An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


Ecstatic utterance as an expression of faith and praise for God. This Greek term designates the phenomenon of “speaking in new tongues” promised in Mk 16:17. For Paul (1 Cor 14:1-20), speaking in tongues is praise of God. It is not edification of the faithful unless an inspired interpreter is available. In Pentecostal churches and the charismatic movement, glossolalia is seen as the fruit of baptism by the Holy Spirit. But Paul was ambivalent about the importance of speaking in tongues for the church (see 1 Cor 14), and the main line of Christianity has always denied that it is a necessary mark of authentic Christian experience.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.