Tower Of Babel

by Blue Grass 65 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • PSacramento

    If one believes that God is all powerful and all knowing than any wager woudl be one sideded because God knows all the possible outcomes.

    Now, Satan may not be the smartest tool in the shed, but he can't be that dumb that he woudl get into a bet with someone holding all the cards.

  • Narkissos


    I have no idea, but that would be an interesting question (although slightly off-topic here): perhaps the first step would be to ask when the motif of "God's wager with the devil" came up within WT theology itself. I'm sure it played a big part in Rutherford's day ("vindication" etc.), but was it already in Russell's teaching? There are a number of posters here who could probably help with that one, but maybe it would be better to make it another thread.

  • Leolaia

    Languages that are genetically related may not necessarily look similar to each other when you compare the words they share in common. So it may not be obvious that Hindi and Russian, for instance, are related to each other, but they are. You can find a predictable pattern of sound correspondences between the languages. In the case of Austronesian, you may not think that Indonesian pandan and timpang look much like Hawaiian hala and kiha, but these are exactly the forms you would expect. Here are some correspondences between Indonesian (here mostly represented from Malay) and Hawaiian, distantly related and spoken by populations separated by some 5,000 years:

    I daun "leaf", H lau "leaf"

    I duwa "two", H lua "two"

    I pandan "pandanus", H hala "pandanus"

    I empat "four", H ha "four"

    I ikan "fish", H i'a "fish"

    I manuk "bird" (in Javanese), H manu "bird"

    I lima "arm, hand", H lima "arm, hand"

    I api "fire", H ahi "fire"

    I mata "eye", H maka "eye"

    I jalan "road", H ala "road"

    I langit "heaven", H lani "heaven"

    I tangis "cry," H kani "cry"

    I udang "lobster", H ula "lobster"

    I balay "house", H hale "house"

    I aku "I", H a'u "me"

    I hutan "forest", H uka "interior of island"

    I damar "torch", H lama "torch"

    I pitu "seven", H hiku "seven"

    I batu "stone", H haku "lump"

    I timpang "uneven", H kiha "uneven surf, rising and falling of a canoe in heavy surf"

    I wakar, akar "root", H a'a "root"

    I dengar "hear", H lono "hear"

    I matakut, takut "fear", H maka'u "fear"

    I apa "what", H aha "what"

    I sinar "ray, beam", H hina "white, grey", mahina "moon, moonlight"

    I arus "ocean current", H au "ocean current"

    I telu, tolu "three", H kolu "three"

    I panas "warm", H hahana "warm"

    I hujan "rain", H ua "rain"

    I tasik "lake", H kai "sea"

    I kali "dig", H 'eli "dig"

    I kayu, kau "wood", H la'au "wood"

    I atap, atep "roof", H ako "roof"

    I tuli "deaf", H kuli "deaf"

    I dahi "forehead", H lae "forehead"

    I abu, labu "ashes", H lehu "ashes"

    I nipis "thin", H nihi "rim, edge"

    I lubang "hole", H lua "hole"

    I pangan "sustenence", H hanai "sustain, nourish"

    I air "water", H wai "water"

    I batang "shaft, stalk", H haka "perch, platform, roost"

    I kapas "cotton", H 'aha "threads made from coconut husk"

    I akar "root", H a'a "small root, vein"

    I tuki "dive down", H ku'i "pound down, punch"

    I nipo "tooth" (in Dusun), H niho "tooth"

    I ate "liver", H ake "liver"

    I kutu "louse", H 'uku "louse"

    I titis "drip, a drop of water", H kiki "spurt, flow"

    I niur "coconut", H niu "coconut"

    I bulu "feather, hair, fur", H hulu "feather, hair, fur"

    I kulit "bark, skin", H 'ili "bark, skin"

    I kumis "mustache", H 'umi'umi "moutache, beard, whiskers"

    I tali "rope, string", H kali "string"

    I buka "open, remove", H hu'e "uncover, remove"

    I sapu "wipe clean, sweep", H hahu "to clear, smooth"

    I benua "land, continent", H honua "land"

    I enem "eight", H ono "eight"

    I tanam "to plant", H kanu "to plant"

    I dalam "deep", H lalo "down, below"

    I dikit "few, little", H li'i "little"

    Actually many of the words look quite alike but for others, there appear to be little resemblence. But despite the length of time the languages have been separated, there are clear, consistent patterns of correspondence between the sounds. Usually, Malay h,j,r = Hawaiian Ø, Malay d = Hawaiian l, Malay t = Hawaiian k, Malay k = Hawaiian ' (glottal stop), Malay b,p = Hawaiian h, Malay s = Hawaiian h or Ø, Malay n, ng = Hawaiian n, and Malay m = Hawaiian m. Most of the vowels are amazingly the same, although sometimes Malay e = Hawaiian o. Occasionally Malay -am and -em at the end of a word corresponds to a Hawaiian back vowel (i.e. -o, -u). But if the consonant in Malay follows a vowel, it automatically corresponds to Ø in Hawaiian. That is because all post-vocalic consonants dropped out in Proto-Oceanic. But even in Hawaiian, these consonants are preserved in passive verbs which have an additional vowel (e.g. Hawaiian inu "drink", passive inumia, cf. Malay minum "drink", Hawaiian kani "cry", passive kanihia, cf. Malay tangis, etc.), further demonstrating the parallelism.

  • Leolaia

    One rather interesting thing are the similarities between certain words in Proto-Semitic or even Proto-Afro-Asiatic and Proto-Indo-European. This either indicates that both descend from a common ancestor (as the Nostratic hypothesis holds) or that the two languages were in contact in remote antiquity (e.g. in the fifth or fourth millennium BC) and borrowed words from each other. This isn't a matter of, say, Hittite loaning some words into Akkadian or Hebrew borrowing words from Mycenaean Greek. This goes much, much further back, for the words are reconstructable back to the protolanguage of each language family — at least to a late phase of the language (e.g. some of the terms are not found in every branch of Indo-European).

    To give a few examples, we may compare: (1) Proto-Indo-European *tauro"bull" (cf. Greek tauros, Latin taurus, Oscan taurom, Icelandic thjorr, Old Gaulish tarvos, Lithuanian tauras) and Proto-Semitic *thawr"bull" (cf. Akkadian shuru "ox", Arabic thawr, Hebrew shor, Mehri thawr, etc.), (2) Proto-Indo-European *ker, kern "horn, head" (cf. Greek keras "horn", kranos "helmet", Latin cornu "horn", cerebrum "brain", Old English horn "horn", Breton kern "top of head", Welsh corn "horn", etc.) and Proto-Semitic *qarn "horn, summit" (cf. Akkadian qarnu "horn", Hebrew qeren "horn", Aramaic qarna "horn", Arabic karn "horn", Mehri qerun "peak", Geez Ethiopic qarn "horn, tip"), (3) Proto-Indo-European *bhar ∂ s "barley" (cf. Latin far, farris "spelt, grain", Umbrian farsio "spelt meal", Albanian fare "barley seed", Gothic bariz- "barley", Old Norse barr "grain, barley", Old English bere "barley", Russian boroshno "rye flour", etc.) and Proto-Semitic *barr "grain" (cf. Akkadian burru "cereal", Hebrew bar "grain", Arabic burr "wehat", Mehri ber "corn, wheat"), (4) Proto-Indo-European *woino "wine" (cf. Hittite wiyana, Lycian oino, Greek oinos, Latin vinum, Old Irish fin, Gothic wein, Albanian vene, etc.) and Proto-Semitic *wayn "wine" (cf. Assyrian inu, Hebrew yayin, Arabic wain, Geez Ethiopic wayn), (5) Proto-Indo-European *bher ∂ g, *bherk "to shine, bright" (cf. Sanskrit bhrajate "to shine, gleam, glitter", Avestan brazaiti "shine", Welsh berth "gleaming", Gothic bairhts "bright, gleaming", Old High German beraht "bright", brehen "sudden bright flash", Old English beorht "bright", Old Norse bra "flash", Lithuanian brekshti "to dawn", Russian brezg "dawn, daybreak"), Proto-Semitic *baraq "to shine, glitter, flash" and *barq "lightning" (cf. Akkadian baraqu "to flash", birqu "lightning", Hebrew baraq "to flash, lightning", Arabic baraq "to shine, glitter", barq "lightning", Geez Ethiopic baraka "to flash, sparkle), and Sumerian bar "to shine, sparkle, brightness", (6) Proto-Indo-European *Haster "star" (Hittite haster, Avestan star ∂ m, Greek astár, Latin stella, Breton sterenn, Gothic stairno, Old High German sterno, Armenian astl, Tocharian A sren) and Proto-Semitic *`athtar "Venus" (cf. Akkadian `ishtaru, Ugaritic `thtr, Hebrew `ashtoret, etc.), (7) Proto-Indo-European *sept ∂ m "seven" (cf. Hittite shiptamiya, Sanskrit sapta, saptama "seventh", Avestan hapta, Greek hepta, hebdomos "seventh", Latin septem, Old Irish secht, Gothic sibun, Old English seogon, Lithuanian septyni, Tocharian A spat) and Proto-Semitic *sab`at, *sab`atum (for masc. nouns) "seven" (cf. Akkadian sebe, Hebrew sheba`, Arabic sab`, sab`atun (for fem. nouns), Jibbali sh ∂ b`∂ t, Amharic sabatt, etc.), and compare also Etruscan semph "seven" (?). Most of these look like loanwords from Proto-Semitic into Proto-Indo-European, as they are unanalyzable in the latter while can be traced to Proto-Afro-Asiatic roots in the former.

  • tmo1965

    For those who argue that because many, or maybe all, languages have commonalities, therefore the Tower of Babel story in the Bible is not literal or not true, I think you're making an incorrect assumption that the languages have to be totally different for the story of the Tower of Babel to have taken place. If you look at it, according to the Genesis account, all languages originated from God, hence, of course there would be commonalities. To me, comparing similarities between languages have no bearing on the accuracy of the Tower of Babel story, because it's possible for the various languages created at that time to be similar or different regardless.

    As for the Tower of Babel actually being built, we don't know how much of it was completed. We can't assume that the technology did not exist for such a building to be built. The best scientist in the world still have not figured out how the pyramids were built, and they're still standing thousands of years later. I truly doubt that any modern buildings will last that long.

  • Lillith26

    Leolaia- I wish I had brain like yours, you are amazing girlIt's no wonder that the WTBTS could not hold you back- you are a pure asset to JWN and to the free world...

Share this