The Divine Initiative of Mission


The Bible began with the creation of the cosmos and of the first human being Adam and Eve.[1] After the sin in the Garden of Eden, the generations of humankind gradually degenerated (Gen 6,5). Only Noah found favour with God, and all others were wiped off by the great flood. After the flood, Yahweh began again with Noah as the first human being and restored[2] to them dominion over the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air (Gen 9,1).

Even this new beginning soon came to grief. People spoke one language[3] and projected to build for themselves a city and a tower with its top reaching heaven[4] and thus to make a name[5] for themselves, so as not to scatter all over the world[6] (Gen 11,4). Yahweh came down and confused their language and scattered them all over the earth[7] (Gen 11,9).

[1] Cf. M. T. Thangaraj, The Common Task: A Theology of Christian Mission, Abingdon Press, Nashville, (1999), 124-125.

[2] Cf. J. Barton and J. Muddiman (eds.), The Oxford Bible Commentary, Oxford University Press, New York, (2007), 47.

[3] Cf. P. Seely, “The Date of the Tower of Babel and Some Theological Implications,” WTJ, Vol. 63, no. 1, The Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, (2001), 15-38, 19-20.

[4] Cf. K. Luke, “The Tower of Babel,” Indian Ecclesiastical Studies, Vol. XI, no. 1, St. Paul Press, Bangalore, (1972), 16-23, 18.

[5] Cf. D. I. Block, “The Role of Language in Ancient Israelite: Perceptions of National Identity,” JBL, Vol. 103, no. 3, The Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, (1984), 321-340, 328-337.

[6] Cf. E. Gombert, “Genesis Ch 11 and 12 down to v. 9: The Tower of Babel and Idolatry,” The Clergy Monthly, Vol. II, no. 3, The Good Pastor Press, Madras, (1939), 73-77, 76.

[7] Cf. J. Karsovee, “Punishment and Mercy in the Primeval History (Gen1-11),” Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, Vol. LXX, no. 1, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Leuven, (1994), 5-33, 28-32.


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