The Tower of Bible

The Tower of Bible August 17, 2015

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved southward, they found papyrus in Egypt and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make paper sheets, and bind them into scrolls and books.” They used paper instead of stone, and charcoal for ink. Then they said, “Come, let us write ourselves a book, with a theology that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a religion for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the book which the people were writing. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their interpretations, so they will not agree with each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped agreeing on the meaning of the book. That is why it was called the Bible —because using it, the Lord confused the theology of the whole world. And from there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

[Based on a story in Genesis 11]

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  • David Evans

    That’s very nice. I like it.

    I was brought up on the KJV, so I thought I would do it with that as a basis, with minimum changes (except I took some liberties with 11:8)

    11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

    11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found papyrus in the land of Egypt; and they dwelt there.

    11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make paper sheets, and bind them into books. And they had leather for bindings, and charcoal had they for ink.

    11:4 And they said, Go to, let us write ourselves a book, with a theology that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a religion for ourselves; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

    11:5 And the LORD came down to see the book, which the children of men were writing.

    11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one religion; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

    11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their interpretations, that they may not understand one another’s religions.

    11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: but they continued to write more and more books about their religions.

    11:9 Therefore is the name of it called the Bible —because using it, the Lord confused the theology of the whole world. And from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

    • gordonhudsonnu

      And then it came to pass that Google invented Translate which confounded God’s plans. Damn you Google!

      • David Evans

        I had to try it. These are some problematic translations of Genesis 1 from the French by Google Translate (it did an amazing job of most of the chapter, these are just the errors)

        1:10 God called the dry land Earth, and called l`amas sea waters. God saw that it was good.

        1:26 And God said, Let the man in our image, in our likeness, and THAT HE dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

        1:28 God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and l`assujettissez; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

        1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the d`arbre fruit yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat .

        It does rather better with German. I’m impressed. I think you could start with Google Translate and produce a polished version with much less effort than starting afresh.

    • I probably should have KJV-ed my rendition…

      • David Evans

        Yes, we KJV loyalists can be quite scary.

  • jjramsey

    Considering all the bloody fights there have been over theology, God’s behavior in this fable is perhaps even more dickish than his behavior in the original Babel story.

    • mxb

      “DICKISH” ? if i give you instructions …be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth…and you do the EXACT opposite…gather in one place, set up a man as god and build a tower as a means of usurping my authority over you.

      your response is the root of your humanity…you don’t know your role.

      • Snow

        Yup, the imaginary man made god of the desert is a total dick! Nice of him to “confuse” people though. What a steaming pile of bullshit! Wake up! Get over the idea that we are born in servitude to this idiot flawed god of the middle eastern desert or that anyone is born in “sin”. These are the thoughts and actions of MEN. Unsophisticated, unintelligent, barbaric ignorant MEN from the middle east two thousand plus years ago. Why not Zeus or Appollo? Oh yeah, God doesn’t throw lightning, Lightning is a weather event. Wake up from the nightmare of giving your life to the imperfect asshole creator “god” of the desert. How can anyone these days believe any of it, the story/historical timeline is ridiculous and offensive. It’s like living on a planet where a bunch of FREAKS insist that General Zod is real and I should love and fear him.

        • Thank you for your comment. Kindly edit out the unnecessary profanity, which detracts from the point you are making and risks bringing down the level of discourse I try to maintain on this blog. Thank you in advance for your compliance with this blog rule!

          • Snow

            Fair enough though I did not swear. Personally I find it offensive that I have to share a planet with people who insist superstitious supernatural nonsense is real with NO evidence whatsoever. Or that because they believe in fairy tales that they will be granted eternal paradise while I will be tortured for eternity because I have a functioning brain and I simply cannot believe one second of that myth. It is exactly the same as a fanboy who gushes over Superman. Religion needs to be reduced to the status of Comic-Con because it is fiction. These dangerous philosophies need to have a light shone on them and exposed. The work of exposing ignorant stone age “wisdom” continues. More and more people are waking up to the truth that we are so much more than what the biblicans would have us believe. To the “believer” I would say go ahead and suffer in ignorance and delusion all you want but do not express that ignorance outwardly lest ye be confronted by reason and rationale. Have a nice day.

          • Cecil Bagpuss

            These dangerous philosophies need to have a light shone on them and [be] exposed.

            You missed out the “be”. BTW, you should be wary of the God who gives people their just deserts.

          • Snow

            Lol, thanks for proving my point for me! I’m not wary at all about the imaginary ghost you have conjured up in your head. It has NO power over me.

        • Ken M.

          Yeah. But it’s dessert not desert. Easy mistake.

          • Snow

            haha, well either one will do cuz it is absurd either way. But for the sake of clarity, I was in fact referring to the desert.

          • Ken M.

            Dessert has 2 ss.

          • Snow

            LMAO, ya ok! The Sahara Dessert right? Wrong!

          • Ken M.
          • Snow

            Nope Google does not spell desert with two ss’s. The Sahara Desert go ahead and look it up. I’m pretty sure a guy who spells an ecoregion as “dessert” will never be able to help me with my writing. Thanks for coming out though.

          • Ken M.

            Desert means to abandon. That makes no sense with ur point. Like I said, easy to confuse them. TONS of Google articles on it.

          • Snow

            O my dog, am I actually having this conversation. You’re claiming you can’t distinguish ‘desert’ meaning to abandon, ‘desert’ – a sandy wasteland or ‘dessert’ – meal eaten after supper…Good luck to you then, lol! btw, you gave me a link for dessert, did you even read the definition I know English is too nuanced for some but wow!

          • Ken M.

            I think we’re both basically saying the same thing in different ways.

          • Snow

            No I was right the first time when I referred to a middle eastern desert, you decided to attempt to “educate” me.. There is only right and wrong here. Sahara Desert is spelled with one S, ergo you are wrong.

          • Ken M.

            Maybe it’s not either-or but both-and. U ever think of that?

          • Snow

            Sure, for a millisecond, when I was 6.. It is either or. The English language has been established for quite some time now. Plenty of words have multiple meanings. In this case there is a clear contextual difference between desert and dessert. Try learning the language before lecturing anyone on how to use it.

          • Ken M.

            Well religion is a controversial topic. I respect ur opinion. U should take a peak at others tho.

          • How one spells the English word for a sandy, waterless place is not a matter of religion, is it?

          • Snow

            Thank you and I have, for a very long time now. I’ve done my homework when it comes to religion and it has been found wanting! It’s the equivalent of me channeling some invisible supernatural entity, claiming it is real and that you can’t prove it isn’t real. It’s like “discussing” with philosophical 2 year-olds. I don’t believe supernatural claims which have no supporting evidence should be considered a “valid” point on equal standing with actual observable reality. A flood happens…Did “god” do it to punish us (again) or did it happen because of an eroding shoreline and other geological phenomenon. The god of the DESERT is an imaginary tale, told by people who thought natural phenomena was caused by a “god”. Ancient superstitious myth, that is all. Why should I consider it? I have already and rejected it outright for all of eternity. There is NO way I could ever go back and believe it at all. None of it! I grew up Christian, I’m hardly ignorant to the philosophy.

      • David Evans

        There is no indication in Genesis that they “set up a man as god” or that they failed to be fruitful and multiply.

        And if you are planning to fill up the earth, it would be wise to spend some time consolidating your knowledge of farming, medicine and other useful technologies. This can best be done while you are all reasonably close together.

  • mxb

    this reflects man in all his vanity. God gives his word, passes it down the line only to have it corrupted and compromised by fools seeking their own gain.

    the Lord confused NOTHING and His word has not changed. clarity is of the Lord, any “confusion”, from Cain on through today, is of man.

    • Phil Ledgerwood

      Where does it say that in the Bible? The only reference in the Bible I’m aware of with regard to Scripture’s clarity is in 2 Peter 3:16 where he says some people distort Paul’s letters because “they contain things that are hard to understand.”

      EDIT: Sorry, also the bits where Jesus says he speaks in parables to obscure his meaning.

    • I will address this in a separate post, since I think it is important, but I think the fact that even those who agree on the Bible being inerrant, and even which translation to use, do not agree, indicates something about your stance. Either God has failed (that is the implication of your view) or God never intended what Biblical inerrantists claim.

  • Phil Ledgerwood

    James – can I call you James?

    Jimmy, you know how I hate to correct you on your own blog, but this article implies that God’s truth confuses people, and this is ridiculous. Obviously, there were the early church fathers who had to deal with those Arians and whatnot, but the Council of Nicea set all that straight. Then the church was pretty solid (I heard an eastern branch split off – whatever that was about) until it needed reforming.

    Then there was the Reformation, but they were still screwed up about a lot of stuff. So they split, and they split, and if you look at my denomination’s history, we’re about a dozen splits in, so finally we got the Bible right.

    • I love when satire prompts more satire!

    • Gary

      “So they split, and they split,,,”
      Must be the “amoeba theory of reproduction” of the bible and denominations. I think perhaps God finds this amusing, for humans to replicate theology like an amoeba. Double the joke, since amoeba root in Latin means “change”. Somebody needs to tell God, “Enough already! We don’t find it funny anymore.”

      • Phil Ledgerwood

        Well, it goes without saying that every split but mine is either heretical, stupid, or both.

      • Sixtus

        And, every once in a while, there is a mutation that has great adaptive advantage. And that version goes on to great success. I speak, of course, about the NIV.

        • Gary

          Yeah, my RSV went extinct. I have the broken spine of the binder to prove it. But not quite fossilized yet. The Fundamentalist, liking virgin more than young woman, caused it to cease its reproduction, thus becoming extinct.

          • Jim

            Your just so not Septuiginty.

          • Gary

            The Septuagint problems reflect the same problems I have telling a pita, gyros, or heroes sandwich apart. Israeli, Greek, Turkish? The ancient seventy translators may have been influenced by a similar scene during their gyros and baklava lunch break…thus confusing young girl with virgin.

            http://youtu.be/R-_vuOVFVe0

          • Jim

            Any thoughts on if any of the gospel writers were Jewish homelanders? It seems like the synoptic writers relied on the Septuagint. Mark seems to include some Aramaisms but also some Latinisms as well. I’m curious about the fourth gospel author whether there are indications whether he used Hebraic OT lines? (Or maybe they all just relied on the King Jimmy)

          • Gary

            Sorry, but I don’t know. I’m not smart enough to evaluate anything, other that from other authors that I have read. And I don’t remember reading anything about that…I had 4years of Latin, and no Greek, but I couldn’t tell a Vulgate from a Septuagint, if my life depended on it.

          • Sixtus

            It’s a Bible-eat-Bible world, indeed. Not to mention Bible scholar-eat-Bible scholar.

  • ccws

    Am I weird for having most of the versions in that stack, plus several others?