THE GIFT OF TONGUES DISPLAYED IN
THE BOOK OF ACTS
A RESEARCH PAPER SUBMITTED TO PROFESSOR DOUGLAS PETERSON
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ONLINE
DECEMBER 5, 2012
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE CONVERSION OF CORNELIUS 5
TONGUES AT EPHESIAN BAPTISM 7
The gift of Tongues has been becoming more and more popular over the past 10 years. Christians appear to have differing views on the matter. Some think it is a sign of the HOLY SPIRIT, other think it is a manifestation ...view middle of the document...
It came after the seven weeks of harvesting that started with the waving of the first barley sheaf during Passover celebrations. By the first century A. D. Pentecost was also considered the anniversary of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, and was one of the pilgrim festivals of Judaism. When you look at the background of this festival it brings more meaning to the event in Acts chapter 2.
When Israel celebrated Pentecost, they would relive the event of Moses giving them the law in Exodus chapter 19. This makes it especially noteworthy because it was on the day of Pentecost that God introduced the gift of tongues as a means of communicating the gospel in languages they could understand. Ellen white states,
From every nation under heaven"4 who were gathered in Jerusalem. “Every known tongue was represented by those assembled. This diversity of languages would have been a great hindrance to the proclamation of the gospel; God therefore in a miraculous manner supplied the deficiency of the apostles. The Holy Spirit did for them what they could not have accomplished for themselves in a lifetime. They could now proclaim the truths of the gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the languages of those for whom they were laboring.
It is evident that the gift given at Pentecost was known human languages that were immediately understood by members of the audience without need for interpreters. The word apophtheggomai ("gave them utterance"), while used in other Greek literature to refer to ecstatic utterance, is used by Luke three times in contexts that underscore clarity of speech and understanding.
On the day of Pentecost the gift of tongues was given in order to provide the disciples with the proper tool for evangelizing the world. The apostles did not know all the languages that were represented in the multitude that day in Jerusalem, so by giving them tongues God supplied them with what they needed. From that time forward, wherever the apostles went, they had the ability to speak in foreign languages. Languages they could not have learned in a lifetime of study were immediately available to them as a result of this gift.
The gift of tongues was extremely valuable in that situation and cannot be over looked. Jesus had commissioned His followers to take the gospel to the whole world. If these Apostles were supposed to go all over the world they would need to know multiple languages, something that these Apostles did not know beforehand. There was also the practical advantage of communicating the gospel to the pilgrims in Jerusalem in their own languages so that they might take it back to their own regions.
If you look at Jerusalem as the center for Judaism, then you realize the need for such a miraculous sign. If God hadn’t bestowed the gift of tongues and had everyone hear their own langue there wouldn’t have been enough force to start the Christian movement. Quite apart from practical considerations, the gift of tongues on the day of...