Declining Churches Searching for the Silver Bullet Pastor

  The problem of declining churches in America was nothing new when the COVID-19 pandemic first struck in March 2020. I tend to ignore 2020 through 2022 when measuring whether a church has declined. But let’s be honest: if you look back to March 2020 and compare your attendance and financial giving back then to that of today, in March 2024, and both are lower, on average, by more than a few percent, your church has declined. If you had a children’s ministry before the pandemic, and you now struggle to wrangle up more than a few kids on a typical Sunday, you have declined. Your church needs revitalization. Sure, there are other, less tangible measures of health. How are you doing evangelistically? Are you reaching your neighborhood with the gospel? Are you making disciples? Maybe your church has already taken proactive steps in the direction of revitalization. Perhaps you’ve already decided to make some hard decisions rather than kicking the can down the road. If so, good on you! Sadl

Is Speaking in Tongues for Today?

 I wrote This research paper several years ago (sometime in 2012) for a class. Edits are minor, and where my views have changed or evolved, I speak of that in brackets. The topic is one of controversy in evangelicalism. For me, in the years since I first wrote this, the issue has become less about whether speaking in tongues exists today but rather whether what passes for tongues-speaking is, in fact, the speaking in tongues we encounter in the Bible. I don’t wish to break fellowship with people who disagree with me on this particular issue but are passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (as I am) and hold the Bible as God’s inspired Word (as I do). I believe that biblical tongues-speaking still exists and is rare. Moreover, most of what passes for tongues-speaking in churches today is not the phenomenon we see in the New Testament.

Is Speaking in Tongues for Today?

by Bart L. Denny, 2012 (updated in 2023)


Does tongues-speaking continue today?  This paper will closely examine the Scriptures that proponents of the continuationist and cessationist views see as bolstering their arguments.  After carefully considering the biblical witness, this paper will show that Scripture does not conclusively support the cessation or the continuation of tongues. However, the gift is probably rare. Moreover, even if speaking in tongues continues today, much of what passes for glossolalia today does not meet the scriptural criteria of this spiritual gift.

[I initially argued that tongues had probably ceased. I guess you could say I held to a loose cessationism. Since writing this paper in 2012, I have heard several missionary stories from people whose church traditions don’t emphasize tongues; in other words, they considered themselves neither charismatic nor Pentecostal in their theology. Now I believe true, biblical tongues-speaking (or “glossolalia”) still occurs. However, the phenomenon is rare.

Moreover, as the biblical witness attests, it involves a human language, unlearned by the speaker. The Holy Spirit uses glossolalia to build the church and spread the Gospel. As it often was in the New Testament, glossolalia can be a sign to Jewish people.]

Whether the experience of speaking in tongues—also known as glossolalia—is a gift of the Holy Spirit that is still active in the church today is a matter of (not inconsiderable) debate.  Thousands of professing Christians, usually belonging to churches in Pentecostal denominations and other charismatic movements—”continuationists”—consider such experience evidence of their having been “baptized in the Holy Spirit” and an essential part of their spiritual experience. 

Other Christians—“cessationists”—see tongues as a miraculous gift that enabled Christ’s apostles to first witness to the Gospel, but a gift that ceased with the end of the apostolic witness.  This paper seeks to examine the Scriptural evidence for both continuation and cessation.  This examination must determine what Scripture says is the purpose of this spiritual gift and whether what is claimed as glossolalia today serves that end.

Tongues in the New Testament

The Bible records tongues-speaking in Acts 2, 10-11, and 19.  The Apostle Paul addresses glossolalia in 1 Corinthians 11-14.  In these passages, Paul claims to speak in tongues and seems to acknowledge the Corinthians do, too (14:18).  At the same time, Paul has several purposes in addressing glossolalia; he never examines specific instances of tongues-speaking. As Edgar observes, no verse in the Bible explicitly says that tongues will cease with the apostles’ deaths or that tongues will continue through the entire Church Age. [1]

Yet we can reasonably appeal to the authority of Scripture to determine whether purported occurrences of glossolalia meet the biblical criteria laid out for the gift. If a purported contemporary instance of glossolalia meets the descriptive and prescriptive standards, then it is reasonable to conclude that the gift of tongues continues. Evangelical Christians typically hold a high view of Scripture. Thus, we must appeal to Scripture as our authority, whether or not tongues are a gift still in effect.  And indeed, both cessationists and continuationists appeal to the biblical witness to bolster their views.

Continuationists see tongues in Mark, Acts, and 1 Corinthians as principal evidence for their insistence that speaking in tongues is scriptural.  Conversely, Cessationists typically appeal to 1 Cor. 13 as indicating tongues would cease (usually, they argue that cessation came after the closing of the scriptural canon). They further appeal to the church’s experience throughout history; the phenomenon seems glaringly absent after the apostolic age.

Purpose of Tongues

To judge correctly whether the gift of tongues is active in the church today, one must examine Scripture’s teachings on the subject.  If an alleged instance of glossolalia today does not meet the scriptural purposes of tongues-speaking, then it is not a valid, biblical incidence of the phenomenon.  Cessationists and continuationists, appealing to the same biblical record, have reached both similar and markedly differing conclusions about the purpose of speaking in tongues.

Known Language for Proclaiming the Gospel    

Only in Acts 2 does the New Testament explicitly describe the nature of tongues. Acts 2:8-11 clearly explains that, when the Holy Spirit filled the apostles, they spoke in languages that visitors to Jerusalem from Rome to Arabia—and everywhere in between—heard the Gospel proclaimed in their native languages. There is broad acceptance among both cessationists and continuationists that the Pentecost event described in Acts 2 depicts xenoglossy—the apostles speaking in foreign but human languages, understood by those visiting Jerusalem from abroad.[2]

Johnson agrees the tongues here were instances of xenoglossy.  He notes that in Acts 2:4, 11, Luke uses the word glossa, which means (literally) the organ inside the mouth, but which metaphorically means a language.  Johnson sees confirmation of human language of this in Luke’s further use of the word dialektos (from which comes the English “dialect”) throughout the book of Acts.  Johnson notes that eight times in Acts, Luke uses dialektos, and the word refers to a humanly-known language each time.[3] 

Edgar weighs in, agreeing that, in the New Testament, “glossa means ‘language’ and is never used for ecstatic speech.”  He further counters that what passes for glossolalia today has “never been verified as actual languages.  All objective studies by impartial linguists indicate that they do not have the characteristics common to languages.” [4]

Acts 10-11 records the conversion to Christianity of the first Gentiles and Peter’s subsequent report of the incident to the church at Jerusalem.  Nothing in the account states explicitly that, in this case, the tongues manifested as xenoglossy.  However, in Acts 11:15, Peter recounts, “(T)he Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.”[5]  Walvoord, for one, holds this to mean that Cornelius and his family also spoke in earthly foreign languages, just as did those present at Pentecost.[6]

The Apostle Paul’s writings on tongues, as contained in 1 Corinthians 12-14, speak more of the proper use of tongues rather than describing their nature.  However, in Edgar’s view, in 1 Corinthians 14, Paul condemns speaking in tongues before the assembly without an interpreter precisely because the tongues are foreign languages that someone can interpret.

[SIDEBAR: I’ve often thought—perhaps speculatively, but I think I’m correct—that since the Holy Spirit isn’t in the business of doing things we can do for ourselves—He’s in the business of showing the power of God, not doing our dirty work—He’s never going to allow the gift of tongues to substitute for the hard work of learning a foreign language. More than that, I can’t help but wonder if the indwelling Holy Spirit might not impart the gift of tongues by aiding them as they go about learning a new language. Again, speculation on my part.] 

Further, says Edgar, 1 Corinthians 14:22 is clear that the gift of tongues is a public sign specifically for unbelievers who, presumably, would be little swayed by unintelligible utterances but might come to faith by hearing someone proclaim the Gospel in a language the speaker had never learned.[7] This author finds Edgar’s argument highly persuasive.

A Spiritual Language

Few disagree that biblical instances of tongues-speaking include xenoglossy.  However, in 1 Cor. 14:2, Paul writes, “For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.”  Many believe that Paul was not restricting glossolalia to public xenoglossy but that tongues-speakers may also utter a language known only to God. [A prayer language, I’ve often heard it called.] 

Proponents of tongues as a spiritual language also point to 1 Cor. 14:14, where Paul writes that if he prays in a tongue, it is his spirit that prays.  Smith believes that at the beginning of 1 Cor. 13, when Paul writes, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,” the apostle suggests that he does not believe glossolalia is human language. 

[Another sidebar: I instead think that Paul was speaking hypothetically throughout this passage. If I do all these incredible, commendable things, what good is it if I don’t do so in love? I believe in interpreting Scripture in a historical-grammatical, plain sense, and not allegorizing. But just as hyperbole—intentional exaggeration to make a point—is a literary device in use today, it was also a familiar way of writing during biblical times. Jesus used hyperbole extensively.]

Smith also finds it strange that if, at Pentecost, the apostles’ tongue-speaking was xenoglossy—and thus, intelligible to those that spoke that language natively—some would accuse them of drunkenness (Acts 2:13, 15).[8]

Many people that find a spiritual language in glossolalia also refer to Romans 8:26, particularly Paul’s declaration, “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”  Bertone explains that there is support for this idea of a spiritual language (praying in tongues) because, in Paul’s day, silent prayer was a foreign notion. Further, Bertone says Romans 8:26 could speak of ecstatic utterances during prayer.  However, as Bertone admits, Rom. 8:26 is probably too ambiguous to judge as definitively referring to tongues-speaking.  Moreover, he concedes that if Paul meant to write of glossolalia, he would probably have been more precise in his wording.[9]

There is room for sincere people to disagree.  However, the overall biblical witness seems to weigh most heavily in favor of the argument that glossolalia, as depicted in the New Testament, was speaking unlearned human languages.

Tongues Governed

Because Paul discusses spiritual gifts there, including tongues, and their proper use, 1 Cor. 12-14 is a central text in the argument over whether the gift of tongues is operative today and, if so, how believers should exercise it. Often appealed to by both cessationists and continuationists, Paul’s treatment of tongues here definitively proves that they will cease (1 Cor. 13:8), not when they will cease.

More importantly, Paul’s writing illustrates what the biblical practice of tongues-speaking looks like.

As Fee—a notable voice in Pentecostal theology—notes, Paul’s treatment of tongues in 1 Cor. 12-14 is corrective. It suggests that the Corinthians were so enthusiastic about tongues that they neglected the rest of the diverse, equally critical spiritual gifts.  Moreover, the Corinthians’ tongues-speaking seems to have been a point of disorder during worship, which Paul could not abide by.[10] The Corinthians’ tongue-speaking—whether xenoglossy or not—no longer served the purposes God intended but had become a distraction and an impediment to church health.

While Paul directs the Corinthians not to forbid tongues-speaking (14:39), he also instructs them in properly exercising the gift.  As Schatzmann observes, Paul saw in spiritual gifts—including tongues—a three-fold purpose of exalting Christ’s lordship, building up the church, and loving practice.[11]  Paul insisted on orderliness in tongues speaking (14:27-28) and, as he saw intelligibility as vital to building up the church, he emphasized that interpretation must accompany tongues-speaking (14:13, 27).

If an alleged contemporary incidence of glossolalia does not follow the governance Paul outlines to the Corinthians, then it certainly does not bolster the case that tongues have continued.

Cessation vs. Continuation:  Examining the Evidence    

Gaffin finds great difficulty believing miraculous gifts, such as glossolalia, continued beyond the apostolic period, noting that the only instances of tongues-speaking recorded explicitly in Acts were either by the apostles or by persons directly under the ministry of the apostles.  The apostles carried out their miraculous work as expressly commissioned by the resurrected Christ, and the miracles they—or those under their apostolic “umbrella”—performed testified to the authority of their eyewitness encounter with the resurrected Jesus.[12] 

Further, Gaffin wonders how it is possible that prophetic gifts, such as tongues, can possibly continue today, given that even continuationists remain confused, ambiguous, and divided regarding these gifts.[13]

While not a theologically monolithic group, most continuationists are part of the Pentecostal or charismatic movements.  For continuationists, the idea of a “baptism in the Holy Spirit,” or even the periodic “filling” with the Holy Spirit is usually an integral part of the belief that tongues-speaking—and other miraculous gifts—are active in the church today.  This baptism or filling with the Holy Spirit “charismatically” empowers the recipient for a life of mission and witness for Christ.[14]

Mark 16:17

To those who claim miraculous gifts, such as glossolalia, were limited to the apostles, continuationists refer to Jesus’ words in Mark 15:17, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name, they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues.”  Beare contends that Mark 16:17 is a late addition and that nowhere else do the canonical Gospels mention glossolalia nor depict Jesus ever promising his followers they will speak in tongues.

[I’m not sure that Mark’s “longer ending” isn’t original; I think it is. But that’s a discussion for another time. It is interesting that, as Beare rightly observes, Jesus doesn’t promise the gift of tongues anywhere else in the gospels—and he also doesn’t talk about picking up serpents and drinking poison anywhere else in the gospels. Still, some people in Appalachia have based their theology and practice on these sayings that are only present in the longer ending of Mark. It certainly would have been helpful to the ongoing debate if Jesus had addressed it in other places!] 

Instead, Beare says of spiritual gifts of speech, Jesus promised his disciples that when authorities brought them to trial, the Holy Spirit would speak through them in their defense (Matt. 10:19-20, Mark 13:11, Luke 12:11-12).[15]  That Mark 16:17 is a non-Markian addition to this passage is far from settled, and overall, the verse argues quite plainly that gifts, such as new tongues, are the province of all believers.

Acts and the Inherent Apostolicity of Tongues

Acts 2 dramatically shows the Spirit falling upon the apostles who, with the gift of tongues, proclaim the Gospel in languages that Jews visiting Jerusalem from across the diaspora recognize.  Quite likely, the diaspora Jews understood the Aramaic vernacular of Jerusalem. Had the apostles proclaimed the Gospel in the local languages, the visitors would have understood the apostles’ preaching.  More than providing a needed means of interpretation, the Pentecostal gift of tongues—and other miraculous gifts of the Spirit–would have granted validity to the apostle’s eyewitness testimony of the risen Christ.

Acts 10 recounts the conversion to Christianity of the first Gentiles.  That the Gentiles spoke in tongues proved miraculously to the Jewish Christians that salvation through Jesus Christ was also available to Gentiles.  In Acts 11, Peter’s report of the Gentiles’ tongues-speaking convinced the Jerusalem church to agree with Peter’s earlier conclusion regarding salvation for the Gentiles.  Nothing in Acts 10 or 11 says that the miraculous gifts are necessarily for all believers.  However, the presence of Peter may show that the tongues-speaking of the Gentiles also served to validate Peter’s apostolic authority as he proclaimed the Gospel to them.

In Ephesus, Acts 19 records Paul baptizing “about twelve” disciples of John the Baptist who claimed not to have previously heard of the Holy Spirit.  Paul then lays hands upon these believers, and they speak in tongues.  Continuationists argue this passage means that speaking in tongues—following the baptism in the Holy Spirit—is normative for the church.  Cessationists say this incident is far more illustrative of Paul’s apostolic authority than it is of tongues as an enduring gift in the church.[16]

Overall, the witness of Acts shows that Jesus’ apostles were specially empowered and that true tongues-speaking may have been a gift exercised only in conjunction with the apostolic authority.[17]    

[NOTE:  My professor felt that 1 Corinthians blew my argument out of the water as the Corinthians spoke in tongues without an apostle present. In retrospect, I think he was probably correct.]

1 Corinthians 13:8-13

In 1 Cor. 13:8, Paul says, in part, “as for tongues, they will cease.”  This verse fragment is a source of considerable debate between cessationists—who see it as clearly championing their view—and continuationists, who see it in eschatological terms.  In the larger context, 1 Cor. 13 is part of Paul’s corrective to the Corinthians, who seem to have sought the more sensational gifts.  Houghton believes this desire to speak in tongues likely originates in the Corinthians’ pagan roots, where they experienced ecstatic religious experiences they came to equate to speaking in tongues.[18]  By reminding the Corinthians that tongues are not permanent—continuationists and cessationists agree tongues end at some point—, Paul helps the Corinthian Christians place tongues in proper perspective against the permanence of love.   Scott, a cessationist, somewhat dubiously contends that, in verse 8, Paul was reminding those possessing the gift of tongues that their personal gifting would end. [19]    

Both cessationists and continuationists appeal to verse 10:  “but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.”  For many cessationists, such as Dean, the “perfect” that comes is the closing of the biblical canon, which negates the need for tongues or prophecies.[20] Continuationists reject this notion, appealing to the “now-then” comparisons of verse 12.  The “now” is on earth, while “then” is in the presence of God.  Taken with verse 12, the “perfect” probably has an eschatological sense:  when Christ returns, and believers see him face-to-face, there is no longer any need for tongues or prophecies to serve as an intermediary form of communication.[21]  

As a whole, then, I Cor. 13:8-13 actually tends to grant slightly more support to the continuationist position.

The Gifts Lists    

In support of their position, continuationists often cite Paul’s lists of spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:1-11, Rom. 12:6-8, and Eph. 4:11).  However, Paul seems not to have intended the lists to be all-inclusive, and he does not mention the gift of tongues in each passage.  Further, in 1 Cor. 12:29-30, Paul demonstrates that believers are individually gifted.  He asks, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?  Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”  The questions are rhetorical, and Paul’s readers understand the answer is “no.”  While Paul gives no indication here of when tongues will cease, he certainly shows the gift is not normative for the church, contrary to the claims of so many proponents of modern tongues-speaking.

Other Evidence Examined

We must appeal to Scripture as our ultimate authority in determining whether modern glossolalia is a valid phenomenon.  However, while not authoritative in the absolute, church history and even the sciences may help shed some light on the subject.

Historical Evidence:  The Early Church Fathers    

Despite views to the contrary, the church cannot claim infallibility, as the historical record proves.  However, if miraculous gifts, such as glossolalia, continued after the apostles, it is reasonable to believe, as Edgar does, that the church would have recorded “an unbroken line of occurrences from apostolic times to the present.”[22] 

Indeed, if tongues-speaking continued beyond the apostolic age, the early church fathers—notably, the disciples of the apostles and, in turn, their disciples—would have borne witness that the phenomenon endured into the second century.  Yet, none of the second-century fathers’ writings ever contended that tongues continued into the patristic era.  By the fourth century, John Chrysostom testified that the gifts had ceased long before his time and claimed that no one in his day was entirely sure of the nature of the gifts.[23]

Even though they had not observed the phenomenon, the early church fathers did write about their understanding of the nature and purpose of glossolalia —an understanding not nearly as chronologically far removed from the apostolic witness as the church is today.  As Busenitz observes, the patristic evidence shows that tongues-speaking was a supernatural gift, not given to all Christians, which enabled those so gifted to speak in “unlearned, rational foreign languages” for the edification of fellow believers (after translation by an interpreter), or for evangelism.  Not all Christians were so-gifted, nor, says Busenitz, commanded to seek the gift.[24]

Scientific, Psychological, and Linguistic Evidence

Modern tongues-speaking has been the subject of significant study across various scientific disciplines.  In reviewing the extensive linguistic analysis, Mueller sees no xenoglossy in the modern glossolalic phenomenon.[25]  Poythress sees no xenoglossy and notes that babies, psychotics, and adherents of other religions can produce noises that sound like purported glossolalia.  Moreover, ecstatic, unintelligible utterances have long occurred among followers of numerous non-Christian religions.[26]  Further, Poythress argues that the average person can learn how to produce the free vocalization that could pass for glossolalia.[27]

Busenitz observes that if modern incidents of glossolalia are indeed examples of spiritual speech, there should still be persons who can interpret for edification of the church, as Paul directed the Corinthians (1 Cor. 14).  However, he says, “Even when two or more different Pentecostal interpreters listen to the same audio recording of a tongues-speaker, their interpretations are totally different—suggesting that the tongues themselves are not real languages that are capable of being translated.”[28]

However, while their utterances are unintelligible, glossolaliacs are far from insane.  According to Hutch’s survey of research on the subject, psychologists and psychiatrists have failed to show definitively a particular psychological abnormality that explains glossolalia.[29]  Says Richardson, quite the opposite is true: most tongue-speakers interviewed by mental health professionals have proven well adjusted.[30]  Still, proven instances of true xenoglossy would win over many skeptics to the continuationist camp.


To be sure, nothing in Scripture convincingly shows that tongues have ceased or that, on the other hand, tongues would continue throughout the Church Age.  It seems unwise to declare definitively that the gift has ended when it is certainly possible for the Holy Spirit to allow a believer to speak in tongues, should He choose to do so. 

However, since tongues seem to have died out after the apostles’ deaths, and it was not until over eighteen centuries later that a phenomenon emerged claiming the return of the gift, it seems reasonable to question why such miraculous gifts would return.  It also seems sensible to examine whether what passes for glossolalia today conforms to the purposes and patterns of governance the Bible sets forth.

The bulk of the explicit biblical and patristic evidence shows that instances of glossolalia in the early church were always the speaking of unlearned, foreign languages.  This notion harmonizes perfectly with Acts 2 and does not contradict the other glossolalia accounts in Acts.  Nor does this idea explicitly contradict Paul’s description of tongues in 1 Corinthians.  Given the weight of Scriptural teaching and the patristic writings, it seems most likely that true biblical glossolalia is xenoglossy—speaking in an unlearned but very human and intelligible language. 

Whether it is in Acts or in Paul’s correctives to the Corinthians, the New Testament affirms purpose of the gift of tongues is to edify others or to miraculously proclaim the word of God to unbelievers in language that at least some human hearer present will understand.    

This author seeks neither to denigrate the claimed spiritual experiences of hundreds of millions of Christians nor to attempt to “box in” the Holy Spirit.  However, the long break between the apostolic era and the claimed reemergence of tongues argues against the gift’s modern continuation.  Further, that there are no scientifically proven examples of a modern tongues-speaker talking in an intelligible human language or dialect seems to weigh against the gift’s continuation into the present. 

[SIDEBAR: Anecdotally, I have heard enough accounts of precisely this happening—accounts told by people who do not consider themselves charismatic or Pentecostal—that I think there is something to it. I have heard of Christian groups visiting Israel and speaking Hebrew and Christians involved in missions trips to remote islands speaking the language without having learned it. An African pastor friend of mine—who is not charismatic or Pentecostal—told me of an instance where he was preaching in his native language in his homeland of Togo. A man from another African nation, whose mother language was different, approached my friend after the sermon and complimented him on how well he spoke the hearer’s native language. To this day, my friend says he didn’t know that language and was speaking the language of Togo, yet the foreign listener heard the sermon in his native tongue. So, that’s why I remain open to the idea that biblical tongues-speaking still happens.]

The uniqueness of the apostolic witness and the mention of the gift of tongues only in conjunction with the apostles’ ministry—and the witness of the early church fathers—argues further that true biblical glossolalia most likely ceased when the apostles finished their work in laying the foundation of the church.


Beare, Francis Wright.  “Speaking with Tongues:  A Critical Survey of the New Testament Evidence.”  Journal of Biblical Literature 83, no. 3 (September 1964): 229-246.

Bertone, John.  “The Experience of Glossolalia and the Spirit’s Empathy:  Romans 8:26 Revisited.”  Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 25, no. 1 (Spring 2003):  54-65.

Bonung, Douglas C.  “The Pentecostal Doctrine of Initial Evidence:  A Study in Hermeneutical Method.”  Journal of Ministry and Theology 8, no. 1 (Spring 2004):  89-107.

Busenitz, Nathan.  “The Gift of Tongues: Comparing the Church Fathers with Contemporary Pentecostalism.” The Master’s Seminary Journal 17, no. 1 (Spring 2006):  61-78.

Charette, Blaine.  “Reflective Speech:  Glossolalia and the Image of God.”  Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 28, no. 2 (Fall 2006): 189-201.

Clifton, Shane.  “The Spirit and Doctrinal Development:  A Functional Analysis of the Traditional Pentecostal Doctrine of Baptism in the Holy Spirit.”  Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 29, no. 1 (2007):  5-23.

Cottle, Ronald E. “Tongues Shall Cease.”  Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 1, no. 2 (September 1, 1979): 43-49.

Dean, Robert.  “Three Arguments for the Cessation of Tongues.”  Conservative Theological Journal 9, no. 26 (March 2005):  63-86.

Edgar, Thomas R.  “The Cessation of the Sign Gifts.”  Bibliotheca Sacra 145, no. 580 (October 1988):  371-386.

Fee, Gordon D. “Tongues - Least of the Gifts?  Some Exegetical Observations on 1 Corinthians 12-14.”  Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 2, no. 2 (September 1980): 3-14.

Gaffin, Richard B., Robert L. Saucy, C. Samuel Storms, and Douglas A. Oss.  Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?  Four Views.  Stanley N. Gundry and Wayne A. Grudem, editors.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1996.  Kindle e-book.

Houghton, Myron J.  “A Reexamination of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13.”  Bibliotheca Sacra 153, no 611 (July 1996):  344-356.Hutch, Richard A. “The Personal Ritual of Glossolalia.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 19, no. 3 (September 1980): 255-266.  ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed November 30, 2012).

Johnson, S. Lewis.  “Symposium on the Tongues Movement:  The Gift of Tongues and the Book of Acts.”  Bibliotheca Sacra 120, no. 480 (October 1963): 309-311.

MacDonald, William G.  “Glossolalia in the New Testament.”  Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 7, no. 2 (Spring 1964):  59-68.

McDougall, Donald G.  “Cessationism in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12.”  The Master’s Seminary Journal 14, no. 2 (Fall 2003): 177-213.

Mills, Watson E.  “Early Ecstatic Utterances and Glossolalia.”  Perspectives in Religious Studies 24, no. 1 (1999): 29-40.

Mueller, Theodore. “A Linguistic Analysis of Glossolalia.” Concordia Theological Quarterly 45, no. 3 (July 1981): 186-191. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed November 30, 2012).

Poythress, Vern S.  “Linguistic and Sociological Analyses of Modern Tongues-Speaking:  Their Contributions and Limitations.”  Westminster Theological Journal 42, no. 2 (Spring 1980): 367-88.

Richardson, James T. “Psychological Interpretations of Glossolalia: A Reexamination of Research.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 12, no. 2 (June 1, 1973): 199-207. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed November 30, 2012).

Schatzmann, Siegfried S.  “Purpose and Function of Gifts in 1 Corinthians.”  Southwestern Journal of Theology 45, no. 1 (September 2002): 53-68.

Scott, James W.  “The Time When Revelatory Gifts Cease (1 Cor. 13:8-12).”  Westminster Theological Journal 72, no. 2 (Fall 2010):  267-289.

Smith, D. Moody.  “Glossolalia and Other Spiritual Gifts in a New Testament Perspective.”  Interpretation 28, no. 3 (July 1974): 307-320.

Snoeberger, Mark A.  “Tongues—Are They for Today?”  Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 14 (2009):  3-21.Van Elderen, Bastiaan.  “Glossolalia in the New Testament.”  Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society 7, no. 2 (Spring 1964): 53-58.

Walvoord, John F.  “The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts.”  Bibliotheca Sacra 143, no. 570 (April 1986):  109-121.


[1] Thomas R. Edgar, “The Cessation of the Sign Gifts,” Bibliotheca Sacra 145, no. 580 (October 1988): 379-80.

[2] Ibid, 377.

[3] Johnson, S. Lewis.  “Symposium on the Tongues Movement:  The Gift of Tongues and the Book of Acts.”  Bibliotheca Sacra 120, no. 480 (October 1963): 309.

[4] Edgar, “The Cessation of the Sign Gifts,” 378.

[5] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®).  Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

[6] John F. Walvoord, “The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts,” Bibliotheca Sacra 143, no. 570 (April 1986): 115.

[7] Edgar, “The Cessation of the Sign Gifts,” 378.

[8] D. Moody Smith, “Glossolalia and Other Spiritual Gifts in a New Testament Perspective.”  Interpretation 28, no. 3 (July 1974):  313.

[9] John Bertone, “The Experience of Glossolalia and the Spirit’s Empathy:  Romans 8:26 Revisited,” Pneuma 25, no. 1 (Spring 2003):  54-5.

[10] Gordon D. Fee, “Tongues - Least of the Gifts?  Some Exegetical Observations on 1 Corinthians 12-14.”  Pneuma 2, no. 2 (September 1980): 7.

[11] Siegfried S.  Schatzmann, “Purpose and Function of Gifts in 1 Corinthians,” Southwestern Journal of Theology 45, no. 1 (September 2002):  54-7.

[12] Richard B. Gaffin, “The Cessationist Viewpoint,” In Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?  Four Views.  Stanley N. Gundry and Wayne A. Grudem, eds.  (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1996),  Kindle location 554 of 7029.

[13] Ibid, Kindle Locations 847-848.

[14] Douglas Oss, “The Pentecostal/Charismatic Viewpoint,” In Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Four Views, Stanley N. Gundry and Wayne A. Grudem, eds.  (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1996), Kindle Location 4450.

[15] Frank W. Beare, “Speaking with Tongues:  A Critical Survey of the New Testament Evidence,” Journal of Biblical Literature 83, no. 3 (September 1964): 229-30.

[16] Mark A. Snoeberger, “Tongues—Are They for Today?” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 14 (2009): 10-1.

[17] Ibid, 10-11.

[18] Myron J. Houghton, “A Reexamination of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13,” Bibliotheca Sacra 153, no. 611 (July 1993): 345.

[19] James W. Scott, “The Time When Revelatory Gifts Cease (1 Cor. 13:8-12),” Westminster Theological Journal 72, no. 2 (Fall 2010):  272.

[20] Robert Dean, “Three Arguments for Cessation of Tongues,” Conservative Theological Journal 9, no. 26 (March 2005): 75.

[21] Houghton, “A Reexamination of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13,” 352-4.  Houghton disagrees; he merely restates the position.

[22] Edgar, “The Cessation of the Sign Gifts,” 372.

[23] John Chrysostom, “Homily XXIX, 1 Corinthians 12:1-2,” Christian Classics Ethereal Library, nd. (accessed November 20, 2012).

[24] Nathan Busenitz, “The Gift of Tongues:  Comparing the Church Fathers with Contemporary Pentecostalism,” The Masters Seminary Journal 17, no. 1 (Spring 2006):  68.

[25] Theodore Mueller, “A Linguistic Analysis of Glossolalia,” Concordia Theological Quarterly 45, no. 3 (July1981): 190.

[26] Watson E. Mills, “Early Ecstatic Utterances and Glossolalia,” Perspectives in Religious Studies 24, no. 1 (1999): 29-30.

[27] Vern S. Poythress, “Linguistic and Sociological Analyses of Modern Tongues-Speaking:  Their Contributions and Limitations,” Westminster Theological Journal 42, no. 2 (Spring 1980): 369-70.

[28] Busenitz, “Gift of Tongues,” 70.

[29] Richard A. Hutch, “The Personal Ritual of Glossolalia,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 19, no. 3 (September 1980): 256.

[30] James T. Richardson, “Psychological Interpretations of Glossolalia: A Reexamination of Research,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 12, no. 2 (June 1, 1973): 200.


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