Look up each of the verses below and write down Bible principles that you can learn from them about this virtue. A “principle” is a “truth you can live by.”

There is much misunderstanding today on the subject of “tongues.” Our beliefs on the subject must be based on the absolutes of the Bible not on feeling nor experience.

  • NOTE: Only three times in the Bible are we given examples of people actually speaking in tongues, Ac 2 Ac 10 Ac 19. There are at least twenty cases of salvation in teh Book of Acts, and yet tongues are mentioned only three times. The subject of tongues is also discussed in Mr 16:17 1Co 12 1Co 13 1Co 14.

1. After reading Ac 2:8, what would you say is another word for “tongue?”

2. How many foreign languages were spoken in this first occurance of tongues? Ac 2:4-12

3. What did the early church Christians proclaim in tongues (foreign languages)? Ac 2:11

4. In 1Co 14:2,4,13,14,19,27 what word is in italics? __________________ Italicized words were supplied to help our understanding. In every one of these examples “tongues” was a foreign language.

5. In 1Co 13:1 what two types of tongues are mentioned?

  • NOTE: The above verse is speaking hypothetically. God never said that men can speak angels languages. However, in every Bible example of angels talking, they talk the language of men.

6. Why did God say that prophecy (preaching) is better than speaking a foreign language? 1Co 14:2-5

7. What is necessary for a foreign language (tongue) to be edifying or spiritual building? 1Co 14:14-19

8. Why did God give the gift of tongues in the early church? 1Co 14:21-22

9. Even in the early church the gift of foreign languages needed to be controlled. What controls did God place on it?

a. 1Co 14:27

b. 1Co 14:27-28

c. 1Co 14:33

d. 1Co 14:34-35

e. 1Co 14:40

  • NOTE: Many of the above God-given controls are not followed in the modern “tongues” movement today.

10. What did God tell the early church would happen to the gift of tongues? 1Co 13:8

  • NOTE: The gift of foreign language “tongues” did cease as God said it would when the Bible (that which is perfect 1Co 13:10) was completed near the end of the first century. “The testimony of church history is that by the end of the first century those accreditation gifts were gone from the churches.” —Dr. Richard Weeks, professor of Baptist History

11. Who gave the gift of tongues to Christians in the New Testament? Ac 2:4

12. In what way does “according to his own will” limit those who received the gift of tongues during the first century? Heb 2:4

  • NOTE: Many today who claim to speak in tongues learned how to do it through lessons and practice.  This was never true with Biblical tongues in the first century.

POINTS TO PONDER “There is not a single command in the Bible to speak in tongues (languages) so it is evident that even in apostolic times it was never intended that everybody should speak in tongues.” —Dr. Richard Weeks. Because there are many Bible examples of people getting saved with no mention of them speaking in tongues, it is wrong to believe that speaking in tongues is required for salvation. The Bible must be our absolute truth. We cannot always trust feelings or experiences. The modern tongues movement violates many of the Bible guidelines for tongues set forth in 1Co 14:1-40. We must follow the Bible even when feelings or experiences differ.


1. The first guideline addressed: The PROMINENCE of tongues 1Co 14:1-3

2. The second guideline addressed: The PURPOSE of tongues 1Co 14:4-25

3. The third guideline addressed: The PRACTICE of tongues 1Co 14:26-28

4. The fourth guideline addressed: The PARTICIPANTS of tongues 1Co 14:29-35

5. The fifth guideline addressed: The PERCEPTION of tongues 1Co 14:36-40