The Gift of Tongues – part 3: Paul’s Theology of WorshipApril 28, 2019
(Ruach HaKodesh, Session 11c)
This session of the Ruach HaKodesh series takes a closer look at the gift of tongues. In part 1, we talked about the difference between xenoglossy and glossolalia, and the history of interpretation within Christianity. Part 2 took a brief survey through Jewish ideas that relate to the gift of tongues before diving into the Scriptures. We looked at the obscure reference in Mark 16, and the three main instances of tongues-speaking recorded in the book of Acts.
This episode, part 3, focuses primarily on Paul’s discussion of the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians 12-14. Among other things, we will raise the following questions:
- Why does Paul mention the gift of tongues in only one of his letters?
- Is the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians the same as the gift of tongues in Acts?
- Is tongues supposed to be a private prayer language?
- What does Paul mean by “groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26)?
- What does Yeshua mean by “vain repetitions” (Matthew 6:7)?
In the midst of 1 Corinthians 14, Paul offers us a glimpse into his theology of worship. Corporate, congregational worship ought to be something that is mutually edifying to those present. Paul is concerned not to deprive believers of the privilege of saying “amen” in a worship service. Of course, he is also emphatic about the need to keep things orderly. But at its core, “praise” demands a response, and that requires proclaiming God’s goodness in a way that others can hear and understand.