The working theory underlying much of the motivation of the RBT project is that “speaking in tongues” involves a concerted effort to enclose secrets within the confines of the linguistic universal semantics (apparently evident in both Hebrew and Greek). The most plausible and well-known example of human universal language is mathematics.
This means if you didn’t know a person (like Jesus for example) was “speaking in a tongue” you would mistake his speaking for something that seemed to apply to universal semantics or social constructs and you would assume that what he was saying could be understood by anybody in the world with accurate translation or interpretation. But when universal semantics, culture, or social constructs become the prevailing basis for the translation/interpretation process the secret tongue itself will surely be lost in translation. Additionally, the underlying knowledge of ancient universal linguistics and semantics becomes like shifting sands and interpretations and translations will always be changing as we gain more knowledge.
The enduring model today–and for much of the last couple of millennia–is that to have greater understanding of theological concepts we must have greater understanding of body parts, family members, metals, plants, animals, bodies of water, topology, food stuffs, etc. But what if the ancients were not using universal semantics such as body parts, metals, instruments, family members, animals, plants, food stuffs, etc. to convey theological messages?
I thank God, I speak more tongues than all of you.
–>”I understand more cryptic language than all of you”
1 Cor. 14:18 literal
The word “in” is not found in the Greek and is added by all the translations except Young’s Literal. The same applies to the other verses
and I wish you all to speak
withtongues, and more that ye may prophesy, for greater is he who is prophesying than he who is speaking withtongues, except one may interpret, that the assembly may receive edification.
1 Cor. 14:5 literal
The word from which cryptic and encrypt come is kryptos (egkrypto, apkrypto, perikrypto, etc.) and can be found used in many places in the New Testament in the sense of hiding. It signifies that which is concealed, kept secret, hidden away.
The writers of the Bible have apparently combined many semantical themes into categorical ways of speaking (tongues) about the same truths. For example the “kingdom of god” was related to several different semantical themes. Consider that a parable is “speaking cryptically”.
…the basilea [queen/kingdom] of Theos…is the same as leaven, which having taken a hold of, a woman encrypted [ekrypsen #2928] in three measures of flour until it was leavened wholly.
Luke 13:21 literal
Leaven is not “hidden” or “concealed” in flour. Ingredients are mixed and dissolved. So why is such language used?
Here are some lists of such “tongues” with some of the more obvious words. They are roughly categorized, not to be taken as precise. Some tongues appear to be more like sub-languages easily confused such as the Face and the Body. Most people who have spent time in the Church will recognize the symbolic and cryptic nature of many of these words. But how do we decrypt them?
|the Plant language||the Animal language||the Building language||the Family language||the Body language|
fish of the Sea
man and woman (the only creatures who walk upright)
hands (and fingers, and even nails)
The Face/Head (sub-tongue)
|the Weather language||the Musical Instruments language||the Water language||the Ground language||the Numerical language
There are many of these languages. And obviously it requires work to figure them out. The more we learn about these, the more ability we can have to decipher the mysteries which often appear to make use of a combination of languages:
We hanged our harps Upon the willows…
The pictures painted by the authors of the “poetic scriptures” sound especially nonsensical. Who hangs a harp in a tree? And for what reason? Whether poetry or not, the Hebrews were clearly obsessed with writing cryptically.
For an exercise in Hebrew cryptography try to count how many “languages” might be packed into just this one vision:
As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands.