Jesus Never Spoke in Tongues Chapter

Chapter 2






Did you ever walk out of a meeting and hear people of 16 different nationalities and languages saying, “how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born… we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God ” (Acts 2:8,11). If so you have possibly heard authentic “Pentecostal tongues.”

On the other hand, if you have only sat in meetings where people made strange noises that were not a current, intelligible, human language spoken by people who had never learned them, then you have never heard “Biblical tongues.”

If you have heard people make strange unintelligible noises and then “say” they had spoken in tongues “like they did in the Bible,” you have heard someone make a false claim. They may have been sincere but misinformed. But whatever the case, they were claiming something they did not possess, or as the Bible puts it, “boasting of a false gift.”  “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain “(Prov. 25:14). To boast of the gift of tongues without the ability to speak a foreign language you never learned makes you like clouds and winds without rains. It is to promise much, but gives nothing.

There are 11 Biblical proofs  that the Holy Spirit gift of tongues was always an intelligible language. These are proofs that the modern charismatic gift is false!


  1. The Bible Clearly Defines Tongues as an Intelligible, Human Language


The same Bible which teaches tongues, also plainly teaches what tongues are. On the day of Pentecost men from every nation heard each Christian speak in “his own language” (Acts 2:6). “Language” —-an  intelligent, known, understandable language is what they spoke on the day of Pentecost. No ecstatic utterances at Pentecost. No unintelligent sounds at Pentecost. No heavenly language at Pentecost. No private prayer language at Pentecost. They spoke in their “own language.” Imagine Galilaeans speaking in 16 different languages!

Here was a supernatural sign given from God, “every man heard them speak in his own language, and they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:6-8). Could anything be more clear? There is no additional definition of tongues in the Bible. No other is needed. Acts 2:8 clearly defines tongues as an intelligible, understandable, human, language. The same Bible which says Paul boasted “I speak with tongues more than ye all” (I Cor. 14:18), also says, “every man heard them speak in his own language” (Acts 2:6)

No person has experienced the tongues that were spoken at. Pentecost unless he has the ability to speak a language of people on earth, that he has not learned. Without this ability, all claims to a Pentecostal tongues experience are completely unscriptural and completely false.


  1. At Caesarea and Ephesus “Tongues” Meant Speaking in Human Languages, Just as at Pentecost


After Pentecost there were two other cases of speaking in tongues recorded in the Book of Acts, at Caesarea and Ephesus. The same writer, Luke, moved by the same Holy Spirit, used the same word he used at Pentecost to describe their tongues experience: “glossa”, a Greek word meaning tongue.

Then we read. “While Peter yet spoke these words the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word … For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God” (Acts 10:44,45). The word for “tongues” here is “glossa,” the exact same word that refers to what happened at Pentecost.

At  Ephesus, “When Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied” (Acts 19:6). Again, the same word “glossa” is translated “tongues.”

Now, if the same Holy Spirit uses the same hand to write the same word, couldn’t we assume He is referring to the same experience? At Pentecost, “glossa” referred to “every man heard them speak in his own language.” At Caesarea and Ephesus God says the same thing happened. Peter emphatically declared the two experiences to be identical when he said, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning” (Acts 1 1:15).

Peter said it happened at Caesarea just “as on us”-at Pentecost. Again he said of the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the Gentiles, “And God, which knoweth the hearts bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;” (Acts 15:8). Nothing different! It happened to the Gentiles exactly as it had happened to the Jews when, “every man heard them speak in his own language.”


III.   Tongues Would Have to Be an Intelligible Human Language to Be a “Sign to Unbelievers”


There is only one reference in all the Bible telling us why

the sign of tongues was given. It is found in I Cor. 14:22,

“Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.” Why did God give tongues? “As a sign!” As a sign to whom? To Christians to show the work of God in a fellow believer? Definitely not! “… a sign not to them that believe!” Rather, tongues are a sign “to them that believe not.”

The Jews insisted that a truth be confirmed by a sign. I Cor. 1:22 says, “For the Jews require a sign.” The Scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Master, we would see a sign from thee” (Matt. 12:38). When Christ told them, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29).

They replied, “What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee?” (John 6:30). So on the day of Pentecost, God gave a supernatural sign to the unbelievers. They heard Galilaeans speaking in languages they had not learned! It certainly was an effective sign. Three thousand repented of their sins and believed!

The results would have been different if they had merely

babbled in some unintelligible sounds. At the same time,

temple prostitutes spoke in ecstatic utterances during their pagan ceremonies. But here was something different. At Pentecost foreign born visitors to Jerusalem heard Galilaeans speak their native languages. Tongues were a sign to unbelievers!


IV.      Tongues Has to Be a Systematic Human Language Because Tongues Can Be Learned


Scripture plainly points out that a man can “learn” to speak in tongues. The Bible says that if all spoke in “tongues” without an interpreter there are two groups which would call them mad: “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?” (I Cor. 14:23). Let’s say a Galilaean got up in church and spoke in the language of the Medes. It would produce the reaction of “You are mad” from the unlearned or unbeliever as the scripture says. Now, if a person “believed,” if he had faith in Christ, if he believed in the miracle of the Holy Spirit, he would not say they are mad. Or, if a man was not a believer, but had “learned” the language of the Medes, he certainly would not say they were mad. He would marvel at the miracle.

The word “unlearned” demands we recognize the tongue spoken at Corinth could be learned. If the Corinthians’s tongue could be learned, it had to be a current, intelligible, human language!


  1. The Fact That I Corinthians Was Written Before  The  Book  of  Acts,  Testifies “Tongues”  Was an Intelligible  Language


One of the clear indications that tongues is always an intelligible language is found in the dates of two books. The book of I Corinthians appears in the Bible after the book of Acts in the order the bookbinder placed them. However, it is important to remember that I Corinthians was written “first.” I Corinthians was written from Ephesus where Paul was planning his trip to Jerusalem, putting the date at A.D. 54-55.

The book of Acts concludes with Paul’s arrival in Rome where he faced his final imprisonment and death. This places the date definitely later than the Corinthians letter, near A.D. 63. When Luke sat down and wrote the account of Pentecost, I Corinthians was already written. The three detailed chapters, 12, 13 and 14 were completed. The Greek word “glossa” had been used to refer to the Corinthian tongues experience over and over again in the three chapters. Yet. when Luke wrote about the Pentecostal gift of foreign languages, he chose the same word, “glossa”. Now would the Holy Spirit have chosen the word “glossa” to describe the Acts experience if he had already used the same word in I Corinthians to describe something entirely different? To say this would be to say God is the author of confusion; he authored both books! Certainly the “same word” means the “same thing”!


  1. The Meaning of’ the Word “interpretation”

in I Corinthians 12 and 14 is “The Translation

of  One  Language  to  Another”


The Biblical gift of tongues had to be a gift of foreign languages because only languages could be “translated”. Scripture says the gift of tongues was accompanied by the gift to interpret tongues (I Cor. 12. 10; 14:27,28). The word used for interpretation is the same word used in John 9:7, “Go, wash in the pool Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent).”

It is the exact same word used in Mark 15:34, “Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus’ words are given in Aramaic, the original language and then repeated in creek. This was to be certain Jesus’ words would not be misunderstood. When Mark translated the Aramaic into Greek he says it was being “interpreted”.

The same word for “interpret” used in John 9:7 and Mark 15:34 is used in I Cor. 12 and 14. There is only one possible definition: “the translation of one language into another language.” The gift of interpretation is clearly the gift to understand a language you had not learned and to be able to translate it into another language.

If the gift of tongues is not a language, how could it possibly be “translated” into another language?

VI. The Corinthians Quote of lsaiah 28:11 Shows Tongues is an Intelligible, Human Language


In I Corinthians’ discussion of tongues, a quote is made of Isaiah 28.1 I, “In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign …” (I Cor. 14:21,22).

The great Bible commentary of Jamieson, Fausset and Brown explain the verse like this, “Here the quotation is from Isaiah 28:11,12, where God virtually saith of Israel, ‘This people hear me not, though I speak to them in the language which they are familiar with; I will therefore speak to them in other tongues, namely, those of the foes whom I will send against them.’ As Isaiah spoke these words to Israel, the northern kingdom was fading, Assyria was about to tread the kingdom underfoot. They had heard Amos. They had heard Hosea. They had heard Isaiah. They would not repent. Soon they would only hear the stammering, strange sounds of Assyrians and Babylonians!”

These languages were just as Semitic as their native

Hebrew. But it’s sound was so different it sounded to the Jews like stammering. Isaiah 33:19 says, “Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.”

Now the vital point is that Isaiah 28:11 is definitely an intelligible human language. So when this is quoted in I Corinthians, it is saying that tongues are like the Arsyrian language to a Hebrew. It cannot be understood without the translation of an interpreter.

‘The comparison is one more proof that the “tongues”  spoke at Corinth, like those at Pentecost, was the gift of

speaking in an unlearned human language.


VIII.    If Tongues Were Unintelligible Noises, Would Jesus Christ Have Condemned Men  Making  Unintelligible  Noises?


I sat in a tongues Meeting and listened to a man speaking in tongues. It: was the same as on many other occasions. He said, ‘”Shung da la mee ah,’ “Shung da la mee ah.” It was the same thing over and over. Now if that is the supernatural gift of tongues why would Jesus have said in Matt. 6:7, “Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do” (RSV); “Do not go babbling on like the heathen” (NEB). Jesus would never have condemned what the Holy Spirit was going to do.

Plainly, the Holy Spirit did not lead Christians to babble some phrase over and over again as we hear in the tongues meetings. He led them to speak languages they had not learned; “Every man heard them speak in his own language” (Acts 2:6).


  1. For l,000 Years Christians Believed the Gift of  Tongues Was a Foreign Language


The early church fathers believed tongues was an intelligible foreign language. In the Middle Ages, Christians believed tongues to be a human language. The Sixteenth-Century reformers believed tongues was an understandable language.”

Now, the modern tongues leaders would suddenly have us abandon our heritage, brand the Christian leaders of all those centuries as false and change to their modern belief.

Do they know more about what happened in the early

church than all the Christians of the first sixteen centuries? I would not think so.


  1. If Tongues is Not a Language There Would Be No Way to “Try the Spirits”


In 1949 at Mt. Rainer, Maryland, a 14 year old boy spoke in languages he had never learned. Later William Blatty expanded the account in his bestseller, “The Exorcist”. The Catholic church documented the strange phenomenon in its archives. The boy spoke in the Hebrew language though he had never studied it.3 A Catholic priest told me the boy corrected the grammar of the priest. The priest consulted his Hebrew text and had to admit his grammar was wrong. The Catholics said the gift came through demonic power. They declared the boy was demon possessed. Why? Obviously, because of what he said in his Latin tongue he cursed and blasphemed God!

It was quite different at Pentecost. There, the Galilaeans,

in the power of the Spirit, used their language gift to speak of the “wonderful works” of God.

But, how could the boy’s blasphemy have been discovered if it could not have been understood? The Bible commands us “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God … Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ  is come in the flesh, is not of God …” (I John 4:1-3).  The content of a man’s speech is the way we determine whether a man is “of God.” The supernatural gift of a language does not prove someone has a gift from God. The content of the speech

is the thing you must test. If tongues is not a language, how can you test or “try the spirits”? And if a man’s spirit cannot be tested or tried how can we know whether he is of God?

If a man does not speak in an intelligible human language, as they did at Pentecost when, “every man heard them speak in his own language” (Acts 2.6) there is no way to obey this Biblical command to “try the spirits.”


  1. The Word “Tongues” Means An Intelligible  Human Language


When we use the term “mother tongue” we refer to someone’s native language. Acts 2:6, and 2:8 uses the words “tongue” and the word “language”   interchangeably in referring to exactly the same thing. The use of the word tongues in reference to unintelligible sounds is both new and unscriptural. It is a definition given by modern Pentecostals. When the King James version was translated in 1611 the word “tongue” was understood to mean  “language” Many modern translators correctly substitute the word “languages” for the word “tongues” (though this will naturally hurt their sales among the tongues advocates, they have placed truth above profits).

The proof that “tongues” means “language” is found in the Bible itself. In Rev. 16: 16, “tongue” is used for “language”: “a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon”. In Rev. 9:11, it is again made very clear that the Biblical word “tongue” means a “language”: “whose name in the Hebrew

tongue is Abaddon”

To use the word “tongues” to refer to some kind of an unintelligible noises you would have to rewrite the dictionary, as well as the Bible. The whole tongues movement is based on ignorance of the simple definition of the word “tongue.” If they only understood that it means speaking human languages they have not learned, the whole error could be cleared up.

In the children’s book “Alice in Wonderland” Humpty-Dumpty said in rather scornful tone. “When I use a wool, “‘it means just what I choose it to mean.” “The question is,” replied Alice, “whether you can make words mean different things.” To this Humpty-Dumpty replied, “The question  is, which is to be master that’s all..”

In fiction this is funny. However, when religious people say their “strange noises” are the gift of tongues just because they say so, it is tragic. The Bible is the “master” of the meaning of tongues. The Bible declares “tongues” are clear, intelligible,

human languages. That is it.


Copyright, M.A.E.A.



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