Darryl's thoughts on the Christian Faith, Facts, and World Events
The Chosu nation was a Korean kingdom that existed between 1392 and 1897. It was isolated from Europeans, and therefore probably had little or no contact with Christianity or Judaism. In 1653, a group of sailors from the Netherlands were sailing to Japan, when they were shipwrecked on Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea. Thirty-six Dutch sailors survived the sinking of their ship, and were taken as prisoners from the Island of Jeju to the capital city of Seoul, South Korea. They spent 12 years in Korea, during which time they learned the Korean language.
In 1666, eight of the surviving prisoners were able to escape to Japan. One of those survivors, named Hendrik Hamel, spent a year in Nagasaki, Japan writing about his experiences in Korea. In a book, later translated into English and titled “Hamel’s Journal,” he wrote about the beliefs of the Confucian monks. He wrote, “Many monks believe that long ago all people spoke the same language, but when people built a tower in order to climb into heaven the whole world changed.”
How did the Confucian monks come to this belief about a tower and one language for all people? It is unlikely that they ever encountered a Christian, Jewish person, or the Bible at all. It could be that this belief is a coincidence, but if we compare it to the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel, it seems very unlikely that this happened by chance.
Genesis 11:1-9 says, “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”
Now, let’s compare the beliefs of the Korean Monks to this passage in Genesis. The book of Genesis was written in the vicinity of the nation of Israel between 1450 and 1410 BC. The Korean Monks held their belief about one language and the tower in 1660. This means that these accounts are separated by more than 3,100 years and 8,065 kilometers.
According to the Korean Monks:
According to Genesis 11.
This comparison is just one evidence that the Tower of Babel really existed in history, just as the Bible teaches.
Here is another evidence to consider, the fact that there are more than 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. Some languages have gone extinct in the past. Non-Christian scientists have confirmed that all male humans living to day are the descendants of one man, called Y-Chromosomal Adam. They have also concluded that all humans both male and female are descendants of one female, called Mitochondrial Eve. Even though the scientists have not yet confirmed that Y-Chromosomal Adam and Mitochondrial-Eve married have children together, their findings help to confirm, rather than deny the Biblical history of Adam and Eve. The Bible teaches that almost all of Adam and Eve’s descendants were killed during the global flood of Noah recorded in Genesis chapters 6-8. Only 8 people survived that flood: Noah and his wife. Noah’s 3 sons and their 3 wives. The account of the Tower of Babel gives a logical explanation for why there are more than 6,500 languages in the world today.
Many people who reject the Tower of Babel as a myth don’t recognize the fact that if humans were not created but only evolved from primates, that humans would have all spoke one language at least at the beginning of the human species. But they also have difficulty coming up with an explanation for why the languages separated into 6,500 different languages that results in most humans in the world not being able to communicate with each other at all. Language barriers make it more difficult for people to trade with each other and also language barriers make it more likely that wars between different languages will occur. So, there really isn’t a strong reason for so many languages to exist at all, according to the theory of evolution.
God separated the languages at the Tower of Babel because the people did not want to honor and obey God. According to Genesis 11:4 the people wanted to “make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” This was in direct disobedience to God’s command in Genesis 1:28 “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
God also separated the languages to prevent all the people from becoming completely evil as they had become before the Flood of Noah. We can read about this wickedness of all the people in Genesis 6:5-8. Remember that the whole human race probably spoke one language before the flood too. Genesis 6:5-8 says, “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” God separated the languages to avoid either having to destroy humans again for their complete sinfulness or allowing humans to become so evil and technologically advanced that we humans would destroy ourselves. Sometimes we think that high technology will save humanity, and some of it like medicines and better farming equipment is very good. However as helpful technology increases, harmful technology in the form of powerful weapons also increases as well. Because of the Tower of Babel, the growth of technology was slowed so that it has taken thousands of years for extremely destructive weapons to be made.
There is also other physical evidence for the Tower of Babel that has also recently been discovered by non-Christian researchers. A tablet from 600 BC was discovered in Babylon, Iraq 100 years ago. Experts could not read it until recently. Dr. Andrew George of the University of London was able to translate it recently and discovered that the writing on the tablet was about the construction of a tower that was identical to the Tower of Babel in Genesis. Bodie Hodge, a researcher with the Christian ministry called Answers in Genesis also agrees that the tablet is talking about the Tower of Babel in Genesis.
Some may ask, if the Tower of Babel was real, why haven’t archaeologists found it yet? Here are some possible explanations.
The Tower of Babel shows us that God separated the languages to prevent human sin and self-destruction. However the story does not end there. Sin may have separated the languages and people groups but God sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins and to bring us back together in love and unity.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
One day, those of us who have received the gospel and put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will get to be part of this wonderful experience in Heaven. Revelation 7:9-10 says, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
Because of Jesus Christ, sin will no longer separates us into different languages and we can also have peace and unity with God. This is good news.
A Christian Apologist, Author, Missionary, Husband, and Father. Darryl has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University (CA), an MA in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University (CA), and a BA in Political Science from Truman State University (MO).