Sivut kuvina

of whom nothing like this could have been anticipated. This view of it was everywhere the predominant one, until a genuine spirit of investigation had undermined it in various ways."

VARIous Hypotheses.

Here is not the place to repeat the many explanations of the phenomenon which are collected, perhaps in the fullest manner, in Kuinoel's Commentary on the Acts. Of these it is necessary to name only what the more recent investigations on the gift of tongues have advanced for and against this interpretation. Here, first, Bleek” meets us in the history of the Pentecost, with the following difficulties. 1. The speaking of the disciples with tongues occurred before the multitude of foreign Jews had come together, which must have appeared wholly without an object, since words in foreign tongues could not have served as the natural expression of religious feelings. 2. That if each one spoke a particular language, and if he was understood by those to whom this was vernacular, no reproach of drunkenness could have fallen on those who spoke. 3. Peter in the subsequent discourses makes no mention whatever of foreign languages. Bleek remarks subsequently, that, if the narrative can be understood only of foreign tongues, then he must conclude that this circumstance was owing to an incorrect understanding of it by the reporter, son whom Luke depended.] This he would do, rather than recognize the actual speaking in foreign languages.” Baur goes a step further still, when he allows," that such could not have been the words in the account of the Pentecost, but that they belong to a traditional transformation of them, which transformation the original fact had already here received. The character of this transformation he seeks to point out from the poetico-rhetorical bearing of verses 6–12, from the obscurity in respect to the word “others” in verse 13,” and from the failure of all traces of the event. Neander regards the narration simply as obscure, and hence would explain it from the remaining portions. Since these contain nothing about foreign tongues, and since, moreover, there could be no use for such an endowment, then he can admit nothing like this. That of a positive nature, however, which these learned men present for the tongues in question, is various. Bleek explains the word yidawa thus, “an antiquated, provincial, altogether uncommon mode of speech, and without a particular explanation, unintelligible; hence it could have been of use to those only, who, as orators and poets, spoke in a lofty tone of feeling.” This explanation, which others also had contemplated before him, he seeks to establish philologically by a very learned examination of the usage of yidago. in Greek; he then turns to the existing forms of the expression in the New Testament and endeavors to exhibit the occurrences mentioned in the Acts and in the epistle to the Corinthians as words in a lofty poetical dialect, with a mingling of such glosses. They were consequently unintelligible to the majority of the hearers, while the inability of the speaker to explain his own words was owing to the failure of his recollection.” That such words might seem to be the operation of the Holy Spirit is owing in part to this reason—a language so elevated could not have been adapted to men with such little cultivation as the disciples of Jesus, and in part to the contents of what was uttered, a lofty commendation of the works of God. Olshausen” assumes several stages in the gift, according to the degree of one's moral powers, and of the participation in other gifts. Thus the speaking with tongues was always an ecstasy; but like somnambulism it passed over to the utterance of a foreign language, only when persons were present who were skilled in the language; at the Pentecost such was actually the fact, even to the highest degree. To the gift of tongues there was also added the interpretation of them and prophecy. On the contrary, in respect to Corinth" he inclines strongly to the side of Eichhorn's hypothesis of an inarticulate sound. Billroth seeks to avoid the difficulties which rise against the various modes of interpretation by “going a step beyond Olshausen.” He explains it as “a speaking in a language which, in a certain degree, comprehended the elements of the various actually historical tongues.” On the contrary, Baur, Steudel and Neander recognize nothing but the vernacular tongue. They see nothing miraculous; they find in it merely that which was produced or enlivened by the Spirit, that which was never before perceived in this manner, so far new that it uttered, as it were, with a new tongue—the organ of the Spirit—words concerning the mighty works of God, but which, in its nature as consisting in praise of God, had been long known in the inward experience of all the hearers, Jews and proselytes. As allied to the feelings which it had long before cherished, its experience might be native or natural.

* Perhaps a dread of anything miraculous was the original occasion of this change. [“Genuine' in many respects, but misdirected here.—TR.]

* 1.17, 18. * II. 62,63. * P. 105,106 note. **rspot.

*Acts 2:13, “Others mocking, said these men are full of new wine.”

* This besides could have been no abiding possession. * Herein resembling the Greek udvtus. * Olshausen I. 545, 546, 11.568 seq. • II. 575, 576. * Billroth's Comm. on Corinth. pp. 177, 178.


In respect to the argument adduced by Bleek against the supposition of foreign languages at the Pentecost, it cannot be denied, to be sure, that the narrative of Luke places the commencement of speaking with tongues at a time before the multitude of strangers had assembled, and Olshausen's supposition to the contrary, I. 542, does not agree with the meaning of the words in the passage. That such speaking might appear aimless to us is readily conceded, but to the consequence deduced from it, that it could not therefore have happened, we dare not assent; because, by the same argument, we should not only make improbable many other narratives of the New Testament, but we should certainly occupy a false position, in desiring to construe a fact according to our own peculiar views, forgetting that very many things might have actually occurred, of which we not only cannot see the design, but might show even that they had no object, without, as a consequence, drawing the conclusion that they had no existence. The imputation of drunkenness might have occurred to evil disposed or frivolous minds just as well if each individual spoke a particular language, which was not vernacular to him, as if they all spoke in different dialects; but it is very well known that nearly all drunken persons—even the better educated— in this situation are wont to fall upon speaking in a foreign language. That Peter in his discourse did not revert at all to the tongues is, moreover, no sufficient objection, because in the first place we certainly do not possess the speeches of the apostle in their original form and perfection," but only what Luke found in his authorities, or

! Who could have marked at such a moment, or have indicated in the least, what the man did say *

regarded probable, either from tradition, or from his own reflections." Secondly, Peter had no reason whatever to do any thing more than to show that the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled in the fact which now lay notoriously before the eyes and ears of all. Since this contained nothing in respect to speaking with tongues, (and in the first moment no one certainly would think whether it differed from prophesying, and if so, how far), Peter would therefore naturally conclude that the gift of tongues was contained in that of prophesying, and would satisfy his hearers, while he taught that it was to be derived from the Spirit just poured out. How little weight in general is to be attributed to the foregoing arguments may be seen from the fact, that Bleek himself, in conclusion, gives up one half the objection. He remarks that the history seems strongly to point to foreign tongues, and that his resort to a traditional change of the original fact rests on the assumption” which Baur still maintains as unanswerable. In the mean time, so much that is excellent has been said against this theory by Steudel” and Bäumlein,” that we may here

' [These various hypotheses in respect to Luke are without foundation. No one, perhaps, among the primitive Christians, with the exception of the twelve apostles, enjoyed better opportunities for becoming personally and familiarly acquainted with the events which he has recorded or the persons whom he has described. Eusebius relates that his birth-place was Antioch in Syria. If so he must have had good advantages for intercourse with Palestine Christians and with the heads of the infant church in Jerusalem. In accompanying Paul, he must have had abundant facilities for becoming acquainted with the men who had personally known our Lord, particularly the apostles. A number of individuals are mentioned by Paul who were in Christ' before himself, and whom Luke must probably have known. For example Andronicus and Junias are alluded to, Rom. 16:7, and Rufus, v. 13, who is supposed to be the son of Simon of Cyrene, who bore the cross of Jesus. There were also persons like Barnabas and Mark, whom Luke might have seen on their missionary journies. How often must he have heard the conversations of Paul with various individuals, when the facts in regard to the original history of Christianity were brought out? How must the discourses and the reasonings of the apostle to the gentiles with Jews and with pagans have served to make Luke acquainted with the christian history Luke was with Paul in Jerusalem, when the elders of the church were assembled. He was also with him at the time of his imprisonment at Caesarea and Rome. See some excellent remarks on this subject in Tholuck's Credibility of the Evangelical History in the Reply to Strauss, 2d Ed., Hamburg, 1838, p. 148.—TR.]

* This has been previously mentioned. * P. 135 seq. • P. 66 seq.

well pass it over. We will now advert to the most recent expositions. In respect to the history of the Pentecost, it has been remarked by Olshausen and Baur, in opposition to Bleek, that the words érégats yaoyaoats as explained by him would be unfitting and pleonastic; that we cannot imagine how a phenomenon, such as Bleek supposes, could have been burdened with the name yloiooaug Malsiv; that it is inconceivable how a discourse, be it ever so short, could be put together in mere glosses (in Bleek's sense). Besides, one would not name it from an unessential appendage, but from its peculiar, essential character, whether that character is expressed by the words, “to speak in an ecstasy,' or “in the Spirit.” Though glosses may have been used by the poets in the sense in question, yet it cannot be proved, nor is it probable, that a poetically enlivened discourse would acquire a name from this single element alone, when its character was formed by many other things. Thus no result can be obtained from all which Bleek has brought forward on the phrase. The view maintained by him in respect to the history of the Pentecost, neither is established, nor can be.” How is it credible that a mingling of this antiquated, provincial, or even poetical style or mode of expression could have appeared so remarkable to any body that he would name the whole phenomenon merely in accordance with such a style or manner; or that he could look upon this as a proof of the distinguished control of a higher power, or a ‘sign” for the unbelievers? Less credible is it, that the assembled multitude, on account of such expressions as this theory supposes, which possibly some understood in one way, others in another, should have exclaimed, “and now hear we every man in our own tongue wherein we were born,'—and ‘we do hear them speak in our tongue the wonderful works of God!’. Why should they have said in amazement, “What meaneth this 2' How can it be accounted for, that while in Jerusalem all were believed to understand what was uttered by means of these very expressions, at Corinth for the same reason, Paul would represent this entire mode of speaking as absolutely incapable of being understood? Allow as we may that single expressions might remain not understood, still this cannot take away the impression of the whole. And must not the prophetic discourse also, if it approximate in the least degree to the style of the

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »