Re: 1Cor. 14:14

From: Kenneth Litwak (
Date: Sun Oct 08 1995 - 21:16:06 EDT

> wrote:
> > So in conclusion, the Bible really gives no support for any "unknown
> > prayer language." In fact, every evidence points to the fact that these
> > tongues were a known language that could and should be interpreted (cf. 1
> > Cor. 14:28).
> That the technical terms GLWSSAI, GENH GLWSSWN, and EN GLWSSHi (-AIS)
> LALEIN (always anarthrous) refers to xenolalia, as suggested supra, is
> a minority position.
> I think it is fairly clear that those terms referred to ecstatic utterances
> ["GLWSSA," BADG (2d ed. 1979) "There is no doubt about the thing referred
> to, namely the broken speech of persons in religious ecstasy."]. This is
> not surprising, given the cultural context of the Corthinian church. [See
> 33 (1995) (explaining why the Corinthians would be so eager about tongues
> and including an example of Attic GLOTTAI).]
> Textually, this seems to be the case. GLWSSAI are sometimes described as
> "of angels" (TWN AGGELWN 1Co12:10). A charism (hERMHNEIA GLWSSWN 13:1) is
> needed to interpret them (14:13). As a "prayer language," that may be
> inferred from 14:28 (hEATWi DE LALEITW KAI TWi QEWi).
> For a good scholarly treatment and bibliography, I recommend C.M. Robeck,
> Jr., "Tongues," A DICTIONARY OF PAUL & HIS LETTERS (1993).
> Stephen Carlson
> --
> Stephen Carlson : Poetry speaks of aspirations, : ICL, Inc.
> : and songs chant the words. : 11490 Commerce Park Dr.
> (703) 648-3330 : Shujing 2:35 : Reston, VA 22091 USA
I think I would have to take exception to the word "ecstatic". That
sounds like the "under the influence of foreign substances" Oracle at
Delphi (to use German word order), not what Paul is talking about.
Paul makes clear, IMO, that the person speaking in tongues can
turn it on and shut it off, so to speak, at will, which is not how
one would normally understand being in an "ecstatic" state.
Perhaps Stephen and others mean something else by "ecstatic", in whih
case a little more precision in definition is needed.

Ken Litwak
Bezerkley, CA

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