Science in Christian Perspective
The Phenomena of Pentecost
Department of Anthropology
California State College,
Long Beach Long Beach, California 90801
From: JASA 23 (September 1971): 87-88.
Reliable historical evidence both from the Scriptures and from the cultural context of the event, confirms that the Calileans on the day of Pentecost bore witness to the resurrected Christ in languages with which they and their hearers were familiar. The validity of accepting the cultural and linguistic evidence with respect to the miracle of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit rests upon the complementary harmony which exists between the natural and the supernatural, and hence between science and Divine Revelation.
This essay is a study of the events of Pentecost as they are recorded in the second chapter of Acts. The Biblical record is the sole source of information about the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit and of the events associated with it. However, valid historical information is available regarding the cultural and linguistic characteristics of the time of the Biblically recorded event. These cultural and linguistic characteristics, of course, are the human context in which the outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place. Seldom does the Bible make explicit reference to these characteristics for they are taken for granted from the perspective of the inspired writer. For those of us in the twentieth century, who take for granted our own, but a much different, cultural context, information regarding the first century cultural characteristics are of prime importance in understanding this Biblically reported event. Therefore, this essay will also have a subsidiary purpose, that of making explicit the validity of the use of historical and scientific knowledge in the understanding of Biblically recorded events, especially when those events are miracles.
Supernatural events, by definition, cannot be explained or accounted for by naturalistic means or methods. The question then arises, "Does valid historical and scientific data and knowledge, such as that used by cultural anthropology, have any reliable contribution to make to the understanding of the Bible?"
The Bible is not a book of science, yet its references to nature are reliable, whether describing the storm which resulted in the shipwreck of the Apostle Paul, or the storm on the Sea of Galilee, which Jesus supernaturally quieted. The description of events of human experiences in the world of nature takes into account the reality of nature despite the entrance of the supernatural in various manners. For example, Jesus walked through Samaria to Galilee and rested at the well, thirsty and weary. He miraculously walked on the Sea of Galilee to
to Emmaus to give hope and assurance to his despairing followers. All three of these events are examples of the supernatural occurring in the world of humanity and nature and in this sense may be called miracles.
The term miracle has been used with a rather broad range of meaning, but the essence always involves the supernatural and the natural. The song writer has made common the expression, "It took a miracle to hang the world in space." In this sense God, who is Spirit, supernaturally brought the material universe of nature into existence. The crowning miracle of creation is man made in the image of God.
The wonders in nature are also sometimes referred to as miracles. The beauty of a sunset, the design in a snowflake or a crystal, the process of human birth and many other wonders have all been with some justification referred to as miracles. The truth of Hebrews 1:3 regarding nature is too often forgotten; that is, the Son of God, by whom all things were made, is also the one who "upholds all things by the word of His power."
There is a third sense in which the term miracle has a more specific meaning. In this sense miracle means an occurrence of an event due to the entrance of God the Spirit into the material world of nature. The Old Testament has many examples of miracles. Ehjah prayed and rain ceased for three years. He prayed again from Mt. Carmel and fire came down, consuming not only his sacrifice but also the water that filled the trench around the sacrifice. God's special entrance into the world of nature is for the purpose of the redemption of nature and of man. It thus goes beyond his creating and upholding work. It is in this more specific sense that this article is concerned with the miraculous.
The miracles of the Old Testament are but shadows of the miracle of God entering the world of nature to clothe Himself with human Flesh. In the miracle of the incarnation the harmony between the natural and the supernatural is made clear. There was no natural conception; rather, the Holy Spirit alone accounted for Mary being found with child. Yet, in the nine months from conception to birth none of the natural processes of human birth were set aside or violated. The supernatural and the natural met in perfect harmony. This harmony is also evident in the opening of the sealed tomb as described by Matthew, "And behold there was a great earthquake (an event in nature); for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it" (a supernatural event). This verse is not describing two events, but one. These considerations should at least suggest that science and revelation as areas of the understanding of the natural and the supernatural may also be at least potentially complementary sources for the understanding of the Biblically reported miracles.
God's design reached beyond entering the realm of physical-biological nature. His incarnation enabled Him to walk among men, though in a very small area. The sacrifice of His body on the cross made possible an even greater miracle. Jesus said, "If I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." God's plan was to enter the socio-cultural realm of man, reaching far beyond the Jewish culture of first century Judea and Galilee. A foreshadowing of this event is found in the conditions surrounding the miraculous conception by Mary. The announcement that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and that the power of the Highest would overshadow her was followed by Mary's response, ". . . be it unto me according to thy word." As the miracle of conception and birth did not set aside or violate the laws of nature, so God's entry into the world of man did not violate the nature of the creature which He had made in His own image. Mary is overshadowed, but she is not overpowered or overruled. Her response is one of her own volition. God does not trespass on divinely-given human prerogatives or faculties. He does not "dccreate" man into an animated robot, shorn of his conscious rationality and will. If the miracle of God's entry into the realm of the human does not set aside or violate the phenomena of man, as it does not the phenomena of nature, then any valid understanding that the sciences of man or history give to us should be complementary to and in harmony with the account given by divine revelation.
In order to distinguish the realm of the material (science) from the realm of the spiritual (revelation) as these meet in the occurrence of the miracle of Pentecost, two main concepts will be used: phenomena and pneumatilca. Phenomena is a word from the Greek, the root of which refers to that which is visually perceived. It is the word in science which refers to events in the observable world of nature. To contrast with phenomena, a form of another Greek word will be used, pneumatika. The root meaning of pneumatika is breath which refers to invisible or spiritual reality. Pneumatika and phenomena will distinguish the spiritually-experienced from the sensually-observed in the miracle of Pentecost.
The Pneumatika of Pentecost
The pneumatika that are described in the second chapter of Acts were not observed by the senses of men. They were experienced in the spirit and only by obedient believers. The pneumatika are the expressions of God's spiritual entry into the realm of human, i.e., socio-cultural reality, resulting in a miracle. The entrance of the Spirit of God is given a threefold expression in Acts 2:
1) a sound from heaven as of a mighty, rushing wind;
2) the appearance of cloven tongues like as of fire;
3) the filling with the Holy Spirit.
Science and revelation as areas of the understanding of the natural and the supernatural may be complementary sources for the understanding of Biblically-reported miracles.
The first part of Acts 2:2 in the King James translation reads,
there came a sound
from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind This portion could also be quite validly translated "and there came suddenly from heaven sound as of a bearing (or bringing or producing) mighty breath. No naturalistic description or explanation of these events is given. Those who experienced the infilling of the Spirit could only say what it was like, "As of a mighty rushing wind (or as of a mighty bearing breath) and "like as of fire" are comparative descriptions borrowed from the phenomena of nature. This is the only manner that the character of spiritual experience can be communicated. As Jesus in a similar manner used parables to speak of the- kingdom of heaven, so those who experienced its coming also must resort to parabolic expressions.
In still another sense the pneumatika constitute a parable of the Holy Spirit, for they represent an analogy of the human phenomena of language. All languages are sounds made by the breath passing through the vocal chords and modified into distinctive units by the tongue in conjunction with the mouth and lips. The sound as a wind or breath from heaven speaks of the source of the message. The tongue burning in human hearts indicates that the medium of the message is to be the languages of men.
The pneumatika in the Upper Room have often been "pictured" so that in prints and on film they have been represented as visual phenomena. However, Luke does not say, "tongues of fire," but "tongues like as of fire." They were not tongue-shaped flames of fire that strangely burned on the heads or in the hair of each of the waiting disciples. If they were, then each person would have seen (i.e., there would have appeared to him) only the little tongues of flame on the others' heads. He would not have been able to see the one on his own head. He would be observing strange and preternatural phenomena. In contrast, each disciple experienced a burning in his own heart of a message in a tongue (language). The King James Translation says, "there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them." The tongue that appeared to each was one that sat upon or identified itself with that individual. Each individual did not observe flames on the heads of others as depicted in portraits, but rather he experi cnced a burning in his own heart. One of the common sources of misunderstanding of the events of Pentecost is to make phenomena out of that which is pneumatika and to make pneumatika out of that which is phenomena. With "breath" from heaven and the burning in the heart was the filling with the Holy Spirit. In these pneumatika are found: 1) the unmistakable evidence as to the source of the experience, i.e., from heaven, and 2) a burning sense of direction as to the expression of the experience, i.e., in witnessing.
The result of the entrance of the Holy Spirit into the realm of the human spirit was a miracle that was observed by all, wonderers and scoffers alike -the phenomena of Pentecost.
The Phenomena of Pentecost
The phenomena of Pentecost are the languages that were used and heard as they provided the medium for the message of the risen Christ. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Calilean followers of Jesus, they began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Devout Jews from "every nation under heaven" marveled because each man heard the message in "his own language." A vital question relative to the understanding of this event seems to go unasked, i.e., "What languages were spoken at Pentecost?"
Acts 12:9-11 gives a description of the Jews of the dispersion that heard the Word of God in their own languages on that day:
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pnntns, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians...
The result of the entrance of the Holy Spirit into the realm of the human spirit was a miracle that was observed by all, wonderers and scoffers alike-the phenomena of Pentecost.
An investigation of this list will reveal that these are not languages at all.
Cappadocian was not a language at that time just as Canadian is not a language
today. Further, the distinction between Jews and proselytes is not a language
difference, because the Jews learned the language of their country of residence
as a native language, and Hebrew as their sacred or religious
language. The proselyte
would have the same native language, but in becoming a part of the Jewish faith
had to learn Hebrew. Luke's failure to make reference to any specific languages
suggests that the amazement of the hearers was due to other factors. The fact
that Judea is mentioned with all of these more distant regions should
the most casual reader to question that the concern of the wonderers
was the ability
of Galileans to speak in "other" languages. The people of Galilee and
Judea had no problem understanding each other, because both used the
language. It may not be as commonly known to what extent Aramaic
was used beyond Judea and Galilee.
Some time before the eighth century B.C., Aramaic spread from the upper regions of the Euphrates down the Mesopotamian Valley. Wolf Leslau, Professor of Hebrew and Semitic languages at the University of California writes in the 1965 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica:
Aramaic superceded the various languages of the conquered countries and beginning with the 8th century B.C. it became the international language of the Near East, as well as the official language of the Persian Empire . . . . Until the beginning of the Christian era there were no outstanding dialectical variations in the languages called Common Aramaie.1
Daniel-Rops says of the Aramaic language:
It supplanted all the native languages of hither Asia from the sources of the Euphrates to its mouth, from the Mediterranean as tar as Persia. .2
Aramaic was then the language shared in the first five or six of the geographical areas mentioned in Acts 2:9-11.
Aramaic was not the only international language represented on the day of Pentecost. Alexander's conquest in the latter part of the 4th century B.C. introduced another language that was to become common throughout much of this area. Greek was the official language in those urban trade centers of the Delta in Egypt where Jews lived, as it was also in "the parts of Libya about Cyrene." Greek had been the language of Crete since long before the time of Alexander. Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia (the western coastal area of Asia Minor), Phrygia and Pamphylia were also areas in which Greek was the commonly shared language.
The reference to strangers from Rome introduces the possibility that Latin was one of the languages used at Pentecost. However, Latin never became as widespread as Greek and many Romans spoke Creek.
The only remaining people mentioned in Acts 2:9-11 are the Jews from Arabia. The Jews did not become bedouins, and the region in which they settled is known to have spoken Aramaic. It is possible that Arabic was not the common language for any of these devout pilgrims. However, if any of these Jews did speak Arabic as a native language, then it would have to be included among the tongues of Pentecost. We may conclude then that there are three, or at most four, languages represented by the geographical areas listed in Acts 2:9-11. By far the greatest majority of these people used either Aramaic or Greek as their native language. and many used both.
If we were to make a similar description of a modern gathering of Jews from all of the countries of the Western hemisphere, we would find that none of the countries' names, i.e., Peru, Brazil, Honduras, United States, Canada, etc. would be the name of the language spoken. Investigation would confirm that their "native" languages would be Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English.
Fifty days prior to Pentecost had been the feast of Passover. At this time these devout Jews had witnessed the crucifixion of three men. On the middle cross, between two thieves, Pilate had written the superscription, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Both Luke and John record that the superscription was in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. There is some questioning among scholars regarding whether or not the first superscription was actually in Hebrew or Aramaic. Stimpson observes:
Whether Hebrew there refers to Hebrew proper or to the Aramaic is not clear, because the latter was generally referred to as Hebrew or the Hebrew vernacular, and consequently writers often confused the two languages. It should be horns in mind that Aramaic was written with Hebrew characters and in writing looked more like Hebrew than it really was.3
Stimpson's position that Hebrew was not a spoken language at this time has been
shown to be untrue. However, in either case the superscriptions on
the cross provided
an "accusation" that all would be hearing the implications
of in these
languages some fifty days later.
One more observation must be made regarding the languages of these Jews at the feast of Pentecost. As a dispersed people, they lived in areas of commercial activity and trade. The language which they adopted was the most commonly used, or the official language or languages of the country in which they lived, rather than that of more isolated enthnic groups. Jews did not move down the Nile beyond the sphere of trade among the Creek colonists, and therefore Egyptian or Sudanic languages were not involved, just as American Jews speak English rather than the language of the Hutterite Brethren or the Dakota Indians, so these Jews made the official languages of the lands of their homes "their own."
The documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Creek are a more recent confirmation of the common usage of each of these languages by the Jews at this time in history.
Ignorance vs. Illiteracy
The question now becomes, "Were there among the 120 Calileans those who could use, at most, these four languages?" The Calileans' reputation for ignorance has been greatly misunderstood. In our culture of extensive formal education we tend to equate ignorance with illiteracy. The foreign language requirement of advanced degrees has led to the association of language learning with higher education. In contrast, the Calileans' reputation for being "unlearned" consisted mainly of a lack of education in the Rabbinical schools of Judea. Edersheim, in his Life and Times of Jesus, says that there was a saying current in those days which said, "If a person wishes to be rich, let him go North (Galilee); if he wishes to be wise, let him come South (Judea)." Calileans were looked down upon because they neglected traditionalism and the formal studies of the Rabbinical schools, The schools of Judea gave primary attention to the Torah and its interpretation. This study was in the Hebrew language. In contrast, the daily experience and livelihood of the residents of Galilee both provided and demanded facility in the use of languages. Galilee itself had a very diverse population having been settled by Syrians, Phoenicians, Arabs, Creeks, and Elamites. Matthew quotes Isaiah's prophecy of it as "Galilee of the Gentiles."
As mentioned before, one of the languages which people of Galilee and Judea both spoke was Aramaic. When Jesus and his disciples came into Judea, they did not have to use a different language. A slight dialectical difference consisting mostly of a characteristic grammatical carelessness betrayed Peter as a Calilean when he denied his Lord to a maid, but there was no problem of communication between them. The same would be true of the Aramaic speakers from other areas.
In the Journal of Biblical Literature, December 1964, R. H. Cundry states that "proof exists that Hebrew, Aramaic and Creek were commonly used by the Jews in first century Palestine."' Since this whole area had been under Roman domination for well over a century, at least a few of the Calileans could also speak Latin. Matthew is well known from the gospels as a tax collector who became a follower of Jesus. The fact that Christ frequented the company of tax collectors and sinners makes it quite possible that a number of Calilean followers of Jesus were publicans.
The Galileans were able through experience and daily use to speak the languages used on the Day of Pentecost. Luke does not say that the Spirit gave them the ability to speak a language not known to them.
Tax collectors or publicans were employees of the Roman governing system. That
some of these would be able to speak Latin is to be expected.
Stimpson says, "Four
principle languages were in use in Palestine in the time of
Creek and Latin."6 However, his position that the "simple fishermen
of Galilee" could not speak Creek is without foundation and only expresses
the mistaken feeling that Creek has always been the "language of
If this had been the ease, all of the earliest manuscripts of the New
many of which were written by the Calileans, would not have been
written in Koine
Creek. Cundry states that archeological evidence shows that the
ossuaries in Palestine
from this period have Creek, Aramaic, and Hebrew inscriptions. He reasons that,
"One would think that in the presence of death a language of the
have been used, a language in which people habitually thought and
Another feature contributed to the Calileans' broad experience in the use of languages. Three international highways passed through Galilee. The way of the sea passed from Damascus to the Mediterranean. The Great South Road led through Galilee to Egypt. The Great Road to the East led to Arabia. The passage of many caravans and travelers over these routes through the rich centers of Galilee made for rich multicultural and multilingual contacts. The result was that Calileans were not only proficient in the four languages which we have noted, but also in others of a more limited ethnic use as well. The proximity of Galilee to Jerusalem made possible regular attendance at the annual feasts in Jerusalem which also made for multilingual contacts among the pilgrims there. In a multilingual world Calileans were the most multilingual of all. We observed a modern example in the summer of 1968 at the Sea of Galilee. Friends in our party, while boating near Tiberias, ran out of gas. The station attendant who filled their tank spoke not only English but ten other languages as well.
If, as the scriptural and historical facts establish, he Galileans were able through experience and daily use to speak the languages used on the Day of Pentecost, what did it then mean for them to speak in "other" tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance? Luke does not say that the Spirit gave them the ability to speak a language hitherto not known to them. They were given "utterance" or a message to speak. The Greek word here translated utterance is the infinitive of a,nophtheggomai. This verb is used in only two other places in the New Testament and both are in Acts. In Acts 2:14 Peter stood up and "lifted up his voice and said unto them." The Greek word translated said is from apophtheggomai. That is, Peter stood up and uttered to them. He was using the divinely given gift. He was no doubt speaking in the Hebrew language. The reason for believing that Peter spoke in Hebrew is twofold. First, it was the only language that was regarded as proper to use at the feast. Second, it is the one language that without exception all would understand. What the gift of the Holy Spirit was enabling Peter to do was to make known something that was hidden or puzzling to his audience. This is the meaning of apophtheggomai. This Greek word is used also in Acts 26:25 where the context makes its meaning obvious. Paul says here, "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth (utter) the words of truth and soberness." Festus was not amazed at Paul's ability to speak Greek, but he was very disturbed about what he was saying.
If speaking in other tongues does not mean that the Galileans were speaking in languages other than those with which they were familiar, then what does it mean? The cultural context of the phenomena of Pentecost indicates that the Galileans began to speak in tongues other than the sacred Hebrew language. Daniel-Rops tells how that the Hebrew language had fallen somewhat into disuse among the Jews in favor of Aramaic. However,
became the language of holiness . . . the language of the learned, exactly like the Latin of the schools in our Middle Ages or the liturgical Latin of our time. The Law was read in Hebrew in the synagogues; prayers were said in Hebrew, both privately and in the temple. The doctors of the Law taught in Hebrew.8
The work of the Holy Spirit in the early church was not to set aside human personality nor to make a robot of the human intellect, will, and a pseudo-linguistic miracle.
Greek and Aramaic later came to be used in many of the synagogues. The Jews had
given to the Feast of Pentecost an additional sacred significance in
that on this
day they commemorated the original giving of the Law on Sinai. This fact, plus
the sacredness of the temple, demanded that Hebrew he used exclusively on this
occasion. Recognized doctors of the Law, reading and expounding the
Law in Hebrew
were all that any devout Jew had ever heard at any feast of Pentecost prior to
this year. It is in this light that the amazement of the hearers is
to be understood.
What was astounding to these Jews was that Galileans, untrained in Rabbinical
schools, were with conviction
and assurance proclaiming the wonderful works of God, and that they
were not using
the customary sacred Hebrew. Rather, they were using those Gentile tongues most
familiar to their hearers.
The charge of the mockers that the Galileans were full of new wine further confirms the position presented here. Drunkenness usually makes one less proficient in the language with which he is most familiar; it would never be an aid in the use of an unfamiliar tongue. However, Peter treated this charge as one reasonably made while pointing out its error. Since drunkenness does leave a person in a state of suspended inhibitions and ignored conventions, the use of the profane Gentile languages in expounding the Holy Law in the holy place on a holy occasion by untrained and unqualified Galileans, could reasonably be met with a sincere charge that they were full of new wine.
In response to the wonderers and the mockers, Peter turned to the Old Testament to identify the events of Pentecost. In the verses quoted from Joel, no mention is made of a supernatural ability to speak in other languages. The quotation as recorded in Acts 2:17-21 states that all who receive the Spirit would prophesy. If the response of those who were amazed and of those who mocked was due to some unexplainable ability of the Galileans to speak in languages not used by them before, then Peter evaded completely the problem in their minds. The verses from Joel explain why Galileans, who were theologically untrained in Rabbinical schools, should be able thus to utter or to explain the wonderful works of God. From this verse Peter reminded them that the Spirit was to be poured out indiscriminately upon all flesh. This experience was not to he limited to those having formal training in the Hebrew Scriptures. Servants, handmaidens, and daughters would never have had the opportunity in that day for training in the Rabbinical schools, but they too, according to Joel, would prophesy-and why not also then the unschooled Galileans?
Furthermore, when Peter preached to them, he was not concerned with explaining or defending a strange ability to use "other" languages, but rather he emphasized that the message of the Galileans was a spiritual witnessing to a resurrected Messiah. This same Jesus whose crucifixion these hearers had called for at the time of the preceding Passover feast and whose superscription they had read on the central cross, had been raised up to sit at the right hand of God. These Gahlean followers were being inspired to speak with assurance in the languages most meaningful to hearers and speakers, witnessing that God was now fulfilling the promises made in the Law and in the Prophets.
The Apostle Paul's references to the gift of tongues in I Cor. 12, 13, and 14 are in full agreement with the observations which have been made from the second chapter of Acts and from the data of history. In this letter to the Corinthians, Paul is concerned with the problem of the use of various languages in the church. We today are far removed from the multilingual situation which Paul found in the church of Corinth. In I Cor. 14:21 Paul refers to a prophetic quotation from the Old Testament in direct relationship to the use of tongues. It reads, "In the law it is written, with men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that they will not hear me, saith the Lord." The reference here is solely to the use of Gentile languages in speaking as a witness of the Word of God. "With men of other tongues" identifies the witnesses with languages familiar to them.
A very clear statement of the nature of the supernatural and empowering role of the Holy Spirit in regards to the New Testament Christian's speech and witness is found in I Cor. 12:3. "Wherefore I give you to understand that no man speaking by the Spirit of God ealleth Jesus accursed, and no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." The work of the Holy Spirit in the early church was not to set aside human personality nor to make a robot of the human intellect, will, and emotions in a pseudolinguistic miracle. Instead, the whole man was quickened and totally involved in the consuming activity of pressing to others the Lordship of Jesus Christ. On the Day of Pentecost tradition and spiritual blindness were swept aside as each witness was moved to speak in a language known to him and most familiar to his hearers. Later in the cosmopolitan city of Corinth, those who had received the Spirit felt free to pray and witness in the particular language which was most familiar to them. They were not required as Jewish proselytes to use the sacred Hebrew. For some Gentiles this was a tongue of a small ethnic group. Paul exhorted them to subordinate their personal freedom and inclination while they were in public services, to an expression that would edify and instruct the whole group. Thus, when the church as a body met together for witness and worship, they were to use a commonly understood tongue. If they did use a language with which the whole group was not familiar, they were to have an interpreter translate what was said into a commonly-shared language (I Cor. 14:23-33, 39, 40).
The evidence of both Old and New Testament as presented in this investigation agrees with the known historical and linguistic facts regarding the phenomena of Pentecost. In the miracle of Pentecost the spiritual and supernatural entered the realm of the human and natural. The result was a violation of neither. In this
sense the true miracle brings science and revelation together in a mutually confirming understanding of the Biblical event.
What may be concluded about the role of cultural anthropology in the understanding of the Bible? The following propositions have been demonstrated in this study:
1) The spiritual (pneumatika) cannot be observed by the senses of man or explained by any of the sciences of man. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is to be explained only as the experienced result of the revealed death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ to the throne of God.
2) The Spirit's entrance into the realm of matter and man results in a miracle which does not violate the character given them in creation. Thus the resulting phenomena as reported in the Scripture find confirmation in the valid knowledge of history and science.
3) The role of anthropology in Biblical interpretation is:
a. To present an accurate picture of the cultural environment in which the Biblical recorded events took place.
b. To uncover traditionally held misinterpretations whose roots are in contemporary culture but have no valid support from the Scriptures.
1Leslau, Wolf 1965 "Semitic Languages" in Encyclopaedia Britannica 20:315.
2Daniel-Rops, H. 1962 Daily Life in Palestine at the Time of Christ London: Wiedenfetd and Nicotson. p. 267.
3Stimpson, George 1945 A Book About the Bible New York: Harper and Brothers, p. 14.
4Edersheim, Alfred 1896 The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Vol. I New York: Lnngmans, Green, and Co. p. 223.
5Gondry, B. H. 1964 "The Language Milieu of First Century Palestine." The Journal of Biblical Literature LXXXIII: 404-408, p. 405.
6Stimpson, op. cit., p. 12.
7Gondry, op. cit,. p. 406.
8Daniel-Rops, op cit., p. 266.