Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they?1 Corinthians 12:30
How did you get on with yesterday’s passage? Did you note what Paul did? He has changed the focus for us? Why? Paul had been discussing the manifestation gifts: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, the gift of faith, healing by that one Spirit, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues. Now suddenly he widens the scope and adds apostles, teachers, helpers and managers. Why does he do that? I thought we were focused on the manifestation gifts. He is merely emphasizing the point that as with other more general roles so too with these more supernatural gifts, they are not all the same and not everyone gets to do the same thing. Just like not all get to be apostles or teachers or managers, so too not all speak in tongues for example.
Were you able to harmonise the various translations.
The CEV translate “not everyone can _____ “.
God’s Word [GW] version uses the form “Are all _____ ; do all _____ ; can all _____ ?
This is similar to the KJV but note as with the GW the KJV does not answer the question.
The ISV however answers the question in a way. The ISV attaches the tag question in English are they? do they? “Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they? Not all have the gift of healing, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they?”
This is a form of English usage which expects the negative answer. By combining a negative statement with the positive tag question it expects a negative answer. “Not all ____, do they?” “No, of course they don’t.” The opposite is true in English. If we make a postitive statement in English followed by the negative tag question we expect a positive answer. “You did do the dishes, didn’t you?” Yes of course I did.
That is exactly what is going on here. Paul’s use of the Greek particle μὴ expects the negative answer. Yes it is just a question and not more, so the translations used in the GW and KJV are strictly correct. The GW versions has used one tag question whlie all the rest are just plain questions. The KJV has used just plain questions. The CEV has turned the questions into negative statements but again capturing the sense of negative answer required by the positive tag question. Only the ISV handles it in the best possible way by using the tag questions to elicit the response Paul is waiting for.
I also like Eugene Peterson’s handling of it by turning it into a focus on the body part which is after all what Paul is on about. [MSG] “You’re familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his “body”: apostles prophets teachers miracle workers healers helpers organizers those who pray in tongues. But it’s obvious by now, isn’t it, that Christ’s church is a complete Body and not a gigantic, unidimensional Part? It’s not all Apostle, not all Prophet, not all Miracle Worker, not all Healer, not all Prayer in Tongues, not all Interpreter of Tongues.” It is similar to how I dealt with the unmentionable body parts yesterday, “foot”, “tail bone” etc. But while it is a way of handling it, it is not strictly true according to the original Greek. The best way in my opinion is as the ISV has done. It preserves the meaning of the Greek completely.
Let’s return to those Wycliffe NZ questions about your beliefs on speaking in tongues.
- Is the gift of tongues the sign gift of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”?
- Does the Holy Spirit indwell those who have never spoken in tongues?
- Do all speak in tongues?
- Must all speak in tongues?
I believe you can answer those questions biblically now. You don’t need any more of my help. Spread the word around.
You Will Not Be Rewarded For Your Similarities With Other People, But For Your Differences.Robb Thompson
I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.Billy Graham
Don’t allow anybody but God to tell you what you’re worth. That’s too much power to give anyone. If people can label you, they can limit you.Anon