The Tower of Babel proves a literal interpretation of the Bible false!
Throughout the Bible the Israelites used myths and stories in an attempt to explain the creation of things. One of these myths is the well known Tower of Babel. According to the Bible there was only one language in existence before these events occurred (Gen 11:1). I have decided to focus on the Jehovah’s Witnesses in this article for two reasons but this applies to any fundamentalist religion that believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible.
1. The Watchtower has a lot to say about the matter and I have their Cd-Rom giving me access to most of their literature.
2. I know the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the events in the bible actually happened despite strong evidence disproving those claims.
There are quite a few directions I could take this topic but on this post I’m going to discuss “The Tower of Babel” and the creation of languages.
The Watchtower Society’s (WTS) stand
For over 1700 years after man’s creation it could still be said: “Now all the earth continued to be of one language and of one set of words [or, “one vocabulary,” margin].” Confusion of languages came as a result of an act of God. It was Jehovah’s reply to a God-defying people, who endeavored to establish a union of mankind, a world government with headquarters at Babel. The Scriptural account of this reads: “And Jehovah proceeded to go down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. After that Jehovah said: ‘Look! They are one people and there is one language for them all, and this is what they start to do. Why, now there is nothing that they may scheme to do that will be unattainable for them. Come now! Let us go down and there confuse their language that they may not listen to one another’s language.’ Accordingly Jehovah scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. That is why its name was called Babel, because there Jehovah had confused the language of all the earth and Jehovah had scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth.”—Gen. 11:1, 5-9, NW
5/15 Watchtower 1956 page.302
“The date of the attempt at building the Tower of Babel is not stated in the record. Genesis 10:25 indicates that the division resulting from the confusion of the languages there occurred sometime during ‘the days of Peleg.’ It does not necessarily follow that this event occurred at Peleg’s birth. The expression “in his days” would in fact indicate that the division took place, not at or immediately subsequent to Peleg’s birth, but sometime during his life span, which extended from 2269 to 2030 B.C.E. If each post-Flood male parent at the age of 30 were to begin fathering children at the rate of one child every three years, with an average of one male child every six years, and continued this until the age of 90, then in a period of about 180 years from the end of the Flood (that is, by 2189 B.C.E.) the population could have grown to a total of over 4,000 adult males. This conservative number would be ample to fit the circumstances relating to the tower construction and the dispersal of the peoples.”
Insight from the Scriptures Vol 1 page 460
My Thoughts again
According to the WTS everyone spoke one language until 2269-2030 B.C.E. This is completely contradictory to everything that we know about languages and culture. No can really say for sure what the oldest written language is but we do know that there were multiple languages in existence prior to 2269 B.C.E.
Sumerian writings have been found predating 3000 B.C.E, some even may date back to 3500 B.C.E. Well before the flood and just 500 years after Adam and ate the fruit.
Egyptian writings have been found that predate 3000 B.C.E. with some as old as 3400 B.C.E. And it is being debated on whether Sumerian or Egyptian is the world’s oldest written language.
Akkadian writings date back to 2500 B.C.E. based on discoveries of an ancient clay tablet.
Civilizations in South America predate not only the tower of Babel but even the flood.
A simple Google search shows us that there were nations that were flourishing well before the tower of Babel created languages and separated people to the rest of the world. These people lived through the flood of Noah. Their writings continued without interruption and their civilizations failed to mention a flood “sweeping them all away,” at the time that the Bible produces for a global flood according to the WTS. These are absolute reasons that prove that the fundamentalist view of the scriptures according to the WTS is flawed. The Bible was written thousands of years ago it would be foolish to take its advice when it comes to medical treatment (i.e. the blood issue) when it cannot get basic points about the development of language and culture right. And then to force those choices on children, that is something I will never understand.