|Peter preaching at Pentecost
In a longer article Language: A Miraculous Gift, Randall Jones, former BYU professor makes good points that Language is a miraculous gift. (I'm not LDS). I
decided we non-Mormons can make reasonable use of this article. There is enough of value for us to pick our way through
the Mormonish trappings. For now anyway.
Jones says, "Noah Webster,
a man whose very name is intimately associated with the English language, said that "language, as well as the faculty
of speech, was the immediate gift of God" (in Lederer, The Miracle,p. 241). Language is indeed a gift of God
to help us as we experience this earthly life."
Jones says further,
"Consider with me for a few minutes what takes place as two people engage in a simple conversation. The speaker must
first formulate thoughts about what is to be said; then recall the appropriate words that express these thoughts; then order
the words in a grammatically correct sequence; then perform unbelievable "acrobatic maneuvers" with the lungs, mouth,
tongue, lips, teeth, velum, larynx, pharynx, and other speech organs that most of us don't even know we have (see Philip Lieberman, Eve Spoke [W. W. Norton, 1998], p. xv).
must control nasality, volume, pitch, stress, intonation, and speed. We perform this complex task in one or two seconds for
an average sentence. As if this were not enough, we are constantly thinking ahead to the next sentence and the one after that.
The listener meanwhile must perform this same operation in reverse, trying to make sense out
of what is really nothing more than a continuous stream of noise."
Note: It is something
of a puzzle, that is, to what extent do we think in words?
Human speech, obviously,
proves God made us, and it is to his great glory.
The New Testament Book of Acts contains
the impressive account of God using his consummate ability in language to powerfully back up Peter's great
oration with a fantastic miracle.
Acts Chapter 2:And when the day
of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house
where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven
tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude
came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue,
wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites,
and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome,
Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them
speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they
were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem,
be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these
are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your
sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of
my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders
in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day
of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever
shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
|The Day of Pentecost
|The Holy Spirit descends on Believers in Jesus Christ filling them.
|King David, the Sweet Psalmist of Israel
|The Lord Jesus Christ is heir to the throne of David
Acts 2 continued -- the powerful result, 3000 persons turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth,
a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves
23 Him, being
delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains
of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for
he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither
wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of
the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had
sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his
31 He seeing
this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are
being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth
this, which ye now see and hear.
For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and
said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one
of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children,
and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our
God shall call.
with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:
and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and in prayers.
And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all
sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and
breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people.
And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
|Tower of Babel
Wikipedia's article, Xenoglossy, says -- "is the putative paranormal phenomenon in which a person is able to speak or write a language he or she
could not have acquired by natural means. Several examples are given.
article, Foreign accent syndrome, says that an injury to the head can result in a new accent, but, seems to contradicts the Xenoglossy saying it
will not produce a new language.
Question - how could anybody get a know foreign
accent out of thin air - seems to me that ability must have been pre-loaded in the first place?
It is understandable these articles and others are reluctant to allow that languages may be pre-installed in
humans by God in the beginning.
The Internet gives a number of reported cases.
I site some below.
The Tower of Babel judgement of God in Genesis 11 makes it likely,
I think, God pre-installed many languages, in humans from the start. Then he only had to throw some switches.
Obviously, the tower of Babel folks did not have the opportunity to LEARN the various languages.
Genesis 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one
And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they
3 And they
said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they
4 And they
said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered
abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
And the Lordcame down to see the city and the
tower, which the children of men builded.
And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one,
and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined
7 Go to, let us
go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8 So the Lord
scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because
the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth:
and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the
face of all the earth.
With regard to Xenoglossy, below are some Google search results for "hit
head speak different language."
Warning - these language abilities are sometimes
used to justify reincarnation - that does not make them invalid.
Also, some folks will
use the term "paranormal."
As in all things, we must use good judgement in trying to
decide what is likely true, and likely false.
It is my view that God has apparentlypre-loaded
ability in different languages inside each person from the beginning.
This would seem to be true
from the Tower of Babel event.
Again, I say that folks averse to the supernatural or the special
creation may call these cases all "urban legends."
2011 – While at the pool, a girl slipped and hit her head right above her right ... after coming out of comas,
but never completely different languages.
2010 – A 13-year-old Croatian girl who fell into a coma woke up speaking fluent German. ... being able to speak
other languages – sometimes even the Biblical languages such ..... Please, someone hit me over the head RIGHT NOW!
2007 – A bang on the head was enough for a Czech speedway rider to suddenly start speaking perfect English -
even though he barely knows the language. ... so I'll be able to speak it without someone having to hit me over the head first.
... Mr Waite added: "I've heard of other people getting knocked out and ...
2010 – Upon waking from a coma, a Croatian girl has been unable to speak her native ... This shift has to do
with the different places in the brain where language knowledge is .... WHCD: Stars, Journalists, Politicians Hit Red Carpet
2010 – Washington — Some people fall on their heads and wake up with their memories wiped out. ... What
she has, Braun and other doctors say, is Foreign Accent ... by a shrapnel hit to the head fell into a coma and woke up speaking
... (And none of the patients has spontaneously learned a foreign language.) ...
2010 – ... when she hit her head, somehow the memories of german language were ... Another option, if you are
religious, is that a saint is speaking ...
However, many of the other
features of a Boston accent may be wholly missing. ... in 1941 after a young woman, Astrid L., suffered a head injury from
shrapnel during ... of a Russian speaking English, as if English were not her native language.
2010 – Sun is chased by fake Locke and hits her head against a tree. ... first and second language are represented
by different substrates in the brain.
2007 – The teenager had just begun to study the language and his skills ... I'll be able to speak it without
someone having to hit me over the head first.