The Works of

Rev. Prof. Dr. F.N. Lee

Tongues at Corinth: Languages, not Ecstasies!

The Character of the Corinthian Tongues

Scripture itself suggests that these Corinthian tongues — just like those on Pentecost Sunday — were not incommunicable ecstatic utterances. They were clearly linguistic — that is, spoken in translatable and recognised human languages. Compare I Cor. 14:21f and Isa. 28:11f with Acts 2:4-11. As Dr. W.B. Godby rightly observes in his Commentary, cosmopolitan ancient Corinth was “really a mammoth mongrel of all nationalities.”

The international ancient trading city of Corinth had a very unusual location — on the slender isthmus in Central Greece, between the two much larger land-masses of Northern Greece and Southern Greece, and also between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas to the west and the Aegean Sea to the east. Corinth’s location there was thus similar to that of Panama City in the new world –on the thin waist of Central America, between the two great continents of North America and South America, and also between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

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