Post by robertcolumbia on Oct 11, 2012 22:33:29 GMT -5
Some people have believed that Hebrew was the original language of humanity and that other languages came about at the Tower of Babel. Is there anything in scripture that tells us anything? Was there a pre-Babel world language that has been lost from human memory and Hebrew happened to be one of the languages that God created during the confusion of tongues?
Okay, I guess this maybe is a little irrelevant to a lot of things, but as someone who is fascinated by languages and linguistics, I can't help but be interested in this thread.
I'm not sure whether I believe Hebrew is a pre-Babel language or a post-Babel one, but I have often wondered whether the Lord didn't simply confuse their *understanding* of each others' speech rather than the words they were saying. So many world languages quite clearly have common origins, particularly throughout Europe and the Middle East.
(I haven't included Hebrew because I don't speak it and can't find the words anywhere with vowel points. I don't speak Latin or Sanskrit either, by the way.)
But then, even though most European languages follow the same basic pattern (SOV structure, same basic formation of tenses, the basic concept of language and words and meanings), a lot of other languages are completely different. Once linguist a couple of hundred years ago proposed that all language shared a whole bunch of common elements... and then they discovered lots of African and Asian languages. But then, another linguist living in India learnt Sanskrit and was amazed at how many similarities it held with Latin, despite the distance between them.
To answer your question, I've not found anything in a quick look at the verses (Genesis 11:1-9) which says whether Hebrew was the pre-Babel language or a post-Babel one, so I suppose we'll never know and just have to ask when we get to heaven.
Now I really have to go to a music lesson. I have just one question, food for thought really...
If God confused the languages because he'd seen that with one language, people had gotten prideful and were building huge buildings to try to reach him, what must he think of us today, with most of the world speaking or learning the same language, building gigantic sky-scrapers and rockets? Surely that's even more prideul, to think that we're so great we can fly into space and 'prove' that God doesn't exist?