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The Gift of Tongues in the Post Apostolic Church (A.D. 100-400) - Vol 122 

of tongues is found in Eusebius' description of the activity of Montanus. 

 Eusebius of Caesarea LIVED Between 275 A.D tO – May 30, 339 A.D) Eusebius
                          
 
About the only clear statement regarding the manifestation of tongues is
found in Eusebius' Eusebius  description of the activity of Montanus. Montanus  
He writes:
 "So that he was carried away in spirit, and was wrought up into a certain kind
of frenzy and irregular ecstasy, raving, and speaking, and uttering strange
things and proclaiming what was contrary to the institutions that had
prevailed in the church…." Although the term tongues is not expressly used,
it is very obvious, as Lietzmann remarks, that in the experience Montanus
"showed all the manifestations of glossalalia."
 
The significance of the testimony of Montanus is seen in the following
observations. First, he was considered a heretic. He did not conform to the
Scriptures and even those around him acknowledged this. Second, his
particular heresy was in the realm of Pneumatology and his emphasis on the
chrismata. Yet even with all this emphasis, the Montanist activity was
considered to fall far short of the gifts as exercised by the apostles.
Third, Lietzmann points out that at first this phenomena of ecstacy and
glossalalia did not spread rapidly or widely. This would seem to indicate
that their extremes were not a part of usual Christian experience. If this
had been a common practice, then it would have been more natural for many to
accept this as being a part of the normal Christian life.
 
Montanism was an early Christian sectarian movement of the mid-2nd century A.D.,
named after its founder Montanus. Montanus  
 

History in Wikipedia

Montanus travelled among the rural settlements of Asia Minor after his conversion, and preached and testified what he purported to be the Word of God; however, his teachings were regarded as heresy by the orthodox Church for a number of reasons. He claimed not only to have received a series of direct revelations from the Holy Ghost, but personally to be the incarnation of the paraclete mentioned in the Gospel of John 14:16. Sbt Adds 14:16  

 

Chapter 14 - Read This Chapter 14:16

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

 

Compare 14:26

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your

***** remembrance all that I said to you.****

 Montanus was accompanied by two women, Prisca, sometimes called Priscilla, and Maximilla, who likewise claimed to be the embodiments of the Holy Spirit that moved and inspired them. As they went, "the Three" as they were called, spoke in ecstatic visions and urged their followers to fast and pray, so that they might share these personal revelations. His preachings spread from his native Phrygia (where he proclaimed the village of Pepuza as the site of the New Jerusalem) across the contemporary Christian world, to Africa and Gaul.

It is generally agreed that the movement was inspired by Montanus' reading of the Gospel of John— "I will send you the advocate [paraclete], the spirit of truth" (Heine 1987, 1989; Groh 1985). The response to this continuing revelation split the Christian communities, and the more orthodox clergy mostly fought to suppress it. Bishop Apollinarius found the church at Ancyra torn in two, and he opposed the "false prophesy" (quoted by Eusebius 5.16.5). But there was real doubt at Rome, and Pope Eleutherus even wrote letters in support of Montanism, although he later recalled them (Tertullian, "Adversus Praxean" c.1, Trevett 58-59).

Prisca claimed that Christ had appeared to her in female form. When she was excommunicated, she exclaimed "I am driven away like the wolf from the sheep. I am no wolf: I am word and spirit and power."

The most widely known defender of Montanists was undoubtedly Tertullian, onetime champion of orthodox belief, who believed that the new prophecy was genuine and began to fall out of step with what he began to call "the church of a lot of bishops" (On Modesty).

Although the orthodox Christian church prevailed against Montanism within a few generations, inscriptions in the Tembris valley of northern Phrygia, dated between 249 and 279, openly proclaim their allegiance to Montanism.

A letter of Jerome to Marcella, written in 385, refutes the claims of Montanists that had been troubling her (letter 41) [1].

A group of "Tertullianists" continued to exist at Carthage. The anonymous author of Praedestinatus records that a preacher came to Rome in 388 where he made many converts and obtained the use of a church for his congregation on the grounds that the martyrs to whom it was dedicated had been Montanists.[1] He was obliged to flee after the victory of Theodosius I. Augustine records that the Tertullianist group dwindled to almost nothing in his own time, and finally was reconciled to the church and handed over their basilica.[2] It is not certain whether the Tertullianists were Montanist or not.

In the sixth century, at the orders of the emperor Justinian, John of Ephesus led an expedition to Pepuza to destroy the Montanist shrine there, which was based around the tombs of Montanus, Priscilla and Maximilla.

The sect persisted into the eighth century. The Columbia Encyclopedia claims that “in isolated areas of Phrygia, where it [Montanism] continued to the 7th cent.”

Some modern writers have suggested that some of its emphasis on direct, ecstatic personal presence of the Holy Spirit bears resemblance to all forms of Pentecostalism. “It [Montanism] claimed to be a religion of the Holy Spirit and was marked by ecstatic outbursts which it regarded as the only true form of Christianity”, [3] While there may be some similarities between Montanism and modern Pentecostalism, there does not appear to be any historical link between the two, as most Pentecostals claim authenticity based on the New Testament Book of Acts(chapter 2).

 Differences between Montanism and orthodox Christianity ( full store in Montanus)

 
 
Early Church Fathers Linked to Wikipedia Encyclopedia-- listed at the  bottom of the page.
AD-100-400Tougues
The Gift of Tongues in the Post Apostolic Church (A.D. 100-400) - Vol 122
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      The Gift of Tongues in the Post Apostolic Church (a.d. 100-400)
                                     -
                            Cleon L. Rogers, Jr.
 
It is very clear in Paul's teaching that tongues are to cease (1 Cor. 13:8),
but, of course, the big problem is when this is to occur. This study is not
intended to discuss the possible answers to this question, but rather it is
to examine the evidence of the church fathers from A.D. 100 to 400 to
determine if tongues were still practiced as they were in the times of the
apostles. If the gift of tongues did not cease completely in the first
century, then there should be evidence of this continuation. If the gift is
as important as many teach, then the leaders of the Post Apostolic Age
should have stressed this and commended its practice highly. The evidence,
however, does not indicate that tongues had a significant place in the
church from A.D. 100 to 400.
 
                   The Testimony of the Apostolic Fathers
 
While there is clear evidence from Scripture that the gift of tongues was in
operation during the time of the apostles, it is significant that the gift
is nowhere alluded to, hinted at, or found in the Apostolic Fathers. It
might be objected that this is simply an argument from silence and has as
much support for the continuance of the gift as for the cessation of
 
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the gift. However, the importance of this silence takes on added weight when
viewed in the light of certain facts.
 
First, some of the Apostolic Fathers wrote from and to churches where the
gift had been practiced during the time of the apostles. The most
outstanding case of this is Clement of Rome and his epistle to the church at
Corinth. If there was any early church where tongues were practiced, it was
here. This was evidently one of the major problems that Paul had to contend
with in his letter to them; yet Clement of Rome never mentions the gift,
even when speaking of their spiritual heritage. The same problem of
disobedience to authority was present, but that of tongues had evidently
been solved by their ceasing.
 
Ignatius wrote to the church of Ephesus where the first Christians spoke in
tongues, but he, too, has nothing to say regarding the gift.
 
Second, the wide geographical coverage of the Apostolic Fathers makes their
silence significant. Clement wrote from Rome to Corinth; Polycarp, bishop of
Smyrna, wrote to those at Philippi; Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the
churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Rome, Smyrna, Philadelphia; the
Epistle of Barnabas was probably written from Alexandria; The Shepherd of
Hermas may have been written from Rome; Papias was from Hierapolis in
Phrygia; the Didache may have been written from Egypt or possibly from Syria
or Palestine; and the Epistle to Diognetus was probably written from
Alexandria. This covers practically every significant area of the Roman
Empire, and certainly if the gift of tongues were widespread and in
abundance, it would surely have been alluded to or mentioned in some way.
 
Third, the doctrinal character of the Apostolic Fathers makes their silence
regarding tongues significant. Though they were not written as textbooks on
theology, their writings cover practically every major doctrine taught in
the New
 
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Testament. Everything from theology proper to eschatology is mentioned, yet
there is no evidence for any discussion of tongues.
 
Fourth, the purpose of many of the writings makes the omission of tongues
significant. For example, the purpose of The Epistle to Diognetus 
(Epistle to Diognetus) 
was to answer the questions of Diognetus regarding Christianity. The writer
proceeds by showing the folly of idolatry (1-2), the inadequacy of Judaism
(3-4), and the superiority of Christianity (5-12). This would have been an
excellent opportunity to present the gift of tongues as a proof for the
supernatural character of Christianity. As previously mentioned, Clement of
Rome wrote to correct spiritual errors at Corinth, but he does not speak at
all about tongues. Irenaeus (Irenaeus) said regarding Polycarp's 
Polycarp of Smyrna,
letter to the Philippians that those who "choose to do so, and are anxious about
their salvation, can learn the character of his faith, and the preaching of the
truth " However, Polycarp nowhere indicates that tongues are a part of the
normal character of Christianity; in fact, he does not even touch on the
subject of tongues.
 
From these observations, it is clear that the silence of the Apostolic
Fathers cannot be simply dismissed as being of no consequence.
 
                       The Testimony of Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr, who was born around A.D. 100 and was martyred somewhere
between A.D. 163 and 167, traveled widely in the Roman Empire and should
have come in contact with the phenomena of speaking in tongues. He was born
in Samaria, converted in Ephesus, and traveled over the empire as a
Christian teacher. In spite of this extensive traveling and teaching, Justin
has nothing to say regarding the gift of tongues.
 
There is, however, one section in his work
 
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Dialogue with Trypho which might give rise to the idea that Justin knew of
tongues. In arguing that the prophetical gifts of the Jews are now
transferred to Christians, he says: "For the prophetical gifts remain with
us, even to the present time. And hence you ought to understand that [the
gifts] formerly among your nation have been transferred to us." However,
Jackson remarks that "it is not certain that speaking with tongues is here
intended." There are a number of things which support this and make it
almost certain that Justin did not have the gift of tongues in mind. First,
Justin states that the gifts he is speaking of were formerly among the
people of Israel. This certainly would not apply to this gift for it is only
used in connection with the church. Second, when Justin speaks of gifts he
mentions seven, but the gift of tongues is not included. In the light of
these facts it is very evident that Justin did not have the gift of tongues
in mind.
 
Just as the silence of the Apostolic Fathers was significant, so the silence
of Justin Martyr is important, especially in the light of certain facts. The
fact that Justin traveled widely and yet makes no reference to tongues would
show that either he had never encountered the phenomena or that he was
unimpressed by the gift if he did. Another fact is that though he was a
teacher of the Christian faith, his silence that the gift was not an
integral or important part of Christian doctrine is significant. If the gift
were prominent, why did a man of his stature fail to give any notice to it?
Still another fact lending weight to Justin's silence is the nature of his
writings. In his Dialogue with Trypho, he shows the superiority of
Christianity over Judaism and it would have been an excellent opportunity to
point to the gift of tongues as proof of his thesis. When he writes his
Hortatory Address to the Greeks, he states explicitly that he is going to
examine accurately Christianity
 
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and heathen religion. By comparing the teachings of the two he states he
will demonstrate that Christianity is the true religion. One of the
strongest things he could have used would have been the gift of tongues, but
he did not even mention them.
 
                          The Testimony of Irenaeus Irenaeus
 
The witness of Irenaeus is very important for his statement regarding
tongues has been pointed to as evidence of the existence of the gift in the
centuries after the Apostles. Irenaeus says "we hear many brethren in the
Church…who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages."
 
Before considering this statement more closely, the background of Irenaeus
should be examined. Though very little is known of Irenaeus' early life, the
few scraps of information that are available are very vital. As a boy
growing up in Smyrna he heard Polycarp and was greatly influenced by him.
Some time around A.D. 177 Irenaeus traveled from Asia Minor to Lyons in Gaul
where he became a presbyter under Pothinus who was also trained by Polycarp.
During this time he witnessed the severe persecution at Lyons and saw his
faithful friend, Pothinus, brutally murdered. While still a presbyter, he
was sent to Rome with a letter for the bishop, Eleutherus. This was a letter
written by a group of Montanists to try to persuade Eleutherus to have a
kind attitude toward them. It was after the death of Pothinus that Irenaeus
became bishop of Lyons where he served until he, too, died a martyr's death.
 
In connection with the present study, two things in the background of
Irenaeus should be observed. First, he came from Asia Minor and then
ministered in Lyons. It is important to realize that it was in Asia Minor
and Syria that there were many unhealthy influences upon Christianity, and
 
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particularly the influence of Montanus and his perverted pneumatology. This
association with the Montanist element did not cease when Irenaeus arrived
in Lyons, for there was a close connection between the churches of Lyons and
those of Asia Minor. In addition to Pothinus and Irenaeus from Asia Minor,
also Alexander from Phrygia and Attalus from Pergamon were among those
residing in Lyons. With this close relation it is only natural that there
were spiritual and doctrinal connections, good as well as bad, and Montanism
was one of the bad elements in Lyons. It is in this light that Irenaeus'
statement regarding tongues should be viewed. From his background he had
evidently heard the spiritual excesses of those who were influenced by
Montanus.
 
The second thing to observe about the background of Irenaeus is that he was
influenced by Polycarp. Because of this close association, it would be
normal to him to have derived much of his knowledge of Christian doctrine
from the aged bishop of Smyrna. It is obvious that tongues did not play a
part in Polycarp's writings, and even more significant that they did not
occupy a large part of Irenaeus' theology. The point is, if the gift were of
great importance, both the teacher and his pupil should have stressed it.
They did not.
 
With these things in mind it is now possible to examine Irenaeus' statement
regarding tongues. First, observe that Irenaeus does not say he spoke in
tongues. Second, he evidently does not classify those close to him as having
the gift, for he uses the plural 93"we hear." Coxe points out that the old
Latin uses the perfect audivimus, "we have heard." Third, because of
Irenaeus' association with the Montanists, Robertson is right in saying,
"His rather vague statement may rest on some report as to the Montanists of
Asia Minor…." From
 
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these things it must be concluded that Irenaeus meant that he and those
around him had at some past time heard of things like those heard in
Montanists circles. Regarding the whole of Irenaeus' works it could be said
that certainly the main thrust and emphasis of his theology was not on the
gift of tongues.
 
                         The Testimony of Tertullian Tertullian.
 
Tertullian, the celebrated theologian of North Africa, was another who came
under the influence of Montanus. Although he traveled widely and was an
out-standing scholar, his references to the gift of tongues are meager and
betray his connection with Montanism. In trying to show that the soul has a
kind of corporeality, he describes the soul's attributes, one of which is
the ability to possess spiritual gifts. To illustrate the point, he cites an
example of a Montanist woman who says she has conversed with angels and has
had other ecstatic experiences. He does not actually mention the gift of
tongues here, but he does describe her as having "gifts of revelation, which
she experiences in the Spirit by ecstatic vision…." If this is a witness to
the activity of the gift, it is a weak witness and certainly is far from the
normal Christian experience of that day.
 
Tertullian makes a specific reference to the gift of tongues in his work
Against Marcion. Marcion  Even here he does not actually say anything about tongues
in his time. He is taking Paul's epistles and pointing out the apologetic
value found in each letter. He takes them epistle by epistle and chapter by
chapter. When he comes to the spiritual gifts as mentioned in 1 Corinthians
12-14, he acknowledges that all do not have the same gifts, but that the
Spirit has given different gifts to different men. He merely discusses what
Paul says about the gifts and makes no reference to the use of the gift in
his time. He calls on Marcion to duplicate these gifts as exhibited by the
apostles, but does not say that he has seen or knows of any one who
exercises the gift.
 
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                           The Testimony of Origen Origen 
 
While all of Origen's theology may not be orthodox, he is recognized by all
as being one of the ablest scholars of his day. He not only was acquainted
with affairs of his day through extensive reading, but he also traveled
widely himself and had students from all over the world attending his
classes. If the gift were widespread or even practiced at all, certainly
Origen should have known something about it and would have mentioned it
somewhere in his voluminous writings. Yet he
 
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has no clear statement regarding the gift and his testimony indicates that
the extraordinary gifts were gone.
 
It is in his answer to Celsus that Origen has something to say about
spiritual gifts. Celsus made the charge that the Old Testament prophets are
like certain ones in Phoenicia and Palestine who go through foolish motions
and gestures, then say they have a prophecy. He is quoted by Origen as
saying: "To these promises are added strange, fanatical, and quite
unintelligible words, of which no rational person can find the meaning: for
so dark are they, as to have no meaning at all; but they give occasion to
every fool or impostor to apply them to suit his own purposes." Origen's
answer to such a charge is quite pertinent to this discussion. He says that
though the Holy Spirit gave signs and outward demonstrations of His presence
at the beginning of Christ's ministry and after His ascension, these things
have diminished and are no longer widespread. Furthermore he says Celsus is
speaking falsely when describing what he had heard: "For no prophet bearing
any resemblance to the ancient prophets have appeared in the time of
Celsus." What Origen is saying is that no longer are there any of these
gifts in operation! Origen does not say the gift of tongues is flourishing
at his time, but rather that such gifts have diminished!
 
                         The Testimony of Chrysostom 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysostom 
 
The last of the Church Fathers to be considered is the able exegete and
outstanding preacher, Chrysostom. After studying and ministering around the
city of Antioch he became the patriarch of Constantinople. As the religious
leader in the great city of Constantinople, he surely was in contact with
Christians and churches from all over the empire. As he approaches his
message on spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians, he confesses that the "whole
place is very obscure," and goes on to add: "but the obscurity is produced
by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such
as then used to occur, but now no longer take place." Here is a clear
statement by a well-versed exegete and religious leader of the
 
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fourth century stating that tongues are no longer practiced in his day. Far
from being the normal occurrence in Christian circles, the gift of tongues
is rather unknown! The stature and position of Chrysostom make his testimony
extremely important. Evidently, at least by this time, the gift of tongues
had died out.
 
                   The Testimony of the Common Christians
 
Someone might object that those considered are the theologians and leaders
of the church and do not reflect the character of common Christianity.
Though it would be unthinkable for the leaders of the church to overlook
such a phenomena as tongues, it is acknowledged that some of the trained
apologists might not reflect a true picture of common Christianity. However,
Carpenter points out that it is the Apostolic Fathers who reflect popular
Christianity of the second and third centuries. As previously noted, the
Apostolic Fathers make no reference at all to the gift. Even the magic
formulae used by some of the early Christians and preserved on papyri do not
form a parallel to the gift of tongues in spite of the fact some of the
words are unintelligible.
 
                                 Conclusion
 
After examining the testimony of the early Christian leaders whose ministry
represents practically every area of the Roman Empire from approximately
A.D. 100 to 400, it appears that the miraculous gifts of the first century
died out and were no longer needed to establish Christianity. Furthermore,
it is very evident that even if the gift were in existence, in spite of all
the testimony to the contrary, it was neither widespread nor the normal
Christian experience. The only clear reference to anything resembling the
phenomena is connected with the heretic Montanus and those influenced by his
erroneous views of the Spirit. All of the evidence points to the truth of
Paul's prophecy when he says "tongues shall cease" (1 Cor. 13:8).
 
From http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atlantis/5068/charismata/rogers.htm 
 
Added http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolic_Fathers

Church Fathers.

 
Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian. Clement of Rome. Polycarp of Smyrna,
 
Ignatius of Antioch Ante-Nicene Fathers