Re: 1Cor. 14:14

From: Kenneth Litwak (
Date: Thu Oct 12 1995 - 02:17:58 EDT

Carlton Winbery wrote:
> The difference it makes is that it helps distinguish the miracle of human
> speech in Acts2 from the ecstatic experience described in I Cor. 14. Also, I
> would disagree with your assessment of the Cybil in the Delphic oracles. I
> am convinced that the experience of tongues among the early Christians was
> not radically different in kind from the experience in most religions of that
> time.

   I'm afraid I don't see a distinction between these two
events, and I must say this is a modern distinction that I
doubt Paul or Luke would have recognized (Excursus: this is
my problem with form criticism. It imposes on the text
a phenomenon or form that the original author(s) would likely
not have recognzied or acknowledged.). What Luke describes
in Acts 2 sounds very much to me as though, for example, the
Holy Spirit spoke Parthian through someone who did not
know Parthian. Nothing in the text implies that the speakers
understood what they were saying, onlyh that the listeners
did. Whehter I am speaking a language of angels or
conversational Parthian, it is still ecstatic since the Spirit
is speaking through me without my involvement other than
as the speaker attached the a spiritual CD player (is it
better to be a woofer or a tweeter in that context?).
So I see no distinction. Nothing says the speakers in Acts
knew what they were saying, and as far as it goes, Paul
does not say in 1 Cor 14 that tongues involves no human
languages. It just involves languages the speaker does not
know. So while in either the Acts 2 or 1 Cor 14 context,
I might not be able to say it's all Greek to me, I could
certainly say it's all Lithuanian to me (which in spite of my
last name I do not speak or read). In addition, Luke does
not distingush between the phenomenon in Acts 2 and that in
Acts 8, 10, or the disciples at Ephesus. What are we to make
of that? Are those also a "miracle of language" and not
glossalalia as Paul would understand it?

Ken Litwak
Bezerkley, CA


   Thanks to all the people who gave me sources for Hatch-
Redpath, in spite of the typo "shutter". Hardly anyone
in California even uses shutters. They might be useful in
Hurrican country, but what good is a shutter 1/2 mile from a
major fault line?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:29 EDT