Through the prophet Isaiah, God told Israel that He would give them a sign by speaking with them in other tongues (Isaiah 28:11). Fifty days after the Passover, in which Christ was put to death by wicked men but raised out from the dead three days later by God, the disciples where in Jerusalem as they had been commanded (Acts 1:4) when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2:1-4) and they spoke in a different language.
Tongue (γλῶσσα) is a word that is used of the physical tongue, how a person speaks, and the language spoken. When Christ healed a deaf man with a speech impediment, the man’s tongue was loosed, and he spoke correctly (Mark 7:33-35). In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man asked for water to cool his tongue (Luke 16:24). In the book of Romans, we see that the tongue is used for speaking for with their tongues they deceive (Romans 3:13) and every tongue will verbally agree with God (Romans 14:11).
When it comes to the Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues, it is defined in the same context in which it first appears in Scripture. The intense sound made when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples caused many of the Jews in the city to come to see what was happening (Acts 2:6). Now at this time a lot of devout Jews, meaning they were saved under the Mosaic Law, from every nation under heaven were in the city and their reaction explains what was happening. They marveled because the disciples were speaking in their dialects (διάλεκτος) the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11). They were not just speaking another language, but specific dialects from […]