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  • Writer's pictureTim Robinson

Just teach them all English! – Part 2

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Why the Bible shows a better way

• It was God’s idea to have many different languages rather than one common tongue. The outcome of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) was a curse on human pride but it was also a blessing. Despite God’s instruction to ‘fill the earth and subdue it’ (Genesis1:28), the people had not wanted to be ‘scattered over the face of the earth’ (Genesis 11:4). Out of their rebellion God brought about his design, for mankind’s use of multiple languages.

The outcome of Babel was a blessing as well as a curse!

• On the day of Pentecost God wanted people of many languages to hear ‘the wonderful works of God’. Yet he did not enable them all to understand Aramaic but miraculously enabled Aramaic speakers to communicate to 15 people groups in their mother tongues (Acts 2:5-12). Wanting to touch their hearts, v 37, he used the best way to do that, their own native language, v 6.

• The Bible has several examples of using local languages when clarity of understanding is important. Sennacherib’s Assyrian commander insisted on using Hebrew to address the besieged people of Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:26-28). The decree of King Xerxes was distributed to 127 provinces using ‘their own script and language’ (Esther 8:9). Paul chose their native Aramaic for his defence to the people of Jerusalem (Acts 21:37-40). • Despite the enthusiasm of our Welsh friends, we shall not all speak one language in Heaven! Those ‘from every people and language’ will cry out God’s praise together (Revelation 7:9).

TOMORROW – Why others support the Bible’s Way

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