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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Is the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues?

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Don Stewart

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When tongues are used in a worship service, according to Scripture the uttered message is to be interpreted. This is accomplished by those who have the gift of interpretation of tongues. The Bible says the interpretation of tongues is a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:10).

The interpreter turns the attention of the congregation from the one speaking toward God. The Apostle Paul insisted that every time the gift of tongues was exercised publicly, it should be interpreted:

If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church, and let him speak to himself and to God (1 Corinthians 14:27).

The gift of interpretation of tongues is a supernatural ability to understand the tongue language and translate it. It is not the ability to translate a foreign language.

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