Speaking Other Tongues

speaking other tongues (3)

b) Acts 2:4: Luke continued his report on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–3).

He wrote, “And all were filled of the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak other tongues even as the Spirit was giving them [the ability] to speak.”

Being filled with the Spirit empowers us for the Lord’s use. He enables us to bear witness via acts of service or speaking (Luke 1:13–17; Acts 4:5–13, 29–30; Acts 9:17–22; Acts 13:8–12).[1]

The verb which Luke used here (pimplēmi) conveys greater intensity than another word which also means “be filled” (plēroō).[2]

Elsewhere in Acts, Luke employed the phrases “receiving the Spirit” and “being baptized by the Spirit” as synonyms for “being filled” (pimplēmi) (Acts 1:4–5; Acts 10:44–48; Acts 11:15–18).[3]

Paul used the verb plēroō when he admonished believers to be continually filled with the Spirit,[4] resulting in giving thanks and mutual submission (Eph 5:18–21).[5]

Thus, someone already filled with the Spirit (pimplēmi) can receive renewed or added filling (plēroō) for a special task, for harmony with people, and for communion with God (Luke 4:1–14; Acts 6:1–8; Acts 7:55–60).[6]

In Greek, a “tongue” (glōssa) can refer to the physical organ, an established language, or an ecstatic religious utterance.[7]

Paul commanded that those in congregations who “speak in tongues not of humanity” should do so only in the presence of an interpreter (1 Cor 14:1–19).[8]

The adjective “other” (heteros) tongues confirms that Luke referred to existing languages.[9] During the Feast of Pentecost, the Spirit enabled the believers to speak in human languages unknown to them.[10]

Aside from that day, the Lord has not granted speaking in tongues as a universal spiritual gift (Cf. 1 Cor 12:4–11, 27–31).[11]

This event began a new era in God’s kingdom,[12] a reversal of what transpired in Babylon (Gen 11:1–9).

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

Read Acts 2:4. In what way did the experience of believers on the day of Pentecost differ from what happens today? What effect does being filled with the Holy Spirit have upon a person? How did you initially experience being filled by the Spirit? When are you especially aware of the Spirit’s presence?

 

 

 

 

 

Go to A Bewildered Crowd

[Related posts include The Spirit Descends (Acts 2:1–3); A Bewildered Crowd (Acts 2:5–8); Babel Reversed (Acts 2:9–11); A Plain in Shinar (Gen 11:1–2); Let Us Bake Bricks (Gen 11:3); A Stairway to Heaven (Gen 11:4); A Deity Descends (Gen 11:5–7); Dispersed over the Face of the Earth (Gen 11:8–9); Satan Tempts Christ (Matt 4:1–4); A Second Temptation (Matt 4:5–7); The Third Temptation (Matt 4:8–11); Unity in the Spirit (Eph 5:18–21); and Submissive to One Another (Eph 5:21–24)]

[Click here to go to Chapter 12: Scattered to the Ends of the Earth (Gen 11:1–9)]

 

[1]Gerhard Delling, “πιμπλημι” (pimplēmi), TDNT 6:128–34, 130.

[2]Schnabel, Acts, Acts 2:4

[3]Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 133.

[4]Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, 94.

[5]Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 133.

[6]Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 133.

[7]Arndt, Danker, and Bauer, “γλῶσσα” (glōssa), BDAG, 201–2.

[8]Bruce, The Book of the Acts, 52.

[9]Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 132–3.

[10]Larkin, Acts, Acts 2:1.

[11]Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 132–3.

[12]Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 132–3.