Session 14 : Why Are There Multiple Languages?

Apologetics and the Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  6:25
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Join us today as we discuss the question, why are there multiple languages?

(Intro Music starts with first slide - read intro and move forward)
Welcome to Apologetics and the Gospel. My name is Pastor Jonathan White, and I am the Lead Pastor at CrossPointe Family Church in Hurricane, WV as well as a practicing Emergency Medicine Physician.

Question for Today: Why Are There Multiple Languages?

This is an interesting question that seems to be avoided more often than not by those who are not Jewish or Christian. As we will see in a bit, the book of Genesis actually gives a good reason for why there are so many languages. Yet, the scientific community has been rather quiet on this subject.

How Many Studies Have Looked at This Question?

According to an article from the journal, Scientific American, written in 2017, as of 2010, there were only a dozen previous studies done that had looked at language diversity. And interestingly, all of these previous efforts had come to different conclusions (1).

Exactly How Many Languages Are There Anyway?

According to the World Atlas of Languages there is a record of approximately 8,324 languages that have been spoken, signed, or written. Out of these, around 7,000 are still in use (2).
7,000 languages! That is pretty incredible.

An Interesting Observation…

The Acoustical Society of America, in 2015, presented some findings after studying 628 different languages around the globe and found that there were some relationships between the climatic and environmental conditions and the ways in which sounds and syllables are used.
They also found that languages originating in warm areas and areas with dense tree cover tended to use less consonants and used more vowel sounds and were spoken at lower frequencies (3).
Although interesting, the findings did not add much to why there are such a vast number of languages and left us with more questions than answers.

What Does the Bible Teach About Languages?

The Bible gives a clear reason why there are so many languages. We see this taught in the account regarding the tower of Babel in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 11:1 states:
Genesis 11:1 ESV
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.
After the flood of Noah, man had multiplied yet again. However, we see that they did not fully obey God’s command. They were told to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1). Yet we are told in Genesis 11:2:
Genesis 11:2 ESV
And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
While disobeying God and all settling in the same area, they get an idea:
Genesis 11:3–4 ESV
And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”
Here we see the pride of man at work. This sounds a lot like people today doesn’t it? Let’s go build a new township on Mars. Let’s go build a city on the moon. We sure like to make much of ourselves don’t we!
God sees what they are doing and judges them for their disobedience. We see this judgement as we come to verses 7-9 which gives us our answer for our question today.
Genesis 11:7–9 ESV
Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
We are not told how many languages there are at this point, but it is clear that there are many because they go and are dispersed all over the face of the earth. Answers in Genesis asserts that there had to be at least 78 families at that time but likely more. So it is likely that there were at least 78 language families.

But Isn’t 78-100 Languages Inconsistent With the Thousands We See Today?

Absolutely not. If you distill the 7,000 languages that are spoken today in the world you can actually see less than 100 language families - meaning languages that likely share a common ancestor language.
This finding is completely congruent with the Biblical explanation for why there are so many languages today.
As people continued pro-creating, more and more families were formed and dialects changed over time which gave rise to more and more languages.

So Why Are There So Many Languages in the World today?

Because God caused and created them.
I pray that today’s short session has opened your eyes, yet again, to the truth of God’s Word. It is reliable, true, and trustworthy.
(Slide Closing 1)
This presentation has been put together to strengthen the faith of believers and to challenge the unbelief of others. I pray that you have found this presentation helpful.
Also, please note that this 10-15 minute presentation cannot exhaustively address most issues. My prayer is that it stimulates you to personally research further, and I am assured that you will find the Word of God proven time and time again.
(Slide Closing 2 with outro music)
Feel free to email any ideas you would like to see addressed by emailing me at There are slides prepared for each of these presentations which can be accessed at our church website at and select ATG. God bless and have a blessed week.
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