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Is Speaking in Tongues Biblical?

Most Christians have encountered the Charismatic movement at some point in their spiritual lives. It may have been simply a passing conversation with an adherent who claimed the supernatural ability to speak in a personal “prayer language”, or it may have been direct experience of witnessing the practice in a church service. Whatever the case, the issue of “tongues” is often divisive. What does Sacred Scripture have to say on the issue? And what did the early church believe about the gift of tongues? Is the activity we witness in Charismatic circles biblical, or is it a spiritual counterfeit?
I. Scriptural Evidence The logical starting point for understanding this issue is Acts 2: 1-21. Here we have the first recorded account of the gift of tongues in the church. Previous to this event, Christ had told his disciples that they would be the recipients of supernatural assistance after His resurrection and ascension. (John 14:16-17) This assistance would be the direct indwelling of the Holy…

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