A Babble of the Language of the Whole World!!!

My bible reading is going quite slowly, which means I am still at the interesting parts. I just read Genesis 10:11, three times in fact, to make sure I was reading correctly. Apparently all the world once spoke the same language, so God decided to give them all different languages to confuse them!?!?!

Genesis 10:11:

God said:

"Come, let us go down there and confuse their language, so that they will not understand what they say to one another." 

It then continues:

So the Lord dispersed them from there all over the earth, and they left off building the city. That is why it is called Babel, because there the Lord made a babble of the language of the whole world. It was from that place the Lord scattered people over the face of the earth.

--------

Really? I knew this almighty god did some f***ed up s**t (pardon my language but I could not find other words that quite expressed this opinion), but why did he give them all different languages and confuse them? I can't find a reason in the text. Does anyone know? 

I never knew that's why it is called Babel. I am learning more and more!

Angela

Views: 64

Comment by Cara Coleen on November 21, 2012 at 11:55pm
Because they built a tower uncomfortably close to Heaven; God got a little paranoid his creation would invade his Heavenly abode and become gods. No. Seriously. If they couldn't communicate, they couldn't coordinate. It's too bad God didn't realize just how high the stratosphere is... he might've refrained from being such an epic douche.
Comment by Dr.Grixis on November 22, 2012 at 6:54am

Bible-Babel-Babble? No sense in making sense of the Bible!

Comment by SteveInCO on November 22, 2012 at 7:57am

Well first a bit of comedy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJTaODGxsd0

Some historical linguists have concluded that every language now spoken has a common ancestor (That's very controversial within that community though--many of them think those who advocate this are peddling snake oil!)  Even if that were to pan out, though it would not be proof in any way of this story, because the divisions into today's languages came about in a very gradual process superficially reminiscent of evolution (slow gradual change of isolated populations, but there's really no selection pressure driving it).

(It does stand to reason that human population must at some point have been small enough to share a common language, but it's also possible that that was at a time before we were speaking!  On the other hand there seems to be a growing belief that we almost went extinct about 70-100 thousand years ago; if the remnant population was one group instead of two widely separated groups, every language today would be descended from whatever they spoke.  The biggest component of today's linguistic controversy is that most linguists maintain we could never learn anything about that original language even if it existed; there has simply been too much change since then.)

If anyone, in the light of today's knowledge, tries to maintain that English came out of the tower of Babel they are if anything even more ridiculous in the light of modern knowledge than the usual sorts of creationists; we have historical (manuscript) evidence of languages changing and that no form of English (much less what we speak today) even remotely existed back then.  In fact given an approximate date of 2200--2000 BC for Babel (that's my guess based on what some random Xian sites say), even "Proto Germanic" (our retroactive name for the common ancestor of English, German, Dutch, the Scandinavian languages, Gothic, etc) didn't exist yet.  Neither did Latin, nor Greek, but Sanskrit is at least within a thousand years (1500BC).

Comment by RobertPiano on November 22, 2012 at 8:24am

Since god forbids human intellect and curiosity there had to be an explanation of the various languages. Sociolinguists, ethnolinguists and linguistic anthropologists study the steady (dare I say) evolution of language. I bet their explanation is slightly different.

I really wish that gods chosen people were literate. It would be much more interesting to read first hand accounts rather than the transcribed accounts by future generations that we ended up with. Honestly, every time I try to read the good book, I just get upset.

Comment by archaeopteryx on November 22, 2012 at 11:32pm

Angela - RE: "I never knew that's why it is called Babel" - actually, it's not. The city in question is Babylon, located in what is now Southern Iraq, close to the gulf, and home of the great Ziggurat of Babylon:

ziggurat |ˈzigəˌrat|
noun
(in ancient Mesopotamia) a rectangular stepped tower, sometimes surmounted by a temple. Ziggurats are first attested in the late 3rd millennium bc and probably inspired the biblical story of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1–9).

ziggurat
ORIGIN from Akkadian ziqqurratu.

The Ziggurat was a temple dedicated to a one of the Mesopotamian pantheon of gods, often Marduk. It was built with a special chamber on the top for the god to rest in on his occasional visits to earth. Babylon wasn't built in the days immediately following the mythical flood, but then Chapter 11 wasn't written then either, nor was it written in the days of Moses, but it was only after the Jews had been defeated and hauled off into captivity in 722 BCE, that that chapter of Genesis was actually written, and by that time, Babylon had been built.

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