Re: Languages: Lip and tongue

From: Jim West (jwest@Highland.Net)
Date: Mon Sep 14 1998 - 06:26:45 EDT

At 08:10 AM 9/14/98 -0600, you wrote:
>While translating a study on "Tongues" (Acts 2; etc.) from Spanish to
>English, I was reading an O.T. reference (Gen. 11:1). In Spanish (RVA 1960)
>the word "tongue" is used. When I checked the Hebrew word (Strongs #8193) it
>says "lip."

The Hebrew word is "sapha" which means lip. Properly speaking, tongue is

>Was "lip" an idiom in Hebrew for language as "tongue" was in

Yes, in the context it simply means language.

>I noticed that the Sept. translated it as "lip" rather than change to
>"tongue." I found this very interesting.

Thats because, at least at this point, the LXX translator followed the
Hebrew rather more closely than did your Spanish translator.

By the way- you are right on track with your interest in Gen 11 vis a vis
Acts 2- because the whole import of the Acts narrative is that what happened
at babel because of human arrogance has been reversed by the action of the
Spirit. That is, what was once done is now undone- and all can again
communicate because the Spirit unifies rather than divides.




Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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