‘Tongues as of Fire’: Judgment as a Function of Glossolalia in Luke’s Thought

in Journal of Pentecostal Theology
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Abstract

The argument advanced in this paper is that the Pentecost language event signals judgment as well as blessing. The reference to ‘tongues as of fire’ in Luke’s description of Pentecost portends judgment. This is consistent both with Luke’s use of the image of fire elsewhere and with the very character of Pentecost as an eschatological event. The judgment in view is directed against those who fail to respond appropriately to the word of God present in the redemptive revelation centered in Jesus. The positive response of obedient disciples results in their experience of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. At the same time, the language of ‘another tongue’ that characterizes this experience serves to demonstrate the divine judgment that has come upon the disobedient.

‘Tongues as of Fire’: Judgment as a Function of Glossolalia in Luke’s Thought

in Journal of Pentecostal Theology

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