What is xenoglossia and is it biblical?


Clarify Share Report Asked February 17 2020 Open uri20160825 6966 rhyaou John Matthews

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Xenoglossia (also known as "xenolalia") is derived from the Greek words "xenos" (meaning "foreigner") and "glossa" (meaning "tongue" or "language"). It is the ability to speak in a known earthly language that one has never previously spoken or studied. It is not to be confused with "glossolalia" which is speaking in an unknown language, requiring a special spiritual gift to interpret.

The Bible indicates that xenoglossia occurred at the Pentecost observance that took place ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven (as recorded in Acts 2), when Jews from many different nations and languages had gathered in Jerusalem, and the presence of the Holy Spirit was manifested through xenoglossia on the part of the apostles as a means of disseminating the gospel message throughout the world.

There are other mentions in the New Testament (in both the book of Acts and in Paul's epistles) of speaking of tongues, which were evidence or the result of the working of the Holy Spirit. In some cases, those manifestations were for a specific purpose, as in Acts 10:46, when xenoglossia occurred among the members of the household of the Roman centurion Cornelius, as a definitive indication from God that Gentiles were to be accepted as Christians.

Paul also refers (as in 1 Corinthians 14) to the occurrence of speaking in tongues during Christian worship services, but, in my opinion, those occurrences appear to be instances of glossolalia (since they apparently required an interpreter in order to be understood), rather than xenoglossia. However, they were as much of a manifestation of the Holy Spirit as xenoglossia was.

The Holy Spirit would still certainly be capable today of conferring either xenoglossia or glossolalia on Christians, but any such instances (especially of glossolalia) should also (in my opinion) be accompanied by a Spirit-given ability to interpret what is being said, so that all hearers can be edified, especially since those claiming to practice glossolalia could be doing so fraudulently with an intent to deceive.

February 18 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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