Benajah Harvey Carroll (AD 1843-1914) was born in Mississippi, a veteran of the Civil War, and was pastor of First Baptist Church, Waco, Texas.
B. H. Carroll was the founding president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas (swbts.edu). His sermons and writings have been influential in the Christian world.
Following are some of Carroll’s quotes on the Gift of Tongues:
The next question: Was the gift of tongues a power to speak in other languages, or a mere ecstasy, unintelligible to other people, and that the man himself oftentimes did not understand?,,,
Now, was it the power to speak in other languages? Certainly it was, or I have to take back what I said about Pentecost reversing the incident at Babel. Let the record answer whether this was a mere ecstasy, or actual power to speak in different languages:
"Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans? And how hear we, every man in our own language wherein we were born?" (Acts 2:5).
That does not describe mere ecstasy, but the power to speak in the different languages; and the record goes on to specify the nations from which they came:
"Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and Proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God."
While they were all Jews, yet Jews of the dispersion, who had ceased speaking the Hebrew tongue, they spoke the languages of the country where they lived, and what amazed them – the thing that startled them – was to see these ignorant Galileans, having a corrupted dialect of Aramaic, speaking better than they could these words in their own languages, to which they were born.
-B. H. Carroll, Interpretation of the English Bible, Acts 2.
Let me show that this speaking in tongues meant to speak in a language that a man had not acquired, and had not studied. Turn to Acts 2, where this gift is first manifested and commence at verse 6:
"When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans? And how hear we, every man in our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthiana and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God."
A man must have more brass on his face than was ever in the brazen gates of Babylon to assume that that doesn't refer to speaking in different languages.
Here came a man from Cyrene over in Africa; there came a Roman; here a Cretan; there an Arabian; and they heard these men under the influence of the Holy Spirit speaking in the tongues in which they were born.
My second argument is based on 1 Corinthians 14:14: "If I pray in a tongue . . . my understanding is unfruitful." I don't know what the words mean, but if it was an ecstasy that language would not be so applicable. I have no doubt that when God gave power to Balaam's beast to speak audibly, his language was not understood by him. He spoke in a language that he himself didn't understand….
Let us advance again in the argument in this issue. Paul says, "If I speak in an unknown tongue which the people cannot understand, what good will it do unless I translate?" That shows that it was an unknown language. If we send a missionary to a foreign country and he does not know their speech and they don't know his speech, and a particular man knows both theirs and his, that man is asked to be an interpreter. The missionary says a few words, and then the interpreter speaks these words in the language of the people addressed. He understands. "Now," says Paul, "what good does it do to speak in unknown tongues unless you interpret?"
He shows again that this is the thought. He says, "If you give thanks in an unknown tongue, how shall he that is unlearned say, 'Amen,' to your giving thanks, since he does not understand what you say?" And how powerfully the reformers quoted that against the Roman Catholics whose public services were conducted in Latin whether anybody understood Latin or not. The reformers quote this passage and say, "How is that going to help the people? Speak it if you want to, but tell them what the Latin means.”…
I used to be a soldier, and every morning there was a certain bugle-sound called "reveille," which means "get up quick"; then a certain other sound of the trumpet meant, "saddle up," and a certain other sound meant, "mount," another very lively one meant, "Forward march." "Now," said Paul, "if a man just gets up and blows a noise out of a trumpet that doesn't signify anything, how can anybody prepare himself for battle?" Therefore he says, "I would rather speak five words to the church with my understanding than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue."
-B. H. Carroll, Interpretation of the English Bible, 1 Corinthians 14.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 25, AD 2013.
B. H. Carroll on Inspiration of Bible
B. H. Carroll on Pastors and Alcohol
L. R. Scarborough on Soul-Winning
Ancient Wine Production and the Bible
Other articles in lower right margin.