How do you speak in tongues? Learn the Bible.
I thank God, I speak more tongues than you all;
1 Cor. 14:18 YLT Literal
The literal rendering of the verse is I thank God, than all of you more tongues I speak. It wasn’t that Paul spoke in tongues more than everyone but that he spoke more tongues than everyone. The word “in” is not found in the Greek and is added by all the translations except Young’s Literal. The same applies to the other verses
and I wish you all to speak
withtongues, and more that ye may prophesy, for greater is he who is prophesying than he who is speaking withtongues, except one may interpret, that the assembly may receive edification.
1 Cor. 14:5 YLT Literal
Paul spoke more tongues than anyone because he knew the Scriptures better than anyone.
God has combined many languages (tongues) into his Scripture so that, were you to learn them, you would actually understand its vast mysteries. They are categorical ways of speaking about the same truth. In other words, you must think about how one can actually preach the entire Gospel within the constraints of one of these tongues. However, unless the symbolism is understood, that is unless the language is understood, no one will have a clue what you’re talking about. Think about how the Gospel is embedded in these languages. The Gospel is truly embedded in all of nature and even in the way men work, or the way women bear children. There are many to be discovered, but only by rote study, just as one would learn any language. If you know one, and speak in one, you should also provide interpretation so that people can be edified. Here are some lists of tongues with some of the more obvious words. They are roughly categorized, not to be taken as precise. Some tongues are more like sub-languages easily confused such as the Face and the Body. Most people who have spent time in the Church will recognize the symbolism of many of these words.
|the Plant tongue||the Animal tongue||the Building tongue||the Family tongue||the Body tongue||the Weather tongue||the Musical Instruments tongue||the Water tongue||the Ground tongue||the Numerical tongue
fish of the Sea
man and woman (the only creatures who walk upright)
hands (and fingers, and even nails)
The Face/Head (sub-tongue)
There are many tongues. You don’t get them free. You don’t start babbling like a maniac. Get far away from those places. Sit down and do your homework. Don’t be lazy, be importunate. The more tongues you learn, the more ability you have to decipher the mysteries of God which make use of a combination of tongues:
We hanged our harps Upon the willows…
To the most diligent, like Paul, God reveals the deepest mysteries. Consider how many tongues are jam packed into just this one vision:
As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands.
Ezekiel 1:4-8 ESV