Talk:Acts 6:1-12:25

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Verse 7:19: Question[edit]

Other translations suggest that this verse is placing the blame entirely on the king--not the Israelit fathers. Maybe I'll delete this question. --Matthew Faulconer 07:21, 2 August 2007 (CEST)

Verses10:44-47: On this peculiar gift of the Holy Ghost=[edit]

Matthew, thanks for your commentary here. I was just asked Tuesday night to speak this Sunday on the gift of the Holy Ghost, and I have to confess I do not know what to make of it. (I think I have found the direction for my talk, but I am still trying to think about the nature of the gift.)

I wonder about the fact that the phrase "the gift of the Holy Ghost," as used in this passage, cannot mean what Latter-day Saints commonly mean by "the gift of the Holy Ghost" (especially as it is often opposed to "the power of the Holy Ghost"). I think that you are onto something by trying to connect the reception of the Holy Ghost with the gift of tongues: Nephi seems to suggest that they always come together (2 Nephi 31), while Paul seems to deny precisely that claim (1 Corinthians 12). Might there be two different "doctrines" of speaking with tongues? Is speaking with tongues (glossalalia, if you will) different from speaking the tongue of angels? While the glossalalia in Acts 2 seems to differ from what Nephi has in mind, I don't know that Paul's description of it does. Does D&C 121:26 complicate all of this: the "unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost"? Are we speaking of the unspeakable, here? The unspeakable is, interestingly, a question of speaking tongues.... Perplexing.

Two further thoughts. I imagine that some of the difficulty here derives from the doctrinal tradition: it is hard to think of "the gift of the Holy Ghost" as something other than what it is always taught to be. Letting go of that tradition might be the first step toward understanding these passages. At the same time, that tradition is not arbitrary, since it is tied to a specific ordinance, the laying on of hands (another scriptural difficulty to study out there). So the tradition cannot be entirely left behind. What of this conundrum? --Joe Spencer 14:18, 7 Sep 2006 (UTC)

Very interesting. 3 Ne 26:14 must also be considered a crucial passage on this, and of course the possible Isaiah reference (esp. Isa 6:5 and Isa 50:4). I'd be tempted to equate the receiving of the (gift of the) Holy Ghost with receiving the gift of tongues a la 2 Ne 32:2, but 2 Ne 7:4 suggests Moses didn't have this gift, and several BOM and D&C (and NT?) passages talk about some receiving certain gifts of the Spirit and not others. That's where I'd be inclined to look for answers, understanding 2 Ne 32:2 which suggests the tongue of angels is something we all receive when we receive the Holy Ghost, but elsewhere we read that only some will receive the gift of tongues. What it is to receive the Holy Ghost vs. receive the gift of the Holy Ghost becomes analogous to what it is to receive the gift of tongues vs. the tongue of angels.... --RobertC 07:06, 8 Sep 2006 (UTC)

Is there any hint of anything like glossalalia in the Old Testament? We do find Nephi talking about speaking in tongues but it seems that what Nephi means by that is something like praising God (see Joe's commentary on 2 Ne 31:11-15) or speaking the words of Christ (see commentary on 2 Ne 32:1-5)(and of course these two aren't mutually exclusive)--but either way it doesn't sound like glossalalia. Does anyone know about the cultural origins of glossalalia in the New Testament? Was it something new on the day of pentecost? or was it something already practiced by some Jews in some form? --Matthew Faulconer 04:53, 11 Sep 2006 (UTC)

One more thing. There was a discussion in the conference I attended today on gift of the Holy Ghost. A quote from Joseph Smith that I had heard before was read. It said something about the laying on of hands as being necessary for gift of the Holy Ghost--in order for it to stay. And I think this passage may have been either explicitly quoted or if not, may have been in Joseph's mind. If we think of speaking in tongues as a sign only given to those who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost then we might see this verse as an extra-ordinary manifestation--something purposefully that doesn't follow the normal order of things in order to prove a point. God is giving these people the gift of the Holy Ghost to show that they should have hands laid on their head to receive it in the prescribed way. Maybe I'll change the commentary a bit to adjust for this idea as well. --Matthew Faulconer 04:59, 11 Sep 2006 (UTC)

Matthew, I really like your last point here. That's wonderful, and commentary should be adjusted accordingly for now. Concerning origins of glossalalia. I don't know anything about tongues before Pentecost in the Christian era, but Paul does cite Isaiah 28 during his discussion in, I think, 1 Cor 14. He specifically makes reference to verse 11. There might be reason to read that verse has having absolutely nothing to do with speaking in tongues, but then there are some very interesting difficulties of translation in verse 13, one possibility being that Isaiah is writing pure babble on purpose. If so, there may be a precedent there. I know of no others (outside the Book of Mormon as you mentioned) off the top of my head. I lie. There has been some discussion among OT scholars about prophets and "ecstatic speech." I wonder how that discussion might bear on the question? I'd like to pursue this further. --Joe Spencer 14:16, 11 Sep 2006 (UTC)
This page gives a list of scriptures that could be read as glossalia: Num 11:25; 1 Sam 19:19-24; Isa 28:11-12; Joel 2:28; Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4-16; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6; Rom 8:26; 1 Cor 12-14. For Num 11:25, the WBC says "The text implies that this is ecstatic prophecy, the kind in which men are seized and overpowered by divine spirit (cf. 1 Sam 10:10–13; 19:20–24). The author seems anxious to stress that this is a once-for-all experience associated with their installation in office." What I don't understand is why or how the text implies this type of ecstatic prophecy. Any thoughts? --RobertC 22:59, 12 Sep 2006 (UTC)
nice link. I think it points to the right scriptures for understanding what is going on and provides a pretty good foundation from which to interpet this stuff. Thanks. --Matthew Faulconer 14:42, 13 Sep 2006 (UTC)