Tuesday, May 25, 2004

HAPPY SHAVUOT (Festival of Weeks, Pentecost), which begins at sundown today. The biblical rules for Shavuot are given in Exodus 23:14, 16; Leviticus 23:15-21; and Deuteronomy 16:9-12. In the New Testament it figures in the "tongues of fire" giving-of-the-Holy-Spirit episode in Acts 2:1-41 and is also mentioned in passing in Acts 20:16 and 1 Corinthians 16:8. It is mentioned in the Apocrypha in Tobit 2:1 and 2 Maccabees 12:31-32.

UPDATE (26 May): Arne Halbakken e-mails:
In your weblog for Shavuot, you mention "... 'tongues of fire'...." in Acts 2:3.

You might want to note the word hWSEI is used here.

BDAG calls this a "...marker denoting comparison, as, like (something) like, lit. 'as if'...."

"Tongues of fire" is not a good translation. RSV is better, "tongues as of fire".

Yes, I know. I was just in a rush and feeling lazy. They aren't presented as actual tongues of fire but something that, evidently, looked like tongues of fire. Of course, given the context, that would be pretty clear anyhow.

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