The purpose of this article is to trace whether the gift of tongues is still present today and to understand if the Holy Spirit has really bestowed this gift upon some people nowadays. In order to examine the view of the Bible on this problem, the author presents a detailed analysis of the corresponding verses.
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His main thesis is that this gift was temporary and did no longer exist after God’s message was delivered. To support this thesis the author analyses v. 10 of 1 Corinthians 13 from the point of view of grammatical gender. He states that the word ‘perfect’ refers to the Word of God. This approach does not seem absolutely convincing because some mistakes are possible in translating, and now it is impossible to analyze what the gender was in the original text.
Bellshaw proves that the gift of tongues served as a sign for unbelievers in order to help people understand which messages really came from God. He thoroughly analyses the nature of the gift.
In the end, Bellshaw comes to the conclusion that this gift can no longer be present.
This article was interesting to me because I learned that women have never possessed the gift of tongues. It is quite easy to read and helps the reader understand the nature of this gift, which is considered to be quite a disputable problem.
The week point of this article is its title because it does not absolutely correspond to the content, which mostly refers to the gift of the Holy Spirit. Still, this article is interesting to read for everybody who looks for grounds for all kinds of spiritual practices in the Bible.
These days many people state that they possess some unique abilities that God has bestowed upon them. So it is important to check whether some spiritual practices do not contradict the Bible.
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I cannot fully agree or disagree with the main idea of Bellshaw that the gift of the tongue does not any longer exists. He gives a detailed analysis of its nature and examines when this gift was mentioned in Bible, but the main thesis is not enough supported. Still, I accept the idea that nowadays this gift cannot be seen in its initial form.
According to 1 Corinthians 14 (v. 22), this gift was a sign for unbelievers. It meant that God was going to punish Israeli because they did not recognize Jesus as Messiah. After Jerusalem was ruined by Roman soldiers in 70 A. D., there was no longer need for the gift of the tongues.
Bible says that not everybody can possess the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:29-30). It is obvious that this gift cannot be observed nowadays in the form it existed in New Testament. So the people who state that they possess this gift do not use it to explain the Word of God to people speaking another language. This language must be a real and understandable one. In 1 Corinthians 14 (v. 5-12) Paul stresses the importance of translating languages.
Still, we cannot find any direct mentioning of the fact that the gift of tongues disappeared. So I have come to the conclusion that this problem needs further analysis.