The Tower of Babel

I have been thinking about the whole “tower of Babel” issue and I suddenly realized how poetic it is that the miracle of tongues at Pentecost (which few Pentecostals understand) was NOT that each Apostle could suddenly speak a language that was alien to him… the MIRACLE was that one Apostle would speak and each person in the crowd would understand in their native language… so Pentecost was the REVERSE (converse? inverse?) of Babel. At Babel, God gets pissed off because of human pride and confuses all the languages… and quite obviously it MUST have been some INSTANTANEOUS event which halted the construction… but at Pentecost, God is reconciled to mankind through humility (presumably Christ’s extreme humility) and so the REVERSE happens and suddenly everyone can understand again. It is obvious to me that Paul was not pleased by the tumultuous raucous confusion of the pseudo-pentecostal activity, but Paul, always politically correct and wanting to be all things to all people so that in any manner, some might be saved…. therefore Paul compromises and says “ok, if you insist on speaking in tongues, then it has to be ONE AT A TIME (not bedlam) and someone must immediately interpret…
Here ya go… I found it quickly…

I have literally FORGOTTEN more of this stuff than most Western clergy come to know in a lifetime… but that is because most of them ignore the first 1000 years of Greek patristics and concentrate on the West Aquinas… etc.


There was a movie years ago… where God starts speaking to the world on the radio… and two airplane pilots suddenly hear the broadcast.. one is French speaking and one is German speaking (or something like that) and they both hear it simultaneously in their native language.
Rob, glad you like it but it is not really “my reading” … I spent 20 years around VERY conservative Old Calendarist Greek monks and theologians, and the first 500 years of Christianity (much of which was Greek) was simply filled with that sort of analysis. Probably it was Augustine who said “the New Testament is in the Old Testament CONCEALED and the Old Testament is in the New Testament REVEALED” (and Augustine was Latin, not Greek)… but those ancients always saw a kind of mathematical symmetry to the Bible, and they were very keen upon reconciling every book of the Bible whereas after the Reformation there was more of a tendancy to say “Oh that is the OLD LAW and that is all done away with…” …. and now I should prove my statement by Googling for some patristic Greek source for the Babel-Pentecost thing…
I searched on : babel pentecost tongues greek patristic


Apolytikion (Plagal Tone Four)
Blessed are You, O Christ our God, who made fisherman all-wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them, drawing all the world into Your net. O Loving One, glory be to You.

Kontakion (Plagal Tone Four)
When the Most High came down and confounded tongues of men at Babel, He divided the nations. When He dispensed the tongues of fire, He called all to unity, and with one voice we glorify the Most Holy Spirit.

I read about that humming/whistling business… but so far the youtube recordings I have found have not demonstrated clearly for me this “bird like” language. Apparently, this particular tribe has utterly resisted absorption into the mainstream culture/language… and they simply retreat further and further into the rain forest. They have no concept of storing things… traders will come and give (sell) them sugar…. and they just eat it until it is gone. They can quickly create very clever models of things they see such as an airplane, but then they throw it away… they have no concept of saving or hoarding things…. Sometimes the traders want a woman, so they will cut a deal with a husband, and then he will send his wife to them… but the women dont fool around on their own… only at their husband’s command.

Everett went there with his wife as a missionary. He would tell them about Jesus and they would ask “so you spoke with this Jesus” and he would say “no” so they would ask “well, then you spoke with people who spoke with Jesus… ” and when he said “no” they said, “well, then why are you telling us about him?”

After a few years of that, Everett divorced his wife, abandoned Christianity and became a linguist. He never succeeded in converting even one native.

Rob, THIS is the part to concentrate on, which clearly sees Pentecost as the REVERSAL of Babel:

Kontakion (Plagal Tone Four)
When the Most High came down and confounded tongues of men at Babel, He divided the nations. When He dispensed the tongues of fire, He called all to unity, AND WITH ONE VOICE we glorify the Most Holy Spirit.

A number of doctrinal disputes are settled in Orthodoxy by reference to Hymns and oral traditions. The Bible is a product of oral tradition (redacted) and PROCEEDS written scripture (and not the other way around.) The very first Epistle is reckoned to be Paul to the Thessalonians circa 50 C.E. which means for roughly 20 years after Pentecost, there WAS no New Testament (and that kind of throws a monkey-wrench into the concept of Bible based Christianity). The four Gospels were really not around in complete form until 100 C.E. And the oldest know complete version of the Bible with all books of Old and New Testament in roughly canonical order is the Codex Sinaiticus Greek Septuagint (St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai) which is circa 300 C.E. Even the heretic Marcion (I think) is the first one credited with the notion of the necessity of declaring what is canonical and what is not (but I may be mistaken… it is late… I grow tired.)


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