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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words


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A — 1: γλῶσσα

(Strong's #1100 — Noun Feminine — glossa — gloce'-sah )

is used of (1) the "tongues ... like as of fire" which appeared at Pentecost; (2) "the tongue," as an organ of speech, e.g., Mark 7:33; Romans 3:13; 14:11; 1 Corinthians 14:9; Philippians 2:11; James 1:26; 3:5,6,8; 1 Peter 3:10; 1 John 3:18; Revelation 16:10; (3) (a) "a language," coupled with phule, "a tribe," laos, "a people," ethnos, "a nation," seven times in the Apocalypse, Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6; 17:15; (b) "the supernatural gift of speaking in another language without its having been learnt;" in Acts 2:4-13 the circumstances are recorded from the viewpoint of the hearers; to those in whose language the utterances were made it appeared as a supernatural phenomenon; to others, the stammering of drunkards; what was uttered was not addressed primarily to the audience but consisted in recounting "the mighty works of God;" cp. Acts 2:46; in 1Cor., chapters 12 and 14, the use of the gift of "tongues" is mentioned as exercised in the gatherings of local churches; 1 Corinthians 12:10 speaks of the gift in general terms, and couples with it that of "the interpretation of tongues;" chapt. 14 gives instruction concerning the use of the gift, the paramount object being the edification of the church; unless the "tongue" was interpreted the speaker would speak "not unto men, but unto God," 1 Corinthians 14:2; he would edify himself alone, 1 Corinthians 14:4 , unless he interpreted, 1 Corinthians 14:5 , in which case his interpretation would be of the same value as the superior gift of prophesying, as he would edify the church, 1 Corinthians 14:4-6; he must pray that he may interpret, 1 Corinthians 14:13; if there were no interpreter, he must keep silence, 1 Corinthians 14:28 , for all things were to be done "unto edifying," 1 Corinthians 14:26 . "If I come ... speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you," says the Apostle (expressing the great object in all oral ministry), "unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching?" (1 Corinthians 14:6 ). "Tongues" were for a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers, 1 Corinthians 14:22 , and especially to unbelieving Jews (see 1 Corinthians 14:21 ): cp. the passages in the Acts.

There is no evidence of the continuance of this gift after apostolic times nor indeed in the later times of the Apostles themselves; this provides confirmation of the fulfillment in this way of 1 Corinthians 13:8 , that this gift would cease in the churches, just as would "prophecies" and "knowledge" in the sense of knowledge received by immediate supernatural power (cp. 1 Corinthians 14:6 ). The completion of the Holy Scriptures has provided the churches with all that is necessary for individual and collective guidance, instruction, and edification.

A — 2: διάλεκτος

(Strong's #1258 — Noun Feminine — dialektos — dee-al'-ek-tos )

"language" (Eng., "dialect"), is rendered "tongue" in the AV of Acts 1:19; 2:6,8; 21:40; 22:2; 26:14 . See LANGUAGE.

B — 1: Κλαύδιος

(Strong's #2804 — Noun Masculine — heteroglossos — klow'-dee-os )

is rendered "strange tongues" in 1 Corinthians 14:21 , RV (heteros, "another of a different sort," see ANOTHER , and A, No. 1), AV, "other tongues."

C — 1: Ἑβραϊστί

(Strong's #1447 — Adverb — hebraisti — heb-rah-is-tee' )

(or ebraisti, Westcott and Hort) denotes (a) "in Hebrew," Revelation 9:11 , RV (AV, "in the Hebrew tongue"); so Revelation 16:16; (b) in the Aramaic vernacular of Palestine, John 5:2 , AV, "in the Hebrew tongue" (RV, "in Hebrew"); in John 19:13,17 , AV, "in the Hebrew" (RV, "in Hebrew"); in John 19:20 , AV and RV, "in Hebrew;" in John 20:16 , RV only, "in Hebrew (Rabboni)."

Note: Cp. Hellenisti, "in Greek," John 19:20 , RV; Acts 21:37 , "Greek." See also Rhomaisti, under LATIN.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Tongue'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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