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The Tower of Babel Myth

A few weeks ago, I've been to Freenode's #perl, talking to merlyn and other guys, when we got to discuss the Biblical "Tower of Babel Myth". As it turned out, the commonly perceived interpretation was not the one most scholars find as more sensible, which is the one we ended up being taught at Junior High School.

What most people think is something like that:

The people spoke to each other in the same language, concentrated in one place, and decided to build a tower high enough so they can reach God. God, a small dwarf who lived in the sky, was afraid of the efforts of these people, because he feared they'll reach him. So he casted an 8th level Spell of Language Fragmentation, caused these people to speak in different tongues, and without being able to understand each other, they ended up spreading across the Earth. God was relieved and returned to his dwarfish deeds, as dwarfs do.

Doesn't seem too sensible does it? Well, most scholars believe that the saying "one language and one speech." was actually a methaphor for all these people having exactly the same opinion. And when everyone have the same opinion, the Bible contemplated that people end up doing non-productive things, such as building tall buildings.

What God ended up doing was cause them to have a difference of opinions and also have various arguments (while still speaking the same language). This caused them to spread across the land.

Obviously, the original story with the different language, is still a possible valid interpretation of the Hebrew text, but it still seems very silly to me. Some parts of the Bible use picturesque tongue to describe various high-cognition concepts, whereas in modern speech we would use a lot of advanced philosophical and cognitive concepts.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC)
The Tower of Babel Myth
More proof that the BIBLE is the greatest piece of fiction ever written.
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re: The Tower of Babel Myth
More proof that the BIBLE is the greatest piece of fiction ever written.

I'm trying to avoid such hyperboles.


Yeah, it's based on the story my teacher told our class, where she described "God" as a dwarf.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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