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What Does the Bible Say About...Speaking in Tongues?

My question may seem very simple to you but it is difficult for me to answer by myself. I do go to church and have been saved for the past 3 years. I do understand that speaking in tongues is real and part of churches today. My question is why is it that churches speak in tongues together when the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14: 27 - 28 "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God"?


Your is not a simple question, because it asks why people do what they do. That is never a simple thing to answer.

You asked why some churches speak in tongues all together in violation of Paul’s instructions that it be one at a time and in order. I’m not sure if you mean that everyone is saying the same thing all together or that everyone is speaking a different language or a different message all at once. If everyone were saying the same thing together that would be unusual for modern “tongues.” If you mean each is speaking in a different language, then that would certainly be confusing. Even if they were all speaking the same message it would be confusing to have one speaking in English while another spoke in French, another in Russian, and another in Swahili. (I use those languages as examples, because in the Bible speaking in tongues was always human languages that were not native to the speaker and had not been learned in the usual way.)

The only way I could answer your question is that they are clearly not trying to obey the Bible concerning this matter. But then, most people who believe in “speaking in tongues” believe that any revelation they get while doing so takes precedence over the Bible. So maybe somebody said that they had received a revelation that confusion was acceptable to God, even though Paul had said otherwise. It may be that they never read 1 Corinthians 14. It may be that, contrary to that chapter, they think that when they are speaking they can’t control themselves. This is really a question you would have to ask them.

Since I have never been in a congregation where speaking in tongues was practiced, I can’t answer for why a particular congregation does it one way or another. For my previous answers explaining why I believe the scriptures teach that people no longer have the gift of speaking in tongues (again I emphasize that in the Bible that is speaking in human languages not learned in the normal way by the speaker), please go to my List of Topics, S-Z and find the topic “tongues.”