Exploration 107 – The Origin of Languages

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

Genesis 11:1 King James Version

How did we even get one language let alone the thousands that exist today?

An evolutionary answer might start with a cauldron of silent pond scum, but don’t ask where that pond scum came from. Stir the pot with the magic wand of a gazillion years of random motion until you get some noisy critters. Then keep stirring till the croaks, chirps and growling turn into men and women using language. How this happened, how this even could happen, is the hand-waving that seasons the stew.

What we learn from the Bible is something more reasonable in spite of it being more supernatural. Originally there was only one God-given language, but after God confounded communication at Babel because of disobedience there appeared many others. These were highly complex languages. They simplified over a few thousand years into what we have today.

The following commentary by E. Dane Rogers from the Tacoma Grace Bible Church on Genesis 11 goes into this biblical approach in more detail.

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Genesis 11:9 (KJV)

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

9 thoughts on “Exploration 107 – The Origin of Languages”

  1. Yes Frank, some things ARE black and white but man would rather build towers and Babel on and on, Babylon rising and falling, rising and falling, until Rev 19, she falls completely. Lord, help us hear and speak one voice, that of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

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  2. Yes! Look at what happened to the Latin Language…the language of the church, the language of business for ages. Just with people moving and inserting dialects and specialized words, we have French, Italian (which is really close to Latin, but has differences) Spanish Portuguese, and Romanian. And that was caused by distance and some isolation. It was the differences in language that allowed the Spanish to conquer Central and South America because the diverse tribes didn’t have enough communication with their neighbors to organize any sort of resistance. I had a friend whose 3rd language was English, 2nd was Spanish, and 1st was a dialect of Mayan! It makes so much more sense with the single point of origin of languages than having multiple origins.

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    1. A dialect of Mayan sounds like a very different language from English and Spanish. In the process of all this change these languages become less complex. I remember Pastor Rogers saying in the teaching that it was even more difficult for people to understand each other after the confusion of languages at Babel than it is today – and today it is pretty confusing.


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