A seven point historic portrait on the christian doctrine of speaking in tongues. The conclusions have been derived from the Gift of Tongues Project. A research work that has a fourfold aim of locating, digitizing, translating source texts and tracing perceptions from inception to modern times.
These seven points may change if any new documents arise with important new clues.
Click on any of the conclusions for more documentation.
- Speaking in tongues as a miraculous endowment of a foreign language is the most common doctrine throughout two-thousand years of church history.
- Speaking in a private or heavenly prayer language is a new addition to the christian doctrine of tongues — a little over a hundred-years old.
- Speaking in glossolalia was a theory started in the early 1800s and became the most prominent definition in the western world since 1872.
- The longest tongues debate lasted for a thousand-years. It was an argument on whether it was a miracle of speaking or hearing.
- The miracle of tongues ceasing after the first century has been a secondary subtheme from earliest times and gained significant momentum by the earliest Reformation leaders.
- Paul was addressing in the Book of Corinthians the Jewish tradition of teaching in Hebrew and translating it into the local language. He had no mystical intention at all nor connected it to Pentecost.
- There has been no documented case by a reputable third-party about a Christian or group of Christians miraculously speaking in a foreign language over the last one-hundred years.*
The goal of tracing the perceptions of tongues through the centuries may not necessarily align with the actual realities that surrounds the events. The realities are up to the reader to decide. Go to the The Gift of Tongues Project for the source information.
This is only a general summation. There are many more details and movements at the above link.
*7 does not have a clickable link because no documented study has been found.