[b-greek] Re: Meaning of PANTWN hUMWN in 1 Cor 14:18

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Fri Aug 25 2000 - 07:22:00 EDT

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 --></style><title>[b-greek] Re: Meaning of PANTWN hUMWN in 1 Cor
<div>At 11:37 PM +0000 8/24/00, Mark Wilson wrote:</div>
<div>&gt;&gt;This raises a different question than I was asking, but
still appropriate.<br>
&gt;&gt;Does MALLON refer to the comparative number of
languages/tongues that Paul<br>
&gt;&gt;and the Corinthians speak or the comparative number of
occasions or times<br>
&gt;&gt;that they speak in tongues?<br>
&gt;Again, I do not see any reason to restrict the usage here. Do
&gt;Since God had called Paul to the unique role as apostle to the
&gt;(plural), it would seem beyond likely that Paul spoke BOTH more
&gt;languages and on more occasions than those who had this gift in
&gt;(I personally do not use &quot;tongues&quot; since it seems
archaic to me. I would<br>
&gt;consider using &quot;tongues&quot; if I were conversing with a
native American Indian,<br>
<div>&gt;I mean no disrepect, but why do you ask?</div>
<div>I noted yesterday, perhaps all too briefly, that I see no
relationship between Acts 2 and the discussion of GLWSSAI in 1 Cor
12-14; I think the confusion is between two very different senses of
GLWSSH for (1) an intelligible human language (in Acts 2, where Luke
seems to envision a reversal of the dispersion of humanity into
diverse language-speaking ethnic groups in the Genesis Babel
story--and I understand Acts 2 as a proleptic narrative assertion
that the gospel, heard in every human language, will restore the
primal unity of humanity) and (2) ecstatic speech that is
unintelligible by itself and requires an interpreter--and in 1 Cor 14
Paul insists that this glossolalia ought not to be undertaken in
worship without interpreters being present to make the sense of what
is 'babbled' intelligible to others. Here's Louw &amp; Nida:</div>
<div><font color="#007700">33.2 GLWSSA, HS f: a language, with the
possible implication of its distinctive form - 'language,
dialect, speech.' HRXANTO LALEIN hETERAIS GLWSSAIS 'they began to
talk in other languages' Ac 2:4. The miracle described in Ac 2:4
may have been a miracle of speaking or a miracle of hearing, but at
any rate people understood fully, and therefore it seems appropriate
in this context to speak of 'languages' in contrast with 1Cor
14:2, in which case people required an interpreter if they were to
receive the presumed content of the speech (see 33.3).</font></div>
<div><font color="#007700"><br></font></div>
<div><font color="#007700">33.3 GLWSSA, HS f: an utterance having the
form of language but requiring an inspired interpreter for an
understanding of the content - 'ecstatic language, tongue,
QEWiז 'he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but
to God' 1Cor 14:2. Most scholars assume that the phenomena
described in Ac 2:4 (see 33.2) and in 1Cor 14:2 are significantly
different in that in one instance people understood in their own
regional language or dialect and in the other instance an interpreter
was required. It is for that reason that many interpret glw×ssa in
1Cor 14:2 as ecstatic speech, which was also an element in
Hellenistic religions and constituted a symbol of divine
<div><font color="#007700"><br></font></div>
<div><font color="#007700">And again I would argue that MALLON PANTWN
GLOSSAIS LALW)<font color="#007700"> must mean &quot;I thank God that
I speak ecstatically more than all of you.&quot; It's not at all a
matter of speaking more different languages but of speaking a
language that is not ordinary human language at all--and personally I
think that this assertion of Paul is probably sarcastic, as I think
many of Paul's statements in this letter to Corinthians who are so
proud of their private mystical experience are sarcastic. I don't
wish to argue that question, because it really doesn't have to do
with the Greek text as such but with the general interpretation of 1
Corinthians, but it IS a strange statement for Paul to make in a
context where he seems to be trying to discourage glossolalia as a
key element in worship.</font></div>

<div>-- <br>
Carl W. Conrad<br>
Department of Classics/Washington University<br>
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018<br>
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649<br>
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu <br>
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/>

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