Here is another interesting thought from James D.G. Dunn on the Apostle Paul’s pneumatology. This time he focuses on Paul’s understanding of the gifts of glossolalia and prophecy:
Paul envisages conversion (to the Spirit) as an unveiling, evoking the experience of a veil being removed, of eyes being opened. Any university teacher, and, hopefully, all university students, know the experience all too well. It is quite characteristic of Paul’s conception of the Spirit to link it with experiences of revelation and knowledge. Particularly notable is 1 Cor. 2.12–“we have received…the Spirit which is from God, in order that we might know what has been given to us by God.” And it is worth noting that the reason why Paul preferred prophecy to glossolalia in the gatherings for worship was because prophecy was fruitful for the mind as well as the spirit (1 Cor. 14.14-5).
Implied in Dunn’s statement is that glossolalia was not understood to be valuable in public worship because it could not be understood and therefore it does not edify others. Glossolalia is limited to self-edification. Prophecy edifies the speaker and hearer.