Religion: Speaking in Tongues

The early Christians were much impressed by the phenomenon known as glossolalia (literally, "speaking with tongues"), which appeared at the first Pentecost: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." To the skeptical, the "other tongues" sounded like gibberish, but the faithful found special meanings in the spontaneous outpouring of sounds.

Peter saw the "gift of tongues" in a group of Gentiles as evidence that the Holy Ghost was present and they should be baptized forthwith. Paul cited it as a notable Christian gift, and though he...

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