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Are all tongues understandable?

Submitted: 2/13/2006
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Question: My family is against my church because we speak in tongues. They say the early church spoke in tongues, but it was languages that people of their own nationality could understand in order to hear the gospel, that no one just spoke a bunch of what they call jibberish in the air.

Answer: The scriptures are very clear in identifying two categories of speaking in tongues; other tongues and unknown tongues. Other tongues are known human languages that the person who is speaking does not understand or know how to speak. Unknown tongues are not human languages and are also referred to as tongues of angels (1 Corinthians 14:2, 1 Corinthians 13:8).

The article 'Speaking in Tongues in the Church' in the Apostolic Free Library under the Doctrine shelf may also be helpful in understanding this topic.