In studying about the gift of tongues I find that tongues are languages. If this is true I want to know what languages were spoken in the cities listed in Acts 2:5-11. I searched in the local library but had no luck. Any suggestions? -- Robert Galofre (Bogotá)
Let's go through the list of geographical locations the Pentecostal pilgrims came from:
* Peoples of the East: Parthians, Medes, Elamites -- many ancient inscriptions have been found and their languages have come to light.
* Residents of Mesopotamia -- ever since scholars began studying the cuneiform tablets of ancient Sumeria, more and more has been learned about the languages of the peoples living in this area (modern Iraq near Baghdad).
* Israel/Judea -- dialects of Hebrew and Aramaic.
* Arabs -- there were (and are) numerous dialects of Arabic in the Arabian Peninsula.
* Asia, Cappadocia, Pontus -- though Greek was the lingua franca in these provinces there were local dialects as well.
* Asia -- the province of Asia not all of Asia Minor where Hittite had been commonly spoken. This area was Hellenized, so Greek would have been common in addition to the ancient tongues.
* Phrygia, Pamphylia -- both are actual geographic locations, each with its own dialect.
* Egypt -- the Egyptians of the 1st century spoke Coptic, which itself falls into three or four major dialects familiar to New Testament scholars.
* Parts of Libya near Cyrene -- Sorry, I have no idea what was spoken in this part of North Africa.
Visitors from Rome -- Latin dominated in "the eternal city."
* Cretans -- ancient Cretan (Linear A and Linear B) has fascinated scholars for 150 years now.
So we see these tongues are human tongues. No trace of "angel language"! For more on this, see the relevant chapters in my book The Spirit.
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