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Unknown vs known tongues?

Submitted: 9/12/2014
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Question: I am an Acts 2:38 obeying, born-again believer, who speaks in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. Lately, there seems to be a group of radio and TV preachers who constantly emphasize that the word 'Unknown' was added by the King James translators, and that they should have referred to as languages that the audience right in front of them could not understand. They contend that it is an actual language somewhere on the earth, but only that, it is not the language that the people in front of you can understand. Of course, most always go on to emphasize prophesying over tongues, even to the detriment of tongues altogether. I lean toward Paul's explanation in 1 Cor. 14, that there is a 'tongue' that speaks to God, and that we can pray in the Spirit. Can you explain this, so that I may have a better reason to give to these 'scholars' when they bring up the 'In the Greek, unknown was added' argument? Thank you and God bless!

Answer: It is correct that the word 'unknown' was added by the King James translators. It does not appear in the New King James version or in most of the other more recent translations. Of course, it is always the people who do not speak in tongues who act as though they are the experts. Please read my article called 'Speaking in Tongues in the Church' for an explanation of the difference between tongues as a sign of the gift of the Holy Spirit and the 'gift of diverse tongues.' You can find it on Shelf 1 of the Apostolic Free Library on this website. Also, check out this web address and look at number 68. http://people.hofstra.edu/alan_j_singer/242%20Course%20Pack/1.%20Introduction/104.pdf