Gifts of the Holy Spirit



13. Can he who speak in tongues interpret what he says?



Of course, he can, for the Scripture admits such a possibility. Here is what Paul says to the saints of Corinth: “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification” (1 Corinthians 14:5 – NKJV).

As you can see, Paul does not exclude that he who speaks in tongues may interpret: obviously this happens when he who speaks in tongues has also the gift of interpretation of tongues.

Another Scripture which admits such a possibility is the following one: “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret” (1 Corinthians 14:13 – NKJV). It is evident that if a believer is exhorted to pray that he may interpret, that means that the Lord can answer his prayer and thus enable him to interpret what he says in tongues by the Holy Spirit. However, if he who speaks in tongues does not have the gift of interpretation of tongues, another believer will interpret his words uttered in an unknown tongue.