I readily admit I do not have all the answers. There are times when I will say things I cannot support or I might quickly say something that, on more consideration, will not "hold up." The disadvantage of putting things in print is that I cannot cover my errors, as some do, by saying, "You did not hear me right." And thus I cannot place the blame on others when I "miss the boat." I will try to "own up" to things as they come to my attention, and correct them here.
There are three corrections listed
a wrong word in the "Tongues" mailing; second,
an overstatement in "Prophecy," Examiner, 7/1998.
It is unusual for me not to document sources of my information, but I did not for the opening paragraph of the mailing nor on chapter four of the book. (The corrected version is posted on our web site.) Though the word heterai is a legitimate word, I grossly misused it. The error and correction is below:
What we are now hearing on the streets of America are lawful, Biblical tongues.
1 Cor 13:1-3: tongues of men refer to understandable human languages; the tongues of angels may refer to the medium by which angels communicate in heaven. Paul does not say that it is possible or desirable to speak with the tongues of angels; rather, he says that if such a thing were possible, it (nor any other "gift") is not the mark of the Spirit of Christ--genuine love is that mark (ch 13 describes Christian love).
1 Corinthians 14:1-3, there are three New Testament words translated tongues in the KJV Bible: heterai, glossai and glossa: First, Heterai refers to specific dialects, or languages, other than what was known by the speaker, Acts 2:4, 6, 8; 10:46 & 19:6; second, Glossai, when used in the plural with a singular pronoun, refers to ethnic languages, Mark 16:17; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 30; 13:1, 8; 14:5, 6, 18, 22; third, Glossa, when used for "tongue" in the singular, refers to the Corinthian ecstatic utterance which had invaded the church from the pagan worship so prevalent in the city. (1 Cor. 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 26, 27, including all the verses having unknown added by the translators.) Moreover, 1 Corinthians 14:9 refers to the physical tongue of man; v. 23, plural with a plural pronoun, refers to the Corinthian ecstatic utterances.1 Observe that chapter 14 contains a mixture of the word tongues: vv. 2, 4, 13, 19, 26 & 27--pagan ecstatic utterances, and vv. 5, 6, 18 & 22--actual ethnic languages.
The above paragraph is to be replaced with the following:
other tongues (Acts 2:4), heterais glossai--that is,
Other than their native tongues. Each one began to speak in a language that he had not acquired and yet it was a real language and understood by those from various lands familiar with them. It was not jargon, but intelligible language. Jesus had said that the gospel was to go to all the nations and here the various tongues of earth were spoken. One might conclude that this was the way in which the message was to be carried to the nations, but future developments disprove it. This is a third miracle (the sound, the tongues like fire, the untaught languages). There is no blinking the fact that Luke so pictures them. One need not be surprised if this occasion marks the fulfilment of the Promise of the Father. But one is not to confound these miraculous signs with the Holy Spirit. They are merely proof that he has come to carry on the work of his dispensation. The gift of tongues came also on the house of Cornelius at Caesarea (Acts 10:44-47; 11:15-17), the disciples of John at Ephesus (Acts 19:6), the disciples at Corinth (I Cor. 14:1-33). It is possible that the gift appeared also at Samaria (Acts 8:18). But it was not a general or a permanent gift. Paul explains in 1Cor. 14:22 that "tongues" were a sign to unbelievers and were not to be exercised unless one was present who understood them and could translate them. This restriction disposes at once of the modern so-called tongues which are nothing but jargon and hysteria. It so happened that here on this occasion at Pentecost there were Jews from all parts of the world, so that some one would understand one tongue and some another without an interpreter such as was needed at Corinth. The experience is identical in all four instances and they are not for edification or instruction, but for adoration and wonder and worship. As the Spirit gave them utterance (kathos to pneuma edidou apophtheggesthai autois). This is precisely what Paul claims in I Cor. 12:10,28, but all the same without an interpreter the gift was not to be exercised (I Cor. 14:6-19). Paul had the gift of tongues, but refused to exercise it except as it would be understood. Note the imperfect tense here (edidou). Perhaps they did not all speak at once, but one after another. Apophtheggesthai is a late verb (LXX of prophesying, papyri). Lucian uses it of the ring of a vessel when it strikes a reef. It is used of eager, elevated, impassioned utterance. In the N.T. only here, verse 14 and 26:25. Apophthegm is from this verb. (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, III.21, 22. Broadman.)
own language (Acts 2:6, &c.), tei idiai dialektoi--that is,
Locative case. Each one could understand his own language when he heard that. Every one that came heard somebody speaking in his native tongue. (Ibid, 23.)
tongues (various locations), glossa--that is,
the language used by a particular people in distinction from that of other nations: Acts ii.11...; new tongues which the speaker has not learned previously, Mk. xvi. 17... 1 Co. xii. 10...; to speak with tongues; this, as appears from 1 Co. xiv. 7 sqq., is the gift of men who, rapt in an ecstasy and no longer quite masters of their own reason and consciousness, pour forth their glowing spiritual emotions in strange utterances, rugged, dark, disconnected, quite unfitted to instruct or to influence the minds of others: Acts x. 46; xix. 6; 1 Cor xii. 30; xiii.1; xiv. 2, 4-6, 13, 18, 23, 27, 39... (J.H. Thayer, The New Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, 118.)
divers kinds of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10), gene glosson--that is,
No word for "divers" in the Greek. There has arisen a great deal of confusion concerning the gift of tongues as found in Corinth. They prided themselves chiefly on this gift which had become a source of confusion and disorder. There were varieties (kinds, gene) in this gift, but the gift was essentially an ecstatic utterance of highly wrought emotion that edified the speaker(#14:4) and was intelligible to God (14:2,28). It was not always true that the speaker in tongues could make clear what he had said to those who did not know the tongue (14:13): It was not mere gibberish or jargon like the modern "tongues," but in a real language that could be understood by one familiar with that tongue as was seen on the great Day of Pentecost when people who spoke different languages were present. In Corinth, where no such variety of people existed, it required an interpreter to explain the tongue to those who knew it not. Hence Paul placed this gift lowest of all. It created wonder, but did little real good. This is the error of the Irvingites and others who have tried to reproduce this early gift of the Holy Spirit which was clearly for a special emergency and which was not designed to help spread the gospel among men. See on Acts 2:13-21; 10:44-46; 19:6. (Robertson, IV.170.)
interpretation of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10), hermeneia glosson--that is,
Old word, here only and 14:26 in N.T., from hermeneuo from Hermes (the god of speech). Cf. on diermeneuo in Luke 24:27; Acts 9:36. In case there was no one present who understood the particular tongue it required a special gift of the Spirit to some one to interpret it if any one was to receive benefit from it. (Ibid.)
speak with the tongues (1 Cor. 13:1), tais glossais,--that is,
Instrumental case. Mentioned first because really least and because the Corinthians put undue emphasis on this gift. (Robertson, IV.177.)
all spake with tongues (1 Cor. 14:5)--that is,
Translate, "Now I wish you all to speak with tongues (so far am I from thus speaking through having any objection to tongues), but rather IN ORDER THAT (as my ulterior and higher wish for you) ye should prophesy." Tongues must therefore mean languages, not ecstatic, unintelligible rhapsodie (as NEANDER fancied): for Paul could never "wish" for the latter in their behalf. (Jameson*Fausset*Brown, III.Part 3.323. Eerdmans.)
Hastings points out that "It is significant that the Pauline notices of 'tongue-speech' are concerned only with the Corinthian Church." Mystical, ecstatic, even demonic, utterances in supposed communication with the gods were not uncommon in Corinth. Ecstatic utterances had invaded the church from the pagan worship so prevalent in the city (1 Cor 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 26, 27, including all the verses having unknown added by the translators). 1 Cor 14:9 refers to the physical tongue of man; 1 Cor 14:23, plural with a plural pronoun, refers to the Corinthian ecstatic utterances. Observe that chapter 14 contains a mixture of the word tongues: vv. 2, 4, 13, 19, 26 & 27, pagan ecstatic utterances; vv. 5, 6, 18 & 22, actual ethnic languages. (Encyclopaedia, III.371a; The Pulpit Commentary, XIX.397; The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, by Spiros Zodhiates, 1436, 1438.) Therefore, Paul says that he desires that they would indeed be able to supernaturally speak with other ethnic languages as he can, but on the other hand, he is soundly renouncing and rebuking the ecstatic utterances which are actually taking place in this church.
Let's make a quick overview of three main points from chapters 12-14, which will be covered in more detail.
Therefore, Paul says that he desires that they would indeed be able to supernaturally speak with other ethnic languages as he can, but on the other hand, he is soundly renouncing and rebuking the ecstatic utterances which were actually taking place in this church.
We have already mentioned an example: Israel of the Old Testament was clearly replaced by the Gospel Church in the New according to all the New Testament preachers. Therefore, every Old Testament prophecy referring to Israel after the central point of all history, the cross of Christ, must be understood as a spiritual reference to the Gospel Church.
Every Old Testament prophecy is an obvious overstatement. The prophets did speak of old "Israel" after Christ, e.g., Zechariah 12:10 and Acts 2:39:
The Christian Church is from its very commencement the legitimate continuation of Israel, the wicked having been rooted out from the nation, and those who were Gentiles by birth having been incorporated into Israel on the ground of their faith. The Saviour himself clearly indicated this at the very outset, by calling his Church "Israel" (Matt. xix. 28); and it was from this point of view alone, that the number of apostles appointed for the whole Church (Matt. xxviii. 19), corresponded to that of the tribes of Israel. According to Paul there is but one olive tree, one people of God, one Israel from the beginning to the end. In Rom. xi. 18, Israel is represented as the root of the Christian Church. In Rom. xi. 7,--" the election hath obtained it, the rest are hardened,"--the emphasis must not be laid upon the latter in a one-sided manner. According to Eph. ii. 12 and 19, when the Gentiles come to Christ, they are incorporated into tho "commonwealth of Israel," as " fellow-citizens with the saints" ("Israelis;" Bengel). That Israel is the root of the Christian Church is also apparent from the intercessory prayer of Christ (John xvii. 6--8), where he refers to the Church on earth as founded already, before a single Gentile had been admitted into it. 1 [1. See the remarks on Hosea ii. 1 (vol. I. P. 209 sqq.), or Rev. vii. 4 and xi.] --There is just as little ground for restricting the second part of the prophecy to the final history of the Church, as for limiting the first in this way.
The first day of Pentecost, which is evidently included in chap. xii. 10, enters a decided protest against such a limitation.... (Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament, II.1111. MacDonald Publishing.)
Which "Israel" referred to will be obvious in most cases according to the context and according to the New Testament usage.