Bible Articles on the Topic of Tongues

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 When it was accomplished, the gift of the Holy Spirit was withdrawn.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.

Possession Of Holy Spirit Gifts A Serious Error?

The following message was posted on an internet discussion group, suggesting that belief in present-day possession of Holy Spirit gifts is not a serious error. Our reply follows.

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.

Should the Holy Spirit Be a Present Possession?

In The Testimony for August 1949, appeared an article by the present writer under the above heading; and more recently a somewhat detailed criticism of it has been received. Even the very title of the article has been assailed, it being suggested that this might be better worded “Should the Holy Spirit be a present possession?” The critic added, “For obviously a non-recipient cannot judge” and quoted 1 Corinthians 2:11-14 to support his view. Superficially regarded, this reference would appear to be to the point; but when more closely examined it is not established. The 16th verse was not quoted, yet it governs the whole; but even this needs comprehension. This “mind of Christ” is not a thing flashed upon one, but is attained by “judging all things” (v. 15) with “spiritual discernment” (v. 14). This discernment arises from considering “the words which the Spirit teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things” (v. 13). We learn elsewhere that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” and that “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”¹ We are also expressly told that “faith cometh by hearing the Word of God.”² No man unacquainted with the “things of God” can “know” such things—he is so “natural” (uninstructed) that he “cannot know” them, yet he is often more highly mentally endowed than the spiritually minded one.

Ten Thousand Words in an Unknown Tongue

After ten minutes of the singing of spiritual songs, mainly repetitions of the name of Jesus interspersed with “Alleluia”, “My Redeemer”, “How I love him!”, the large assembly in the marquee fell silent. Then, from somewhere in the company a woman’s voice was heard proclaiming, rhythmically almost as if it were verse, with the accent on the penultimate syllable:

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.

The Story of Pentecost

Everybody loves a puppet show, especially when it has tongues of fire and Armageddon in it. A creative take on the story of Pentecost.

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?

Wrested Scriptures: Holy Spirit Gifts (Mark 16:17-18)

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

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.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The expression “baptism of the Holy Spirit” is based on a number of predictions found in our four Gospels and in connection with these the record of their fulfillment in the Book of Acts. The passages in the Gospels are as follows: Matthew 3:11: “I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire.” The last clause is αυτός ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεὺματι ἁγιῳ καὶ πυρί, autós humā́s baptísei en pneúmati hagíō kaí purí. In Mark 1:8 and Luke 3:16 we have the declaration in a slightly modified form; and in John 1:33 John the Baptist declares that the descent of the Spirit upon Jesus at the baptism of the latter marked out Jesus as “he that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit.” Again in John 7:37, 7:38 we read: “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water.” Then the evangelist adds in John 7:39: “But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified.” These are the specific references in the four Gospels to the baptisms of the Holy Spirit. In Acts we find direct reference by Luke to the promised baptism in the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:5 Jesus, just before the ascension, contrasts John’s baptism in water with the baptism in the Holy Spirit which the disciples are to receive “not many days hence,” and in Acts 1:8 power in witnessing for Jesus is predicted as the result of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. On the evening of the resurrection day Jesus appeared to the disciples and “he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). This was probably not a wholly symbolic act but an actual communication to the disciples, in some measure, of the gift of the Spirit, preliminary to the later complete bestowal.

Spiritual Gifts

(χαρίσματα, charísmata):


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).


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.