Glossolalia is more than a language. I know that if you call speaking in tongues glossolalia chances are that you don’t practice it. Everyone who practices it calls is speaking in tongues or praying in tongues.
Calling speaking in tongues glossolalia shows that you are approaching it from the language side rather than the spiritual side. While the approach is not wrong, it has its downsides.
Glossolalia is first a spiritual gift before it is a language. This is why I said it is more than a language. It is the same as being American and speaking American English.
There are Americans who don’t speak American English. Yes, babies. But everyone who speaks American English is American or else the English they speak will just be English.
An American does a lot more than just speaking American English. The same is true with glossolalia; you are first spiritual before glossolalia becomes a language.
And just as we have Americans who don’t speak American English, there are spiritual people who don’t practice glossolalia.
Does Glossolalia have the Technical Aspects of a Language?
Glossolalia includes all human languages and more. Considering this fact, glossolalia has all the technical aspects of a language because technically, the languages we speak are part of glossolalia.
But I understand that most people who ask this question are referring to the babbling they hear in religious gatherings. Those sounds you hear people babbling are the other part of glossolalia that makes it more than a language.
Definitely, those babblings do not follow the normal rules of language because they are not meant for people. The Bible clearly notes that those babblings and groans are a mysterious language that a person speaks to God and no man understands (1st Corinthians 14:2).
If you approached glossolalia from the language side, believing that those babblings are anything meaningful will be hard.
On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, the disciples of Jesus practiced glossolalia but they spoke in human languages that were known. Of course those human languages had all the technical aspects of a language.
Since glossolalia is more than just a language, it has the technical aspects of a language but it comes with a lot more.
In 1st Corinthians 13:1, the Bible mentions the tongues of men and tongues of angels. The tongues of men are the languages we know. They are part of glossolalia. But there are also tongues of angels which from their name are foreign to us.
Since a person can speak in both, it is obvious that the tongues of men will have the technical aspects of a language but the tongues of angels may not have them.
Looking at Glossolalia as a Language from a Wider Perspective
Glossolalia is more than what it appears to be. It is the same as being American; you can’t judge being American based on language alone. There is culture, dressing, philosophy etc.
Likewise, you can’t judge glossolalia based on the technical aspects alone. The technical aspects have their place and they give hints but coming up with a conclusion using them alone is foolishness.
The Story behind Glossolalia
If you want to understand glossolalia as a language, you need to start from the origin. The origin of glossolalia is spiritual.
When God created man in the Garden of Eden, the man sinned. After the sin, life under the sun was cursed. The curse applies to everything that goes on in life. The common one is the toil we have to go through to find food.
In terms of communication, our language was divided. In Genesis 11, the Bible tells us that before the building of the tower of Babel, all people on earth spoke one language.
After God divided the languages of men to stop them from building the tower of Babel, people scattered all over the earth. To this day, the division of languages and groupings all over the world is evident.
But then God didn’t intend for us to remain divided in our language forever just as He didn’t intend for us to live under the curses He pronounced forever.
Jesus came as a savior. He came to save us from ALL the mess that happened. Jesus restored all things but in a unique way…
If you believe in Him, you get restored. If you don’t believe in Him, you continue in the old pattern of things.
As part of restoring the unity in the language we speak, glossolalia was introduced. The ability to practice glossolalia is given to us by the Holy Spirit.
Eventually, all the divided languages of this world will pass away and we will be united with Christ as people of one language.
The Power of Glossolalia as a Language
God divided us into different languages so that we may not unite in rebelling against Him. But after we believe in Jesus, God gives us one language to unite us.
Glossolalia is the ability to communicate freely with anyone who is in Christ. Apart from glossolalia being a language between us alone, it is also a language between us and God and also us and angels.
In other words, glossolalia is the one ability a person will ever need to communicate with everyone, with God and with angels.
Instead of having to learn thousands of languages, you only receive the gift of glossolalia from the Spirit of God and you are good to go.
This was evident on the day of Pentecost when the disciples of Jesus spoke languages they didn’t know.
The Purpose of Glossolalia as a Language
Glossolalia is designed by God to be the one communication tool that a person will ever need. God uses glossolalia to restore us to one language as it was before the incident of the tower of Babel.
When we are of one language, we will be united.
The ability to speak foreign languages enables us to spread the gospel of Jesus all over the world. God made it this way so that it can speed up the spread of the gospel.
Is Glossolalia a Language? Conclusion
I hope you now understand why glossolalia is more than a language. I encourage you to seek this gift. Why should you miss out on all the goodies that God has provided for us?
Eventually, all believers in Jesus will get this gift because that will be the language in the new earth. But if you love being a pioneer, you can start testing it out as soon as today.