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Old & New Testament Greek

Entry for Strong's #1100 - γλῶσσα

Word Origin:
of uncertain affinity
Parts of Speech:
Noun Feminine
Word Definition  [ Thayer's | Strong's ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. the tongue, a member of the body, an organ of speech
  2. a tongue
    1. the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 3519 ‑ כָּבֹד (kaw‑bode', kaw‑bode');   3956 ‑ לְשֹׁנָה (law‑shone', law‑shone', lesh‑o‑naw');   6310 ‑ פֶּה (peh);   8193 ‑ שֶׂפֶת (saw‑faw', sef‑eth');  
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


Ion. γλάσσα, Herod. 3.84, al., SIG 1002.7 (Milet.), Schwyzer 692 (Chios), Att. γλῶττα, ης, ἡ,


1. tongue, Od. 3.332, etc. γ. λάρυγγος, = cross γλωττίς, larynx, Gal. UP 7.13.

2. tongue, as the organ of speech, γλώσσης χάριν through love of talking, Hes. Op. 709, A. Ch. 266; γλώσσῃ ματαίᾳ Id. Pr. 331, cf. Eu. 830; γλώσσης ἀκρατής Id. Pr. 884 (lyr.); μεγάλης γ. κόμποι S. Ant. 128; γλώσσῃ δεινός, θρασύς, Id. OC 806, Aj. 1142; ἡ γ. ὀμώμοχ' ἡ δὲ φρὴν ἀνώμοτος E. Hipp. 612: with Preps., ἀπὸ γλώσσης by frankness of speech, Thgn. 63; φθέγγεσθαι Pi. O. 6.13 (but ἀπὸ γ. ληίσσεται, opp. χερσὶ βίῃ, of fraud opp. violence, Hes. Op. 322); also, by word of mouth, Hdt. 1.123, Th. 7.10, Arr. An. 2.14.1; τῷ νῷ θ' ὁμοίως κἀπὸ τῆς γ. λέγω S. OC 936; τὰ γλώσσης ἄπο, i.e. our words, E. Ba. 1049; ἀπὸ γ. φράσω by heart, opp. γράμμασιν, Cratin. 122; οὐκ ἀπὸ γλώσσης not from mere word of mouth, but after full argument, A. Ag. 813; μὴ διὰ γλώσσης without using the tongue, E. Supp. 112; ἐν ὄμμασιν.. δεδορκὼς κοὐ κατὰ γλῶσσαν κλύων S. Tr. 747: phrases: πᾶσαν γλῶτταν βασάνιζε try every art of tongue, Ar. V. 547; πᾶσαν ἱέναι γλῶσσαν let loose one's whole tongue, speak withoutrestraint, S. El. 596; πολλὴν γ. ἐγχέας μάτην Id. Fr. 929; κακὰ γ. slander, Pi. P. 4.283: pl., ἐν κερτομίοις γλώσσαις, i.e. with blasphemies, S. Ant. 962 (lyr.), cf. Aj. 199 (lyr.): βοῦς, κ ῇς ἐπὶ γλώσσῃ, v. cross βοῦς, κλείς.

3. of persons, one who is all tongue, speaker, of Pericles, μεγίστη γ. τῶν Ἑλληνίδων Cratin. 293, cf. Ar. Fr. 629 (s. v. l.).

4. ἡ γ. τοῦ ταμιείου the advocacy of the fiscus, Philostr. VS 2.29.

II language, ἄλλη δ' ἄλλων γ. μεμιγμένη Od. 19.175, cf. Il. 2.804; γλῶσσαν ἱέναι

1. speak a language or dialect, Hdt. 1.57; γ. Ἑλληνίδα, Δωρίδα ἱέναι, Id. 9.16, Th. 3.112, cf. A. Pers. 406, Ch. 564; γλῶσσαν νομίζειν Hdt. 1.142, 4.183; γλώσσῃ χρῆσθαι Id. 4.109; κατὰ τὴν ἀρχαίαν γ. Arist. Rh. 1357b10; dialect, ἡ Ἀττικὴ γ. Demetr. Eloc. 177; but also Δωρὶς διάλεκτος μία ὑφ' ἥν εἰσι γ. πολλαί Tryph. ap. Sch.D.T. p.320 H.

2. obsolete or foreign word, which needs explanation, Arist. Rh. 1410b12, Po. 1457b4, Plu. 2.406f: hence Γλῶσσαι, title of works by Philemon and others.

3. people speaking a distinct language, LX X. Ju. 3.8 (pl.), interpol. in Scyl. 15.

III anything shaped like the tongue (cf. γλῶσσαι ὡσεὶ πυρός Acts 2:3).

1 in Music, rced or tongue of a pipe, Aeschin. 3.229, Arist. HA 565a24, Thphr. HP 4.11.4, etc.

2. tongue or thong of leather, shoe-latchet, Pl.Com. 51, Aeschin.Socr. 57.

3. tongue of land, App. Pun. 121, cf. 95.

4. ingot, γ. χρυσῆ LXX John 7:21.

5. marking on the liver, in divination, Hsch. (γλῶσσα from γλωχ - y[acaron], cf. γλώξ, γλωχίς; γλάσσα from Γλᾰχ - y[acaron], weak grade of same root.)

Thayer's Expanded Definition
 γλῶσσα, γλωσης, (from Homer down), the tongue;

1. the tongue, a member of the body, the organ of speech: Mark 7:33,35; Luke 1:64; Luke 16:24; 1 Corinthians 14:9; James 1:26; James 3:5,6, 8; 1 Peter 3:10; 1 John 3:18; ( Revelation 16:10). By a poetic and rhetorical usage, especially Hebraistic, that member of the body which is chiefly engaged in some act has ascribed to it what belongs to the man; the tongue is so used in Acts 2:26 (ἠγαλλιάσατο γλῶσσα μου); Romans 3:13; Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:11 (the tongue of every man); of the little tongue-like flames symbolizing the gift of foreign tongues, in Acts 2:3.

2. a tongue, i. e. the language used by a particular people in distinction from that of other nations: Acts 2:11; hence, in later Jewish usage ( Isaiah 66:18; Daniel 3:4; Daniel 5:19 Theod.; Daniel 6:25; 7:14> Theod.; Judges 3:8) joined with φυλή, λαός, ἔθνος, it serves to designate people of various languages (cf. Winer's Grammar, 32), Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 10:11; Revelation 11:9; Revelation 13:7; Revelation 14:6; Revelation 17:15. λαλεῖν ἑτέραις γλώσσαις to speak with other than their native i. e. in foreign tongues, Acts 2:4, cf. Acts 2:6-11; γλώσσαις λαλεῖν καιναῖς to speak with new tongues which the speaker has not learned previously, Mark 16:17 (but Tr text WH text omit; Tr marginal reading brackets καιναῖς); cf. DeWette on Acts , p. 27ff (correct and supplement his references by Meyer on 1 Corinthians 12:10; cf. also B. D. under the word Tongues, Gift of). From both these expressions must be carefully distinguished the simple phrases λαλεῖν γλώσσαις, γλώσσαις λαλεῖν, λαλεῖν γλώσσῃ, γλώσσῃ λαλεῖν (and προσεύχεσθαι γλώσσῃ, 1 Corinthians 14:14), to speak with (in) a tongue (the organ of speech), to speak with tongues; this, as appears from 1 Corinthians 14:7 ff, is the gift of men who, rapt in an ecstasy and no longer quite masters of their own reason and consciousness, pour forth their glowing spiritual emotions in strange utterances, rugged, dark, disconnected, quite unfitted to instruct or to influence the minds of others: Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6; 1 Corinthians 12:30; 1 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Corinthians 14:2,4-6,13, 18,23, 27,39. The origin of the expression is apparently to be found in the fact, that in Hebrew the tongue is spoken of as the leading instrument by which the praises of God are proclaimed ( τῶν θείων ὕμνων μελῳδός, 4 Maccabees 10:21, cf. Psalm 34:28 (Psalm 35:28>); Psalm 65:17> (Psalm 66:17>); Psalm 70:24> (Psalm 71:24>); Psalm 125:2 (Psalm 126:2>); Acts 2:26; Philippians 2:11; λαλεῖν ἐν γλώσσῃ, Psalm 38:4 (Psalm 39:4>), and that according to the more rigorous conception of inspiration nothing human in an inspired man was thought to be active except the tongue, put in motion by the Holy Spirit (κατάχρηται ἕτερος αὐτοῦ τοῖς φωνητηριοις ὀργάνοις, στόματι καί γλωττη πρός μηνυσιν ὧν ἄν θέλῃ, Philo, rer. div. haer. § 53 (i. 510, Mang. edition)); hence, the contrast διατουνως (critical editions τῷ νοι<) λαλεῖν, 1 Corinthians 14:19 cf. 1 Corinthians 14:9. The plural in the phrase γλώσσαις λαλεῖν, used even of a single person ( 1 Corinthians 14:5f), refers to the various motions of the tongue. By metonymy, of the cause for the effect, γλῶσσαι tongues are equivalent to λόγοι ἐν γλώσσῃ ( 1 Corinthians 14:19) words spoken in a tongue (Zungenvorträge): 1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Corinthians 14:22; γένη γλωσσῶν, 1 Corinthians 12:10,28, of which two kinds are mentioned viz. προσευχή and ψαλμός, 1 Corinthians 14:15; γλῶσσαν ἔχω, something to utter with a tongue, 1 Corinthians 14:26. (On 'Speaking with Tongues' see, in addition to the discussions above referred to, Wendt in the 5th edition of Meyer on Acts ( Acts 2:4); Heinrici, Korinthierbriefe, i., 372ff; Schaff, Hist. of the Chr. Church, i. 234-245 (1882); Farrar, St. Paul, i. 95ff.)

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Vocabulary of the Greek NT

Most of the occurrences of this noun, which retains both form and meaning in MGr, need no particular comment. P Oxy I. 138 (A.D. 183 or 215) saepe, the monthly meat bill of a cook, tells us that ";tongue"; was a favourite article of diet; so also the numerous passages in inscrr. where in the ritual of sacrifice the victim’s tongue is mentioned as a special perquisite. The word figures prominently in magical documents. P Lond 124.31 (iv/v A.D.) (= I. p. 122) βάλλε εἰς αὐτὸ γλῶσσαν βαθράκου shows the frog’s tongue playing the same part as ";tongue of dog"; in the witches’ spell in Macbeth : so also ib. 46.294 (iv/A.D.) (= I. p. 74). There are many curses which ";bind"; the tongue of their object : thus Syll 808 (Corcyra) Σιλανοῦ τὸν νόον καὶ τὰν γλῶσσαν τουτεῖ καταγράφω —Silanus himself and three witnesses who enabled him to win a suit are cursed with this leaden tablet in mind and tongue. So ib. 809 (Piraeus, iv/iii B.C.) begins Μικίωνα ἐγὼ ἔλαβον καὶ κατ ̣έδησα τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τοὺς πόδας καὶ τὴν γλῶσσαν καὶ τὴν ψυχήν . καὶ εἴ τι μέλλειε (l. μέλλει —a confusion with aor. opt.) ὑπὲρ Φίλωνος ῥῆμα μοχθηρὸν φθένγεσθαι , ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ μόλυβδος γένοιτο , καὶ κέντ [η ]σον α [ὐτ ]οῦ τὴν γλῶσσαν —the changes on these formulae are rung in the rest of the document. Deissmann, LAE, p. 306 ff., refers to thirty of Wünsch’s Attic defixiones where the tongue is ";bound"; or ";cursed."; He shows that this was supposed to produce dumbness, and interprets Mark 7:35 as release from what was believed to be a daemonic ";binding.";

Thumb, Gr. Dial. p. 22, points out that grammarians used γλῶσσα not only for ";language"; but also for ";local peculiarities of speech"; : thus Δωρὶς γὰρ διάλεκτος μία ὑφ᾽ ἥν εἰσι γλῶσσαι πολλαί , ";sub-dialects."; This leaves us free, if we choose, to reduce very considerably the abnormality of the ";tongues,"; which need not always have been foreign languages as Acts 2:4 (cf. Acts 2:6 ff.). We find it applied to a real foreign language in P Giss I. 99.9 (B.C. 80–79) ὕμνοι μὲν ἄι [δονται ] γλώτ ̣τῃ ξενικῇ : the ττ goes with ταῖν στήλαιν and other recherché archaisms to show that the piece is not tainted with vernacular!

The tongue of slander appears in P Lond 122.34 (iv/A.D.) (= I. p. 117) διάσωσόν μου πάνδοτε εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἀπὸ φαρμάκων καὶ δολίων καὶ βασκοσύνην πάσης καὶ γλωττῶν πονηρῶν —Milton’s ";evil tongues.";



The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
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1 Corinthians19
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List of Word Forms
γλωσσα γλωσσά γλώσσα γλώσσά γλῶσσα γλῶσσά γλωσσαι γλώσσαι γλῶσσαι γλωσσαις γλώσσαις γλωσσαν γλώσσαν γλώσσάν γλῶσσαν γλῶσσάν γλωσσας γλώσσας γλωσση γλώσση γλώσσῃ γλωσσης γλώσσης γλωσσων γλωσσών γλωσσῶν glossa glôssa glôssá glōssa glō̂ssa glō̂ssá glossai glôssai glōssai glō̂ssai glossais glōssais glṓssais glossan glôssan glôssán glōssan glō̂ssan glō̂ssán glossas glōssas glṓssas glosse glōssē glṓssei glṓssēi glosses glōssēs glṓsses glṓssēs glosson glossôn glōssōn glōssō̂n
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