Bible Proof That The Gift Of Tongues Is Gibberish?

It is written:


The Bible gift of tongues is the miraculous ability for a person to speak fluently in the language of another nation without having previously studied such (cf. Acts 2:4-13). The practice of gibberish speaking (so often practiced in Pentecostal and charismatic churches) is not the Bible gift of tongues, but rather was commonly practiced in the Bible world by individuals under demonic influence (as been previously documented).

Nevertheless, some charismatics have attempted to defend gibberish speaking with the Bible text. Let’s examine these alleged proof texts for gibberish speaking and see if they give any weight to the notion that this is somehow the Bible gift of tongues.

The first alleged example of gibberish speaking in the Bible is from the account of king Saul:

1 Samuel 10:5-13-After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying. 6  Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. 7  And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you. 8  You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do.” 9  So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10  When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11  And it happened, when all who knew him formerly saw that he indeed prophesied among the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12  Then a man from there answered and said, “But who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13  And when he had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.

Nothing in this passage suggests that Saul was practicing the pagan practice of gibberish speaking. The Bible in facts tells us that Prophets were to speak the Word of God to the people:

1 Samuel 9:9- (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he spoke thus: “Come, let us go to the seer”; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.)

2 Kings 17:13-Yet the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.”

Jeremiah 23:28-The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD.

Again, some try to find gibberish speaking in this passage in 2 Kings:

2 Kings 9:11-Then Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this madman come to you?” And he said to them, “You know the man and his babble.”

The enemies of Elisha call him a “madman” and one who has “babble.”

Is this an example of enemies of God attacking a man of God, or of a man of God practicing gibberish speaking?

Well, simply look at the next verse of the passage to see an example of Elisha’s “babble!”

2 Kings 9:12-And they said, “A lie! Tell us now.” So he said, “Thus and thus he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: “I have anointed you king over Israel.” ‘ “

Elisha was not speaking unintelligible gibberish! He was declaring a prophesy of God that the enemies of God did not like and so insulted him by calling him a “madman.”

Do we not see another example of this in the Book of Acts? There, the Apostles were preaching in tongues to the people and we are specifically told what the tongues were:

Acts 2:4-12-And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5  And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6  And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7  Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8  And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9  Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10  Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11  Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12  So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

Here, we are specifically told that the “tongues” were the many different langurs of these nations that the Apostles were speaking (see especially verses 6 and 11). Indeed, consider how the Greek especially brings out some interesting facts about this passage:

“Tongue   The Greek word here is the same as what is found in verse 6—dialectos, the common Greek word for “language.” So it definitely should be translated “language” here. In the Greek we have glōssais, “tongues,” in verses 4 and 11, and dialectō, “language,” in verses 6 and 8. This proves conclusively that the speaking in tongues (v. 4) was not ecstatic utterance but speaking in known, intelligent languages of that day (see v. 11).” (Ralph Earl, Word Meanings In The New Testament, 4107 (Kindle Edition); Kansas City, Kansas; Beacon Hill Press).

However, look at what the enemies of God declared:

Acts 2:13-Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

A final example we will consider of how people try to find (unsuccessfully) gibberish speaking in the Bible is from the Prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 28:10-11-For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” 11  For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people,

Is Isaiah here discussing gibberish speaking?

Not in the slightest!

The Apostle Paul quotes this passage in 1 Corinthians and points out that it is talking about real literal languages of mankind.


Commenting on the background of this passage, McGuiggan has noted:

“In these two verses he illustrates how the gift of tongues is to function. The law (as in, say, 14:34) is the Old Testament. The passage used is Isaiah 28:11. The setting is clear. The people won’t hear the words of the prophet (who speaks to them in their own language) so God will speak to them in the language of the Assyrians (if you think Israel is in view) or Babylonians (if you think Judah). Had they listened to the prophets they wouldn’t have needed foreign chastisement. But they wouldn’t listen so they will go into captivity. And in captivity they will be reminded of their unbelief by the daily “babbling” going on all around them. It was unbelief that necessitated the lesson of the foreign tongue. As it was with the Old Testament illustration so it is with the present gift.” (Jim McGuiggan, 1 Corinthians: Looking Into The Bible Series, 3498-3508 (Kindle Edition); Lubbock, TX; Sunset institute Press)

The gibberish speaking of the Pentecostal world is not the Bible gift of tongues. That gift passed away as it was prophesied to (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). The gibberish speaking of the modern religious world is evidence indeed of the influence of a spirit-but not the Holy Spirit!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

2 thoughts on “Bible Proof That The Gift Of Tongues Is Gibberish?

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  1. Until one has expressed the awesome supernatural in filling of the Holy Spirit with evidence of tongues as I have , you will never understand . And that is a shame to the utmost extent. You can’t be taught it , it comes from God

    1. Experiences are subjective and not adequate proofs of truth.

      Proverbs 14:12-There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

      Isaiah 8:20-To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

      1 John 4:1-Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

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