speak in tongues

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Calque of Ancient Greek ἐλάλουν τε γλώσσαις (eláloun te glṓssais)

Verb[edit]

speak in tongues (third-person singular simple present speaks in tongues, present participle speaking in tongues, simple past spoke in tongues, past participle spoken in tongues)

  1. To speak in a language unknown to the speaker, especially when in a state of religious ecstasy; glossolalia.
    • Acts 19:6:
      And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
    • 1830 August 3, Robertson, A., “ROW HERESY AND GARELOCH MIRACLES”, in The Kaleidoscope; or, Literary and Scientific Mirror[1], volume XI, number 527, Liverpool, ISSN 0075-4692, OCLC 1069382742, page 39, column 3:
      "These letters evince the degree of enthusiasm to which their writers, and others of the same persuasion, had attained, before their pretensions to the gift of tongues. Having adopted, by means of their spiritual instructors, extravagant views of the operation of the Holy Spirit, they were, in a peculiar sense, in the Spirit, and had the mind of Christ ; and, modelling the Scriptures on these topics to their favourite prepossessions, they came to the conclusion that they were enlightened to understand the mind of the Spirit in the Scriptures, as perfectly as the Apostles were inspired to write it! This prepared them for the next stage of delusion, namely, that the same power which enabled the Apostles to speak in tongues, was also in them, and that their thoughts and words were not their own, but the Spirit’s.

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