This is NOT about religion OR religious practices. Nor is it an argument for or against the belief that Biblical texts are sacred, not sacred, Divinely inspired or pure fiction conjured up to give future generations something over which to fight. So, please don’t go all literal vs symbolic fringe nutter and make me have to open a can of whoop ass up in here.
Okay, that’s just me smack talking.
Whether you go for the King James Version, New King James Version, New International Version, New American Standard Bible or any of the other market driven versions AND no matter if you cling to your version for dear life and pledge to hide its words in your heart or just thump it when it suits your agenda, the Bible permeates our culture. This is a fact, neither good nor bad, just a fact. Whether they live in Corinth, Massachusetts or Corinth, Mississippi people know what a Good Samaritan is. Citizens who reside in New Canaan, Connecticut as well as folks in Mt. Olive, Texas know women who have the patience of Job or the sex appeal of Jezebel. From St. Louis, Missouri to St. Paul, Minnesota there are gals with the cunning of Delilah. Everyone everywhere knows a Judas or Doubting Thomas.
Bible stories tell us something of ancient culture that holds true in these modern times. Humans keep records. We don’t have to engage in a duel to the death to agree on that point. It’s a fact. For a long time now, we have kept records of begets (now called births), deaths (pretty much always called deaths), public stoning (modern-day murder, political election, and the red carpet on Oscar night). We have records of disasters that wiped out entire civilizations; floods, drought, famine, volcanic eruptions, plagues, black Friday sales events and important historical events of how the walls of Jericho came tumbling down, when the Berlin wall came down and the heroes of Super Bowl XVIII.
Video is a great medium for keeping records. It shows just how much progress humans have made in the art of communication. Of course, there are many books containing records for anyone interested in methods of communication, language, even the confounding of language and the confusion it has caused throughout recorded time. We can see examples of this in the modern text message: RUN 4 life, which could mean you are in danger, run for your life or could simply be a question asking a cell mate if they’re serving a life sentence. Punctuation makes all the difference.
Language became confounded as a punishment for disobedience. (alleged disobedience of course) The sequence of events is confusing and trying to reconcile who did what to whom is a bit like reading freakin’ Klingon. Here’s how it happened, as far as I can tell.
Noah had three sons. Why only three, I do not know. Maybe he was practicing safe sex or maybe he had really bad B.O. after living with all of those animals, and only one woman, who’d lost her sense of smell around day 27, would have sex with him. Who knows? He lived for 350 years after the flood and that is a long time to go without sex.
Anyway, Noah had three sons and those entitled brats sons had sons and more sons. It doesn’t say anything about daughters. So, there must have been no women for several centuries after the flood. Back in those days maybe some men could reproduce all on their own. There’s no record of it, but then again, who knows?
At one point in the story it seems everyone who was aboard Noah’s ark disembarked, and after the beach party, they all went their separate ways depending on what language they spoke. Another version says that everyone spoke the same language. This version is more believable because how they knew whose turn it was to clean up the elephant dung on the ark without speaking the same language is a mystery. They might have used sign language.
So, sons of Noah ran around begetting all over the place to repopulate the earth since Adam and Eve’s kids were, you know, dead. Some of the sons lived at the beach because they liked building bonfires. Others didn’t like the sound of waves at night. It reminded them too much of being stranded at sea with the smell of all that goat shit. Those sons slept better at night farther inland where they could explore and hunt those stinking goats.
Still other sons built cities for all of their sons to enjoy, fight over, and ultimately destroy. One of those cities was Babel. It was founded by a famous guy named Nimrod. Yes, Nimrod, the mighty hunter. Later, the city was called Babylon and was inhabited by people from many different places. Kind of like the United States. The long and short of it, as it has been written, is that there was some nudity, fighting and anguish. Kind of like a Steven Seagal movie. There must have been women around somewhere by this time because the anguish, so someone said, was like pains of a woman in labor. Hmmm.
Natives were forcibly removed from their lands and relocated. The locals didn’t want newcomers because they didn’t know the customs and they didn’t blend in well. At one point, everyone went bald and nobody could understand a damn thing anyone else was saying. Kind of like Congress. God didn’t like any of it, and according to the NASB version, God decided if the whole human race remained united in the proud attempt to take its destiny into its own hands and, by its man-centered efforts, to seize the reins of history, there would be no limit to its unrestrained rebellion [against God].
Hence the ixnay ethay atterchay. WAPPOW. What you talkin’ ’bout Nimrod?
Yeah, I’m thinking there might someday be a group of organized whack-a-doos who petition the courts to change the name of our country to New Babylon. Kind of like that kid who wanted to be called Trout Fishing In America. (Okay, now I’m just babbling.)
***credit where credit is due***
A Guide to Modern Versions of the Bible, by Dr. Herbert Samworth New King James Version • New American Standard Bible • English Standard Version • Revised Standard Version • New International Version • New Living Translation • New English Bible
A beautiful leather-bound Zondervan NASB Study Bible and the writers of Genesis • 2Kings • Jerimiah • Isaiah • Ezekiel • Daniel • Revelation