Re: Gift of languages

> I take the Luke description of Pentecost literal.  It actually happened
> the way he described it and saw it.  The writers of the New Testament
> affirmed that they were eye-witnesses of the events that they
> described.  I see no indication in their writtings that they were
> consciously creating symbolic literature instead of accurately
> reporting historical events.

Perhaps you could explain then when the disciples literally and
historically received the Holy Spirit - at Pentecost (Luke), or on the
first Easter Sunday (John), since they were both "eye-witnesses of the
events that they described"?

Furthermore, were the disciples *speaking* in different languages at
Pentecost, or were the onlookers miraculously *hearing* them in
different languages. "Parthians and Medes and Elamites and Mesopotamians
... ". Would there have been enough disciples to go round for all these
different languages? Or did they each say a couple of sentences in one
of the various languages, one after the other - a bit like the Pope
giving his Easter blessing? It is a bit hard to "see" the event. A
desciption of what was actually taking place would be much appreciated.

I'm afraid the long quotation from Joel looks more like the stimulus and
source for the "miracle" rather than just pointing to its fulfilment. This
was the way the Bible writers often worked. Matthew even has the holy
family dashing off to Egypt (in complete contradiction of the Lukan
choreography) just so as to be able to fulfil the rather curiously
redirected "prophecy", "Out of Egypt did I call my son".

John Richards                                       Stackpole Elidor (UK)