From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Thu Feb 26 1998 - 17:45:17 EST

Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> At 11:31 AM -0600 2/26/98, Eric Weiss wrote:
> >I'm in a discussion re: the LALEIN hETERAIS GLWSSAIS of Acts 2:4 ff. I
> >suggest that a good case can be made that there was perhaps a miracle of
> >hearing going on here, in addition to - and maybe even INSTEAD OF - a
> >miracle of foreign languages being spoken.
> >
> > (snip)
> >
> >Not having easy access to these volumes of Fee's, can anyone comment on
> >whether the context and language of Acts 2 favors that they spoke real
> >languages as opposed to my argument/suggestion above that it was perhaps
> >a miracle of hearing and that the miraculous tongues of Acts 2 was no
> >different than the Corinthian speech - i.e., it was
> >ecstatic/Spirit-inspired speech, but not speech in known human
> >languages?
> In any case I don't think that hETERAIS GLWSSAIS really has any
> relationship to the glossolalia of 1 Cor 12-14 other than that it is a
> manifestation of the Holy Spirit; it is not, I think, ecstatic speech
> unintelligible to the ordinary ear as a cultic phenomenon.

1. Carl, your statement here, "it is not, I think, ecstatic speech
unintelligible to the ordinary ear as a cultic phenomenon," is a little
confusing to me, since I'm not sure what "as a cultic phenomenon" is modifying
or supplementing or clarifying. And by "cultic phenomenon," are you meaning in
relation to Christian cultic activity (i.e., Holy-Spirit-inspired worship), or
are you referring to Greek pagan cultic phenomena of glossolalia? Sorry for my
difficulty here!

2. One respondent wrote me: "There really is no adequate substitute for the
following three books, if
you really want to understand what you are asking asking about:I read D.A.
Carson, _Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12-14_
(includes a discussion of PNEUMATIKA in Acts); Gorden D. Fee, _The First Epistle
to the Corinthians_ (NICNT); and Max Turner, _The Holy Spirit and Spiritual
Gifts, Then and Now_." I had a chance to glance through these books at lunch
(thanks to the DTS bookstore and library a few bus stops up the street), as well
as some commentaries on Acts and I Corinthians, and found (and least in what I
thought were the relevant parts) that they did not address my textual/linguistic
questions adequately. Some, like Turner, summarily dismissed the Acts 2 miracle
of hearing possibility with a single sentence. What I did find was that I
apparently have asked a valid question and some interpreters/commentators agree
with my suggestion. Any further comments are appreciated, though.

3. Just to clarify, if it caused any confusion - When I suggested in my question
that the Acts 2 event might have likewise been "ecstatic/Spirit-inspired speech,
but not speech in known human languages" as in I Corinthians 12-14, I don't mean
as some do when they use the term "ecstatic speech" that it was just
gibberish/babbling. I used the term because of its common use in scholarly
discussions of the issue, but maybe I shouldn't have used it and should have
just asked/stated "i.e., it was Spirit-inspired speech, but not in a language
that the hearers could understand without the likewise-Spirit-inspired
interpretation." I don't regard true charismatic glossolalia to be meaningless
babbling (and I'm not saying that Carl is suggesting this; I just want to
clarify my question), which unfortunately seems to be what some mean by the term
"ecstatic speech."

"Eric S. Weiss"

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