Dictionary.com

What is it called when a person is “speaking in tongues?”

A person who has what is known as “the gift of tongues” is usually in the midst of religious ecstasy, trance, or delirium. The speaker — and often witnesses too — believe that they are being possessed by a supernatural spirit or channeling the language of a deity or divine being.

Experts call this phenomenon glossolalia, a Greek compound of the words glossa, meaning “tongue” or “language,” and lalein, meaning “to talk.”

Speaking in tongues occurred in ancient Greek religion. It is also mentioned in the The Act of the Apostles in the New Testament, which says that it first occurred among followers of Jesus at Pentecost. The gift of tongues then reappeared when a follower was converted to Christianity. Today, it is commonly associated with Pentecostalism.

Xenoglossy is often mistakenly used to refer to tongue-speakers. However, xenoglossy is a paranormal phenomenon in which a person is able to speak a language that he or she has never heard, read, or been exposed to in any way.

For example, a person who shows signs of xenoglossy might fluently speak Japanese despite having never studied the language, visited Japan, or been exposed to Japanese songs, television shows, web sites, etc. It is a phenomenon that is not generally accepted by linguists and psychologists.

Amen is one of the most common words uttered in prayer, but do you know its exact meaning? Here’s the answer.

116 Comments

  1. Angela -  February 21, 2016 - 1:16 pm

    I find myself wondering what it means to speak in tongues. for i have been given the gift to speak such language. however i have no clue on what it means to be able to hold the gift. i am still new in my walk with the lord so a lot of stuff i have yet to really get to know yet.

    Reply
    • Someone -  April 24, 2016 - 1:56 pm

      “speaking in tongues” is not one language, as it is described in the bible to be able to speak in many foreign actual languages.

      Reply
    • Favour Daniels -  August 13, 2016 - 2:47 pm

      Just study the bible more,inorder to keep the fire burning,and also desire more of God..

      Reply
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    Reply
  4. Just Thinking -  August 13, 2010 - 2:59 pm

    Donna H and the others; you are on the right track keep working but look for grace. You say open your bible where the Truth is. That would be John 14:6. (Christ is the Truth)

    Reply
  5. Bob -  August 12, 2010 - 8:08 am

    Well David, Atheist or not, speaking in tongues is pretty retarded. But whatever floats your boat I guess. Your probably gonna convert less children though if they think ur wackos.

    Reply
  6. david -  August 10, 2010 - 1:49 pm

    okay, here we go again…someone mentioned God, religion, old ways, blessings, something sacred, something good, or anything not atheistic. watch out for here comes the criticism!

    Reply
  7. Alex -  August 10, 2010 - 12:01 am

    I’m surprised that God doesn’t speak English. The Bible is in English after all.

    Reply
  8. Donna H. -  August 9, 2010 - 7:07 pm

    I must say I agree with Maria, Ed, Ihyn, Shawn, Abigale, Anne, Greg, Reyan, and Erica don’t think it could have been explained any better, I just feel sorry for the ones who are ignorant, or can’t comprehend the truth about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I’m proud to say I also obeyed Acts 2:38 and John 3, and was born again the “right way” and I was ignorant at one time myself because I listened to gossip from unlearned people who tried to convince me speaking in tongues was of the devil, and I never read that in the book of Acts,instead–as many as believed were baptized in the Holy Spirit, now for 13+ yrs. the scales have been removed and I hope many others eyes will be opened before Jesus comes back, cause it’s real and it is a gift Acts 2:39, For the promise is unto you…,(you must believe)to receive, Now open your Bible where the truth is and see for yourself, before you give false comments.

    Reply
    • Scott Winn -  June 16, 2016 - 10:59 pm

      I was raised Methodist (BORRRRING and dead), I then repented of my sins in a Baptist church at age 14. I became friends with some kids my age who attended an Apostolic Pentecostal Church. They began to explain the Godhead to me, Jesus Name Baptism , and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost EVIDENCED by speaking in tongues. I have to tell you that I started studying the scriptures very hard and one night after studying again and then started to pray God opened my eyes and revealed to me that what they were telling me was true. I had only stared with my salvation and that was when I repented of my sins. No offense but when I was baptized in the Baptist church, I literally felt nothing; it was merely a ritual. But later when I was baptized in JESUS NAME, oh the joy that came over me; such a presence of God. I received the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I have had this walk now with the Lord since I was 15 and I still believe it , practice it, I feel Gods presence and I’m so free to worship in church. There’s ALOT more to say but I know somebody is going to find fault with what I have said and I have no intention of arguing. I KNOW it’s real because I HAVE IT! ….and nobody will ever convince me any different. Thank God for this Pentecostal way. I am now 57 and still enjoying all of it!

      Reply
  9. tabby -  August 9, 2010 - 2:51 pm

    If I was in a state of speaking in tougnes or delirium, I would say to myself, “pull yourself together, and act normal.”

    Reply
  10. Sarah -  August 9, 2010 - 2:38 pm

    Wow – I think a lot of you here need mental counseling if you use the Bible as a factual source and believe you can legitimately “speak in tongues.” What century am I living in again?

    Reply
  11. ashley -  August 9, 2010 - 9:27 am

    I have read ALL of the responses and only ONE (from Ida York on August 8 at 12:50 am) has it right. She went to the Bible as the source of the answer. I know a pastor who was preaching in English and in the united states at an evangelistic meeting. When the meeting was over, two men came over to him and were excitedly talking to him in a language he did not understand. The men were confused and after searching for someone to translate for them, the pastor found out that they heard his whole sermon in their language! The two men were able to hear the message and understand it, and they accepted Jesus and wanted to be baptized. THAT is the purpose of the gift of tongues. Not to be closer to God, as somebody stated, but to draw others to Him and edify His name.

    Reply
  12. Cody -  August 9, 2010 - 9:10 am

    Xenoglossy, as defined here, is exactly what glossolalia or “speaking in tongues” refers to. According to Acts 2 the apostles spoke in languages that they had never heard and the hearers understood. The author appears to have done very little research and to be very poorly informed about the subject to be mistaken on such a central point.

    Reply
  13. Bob -  August 9, 2010 - 8:53 am

    I think speaking in tongues is a placebo affect just like Religion in general. It’s only useful if you actually believe in what you are doing. Then your brain will actually think you feel better even though nothing at all has happened. Doctors do this all the time by prescribing drugs with the contents similar to a sugar pill, and people actually feel better because they believe the drug to be useful. I guess some people can’t stand the fact that we don’t know the answers to all of life’s questions, so they would rather believe a random story from the Middle East thousands of years ago than to take a look at the questions rationally.

    Reply
  14. Stella Pasture -  August 9, 2010 - 8:38 am

    Delirium is not only an insult to the gift of speaking in tongues but an understatement to the revelation and the phenomenon that has connected man or woman to that circumstance that only the spirit of Christ can reveal and it all is the truth.I’ve never spoken Japanese but I have spoken it before. So I kno wthat it is real and tht it happens to those that are spiritually in touch with the only one end true GOD.

    Reply
  15. Hector -  August 9, 2010 - 8:28 am

    As a Christian that worship the God of the Bible, I based all my beliefs on the Bible and the Bible only: Acts 2:7/8 “Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another “look, are not ALL these who speak Galileans? And how is it that WE HEAR, EACH IN OUR OWN LANGUAGE IN WHICH WE WERE BORN?” (NKJV)

    May I ask: Which language were you BORN?

    Reply
  16. Matt -  August 9, 2010 - 8:13 am

    So rambling like a retard makes you somehow feel closer to “God?” The first person ever to do this was surely an Atheist in the middle of a bet with a friend, seeing who could get religious people to do the dumbest things. This is almost as stupid as Benny Hinn tapping people in the head and making them fall over. Its sad to know that this medieval Christian Mythology won’t be forgotten by humanity until long after I die.

    Lets take a step back and look at Christianity as a whole.

    “The belief that a cosmic Jew zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.”

    And you expect me to take this as the best explanation for why I am here?

    Reply
    • esha -  April 10, 2015 - 7:28 am

      I feel so sorry for you because speaking in tongues is real and it’s powerful.

      Reply
  17. Brad -  August 9, 2010 - 8:06 am

    For me to think of my christian walk without speaking in tongues, is relatively unimaginable. Is that because I am idoloizing the gift God himself gave me? No it is not, it is because that gift is my direct line to God himself. To someone who believes in tongues and regularly practices it, a christian walk without speaking in tongues would not be a christian walk at all. That is not because we idolize it or worship it in some way, it is because we understand its true power and we know what are lives were like when we didnt have this gift. So if you think that in some way that feeling like the gift of tongues is a necessity to a christian is idolatry, then maybe you need to go back and study the scriptures a little harder.

    Reply
  18. Russell -  August 9, 2010 - 7:47 am

    Another term for “speaking in tongues” is “gibberish”. It is a form of fabricated, meaningless speech that’s used by the speaker to create the impression that he or she is speaking to God. It was once thought that these people were speaking other languages with which they were not familiar, until that notion was dispelled by linguists, at which time the Pentacostal church changed its position, declaring these babblings a form of communication with God, in a phonetic language that only God and the speaker understand. It is considered a serious psychiatric illness and can sometimes be treated with anti-psychotic medication, though many cases require long term hospitalization, medication and intensive psychotherapy.

    Also see “snake-handling”.

    Reply
  19. Mercurious -  August 9, 2010 - 7:38 am

    When I was a kid, I remember listening while a Pentecostal minister talked about ‘healing’ the radiator on his car that had sprung a leak so they could go on their merry way to church. He drifted in and out of ‘tongues’ as he described this, as did people in the church who would stand and do this. I think it is a form of self-induced hysteria, that can connect with some part of the unconscious. This is why the idea it is a ‘Christian’ phenomenon is absurd. You can see similar episodes in many spiritual practices, from shamanism to the Greek mysteries. But of course, Christians would like to believe only their God does it for real. Just because you feel good, feel connected etc. doesn’t prove in any way it is a direct communication with whatever God is. If you want to believe that, fine. But hysteria is a much more likely answer.

    Reply
  20. Pastor Nick -  August 9, 2010 - 7:17 am

    The most important thing to know about speaking in tongues is what the bible says about it. The bible is God’s inspired word; it’s Him speaking to us and in order for us to know the truth about something we need to see what God says about it. Man has many ideas and philosophies but God’s word is truth. After Jesus had died and risen from the dead He had many last words to say to His disciples before He ascended into Heaven. Some of them included waiting for God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon them and His power so that they would be empowered to preach the Gospel to all over the world. Speaking in tongues happens after a ‘believer’ (not just anybody) receives the Holy Spirit. Yes, once we make Jesus, the Son of God, our Lord giving Him 100% of our lives, repenting and turning away from our sins and the way we want to live, it’s called being born again. When we receive Jesus and what He did, dying for the sins of the world, then He creates a new spirit in us; a new heart. We’re not just flesh and bone bodies but God is a spirit being and we’re made in His image. Without Christ we are spiritually dead and separated from Him but God may a way through Christ for us to be close to Him and have a relationship with Him. So once you become a believer then you ask God to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts chapter 2:1-4; chapter 10:44-46 and chapter 19:1-7 are examples of believers being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking with tongues. The bible also says that in 1 Corinthians 14 that it’s a language that you pray to God that only He can understand and others can’t. We are just human being and only know so much to pray but ask this question, “what if God could help us pray?” that would be awesome. now people who are not christians can speak in tongues but it’s not of God it’s demonic. they are yielding to a demonic spirit and it’s taking them over causing them to speaking in other languages. Hope this helped anyone, love you guys.

    Reply
  21. Friend -  August 9, 2010 - 7:13 am

    Speaking in tongues was done first done in 33CE. The gift of tongues, however, served another purpose, a most practical purpose. Especially on the day of Pentecost, by means of this gift of tongues they were able to witness to Jews coming from many different lands and who did not understand Aramaic, the native tongue. No wonder that three thousand of them embraced Christianity on that day
    But today such is not needed as we have God’s Word the Bible and it is in all languages. And even though today some profess to be able to speak in tongues… but,of what benefits is it as no one can understand those that are speaking in tongues today. God is a God of order and purpose, so if one cannot understand it… of what purpose is it and from what source does it come from? Not from God, I assure you.

    Reply
  22. Pastor Nick -  August 9, 2010 - 7:06 am

    The most important thing to know about speaking in tongues is what the bible says about it. The bible is God’s inspired word; it’s Him speaking to us and in order for us to know the truth about something we need to see what God says about it. Man has many ideas and philosophies but God’s word is truth. After Jesus had died and risen from the dead He had many last words to say to His disciples before He ascended into Heaven. Some of them included waiting for God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon them and His power so that they would be empowered to preach the Gospel to all over the world. Speaking in tongues happens after a ‘believer’ (not just anybody) receives the Holy Spirit. Yes, once we make Jesus our or Lord and the Son of God and give Him 100% of our lives in obedience to Him and His word and believe in

    Reply
  23. LindyMaeUSA -  August 9, 2010 - 6:59 am

    Passionate Patriot: Thank you dear Brother or Sister. You defined and described that incredible supernatural experience perfectly. :-)

    For more than forty (40) years, I’ve been “Praising and Worshiping our glorious Triune God” in an indescribably beautiful, definitely supernatural language I’ve never learned; it would be impossible to learn a language straight from Heaven anyhow! By faith, I simply accept that phenomenon, always thanking Him for blessing me with a “direct line” because what the Holy Spirit prays is ALWAYS “the right prayer!” God bless you for “saying it, like IT IS!” :-)

    Reply
  24. Erica -  August 9, 2010 - 6:34 am

    John 3:5 says, “..Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he CANNOT enter into the kingdom of God.” EVEN IF YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET THERE UNLESS YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED THESE TWO THINGS, GOD SPOKE IT. Scripture states you must be born of the water. This is water baptism, but not just any. Acts 2:38 says, “..Repent, and be baptized every one of you IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” When you are baptized in Jesus name, God’s [Jesus] spirit lives inside of you. The evidence of Jesus living inside you is the Holy Ghost which is the evidence of SPEAKING IN TONGUES. This is the second part in which John 3:5 states, being born of the Spirit. Speaking in tongues is a heavenly language God fills you with “the comforter” as scripture calls it. It is a language that is between you and God, your Spirit is calling out to God in a way you cannot express with a known language. It is essential and is the most wonderful gift given to mankind. A great site: answeredhere.com
    So thankful to know the truth!

    Reply
  25. lhyn -  August 9, 2010 - 5:13 am

    Speaking in tongue is REAL! As many of you said, it started ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST as followers of Jesus Christ were praying led by PETER. So, those who are speaking in tongues right now are just following what were done by those who followed Jesus Christ. Don’t this give a realization to others that those who really wants to become followers of Jesus, should have done also speaking in tongues? What happened before is still happening until now. Speaking in tongue is being used as a communication language between a person and God. When the person is in a very deep meditation of prayer (while uttering words) the tendency is to speak in other tongue. This is something that Science cannot explain because this is a heavenly thing that human being cannot intercede anymore. I would suggest for those who are curious about this to just try it because this will really give you an unspeakable joy in your heart that you have never felt before in your entire life. The BIBLE is TRUE and what was written here was also TRUE. SPEAKING IN TONGUE was in the BIBLE, done by followers of Jesus Christ led by PETER. Simple analogy, SPEAKING IN TONGUE is on JESUS’ side, so it’s TRUE.

    Reply
  26. sharon -  August 9, 2010 - 4:21 am

    let me just say: u r worried about the wrong thing the more impotrant question is this: have u asked jesus to come and live in your heart. have u asked for forgiveness of your sins. jesus told the seventy two didiples who returned in luke 10:17-20: dont rejoice because the evil spirits obey u rejoice that your name is written in heaven. its not about tounges or what man thinks they r or arent. its all about your soul and where u will spend eternity. jesus said: john 3:16: for god so loved the world that he gave his only begooton son that WHOSOEVER that means you. belives in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. i come not into this world to condeem the world but that the world might be saved through me. all u have to do is ask his forgiveness and live for him . and by the way: his holy spirit is real because i have him n my heart.

    Reply
  27. Ray -  August 9, 2010 - 12:04 am

    ghdsgdaas

    Reply
  28. Nicole -  August 8, 2010 - 11:05 pm

    Look to the bible: 1co 13:1 If I speak in the tounges of angels
    1 co 14:5 greater than he that speaks in tounges
    1 co 14:9 through tounges utter speach understood
    1 co 14:22 tounges are a sign, to unbelievers

    Reply
  29. Mary Pollard -  August 8, 2010 - 11:00 pm

    I liked this…cool!

    Reply
  30. Ardelia Jackson -  August 8, 2010 - 10:30 pm

    I’m in total agreement with the comment of ……… John Karnes. I could not have said anything better!!!
    Thank You John!

    Reply
  31. woot -  August 8, 2010 - 10:26 pm

    i think dictionary.com should stop blogging stuffs with religious content. because zealots infest these comments.you make me sick.

    Reply
  32. H.J.Robinson -  August 8, 2010 - 10:26 pm

    I have a couple of scriptures from the word of the living G-d to share with you.If you meditate on these scriptures and believe in the G-d who inspired the authors of this book, He is indeed El Roi and He does see your faith.He is a faithful G-d to serve, till this day He has never forsaken me OR left me stranded, despite my shortcomings. His love for me is overwhelming, this is the reason I see fit to pray in tongues, to glorify my creator.May He reveal himself to you also, as you seek him with all your heart, may you find the one I know and love.PLEASE READ BELOW..
    Isaiah 28:11″Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to his people,etc.Mark 16:17″And these signs will accompany those who believe: In Jesus name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues”1 Corinthians 13:1″ If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal”
    Just remember that speaking in tongues is not independent of salvation/love/hope/faith.I dare you to search the scriptures and find out more about the power of speaking in tongues..
    Grace be to you as you seek my Lord and seek to please Him.
    Much Love
    H.J.Robinson

    Reply
  33. Rey-an -  August 8, 2010 - 10:22 pm

    Acts 2: 12-18

    And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

    Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

    But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

    For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

    But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

    And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

    And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

    Reply
  34. Steve` -  August 8, 2010 - 10:18 pm

    Whole lot of crazy goin’ on here

    Reply
  35. urCrazy -  August 8, 2010 - 9:55 pm

    Since there is no god, speaking in tongues is the embarrassing act of losing control over one’s ability to think and understand reality to the point where even language has no meaning.

    Reply
  36. saxygal -  August 8, 2010 - 9:45 pm

    This is a great post to see here. As one who speaks in tongues much daily, I can share that you are in control. God is a God of free will. He never controls, but, has given us all the operations of the Holy Spirit in one lump sum at the time we become born again.

    It’s like having a turbo charged race car. It comes in one ‘piece’ but to get in and drive it takes a person. That person turns on the engine, steps on the gas, engages the brakes, turns the steering wheel. All of these are components of the race car, but each serves a unique purpose. Each requires individual activation to use those components.

    When a person becomes born again they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in one lump sum. It’s up to us though, to learn about what comes with this turbo charged ability, and we need to learn how the parts work individually in order to understand how they serve us as the whole.

    Reply
  37. Katie -  August 8, 2010 - 9:45 pm

    To actually be speaking in tongues, someone has to be able to understand you. That’s the qualification.

    “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue…”

    Today all we see are crazy folk under the influence of “the Spirit” uttering nonsense.

    Reply
  38. Alex -  August 8, 2010 - 9:44 pm

    This isn’t necessarily a spiritual matter, to all those who criticize the writer. As far as I can tell, Christianity appears in only 2 or 3 sentences out of the 6 (short) paragraphs. You can hardly judge it to be incorrect simply because it doesn’t go into detail about a specific origin or religious interpretation.

    Reply
  39. holz -  August 8, 2010 - 9:42 pm

    HI I’M A CHRISTIAN

    BLA BLA BLA

    Reply
  40. Manly Awesome -  August 8, 2010 - 9:26 pm

    Hey religious nutters, your holy books and myths are not historical artifacts to the rest of the world. Your suggestion that the dictionary be altered to meet your Bible is as absurd as a Muslim suggesting the encyclopedia be altered to meet the Koran. Keep your religion at church.

    Reply
  41. Billy -  August 8, 2010 - 8:41 pm

    Call this what it is: crazy people who think they are talking to their imaginary friend.

    Reply
  42. jrpy -  August 8, 2010 - 8:20 pm

    WOW – the crazy in this room is ten feet think.

    Reply
  43. saxygal -  August 8, 2010 - 8:15 pm

    This is a great post to see here. As one who speaks in tongues much daily, I can share that you are in control. God is a God of free will. He never controls, but, has given us all the operations of the Holy Spirit in one lump sum at the time we become born again.

    It’s like having a turbo charged race car. It comes in one ‘piece’ but to get in and drive it takes a person. That person turns on the engine, steps on the gas, engages the brakes, turns the steering wheel. All of these are components of the race car, but each serves a unique purpose. Each requires individual activation to use those components.

    When a person becomes born again they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in one lump sum. It’s up to us though, to learn about what comes with this turbo charged ability, and we need to learn how the parts work individually in order to understand how they serve us as the whole.

    I came across this resource that explains speaking in tongues very simply and clearly. Thought I’d share as it helped me understand these details. Maybe it can help others too.

    Reply
  44. Ed -  August 8, 2010 - 7:39 pm

    Aina needs to read the book of Acts, in the NEW Testament. That’s the first place in scripture that tongues, as this section discusses, is ever mentioned. Also, nowhere in scripture is there an indication that tongues ever ceased. As one who has experienced this, that is receiving a prayer language when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I know it’s real. Before I became a believer, I figured those who claimed to speak in tongues were nut cases. If I’m nuts, it’s because I’m nuts about the Lord. If that’s the case, I’m happy to be that way!

    Reply
  45. You people are nuts -  August 8, 2010 - 7:33 pm

    All of you who think that you are speaking to god or that god is channeling you are idiots. You’re just making sounds with your mouth. Go read a real book, morons.

    Reply
  46. Fabrício -  August 8, 2010 - 7:23 pm

    I received a lot of glossolalic input when I was a young church-goer. I wonder if the typical sounds and “words” people utter when they’re speaking in tongues are similar all around the globe.

    Reply
  47. Jason -  August 8, 2010 - 7:19 pm

    Glossolalia is also experienced by people under the influence of halucinogenic substances. Also, there are studies that demonstrate similarities between deep meditation/prayer and LSD as evidenced by brain activity, objective observations and subjective observations.

    Maybe religion really is the “opium of the people” as Karl Marx said.

    Reply
  48. Redalia -  August 8, 2010 - 6:55 pm

    I’m a big fan of rubber-biscuit as well.

    Reply
  49. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  August 8, 2010 - 5:58 pm

    The Biblical instance of every man hearing in his own tongue, is probably proof that all languages -or significant sub-lexicon thereof- were common among the peoples of the mid east… This is roughly true of the Sumerian language Jesus was taught at home in ‘heaven’ (Persian range mountains or possibly higher in his era of god-father Eloi Eloah)–

    Compare, by random samples, Egyptian god Khonshu was Khan/Lord Shu, Khan, is Lord in Chinese, and Khonshu correlates to the first Jehovah… (Khan, breaks down further to Kh’An THE-LORD, where An was Lord in Sumerian) … Compare, Asar, means decade in Hebrew, and Sar means 3600 days, Sumerian, which is a decade in the first 360-day-year calendar, (albeit Greeks like Plato ‘pomped’ it up to 3600 years)….

    The languages were similar but with add-in names for objects, and title names derived from prior persons (as above, Shu pronounced Shwv, became the title-name YHWH for lots of ‘Shu’s thereafter (Like saying Obama is the current ‘George Washington’…).

    Reply
  50. Adam -  August 8, 2010 - 5:48 pm

    The real shame here is not the definition offered by the original poster, but rather that the article managed to scrounge up all the religious people who think a form of hypnosis – a scientifically verified, explained, and demonstrable state – is the work of some supernatural deity.

    Reply
  51. Shawn -  August 8, 2010 - 5:43 pm

    You can’t judge something you have never experienced. Coming from a Baptist background, I was taught you cannot experience these things. But when God sets you free, “you shall be free indeed.” After leaving my old church I did experience what this feels like, and it’s unlike anything I’ve experienced. I was probably the most skeptical person you could meet on this subject. How can you say something is not possible if you believe in a God who can do anything? Even if you don’t believe in God it may interest you to think that there would be a God who would want to personally be close to you. When you have such a relationship with someone; it is incredibly elating to speak to Him in a language no one else could understand.

    Reply
  52. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  August 8, 2010 - 5:31 pm

    The case recorded in the Bible, of every man hearing in his own language, is quite probably proof that the languages -or subset thereof-

    Reply
  53. Danno Davis -  August 8, 2010 - 4:44 pm

    Dictionary.com seems to have left out the part about it being self-indulgent, and “practiced” only by the truly self-absorbed and delusional. There’s a good reason why no mainstream minister has ever done it on camera: she/he’d probably stand to lose half of her/his audience (read: revenue). Honestly, folks, it’s the pretense of an informed discussion here that is so galling.

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  54. Joshua A -  August 8, 2010 - 4:23 pm

    @ TRN you are so RIGHT!!!!

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  55. Antonio Rose -  August 8, 2010 - 4:21 pm

    This is a very controverial subject. I think its a matter of opinion and what one believes tounges actually is.

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  56. Joshua A -  August 8, 2010 - 4:20 pm

    The GIFT of Tongues, is a (SPIRITUAL GIFT) its a unknown lanuage between you and GOD. Acts 2 describes tougues very well. When speaking in tougues it opens prophetic doors and windows in the realm of the spirit, As a BELIVER and a PROPHET OF THE LORD, I speak in tongues when I dont know what to say in english. IT helps out a LOT. It quickens the ears of God. I love tongues and I dont know where I would be without it. But that is some good information.

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  57. Jack -  August 8, 2010 - 4:14 pm

    Please allow this group of comments to be submitted to the near-infinite body of evidence that religious people are genuinely out of their minds.

    I mean seriously, people, you’re talking about make-believe sky creatures and the invisible, unverifiable things they do. The only method you have of conveying this schizophrenia to sane people (whom you call “ignorant in spiritual matters” *rolls eyes*) is to talk about how very real this delusion seems to you. “But we really feel the LOORRRD!”. Sure you do. It’s not a fabrication of your lonely mind at all. It’s all real…

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  58. Dillan -  August 8, 2010 - 4:10 pm

    During my younger and my early teenage years, I was one of the people in a certain Christian sect who believes in the presence of speaking in tongues but doesn’t practice it. When God led me to a different Church, (wherein I found myself to go deeply within the heart of God but still I’m not even half-way there) I was surprise to hear the people speaking in tongues on a Thursday night service. It was awesome! But I find it weird at that time because I was blinded by the truth about speaking in tongues..days and months past I started to know God’s heart and how it feels like to honor Him. I felt the desire in my heart burning to speak in tongues. My encounter with this glorious experience was when i was reading a very powerful book about pursuing your destiny in life!! I was so blessed with the content of the book since I could feel it literally uplifted my soul! when i asked God to let me speak to Him in tongues I opened my mouth then boom!! I could hear myself speaking in tongues! the feeling was overwhelming after you spoke it!there’s peace and joy that you couldn’t explain that only the Spirit of God within you knows as He connects with God! I understood and I was able to, I think somehow get myself to be a step closer to God…But i want more of Him!!!! more than how men define the word “more”!!!!C’mon!!!!

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  59. James Meyer -  August 8, 2010 - 3:57 pm

    Although there are many stories and (sometimes overly-fanatical)accounts of people muttering seemingly incomprehensible words during worship, a far more common application for the “Gift of tongues” is in the ability to quickly learn and effectively utilize other languages for the purpose of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who do not have the knowledge they need to take full hold of His blessings.

    Although you wouldn’t call that “glossolalia”…

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  60. Abigale Barnabas -  August 8, 2010 - 3:49 pm

    Speaking in Tongues was a gift of the Holy spirit that I asked for and received. With every gift, the package has to be opened and the gift examined and understanding found on how to use the gift given. It is like a talent that we should not hide, but use according to its purpose given in the Scripture.
    I am thankful and when I pray in that perfect language, miracles have happened. How could something from God be spoken of as if it was not good, and how could anyone say that I am in a trance or strange because of what God gave me? Only people that don’t understand consider the things of God as foolish.

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  61. Sara -  August 8, 2010 - 3:48 pm

    Sounds like a lot of crazy juice is getting passed around.

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  62. Tricia -  August 8, 2010 - 3:07 pm

    What a crock of crap. It’s hard to believe that there are so many gulible fools out there.

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  63. TRN -  August 8, 2010 - 2:49 pm

    Many who have posted comments on here say how self-satisfying it is to speak in tongues, when a relationship with God is not about “me”, but glorifying Him. God is not closer when we feel good, or further when we don’t, but present throughout all times.

    If you speak in tongues, ask yourself this question:
    If you were no longer permitted to ever speak in tongues again, what would your relationship with God look like?

    If your answer was that you can’t even imagine having a relationship with God without speaking in tongues, then perhaps speaking in tongues has become an idol in your life.

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  64. JAMIE -  August 8, 2010 - 2:47 pm

    Speaking in tounges can easily be misinterpeted by the unintelligent as something fanatical and extreme. When the apostles in Acts spoke in toungues it was in relation to the incoming of the Holy Spirit, while Christ was here the Holy Spirit had not come, after his death & resurrection the forming of the church was a very special time and God communicated with his brethren at that time at Pentecost, in a spitual language which others couldn’t understand, only understood by those who had been indwelt by the Spirit. It says that others mocking said they are full of new wine. Today speaking in tongues is a individual matter and a person can communicate to God in whatever way he will, and He can use it to effect something in someone.
    I dont altogether agree with the authors definition “ecstacey” is appropriate as Peter knew what it was to be in ecstacey in Acts 10, tongues are really a method of divine communication.

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  65. mark mabuna -  August 8, 2010 - 2:43 pm

    The apostles in the book of Acts could be understood by people when they did speak in tongues. It was a gift from GOD so as to give the Gentiles a chance to hear the WORDS OF GOD in their own languages. However, now it has changed a lot and it is entirely different. The people speaking in tongues as they say, would babble an unknown or never hear language,which no own could comprehend. They even say they do it under the inspiration GOD. Ironic! If it’s inspired by GOD it should be the same as what happened back in the days of the Pentecost.

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  66. P. Arpino -  August 8, 2010 - 2:39 pm

    One of the fruitages of Gods spirit at Gal 6:23 is self control. I hardly think anyone writhing around speaking nonsense has God’s spirit it is more likely his arch enemy’s Satans spirit. The speaking in tongues which was given to the apostles was so that the message of Gods Kingdom could be spread throughout the earth in the language that could be understood by different nationalities. If no one can understand what is coming out of your mouth this gift would have been of no use at all.

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  67. john karnes -  August 8, 2010 - 1:39 pm

    That article was so far out in left field i couldn’t even see the field. Best leave spiritual matters to those who are spiritual, this article could have been written by satan himself. 10 Thumbs down

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  68. Ben Curtis -  August 8, 2010 - 1:33 pm

    Speaking in this manner (and the feeling of holy connection that goes with it) is common in non-Christian religions, and documented in religious ceremonies that pre-date Christianity. It is just as common in non-believers as believers (when non-believers are given enough info to try it out themselves), and can be directly associated with specifically localized brain damaged and potentially induced by carefully prepared magnetics placed on the scalp.

    I find it very difficult to understand why so many of the people posting here want such a marvelous experience to be associated with their God. Doesn’t that diminish the power and importance of God, if such “gifts” can be induced by simple magnets? Or if they lose the functioning of a portion of their brain through trauma (e.g., a stroke, hemorrhage, or other injury), and then they start “speaking in tongues” as a result, does this mean that God can only be found by shutting off parts of the brain?

    As to the author’s choice of definition, I think it’s very well done. It threads the careful balance between those who think all things wonderful must come from God and must remain unexamined, and those of us who think God has much better things to do than scramble our heads and that we do our best to honor him when we discard the mumbo jumbo and admire the reality he created for us.

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  69. TONGUES | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  August 8, 2010 - 1:32 pm

    [...] “SPEAKING IN TONGUES” — SIMPLY MARVELOUS! — We thought they called that RAP. — We be hearing our own murmuring — bout getting caught in the “Racecar” Trap. — There’s no joke hear about “INSPIRATION” or respectful blasphemy — Xenoglossy sounds enticing — Like a cake without any icing. — By “PALINDROMES” we’re stupefied — for lunch we’ll have a “TONGUE SANDWICH” — on rye — with mustard and Horseradish, — it’s down right “DEIFIED”.–>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

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  70. François -  August 8, 2010 - 1:03 pm

    I have witnessed people “speaking in tongues”. They made no sense at all. They just uttered whatever syllable came to their mind like Ella Fitzgerald signing scat. Seeing them do that makes you wonder if the entire religion is not just a big pretend game.

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  71. Bro. Emeka Rajis -  August 8, 2010 - 12:40 pm

    Praise God through whom all blessings flow! In the book of Genesis (chapter 11:9), Jehovah confounded the language of man. On the day of Pentecost he allowed Jews from different borders to speak in tongues (other earthly languages) and they did prophecy and bless God. Recorded in Acts Chapter 2:

    “And they were all amazed and marvelled, 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? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

    But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

    And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

    And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: ”

    So now as through sin Jehovah divided man, how wonderful is it that God through holiness would give a symbol of unity amongst all cultures, Jew and Gentile. But there is also a personal, spiritual tongue which is related to the baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers. This tongue is an unknown tongue, as recorded in 1Corinthians chapter 14:

    ” Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. ”

    Moreover, tongues are a sign to those who don’t believe. Recorded in 1Corinthians chapter 14:

    “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.”

    So we speak in tongues as the Spirit allows to connect either with men (earthly tongue, which is speaking other languages) or to connect with the Father (where our spirit communicates with God).

    Christians truly speaking in tongues are not in a trance, or in some form of ecstasy, but we are caught up by the power of the Holy Ghost. Some may say I cannot understand it but that’s understandable. 1Corinthians 2:14 states: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

    Jesus Christ is the only way to make it to heaven. If you call on the name of Jesus you shall be saved. If not, you have condemned yourself. I pray for all who read, to come to the saving knowledge and love of the Father.

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  72. The_Factor -  August 8, 2010 - 12:36 pm

    Xenoglossy does not necessarily refer to the Pentecost, as when The Holy Spirit descended upon “We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia. Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs…” (Acts 2:9-10 each person was not speaking “the language of a diety or divine being”, but were rather enabled by God to understand one another’s languages. They themselves spoke their own mother tongue, which, in turn, could be heard as the language of another individual, who could clearly hear the subject’s language as their own, yet even though the subject was directly speaking their own. “…yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.” (Acts 2:10).

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  73. unfeigned -  August 8, 2010 - 12:13 pm

    speaking in the holy language is a sign that one has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

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  74. StephenL -  August 8, 2010 - 11:54 am

    We Christians have to realize that our “gifts” are going to be duplicated by other religions as a means to make what we do or have as “normal”or not so special. There are those out there that do not want to believe in our God (Triune)as the one true and only God and will find “evidence” to disprove our belief or make it common to man. I myself have at least 3 different “languages” that I speak ‘in tongues’, all different from the other. I have heard others that are not Christians that spoke in “tongues” during their religious ferver and it did sound as another language, it also made the hairs on my whole body stand on end and made my stomach do flip-flops. Needless to say, I began to pray in tongues. We Christians should not be so discouraged by those that try to demean what we have but should be incouraged when they attack our knowledge but uphold other beliefs.

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  75. StephenL -  August 8, 2010 - 11:33 am

    Many people, such as “Pentecostles” that “speak in tongues” do have a tendancy to sound like they are jabbering or uttering the same sound or phrase repetitively and thus others see them as making noises. There are many of us that actually do speak other languages. I had received a language when I as a teenager. I was uttering a phrase over and over after receiving the Holy Spirit and after asking the Lord for the interpertation, it was a praise. “Esta le Ki a le Kai”, ‘He is the King of Kings”. I do not know the language, but it does sound similar to Spanish. Speaking in tongues is not exclusive to Christians and is duplicated by other religions, It is actually interpretated as “tongues of the angels” which demons are fallen angels and they do know these languages.

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  76. Jack -  August 8, 2010 - 10:39 am

    Good post, Dan. I always understood that Biblical passage the same way. Through the “gift of tongues,” God allowed the speakers to be understood by people who spoke different languages. Completely different from today’s notion of “speaking in tongues,” where the speaker cannot be stood by anyone (except perhaps God).

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  77. Joy -  August 8, 2010 - 10:35 am

    The definition offered here is a prime example that you cannot believe everything you read. Objectivity, not subjectivity is the rule to follow in any word study. Example, the follow:

    “A person who has what is known as “the gift of tongues” is usually in the midst of religious ecstasy, trance, or delirium. The speaker — and often witnesses too — believe that they are being possessed by a supernatural spirit or channeling the language of a deity or divine being.”

    The quoted paragraph is absolutely incorrect, historically and experientially. Sadly, many will read this and believe it.

    As far as speaking in tongues occurring in ancient Greek religion, I have no knowledge of that. Is there historical evidence to support this statement?

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  78. sincerely -  August 8, 2010 - 10:29 am

    I wonder Who wrote this first false definition? They do not know anything about speaking in tongues according to their defintion,I’m glad others can add the truth about it.

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  79. Jason -  August 8, 2010 - 10:21 am

    I’m sorry, but doesn’t that just sound like someone’s making shit up as they go? I’m not a religious person, but I can hardly believe that babbling on nonsensical crap is “the most fulfilling a Christian could ever experience.” Come on. Grow up.

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  80. Edz -  August 8, 2010 - 9:45 am

    i have to agree with Danny

    When i speak in toques i dont believe iam “being possessed by a supernatural spirit or channeling the language of a deity or divine being”

    Its so hard to explain it. Much like the love of Jesus. You just have to experience it :)

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  81. anne -  August 8, 2010 - 9:18 am

    Speaking in tongues is never delirium or a trance. It is a gift from the Lord to those who ask for it and who have been born again by the Spirit of God. It says in Jude that speaking in tongues builds yourself up in your most holy faith. It gives you strength — 10 minutes of speaking in tongues is like a power nap! Doctors have proven that speaking in tongues for 30 minutes increases your immune function. Yes, the sky is bluer and the grass is greener when you have the glorious gift of speaking in tongues by being baptized in the Holy Spirit. You can also use your prayer language to pray against those things which you don’t understand or for a person when you don’t know what is happening to them or a situation you don’t understand. Devils can’t interpret what you are saying when you are praying in tongues. At no time are you in delirium or in a trance — whoever wrote this in dictionary.com didn’t ask enough questions to all the millions of Christians who are baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is a very normal,everyday practice for all believers worldwide. Nothing is more glorious, edifying, strengthening than praying in the Spirit directly to the Lord of the Universe. Jesus Christ is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. It was the great price of the shedding of His blood for your sins and my sins that allowed the Holy Spirit to come to the earth 40 days later and possess the believers and give them the gift of speaking in tongues. You have all power over the enemy when you pray in the Spirit.

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  82. Mars -  August 8, 2010 - 9:02 am

    “Speaking in Tongues” is different from Xenoglossy in a way that it is a personal language between you and the Christian God. It is a gift that everyone can have, from the days of Pentecost, all the way to today. Also there are some people who are given the gift of Interpretation, who can actually translate what someone speaking in tongues might be saying to an entire congregation.
    Xenoglossy does happen as a oppurtunistic gift from God also, I have actually met a guy who came to Scotland, because God told him to, not knowing a word of English, and when he landed he was suddenly fluent in it. Strange, but remarkably true!

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  83. Malachi -  August 8, 2010 - 8:46 am

    Delirium — they could have left it @ that.

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  84. You Can Call Me Ray -  August 8, 2010 - 8:22 am

    Folks, the correct word the Christian behavior of “speaking in tongues” is “glossolaia.”

    Glossolalia is fabricated, meaningless speech.

    According to Dr. William T. Samarin, professor of anthropology and linguistics at the University of Toronto:

    “glossolalia consists of strings of meaningless syllables made up of sounds taken from those familiar to the speaker and put together more or less haphazardly …. Glossolalia is language-like because the speaker unconsciously wants it to be language-like. Yet in spite of superficial similarities, glossolalia fundamentally is not language (Nickell, 108).

    When spoken by schizophrenics, glossolalia are recognized as gibberish. In charismatic Christian communities glossolalia is sacred and referred to as “speaking in tongues” or having “the gift of tongues.”

    Link:
    http://skepdic.com/glossol.html

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  85. Min. Tiffanie Foster -  August 8, 2010 - 8:10 am

    And for those who would like the gift of tongues, I pray in the name of Jesus that you receive it THIS DAY through the believing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    But more so we should ask to be able to prophecy also…
    1 Corinthians 14:5
    I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying
    AND WHAT IS ALL OF THIS IF WE HAVE NOT LOVE…because God is love
    1 Corinthians 13:1
    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love in action), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal

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  86. maria -  August 8, 2010 - 7:57 am

    The gift of the Holy Spirit, talking in tongues is a supernatural activity which brings power, understanding, comfort, He is a deposit that Jesus left with us, Before His resurection, Jesus told us He is going away, but would not leave us comfortless but would send the Holy Spirit to comfort us and bring truth. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit in my life, including talking in tounges is a major part of my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and keeps me from falling…

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  87. Kathleen -  August 8, 2010 - 7:38 am

    I personally know several Christians with Xenoglossy in Greek, Mandrin Chinese, and Korean. The “gift of tongues” as some people call it is indeed biblical. In the Acts of Apostles those with Xenoglossy were understood by people from other language backgrounds.

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  88. Greg -  August 8, 2010 - 7:36 am

    Speaking in tongues is the outward sign, that one has recieved the Holy Ghost infilling in one’s life. In Acts 2, 8, 10, 19, New Testament believers were filled with the Holy Ghost and each one spoke in tongues. In fact, in Acts 10:44, when Gentile believers were filled for the first time, Peter knew it to be a real, geniune experience for he heard them speak with tongues just like the 120 on the day of Pentecost. What language one speaks may be earthly, or heavenly, but one is conversing with God. The infilling Spirit brings good changes and strength to combat life’s difficulties. A believer will continue to speak with tongues after the initial evidence as an on going relationship with Jesus.

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  89. Tom -  August 8, 2010 - 7:34 am

    The gift of tongues was first experienced by the disciples of Jesus Christ on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 where over 3000 people heard the Galilean disciples speak the truths of God in many different dialects that were know of and spoken in that day by the hearers, but were completely foreign to the speakers. This phenomenon occurred on only two other occasions in the book of Acts, in chapters 10 and 19 where people were confronted with the truth of the gospel and came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The gift is also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14 where Paul attempts to correct the misuse of the gift and the confusion that results when the focus is not that of exalting Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. A good reference for the purpose of tongues is found in 1 Corinthians 14:22, and the end result should always be that of seeing others come to faith in Jesus Christ. Regarding the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” see 1 Cor 2:12; 3:16; 6:19; Eph 1:13,14 & Rom 8:9

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  90. Lorna Johnston -  August 8, 2010 - 7:16 am

    Great comments from those who know what they are talking about! It’s a shame Dictionary.com’s comments were apparently based on the ignorant assumptions of unbelievers.

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  91. Michael Wharton -  August 8, 2010 - 6:45 am

    It’s important not to interpret this very important phenomenon from a narrowly religious point of view. ‘Speaking in tongues’ is not limited to Christianity but is known in many other religions and cultures, but, of course, by other names. Essentially, ‘speaking in tongues’ means speaking in an ecstacy, which is to say when one is ‘out of oneself’ – out of one’s ordinary, limited, ego-consciousness and in a state of deep inspiration. In such a state, one may be experienced by others as a mouthpiece for a higher personality or power – which may sometimes be the case, but is less controversially interpreted as the breakthrough, usually due to temporary favourable conditions, of a higher level of one’s own mind. Ancient Buddhist belief posits 33 levels of conditioned being, from any of which one might be speaking from time to time, and also of 8 levels of spiritual attainment, that is to say, of attainment of insight-imbued, ‘unconditioned’ being and consciousness. If one attains any of these levels of insight or ‘unconditioned’ consciousness and being, however, one’s speech is said to be imbued with wisdom, compassion, and a remarkable energy, and one speaks consistently, so that there is no longer question of ‘speaking in tongues’ as a temporary and remarkable phenomenon, but of speaking and communicating in that way all the time.

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  92. Micky Finn -  August 8, 2010 - 6:35 am

    Speaking in tongues is one of the nine manifestations of the gift of holy spirit, which one receives when he gets born-again (when he makes Jesus Lord and believes in his heart that God has raised him from the dead). It is an unknown language to that individual, although somone else may understand it as it is a language of men or angels. It is direct communication between that individual and God and is perfect prayer. When done in a group it is to be interpreted by that person and is then a message from God for those people present. The person speaking is in complete control and does it by his own will, it is not possesion. Some of these manifestations are laid out in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 and as with all the manifestations of holy spirit is to be done in love which is laid out in 1 Corinthians 13.

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  93. John Gravel -  August 8, 2010 - 6:27 am

    Yes, I would agree heartily with Ida York — and propose strongly that the author reconsider and rewrite the definition. Scripture clearly states in Acts, as Ida aptly quoted, that “we hear them (the apostles) declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues.”

    If we were to look at that phrase alone it clearly falls under the definition of xenoglossy.

    You have a choice here, as we many times do in faith. You either accept that this was an account of what happened, or you don’t because things like this don’t happen today and, as the article says, “[i]t is a phenomenon that is not generally accepted by linguists and psychologists.”

    I would add in closing that physical resurrection is also a phenomenon that is not generally accepted by medical doctors.

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  94. free for ever -  August 8, 2010 - 6:22 am

    Did such a notion happen to human beings before religion or Christianity was invented? What about if someone goes thru such a phenomenon but does not believe in any religion?

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  95. Jessica -  August 8, 2010 - 5:37 am

    The idea of a supernatural God has not only scrambled your minds but also your tongues.

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  96. Tahari (Tongue Talking Apostolic) Austin -  August 8, 2010 - 5:30 am

    How, what an awesome thing to come on dictionary.com this morning while preparing for Sunday School to find this article! It is really good, informational! Im going to forward it to a few people!

    I speak in tongues and one will find that once they have encountered this experience, only under the power and anointing of God, they will NEVER be the same.

    This sign, speaking in tongues, is the proof that you have the Holy Ghost. Once you have the Holy Ghost, your life is completely changed and you will better understand the signifigance of tongues!

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  97. Kevin -  August 8, 2010 - 5:18 am

    Xenoglossy, by it’s definition here, would actually be the appropriate term for the happening on the Day of Pentecost as well as many Christian testimonies today. For example, one of my college instructors from Japan told of a woman who was filled with the Spirit one day, repeating a phrase she did not understand. The instructor, later on, was playing a Japanese song at a church service, which turned out to have that phrase in it’s chorus.
    Tongues, now, or baptism in the Holy Spirit are not necessarily a sign of salvation (from hell), as the requirements do not include it (Only repent, believing in Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, and make Christ ruler of one’s life, letting people know – Rom10.9)

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  98. Micky Finn -  August 8, 2010 - 5:13 am

    Speaking in tongues is one of the nine manifestations of the gift of holy spirit, which one receives when he gets born-again (when he makes Jesus Lord and believes in his heart that God has raised him from the dead). The it is an unknown language to that individual, although somone else may understand it as it is a language of men or angels. It is direct communication between that individual and God and is perfect prayer. When done in a group it is to be interpreted by that person and is then a message from God for those people present. The person speaking is in complete control and does it by his own will, it is not possesion. Some of these manifestations are laid out in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 and as with all the manifestations of holy spirit is to be done in love which is laid out in 1 Corinthians 13.

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  99. Aina -  August 8, 2010 - 5:00 am

    As a baptist, speaking in tongues is only a sign for people in the old testament(before the crucifixion). They want a sign. and the apostles use them in diff. countries

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  100. Henry -  August 8, 2010 - 4:15 am

    Are we talking about, 1.unknown tongues ,2.speaking in tongues, 3.new tongues, 4. Other tongues. Tongues is one of the controversial doctrines in the Bible. The first unknown tongue in the bible is at the Tower of Babel Gen. 11:9 (confusion is unknown). Unknown seem to be a punishment. The second speaking in Tongues is mention in Act 19:6, was accompanied by the laying on of hands brought about the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. The third tongue is new tongues which is spoken of in Mark 16:17 accompanied after believing and castings out devils follows the new tongues. Lastly, I believe is other tongues mentioned in Acts 2:4 after they were all filled with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) they spoke in other tongues. Which tongue is actually spoken in todays church? Which tongue is useless in the church today? Why is it so many Christians differ on this subject and yet we all claim to worship God who is not the author of confusion? In conclusion I’ll say like Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:19, Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also,than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

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  101. Sandy -  August 8, 2010 - 3:21 am

    This is amazing!!! (But of course at the same time false in your opinions)

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  102. Liz J -  August 8, 2010 - 1:42 am

    that’s true, Ida York. The “speaking in tongues” in Acts 2 was actually Xenoglossy

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  103. Ida York -  August 8, 2010 - 12:50 am

    On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:6 – 12) the people who were praying together in one place did not speak in “unknown tongues.” The Galileans prayed and spoke their own language but were understood by Parthians, Medes, Elamites, residents of Mesopotamia, Judea , Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya and visitors from Rome. “We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues.”

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  104. Jay -  August 7, 2010 - 11:35 pm

    Incredible, I now know more about possessing the gift of tongues.

    Thanks, folks!

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  105. Kabeeru Ahmed -  August 7, 2010 - 11:16 pm

    @dictionary.com i ‘ve a question for u. If a king that is gay marries another guy, what is that guy to the royal family? Definatly not a queen i think.
    Am so serious about it please give me an answer!

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  106. Dan -  August 7, 2010 - 10:44 pm

    Based on my understanding of the scriptures and principles of the Gospel, I know that the gift of tongues refers to something that happens for a more practical purpose. It is a blessing from God that allows people to communicate across language barriers for the purpose of sharing the Gospel. In the more miraculous cases, a person would be able to speak a language that they have never studied before. It is more common to occur in individuals trying to learn a language for the purpose of sharing the Gospel or serving others. In moments where they are filled with the Spirit and/or when there is a great need, the gift of tongues kicks in, and God’s message is able to be shared in a way that was needed. A more subtle form of the gift of tongues can be taking place as an individual is trying to learn a language for the purpose of sharing the Gospel or to serve others, and is simply able to learn the language faster and better than they otherwise would have been able to.

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  107. David L Ashby -  August 7, 2010 - 9:39 pm

    The gift of tongues as defined by the Christian scriptures in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians actually argues against ecstasy or delirium, and a trance is rare and unrelated. When a Christian speaks in tongues, he believes that the Holy Spirit, part of the Triune God Christians worship, is speaking through him; there must be an interpreter for the Church to benefit.

    Xenoglossy may or may not refer to speaking in tongues, as there is no biblical mandate that the language be a current language spoken somewhere on the face of the earth.

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  108. Passionate Patriot -  August 7, 2010 - 9:34 pm

    To the contrary, one who speaks in tongues is in complete control of his will and his tongue–not “in the midst of religious ecstasy, trance, or delirium”. The gift is given to the believer following salvation as evidence of the infilling of the believer by the Holy Spirit, but is NOT required for salvation. When one does not know exactly how to pray for a matter, then he can choose to pray in the unknown language given by God to the believer. It allows the Holy Spirit to pray through you in perfect wisdom and in harmony with God’s will for the situation. Another time a believer can use his “prayer language” is when he runs out of words in his own native language to praise God. And, finally, praying in unknown tongues or language edifies the believer as he prays. 1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. The latter reference in this verse is when a believer speaks in his unknown language in a gathering of Christians. The Holy Spirit will then give the interpretation through either the person who gave thhe message or someone else. Hope this clears up the confusing description above.

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  109. Danny -  August 7, 2010 - 9:05 pm

    This is not true for all Christians, and I don’t know what Christians believe this either. As a Christian who speaks in tongues, I do not believe I am “being possessed or channeling the language of a deity or divine being.” I am the one who is doing it. I do believe it is the prayer of my spirit and that God understands it. I also believe that certain people have a gift to interpret it, as the Bible teaches. As a source that I go to for facts, I would expect Dictionary.com to do better than this at providing those facts.

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  110. Grace -  August 7, 2010 - 9:02 pm

    “Speaking in tongues”, can pretty much be called Xenoglossy. The speaker doesn’t know what they’re saying, it’s basically their spirit talking to God. Speaking in tongues is also known as “the language of heaven” and those of you who know anything about prayer, speaking in tongues is basically an open line from you to God. Speakers don’t actually know what it is they’re saying but they feel as if what is coming out of their mouth is what they want to say. We can’t control what we’re saying, but we can control when we start and stop or when we want to convert into English or our normal tongue. Speaking in tongues is usually triggered by prayer or singing/worship. The gift of tongues must be asked for, and people usually recieve it after they’re bapttised in the Holy Spirit. It might sound all creepy and possessed but it is the most fufilling feeling a Christian could ever experience.

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    • Jennifer -  January 31, 2015 - 1:35 am

      When I go to bed at night, I pray myself to sleep, basically non-stop praying and thanking God for everything. I’ve never actually heard of this “speaking in tongues” but apparently I do it because other people hear me clearly speak a language that they have never heard. Someone told me this is reported to happen shortly before someone dies. Do you think this is true? Does this mean that I am going to die soon? And why am I unaware that I am speaking in tongues?

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      • Bayode -  June 21, 2015 - 3:47 pm

        @Jennifer. It’s not true that you are about to die as there is no scripture to support that! And it’s not a requirement that you know about speaking in tongues before you receive the gift. And as to why you are not aware that you are speaking in tongues, it might be that you have the gift of interpretation too…

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