The story of the Tower of Babel, in just 10 verses presents the Christian with 8 inconvenient truths, each one of which shows, once again, just how totally wrong the Wholly Holey Holy Bible is.
First, a look at the most relevant of the 10 verses:
And the beginning of his (Nimrod’s) kingdom was Babel, Gen 10:10
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.Gen 11:1
let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; Gen 11:4
And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded Gen 11:5
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Gen 11:6
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. Gen 11:7
… and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.Gen 11:9
Now For The Inconvenient, Unpleasant Truths
- “…whole earth was of one language”.
No it was not.The Babel story contradicts earlier bible stories
- in Genesis 10:5, we learn that “the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” This verse is referring to the descendants of Japheth. One of the three sons of Noah. Thus we have the Gentiles already in their lands, each with their own tongue.
- in Genesis 10.20 we learn that “These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.”
- in Genesis 10:31 we learn that “These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.”
So, it turns out that “And the whole earth was NOT of one language, and of one speech as Genesis 11:1 says it was.
- “…beginning of his kingdom was Babel”
The Babel story is set three generations after Noah. Noah begat Ham who begat Cush who begat Nimrod, the “mighty hunter” and the beginning of his (Nimrod’s) kingdom was Babel. How large was the “city” of Babel at the beginning? We can’t say, but there is not much time elapsed between Nimrod founding Babel (Genesis 10:10) and the Tower of Babel story (Genesis 11:1). There is no indication that anyone went to Babel with Nimrod. Other sons of Cush went together to form other cities in the land of Shinar.
And the beginning of his (Nimrod’s) kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Genesis 10:10
There is no reason to believe that there was anything resembling a “city” of Babel; maybe Nimrod and a couple of others. There could not have been anything like a kingdom of Babel.
- ” and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
God is afraid??? There is no evidence of a loving, merciful, just, omnipotent God in this verse.
* Not omnipotent he seems to think that he doesn’t have the power to prevent them from “dong that which they have imagined to do“: God does not know that he is omnipotent.
* The loving, merciful, just God doesn’t want his creations to live their dreams?The Lord, your God wants to suppress his creations’ imagination and their ability to carry out their dreams. He doesn’t really want us to be godlike.
- .. came down to see the city
Came down to see the city? Why did He have to “come down”. This means that the lord is not omniscient. He has to personally experience an event in order to know about it. That sure puts the lie to an omniscient God.
- let us go down,
Let US go down” Who is “US”?
The use of the word “us” implies plural; more than one. Who is God talking to?
This is prima facia evidence that there is more than one God.
- and there confound their language,
Confounding language does not cause dispersion. To confound the language of a group of people would not cause them to disperse. It would draw them closer together. No one would leave a group of friends to venture into the unknown just because they can’t understand them.
People who have different languages communicate quite well with gestures, pantomime, smiles, etc. It wouldn’t be long before they would have evolved another common language.An omniscient God would know this and would not have even bothered to “go down and there, confound their language”.
- let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven;
Really? God actually thought the good citizens of Babel could really build a tower so high it would reach Him in heaven. An omniscient God would know that there was no way to build a tower high enough to reach into the heavens. Thus, God is not omniscient.
- scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth
The inhabitants were each individually scattered abroad upon the face of ALL the earth. OK – so the ten, twenty inhabitants of the city of Babel are scattered abroad upon the face of ALL the earth. (By the way, that would include the continents of Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America).
How is it then that there are many more languages today then there were dispersed inhabitants of Babel? if the only way new languages form is when God comes down and confounds language, and the Bible tells us of only one time that he did so, then there should be only a handful of languages. The most extensive catalog of the world’s languages, generally taken to be as authoritative as any, is that of Ethnologue (published by SIL International), whose detailed classified list as of 2009 included 6,909 distinct languages.
The Tower of Babel fable presents your God as not omniscient but stupid, not as loving, but selfish and cruel; it contradicts earlier biblical stories about the origin of multiple languages, it presents a scenario opposite of what people would do, and it contradicts what everyone knows about languages; i.e. they evolve and are still evolving.
This nonsense story is simply an attempt by bronze age man to explain the different languages – which would have been a real mystery to the ignorant people of the time. It shows that, if there is a God, he isn’t very powerful or very smart.
The Truth Is
The earth was never of one speech. The history of language is as full and complex as the history of mankind. See History of Language. It is patently obvious to anyone with a working brain that this story was an attempt of either J, E, D, or P (See documentary hypothesis) to explain how different languages came to be. Of course the author of this “explanation” was unaware of the other author’s (J, E, D or P) “explanation” because the various writings weren’t combined until after all had been written.