Much of current scholarship contends that Paul's dispute with the Corinthian congregation over tongues-speech is best explained against the backdrop of the Corinthians' religious experiences prior to becoming Christians. Paul's conflict with them thus arose over his understanding of the nature and purpose of ecstatic speech versus their understanding, which had been shaped primarily by Hellenistic enthusiastic religion. Christopher Forbes argues that this scholarly position is incorrect.
Through a careful examination of the Hellenistic evidence, Forbes shows that there are "no compelling parallels" between Christian glossolalia or prophecy and Hellenistic ecstatic religion. In light of his findings, Forbes then argues that any exegetical conclusions about 1 Corinthians 12-14 that take the former path of understanding need to be reexamined.