Paul Zellmer (
Sat, 02 Nov 1996 09:14:36 -0800

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Date: Sat, 02 Nov 1996 09:10:54 -0800
From: Paul Zellmer <>
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Jonathan Robie wrote:
> I don't think this agrees with the usage in Acts 2. Each person heard in
> their own DIALEKTOS (th idia dialektw), and there is a list of the regions.
> The group included both Jews and proselytes, so I would expect that this
> means both dialects (*not* equivalent to DIALEKTOS) of Hebrew and of Greek.
> Cretans and Arabs would probably imply other languages as well.
Before we too quickly dismiss Carl's postulation, could not the use of
DIALEKTOS indicate how personalized was the hearing (and that *is* what
the text refers to: the hearing of the hearers, not *necessarily* the
speaking of the speakers). In other words, not only did they hear the
more generic GLWSSA, they heard their specific DIALEKTOS.
> There also seems to be parallelism between verse 8 (akouomen ekastos th idia
> dialektw) and verse 11 (akouomen lalountwn autwn tais hmeterais glwssais).
> This parallelism suggests broad equivalence to me, though another
> interpretation would be that that verse 8 stresses that they are speaking in
> all the local regional dialects (which would be quite a feat, even here in
> North Carolina), and verse 11 stresses that this was true even across
> completely different languages.
My suggested interpretation exactly, if you transfer the reference of
the pronoun "they" to the hearers who gathered and changed "speaking" to
> Here is the quote. I'm enclosing verse 12, which is not strictly relevant,
> simply because it describes a state in which I spend much of my life, and
> which seems particularly relevant to b-greek.
> Acts 2:7 (GNT) existanto de kai eqaumazon legontes: ouc idou apantes outoi
> eisin oi lalountes Galilaioi;
> Acts 2:7 (NASU) They were amazed and astonished, saying, "Why, are not all
> these who are speaking Galileans?
> 8 (GNT) kai pws hmeis akouomen ekastos th idia dialektw hmwn en h egennhqhmen;
> 8 (NASU) "And how is it that we each hear [them] in our own language to
> which we were born?
> 9 (GNT) Parqoi kai Mhdoi kai Elamitai kai oi katoikountes thn Mesopotamian,
> Ioudaian te kai Kappadokian, Ponton kai thn Asian,
> 9 (NASU) "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia,
> Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
> 10 (GNT) Frugian te kai Pamfulian, Aigupton kai ta merh ths Libuhs ths kata
> Kurhnhn, kai oi epidhmountes Rwmaioi,
> 10 (NASU) Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around
> Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
> 11 (GNT) Ioudaioi te kai proshlutoi, Krhtes kai Arabes, akouomen lalountwn
> autwn tais hmeterais glwssais ta megaleia tou qeou.
> 11 (NASU) Cretans and Arabs--we hear them in our [own] tongues speaking of
> the mighty deeds of God."
> 12 (GNT) existanto de pantes kai dihporoun, allos pros allon legontes: ti
> qelei touto einai;
> 12 (NASU) And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying
> to one another, "What does this mean?"
> Jonathan
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Jonathan Robie
> POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C.
> Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
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Paul Zellmer
Southern Methodist Missions