Tongue (-s) - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Tongue (-s)

[ A-1,Noun,G1100, glossa ]
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; Romans 14:11; 1 Corinthians 14:9; Philippians 2:11; James 1:26; James 3:5-James 3:6, James 3:8; 1 Peter 3:10; 1 John 3:18; Revelation 16:10;

(a) "a language," coupled with phule, "a tribe," laos, "a people," ethnos, "a nation," seven times in the Apocalypse, Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 10:11; Revelation 11:9; Revelation 13:7; Revelation 14:6; Revelation 17:15;
(b) "the supernatural gift of speaking in another language without its having been learnt;" in Acts 2:4-Acts 2:13 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 1 Cor., 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,Noun,G1258, dialektos ]
"language" (Eng., "dialect"), is rendered "tongue" in the AV of Acts 1:19; Acts 2:6, Acts 2:8; Acts 21:40; Acts 22:2; Acts 26:14. See LANGUAGE.

[ B-1,Adjective,G2804, heteroglossos ]
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,Adverb,G1447, hebraisti ]
(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, John 19:17, 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.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words