Languages and the Tower of Babel

     As I wrote last month while preparing for a camp about post-flood events, the Lord has brought me many new materials to study. The Tower of Babel (Gen. 11) ushered in a time period of great change because of the curse of confused languages. I believe most of us know the account where it’s recorded that all people were making a name for themselves and accomplishing anything they set their minds to. The Lord confused their single language into many languages with no details as to how many there were from that point forward in history. Yet when one takes this simple account of history and makes predictions for a language study, we would assume that all languages today should be traced back to a few. This is exactly what a linguistic study in 2012 revealed, as well as identifying a profound insight we see in the animal kingdom. “You could take a gorilla or chimpanzee from its troop and plop it down anywhere these species are found, and it would know how to communicate. You could repeat this with donkeys, crickets or goldfish and get the same outcome,” Mark Pagel says in a New Scientist[1] evolutionarily-driven article. So, the animal kingdom’s communication reveals what we would expect to find if they were all created by their kind as the Bible specifically states. This shows a distinct difference in us, and leads to another question the author struggles with:  if language is for communication and survival in an evolutionary sense, then why do we have so many languages? Pagel then offers up the Tower of Babel as one famous Old Testament story that addresses the question of many human languages, complete with his worldview bias. “The myth leads to the amusing irony that our separate languages exist to prevent us from communicating. The surprise is that this might not be far from the truth…” It is so shocking to those that choose not to take the Bible as a legitimate historical document when it explains the very data of that study. Thank the Lord for His Word that explains why it is so hard to communicate today. According to Acts 17:27, He cursed our languages and made nations so we would seek Him. In today’s seemingly daily information/communication confusion this still rings true. Seek Him.

[1] Pagel, Mark. “War of Words: The Language Paradox Explained.” New Scientist, Web. 5 Dec 2012

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