibly coined by French parapsychologist Charles Richet. Stories of xenoglossy are found in the Bible, and contemporary claims of xenoglossy have been made by parapsychologists and reincarnation researchers such as Ian Stevenson. There is no scientific evidence that xenoglossy is an actual phenomenon.