n Ekklesiastikos Pharos - Babel and language as a divider or unifier until Pentecost?

Volume 93, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-9556



Multilingualism is investigated from a biblical perspective. Language as such, is viewed as a tool unifying peoples as well as a means by which diversity is demonstrated and it is also very often an instrument which sows division. A fundamental feature of language is its great diversity. Each and every language varies depending on the traits of the speaker, the recipient of the message uttered and the circumstances within which the communication takes place. Secular linguists are baffled by the reality of about twenty language families in the current world. The languages within each family as well as their speakers are genetically related, but there are very few genetic links observed between language families. The book of Genesis written by Moses, provides a plausible explanation of how new languages developed and it is a narrative dealing with "beginnings". The desire of man to usurp the role of God was intolerable to God and resulted in the confounding of tongues, but at Pentecost, man was once again spiritually empowered through the Holy Spirit and tongues were no longer dividers of people but rather evidence of the empowerment of the nation of God.

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