Re: 1Cor13:1 tongues of angels

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Wed Feb 25 1998 - 17:37:20 EST

On Wed 25 Feb 98 (07:58:37 +0800), wrote:
>  BAGD offers nothing for GLWSSAI TWN AGGELWN
>  Likewise nothing I can see in LXX. Is there
>  a source for this phrase?

 Dear Steven,

 Arnold Bittlinger, /Gifts and Graces/, A commentary on 1 Corinthians 12-14
 (Translation from the German by Herbert Klassen, supervised by the Revd
 Michael Harper), Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1967, comments:

 "If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have no love, I am a
 noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." Verse 1.

 "Paul assumes that speaking in tongues means speaking in human or angelic
 languages. According to 2 Corinthians 12:4 and Revelation 14:2f, angelic
 languages are unutterable. Paul means that even if he could speak in
 perfect Greek or Chinese, or could speak an angelic language (which is
 really unutterable), the exercise of this gift without love (i.e., for
 self-glorification) would be as a clanging cymbal (Here he is referring
 to ancient single toned musical instruments which cannot produce a melody).
 Love is choked 'where a few of those who claim to excel in the gifts are
 ostentatious in their prayers and utterances, and spread their wings,
 leaving behind in spiritual isolation all the seekers and the uninitiated.'
 - W Meyer, /Der 1. Brief an die Korinther/, 1945, pp 163f."
 (Op. cit., p 79).

 The "source for the phrase" would appear to be Paul's sanctified
 imagination, directed by the Holy Spirit.


 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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