A friend of mine recently invited me to a church where some of the congregation started to ‘speak in toungues’, but to me it sounded like a mere babble of unintelligible words. What is behind this phenomenon?
Research has been carried out in this area, both in Europe and the United States, with the following results: only approximately 6% of the ‘speaking
in tongues can be related to any understandable or known language, the great majority of speakers apparently being motivated by emotional stimulus. This produces an incoherent babble which originates in their subconscious minds. If tape-recorded and analysed the ‘babbling’ does display certain patterns, but these are of more interest to psychologists than to theologians. Of the 6% it appears that some 15% have subconscious recollections of a foreign language heard in their lifetime, usually when very small children. Over 55% of those speaking a recognizable language which apparently could not be associated with prior contact during early life, were show to have used that language in a previous incarnation. This was established through regression techniques and corroborated by psychological tests. Of the remainder nothing could be established and in their cases the phenomenon remains an enigma. However, in some instances there are some significant indications that they may have been possessed by some discarnate entity whose natural tongue was the language spoken. This theory is being followed up. The biblical reference to ‘speaking in tongues’ refers to contemporary languages known in those days, such Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and a few other, with which the apostles were acquainted. To have babbled words intelligible to none would scarcely have made much impression on the biblical writers, other than in a negative manner.