The Speaking in Tongues Volume 1 is now available

Speaking in Tongues: A Critical Historical Examination, Volume 1, is now available at Amazon.

Speaking in Tongues: A Historical Critical Examination book photo

This three-volume series traces the various perceptions of the Christian doctrine of tongues through its beginnings until the early 1900s.

The first volume focuses on the 1800s and onwards: the emergence of the Pentecostal movement and glossolalia. Inside, you will find the reasons why glossolalia became the dominant interpretation in all the primary and secondary books and how the Pentecostal outburst at Azusa street started as the traditional definition but quickly shifted afterward to a heavenly, angelic, or prayer language.

This series covers abundant materials in Greek and Latin Ecclesiastical texts that most did not know existed. The coverage of Medieval and Reformation influence has historical twists. The changing tongues of Azusa street will surprise you. No other publication comes close to its level of detail. The series also covers Hebrew, Aramaic, and Talmudic works as well.

The book is aimed at academic and theology experts. A layman’s guide is developing and may come out in a year.

Endorsements of this work include Cardinal Leo Raymond Burke, a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. One of the higher levels in the Catholic hierarchy, and Dr. Dale Coulter, “an ordained minister in the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and professor of historical theology at Pentecostal Theological Seminary.”1

  1. as taken from https://www.dalemcoulter.com/, September 25, 2022

8 thoughts on “The Speaking in Tongues Volume 1 is now available”

  1. Thank you. I have now ordered a copy. I had been checking your website for weeks, hoping to find that it is available. Thank you for the work you do in presenting fine quality information.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the compilation of such an amazing information on the speaking of tongues in the Christian Church. I am a graduating student studying Theology, I am writing my thesis on the
    topic: Exegetical Studies of the Gift of Tongues in the Christian Church. The goal of my studies is to find out what language that spoke at the pentecost event,was it glossolalia, or Xenoglossolalia? I am short of research materials, kindly help me in my research.

    Reply
    • Hello James. The Gift of Tongues index on Catholic tongues (found at https://charlesasullivan.com/gift-tongues-project/) from 100 to 1700 AD has a large list of Patristic writers. They exclusively asserted either miraculously speaking in a foreign language (xenolalia) or a miracle of hearing. They had no other notion of a psychological or extraterrestrial language. It is only after 1830 that the idea of glossolalia and 1915 or so that tongues as a prayer language became part of the Christian doctrine of tongues. A good xenolalia example in the earlier Church about tongues was Cyril of Jerusalem, who wrote down which languages certain apostles spoke at Pentecost. Origen does touch on xenolalia, but only a little bit. Augustine is probably the most prolific writer on the subject and he assumed it was temporarily xenolalia. Hope this helps.

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      • 1) So from what I can gather, it seems early Christians, including the church fathers, believed that there was a gift of tongues where the speaker spoke something which was at least derived from real human languages, living or extinct, but which the speaker may not have known the meaning of, and where the purpose of the interpreter in that case was to translate the meaning the utterance conveyed, as sometimes the speaker himself didn’t know the meaning?

        That, and that another version of tongues is simply you speaking your own natural language and another person understanding you in theirs?

        2) I haven’t read the book, but if I may ask, what do you make of the modern redefinition of tongues? Is it possible for to this to be a new and legitimate charismatic gift from God? Even if it isn’t, can God use even non-linguistic utterances (which many cases of tongues nowadays are) and imbue them with meaning (whether or not someone with a gift of interpretation can correctly interpret that)?

        I’m also reminded of charismatic scholar Craig Keener whose firm opinion is that the gift of tongues is either supernatural translation that the hearer is given in his language or understanding, or it is the speaking of a real human language (living or extinct) in such a way that the speaker doesn’t always understand what he is saying and so an interpreter is required to translate the utterance.

        Reply
        • The Gift of Tongues Project and the Book series follows the perceptions of tongues from inception until the 1920s. The switch in definition to non-linguistic utterances is as far the work and research goes. The emphasis on the series is on history, texts, translation, transmission, and analysis. I cannot make any critical assessments on the present psychological, social, and mystical elements of the doctrine that exist today. They are not my field of studies.

          The perception of tongues throughout Christian history until the 1830s was dominantly the miraculous ability to speak in a foreign language and a lesser idea that it was a miracle of hearing. There were tensions throughout Christian history on the mechanics behind these two theories.

          The Speaker/interpreter found in Paul’s address in I Corinthians has no connection with Pentecost and is an altogether different rite. The Jewish liturgy predates Paul on the Speaker/Interpreter and was a common practice during his time. Paul is one of the few references of its use in the Jewish diaspora during that era. For more information see the section on the tongues of Corinth on the blog. Unfortunately, the section lacks a summary or overall narrative. There is an interactive infographic that may help, but it is technical and needs some refining. Dr. Blosser has written an overall narrative which is coming in Volume 3, fall of 2023.

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