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Did Paul ever speak in tongues?

Discussion in 'Wesley's Parish - Methodist/ Nazarene' started by GraceSeeker, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. GraceSeeker

    GraceSeeker Senior Member

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    Please, I don't want this to become a rambling thread on every aspect and opion about "speaking in tongues". I would like to limit the discussion to Paul's own experience with it.

    Did Paul ever speak in tongues? If you think he did, please address the following points:

    1) What is the scriptural evidence that he did?

    2) What, specifically, would be the nature of Paul's experience? Was it simply being able to speak a number of different human languages? Was it the miraculous speaking in human languages he had not studied and learned? Was it speaking some sort of unknown celestial or prayer language as is often the practice today? (Again, scriptural support for any of these, or another, position(s) would be helpful.)

    3) Was Paul's ability to speak in tongues a temporary or permament gift? (Again, this particular question is addressed only to those who believe that Paul did indeed speak in tongues.)

    4) Did Paul have control over his gift? That is, could he turn it, so to speak, "on" and "off"? Or was it something that took place only as he was "overpowered" by the Holy Spirit?

    5) What (and on this I understand a person may have to resort to speculation more than scripture) do you believe was the primary purpose of Paul being able to speak in tongues? Who were the primary beneficiaries?


    6) I expect that most people will quickly turn to 1 Corinthians 14:18 [I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.] for evidence that Paul spoke in tongues. If you do NOT think that Paul was able to "speak in tongues", on what scriptural basis do you reach that conclusion?
     
  2. Mr Dave

    Mr Dave God Save The Queen!

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    1 Cor. 14:18 "I thank God that I speak in tongues..."
    v.6 also implies that he did, but I think v.18 is clearer in saying that he did.

    I think it involved some of both glossolalia (general Speaking in tongues that may or may not be 'real' languages) and xenoglossy (specifically speaking a human language that is not known to the speaker).
    I believe he did both because of 1 Cor. 13:1 "If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels..." To me this implies that his practice of tongues was quite varied and was both human and non-human languages.


    I'm initially drawn to say permanent, but I don't know why. sorry.


    Something he could control. No gift from God would come in the way of free-will, but also most of 1 Cor. 14 is given to explaining the appropriate use of 'the gift of tongues' and so suggests that it could be controlled by the speaker. In fact not just that it can be controlled but that it must be controlled.

    Although 1 Cor. 14:22 says that it is a sign for the unbelievers, I'd say the primary beneficiaries were those from Corinth who were already used to 'ecstatic spiritual experiences' from the culture that they were in, those who were already believers and those who were not. These people benefitted as they were shown an aspect of God which they could relate to but also was more than they were accustomed to, as the Christian experience (when done properly) was accompanied by interpretation, and so wasn't a purely self-edifying spiritual experience but closer to a corporate type of prophecy.
     
  3. Mr Dave

    Mr Dave God Save The Queen!

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    Also, for believing he did, if he didn't then telling the Corinthians how to do it would have caused him to lose integrity which he is struggling to hold onto anyway (1 Cor. 3:4), and they would have abandoned him for someone else.
     
  4. GraceSeeker

    GraceSeeker Senior Member

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    Muchas gracias, Dave.

    Your responses were just the type I was looking for: well articulated views, on topic, and substantiated by scripture, but also using your own reasoning skills in applying those passages which you felt addressed the issue.

    BTW, I'm not looking for "THE correct" answer, but to get a feel for the thinking of the community. So, I hope others will respond be they in full agreement or diametrically the opposite. Just, please, let us be respectful of one another as we post. (Not that everyone wouldn't be, but sometimes on issues that can have strong emotions associated with them, a reminder is not unwarranted.)
     
  5. Maid Marie

    Maid Marie Zechariah 4:6

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    I was going to answer, but then realized that Mr Dave said what I was going to say. ;)
     
  6. cavell

    cavell Senior Veteran

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    ................................................

    Rev 'Grace Seeker'

    1) What is the scriptural evidence that he did?

    The great man boasted "I speak with tongues more than all of you......"
    1 Cor.14:18. His words indicate a vital resource of communion with God, and spritual strength.

    2) What, specifically, would be the nature of Paul's experience?

    "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself: ...."
    1 Cor 14:4. Paul found strength in God and,... who can tell? As he engaged the Lord God Almighty in this manner.
    We wrestle not ect. Eph 6:12

    3) Was Paul's ability to speak in tongues a temporary or permament gift?

    His was a lifelong gift. He mentions a future day, when tongues will cease.
    1 Cor 13:8

    C That is, could he turn it, so to speak, "on" and "off"? Or was it something that took place only as he was "overpowered" by the Holy Spirit?

    Paul had been overcome physically, as were the disciples on the 'Day of Pentecost' Acts 2. In later days their/his communion with the Master did not need any aid, other than a seeking heart.

    5 What do you believe was the primary purpose of Paul being able to speak in tongues? Who were the primary beneficiaries?

    The 'prime purpose of Pauls ability to speak in tongues' was to communicate with His Master and Savior. Without which he could never have achieved missionary journeys throughout Asia, and toward Europe. 2 Cor 11:23-27 ect.

    The main beneficiary was himself. He needed this heavenly union, this sweet communion.....this strength....God and His own...to achieve Gods work in his day and his generation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
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