Jul 24, 2014

The Greek Word 'Glossa'

The Greek Word "Glossa"

Recently I've been compelled to speak out about a topic thats very near and dear to some Christians.  Its something that many have taught in the church as well as being a sign that one has been baptized "in the spirit".  Some even have said its a sign of salvation.

Like many I also was taught this was a sign of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and is considered one of the "gifts of the Holy Spirit".  I have been in services where this particular topic is "taught" and congregation members are told to have faith and to let the Holy Spirit give utterance and just open your mouth and let the sound out.  This is all done many times by demonstrating to others what "it sounds like" .

For years I have never felt what I have heard in Church past and present, is "of God" or His spirit.  

If we test things test the spirits against the Word of God then we must approach this topic with a resolve, that the Word of God is and will be the authority on this matter. 

I am not going to provide an exhaustive study on this topic but I do want to share what I have learned and what I am seeing over and over, yet so many people are holding so tightly to this practice.  They refuse to examine the Word of God in context and take the time to research or even pray to God about it.  The few times I have presented what I see clearly in God's word, I get an outright refusal to accept it or see it, or I am immediately persecuted by people who call themselves Christian.  It convinces me more.  

The first thing I looked at was the very word 'Tongue' and its original intended definition.  The tongue is used to make speech, to communicate and to speak in tongues would seem to say or convey the same intent, to communicate.  The original greek word that was translated into tongue in most versions of the scripture we see today, is the word glossa and means languages, not a mix match of sounds.  

Just by this simple revelation of the word glossa, which means languages and the context in which the word and discussion of tongues takes is very important .  What took place at Pentecost in the upper room, according to scripture and an understanding of this word, was not I repeat was not a bunch of people speaking gibberish. 

Acts 2:4-7 NIV  4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God–fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

The scripture clearly shows there are Jews from all over the land, all with different "tongues"... so when they spoke, everyone else heard them speak their own native language - its plain as day.  

So we can clearly establish that the sound coming out of their mouths was being heard as the sound of a known language.  

The whole purpose of this gift was to further the kingdom of God by sharing the gospel to break down the language barrier and it was a sign for the unbelievers.  But it did not involve unintelligble gibberish privately interpretated.  

I will interject here that many people consider speaking in tongues a special prayer language that only God understands and somehow correlate Romans 8:26 as biblical support of that notion.  Lets see what it says:  Romans 8:26
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

What this says, is that in our weakness the Spirit helps us, because at times we know not what we ought to pray.  But the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  Lets repeat  - but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans words cannot express.  

That scripture does not say WE with our human mouths utter groans, or words we cant understand. It doesn't say the Spirit through us, our mouths and our voices, himself.... It says the Spirit intercedes with groans that words cannot express not groans or gibberish that we cannot understand.... or that can be translated into something understandable... This passage has absolutely nothing to do with the gift of tongues that we read about in Acts.  If it were so then the requirement of tongues having a translation has been made null and void.  Because there is always a translation or should be right?  And if we are going to have a translation then why speak it in a different language to begin with?  Makes no sense.  

Okay thats the first part -I will continue with it but I honestly want people to take a second look a closer look and really search the scriptures and pay close attention to what they really say not what you have heard in church all your life, no matter who you heard it from.


  1. Tim, I have studied those same scriptures and I am in agreement with your interpretation. Im curious. Why are you so passionate about this? Are you attending a church that practices speaking in tongues? Are your companions practicing this? I need to do a little research but I have to say that I believe I have read that where someone speaks in tongues, there must be someone in attendance equipped with the ability to interpret. More later.

  2. The better question would be why wouldn't someone be passionate about a lie that has been perpetuated by the enemy? Everything the enemy does seeks to kill, steal and destroy. A perversion of something God intended for good and for the revelation of His Kingdom to bring sinners into repentance, into a relationship with Him, should we all not be passionate about matters such as this? If someone you loved was mislead and as a result were being kept from their full potential or benefits would you not attempt to point them in the right direction or would you be complacent and let them continue on that path? Being passionate about the devices of the enemy but even moreso the relationship we can have with and through Christ... is our calling. Surely anything less would not be love. I have a responsibility as a follower of Christ to be a light, which does not exclude something like this. Where do you think the enemy has set up his camp, where do you think he goes to seek to kill, steal and destroy - where do people go thinking they are safe - this particular lie from the enemy exists within the church walls, where they speak in other "tongues" believing a lie and therefore ensnared by it. He has commissioned us to set the captives free no??? How can we not be passionate about these things when it is part of the great commission - that others would come to know Him and have life but to have it more abundantly.

  3. Likewise this phenomena as some would call it actually distracts would be believers from God. It causes confusion and so many other things. So many times I have been in as well as others, services where everyone is speaking literally gibberish, with no interpretation and a stranger to the church is in their midst - they are literally confused by it some fear it and others think the ones speaking are foolish or even worse just down right crazy. This isn't Godly in the least. The reason the true gift of speaking on tongues or correctly translated, other languages is to prove to people that God is alive and well and is a testimony to Him, to His truth, this is clearly evident in the book of Acts. When many people from different places, all Jews with different languages heard their own language being spoken by people who didn't speak the language. When they heard and experienced this they believed and accepted Christ, were baptized.