How Did the Races and Languages Come to Be?

by Pastor Matthew Norville, Sr.

The different races and languages of man (mankind) were created by God about 15,000–20,000 years ago at the city and tower of Babel in the land of Shinar.

According to archeologists and scientists, man has been on the earth about 50,000 years. (Some say about 30,000 or 40,000 years, and some say about 60,000 or 70,000 years, but the average is about 50,000 years.) Obviously, this number is largely a guess. So the true number could even be much lower. If it could be proven scientifically, there would be a solid number that everyone would agree on. Maybe someday it will be figured out for sure.

This does not contradict the Bible, however, as the Bible does not say how long man has been on the earth. (Scientists sometimes refer to us people as “behaviorally-modern humans” or “homo sapiens sapiens” in order to distinguish us from all of the other creatures (primates) that God made and that lived thousands of years before He created man in His own image.) Some Bible-believing Christians maintain that man has only been on the earth about 6,000 years. They come to this conclusion by adding up the ages of the people that are listed in the beginning chapters of the book of Genesis. The problem here is that all the descendants are not listed. When the Bible says that so-and-so begot (or begat) so-and-so, it does not necessarily mean that the person who was begotten is the next generation. It only means that the begotten person is a descendant of the person who begot them.

In a similar way, we know that Jesus was the “son of Joseph,” or, “son of Mary,” who were both descendants of King David. There were 27 generations from David to Joseph (through David's son, Solomon) (Matthew 1:6–17), and 41 generations from David to Mary (through David's son, Nathan) (Luke 3:23–31). Yet Jesus is sometimes called the “son of David.”

At some point along the line, Noah came on the scene. We do not know exactly when Noah lived, but it was definitely more than 15,000 years ago. After Noah and his wife and their three sons and their wives disembarked from the ark, man began to replenish the earth.

At some point after this, man began building the city of Babel and the tower of Babel on a plain in the land of Shinar in the Middle East (Genesis 11:2–4). Once again, we don't know the date for sure, but it seems to have been about 15,000–20,000 years ago. The Word of God says that at this time all the people of the earth were still of one language (Genesis 11:1). All the people of the earth were also still of one race.

It should be brought out here that this one race that all the people of the earth were of at this point in time, WAS NOT Caucasian! At this point in time, all the people of the earth were of the same race and spoke the same language as Adam and Eve—whatever race and language that was. Since Adam and Eve were created and put in the Garden of Eden with no clothes on, they could not have been white people. Adam and Eve did not have sunscreen, and would have burned very badly from the sun if they had been of the “Caucasian persuasion!”

The Word of God then says that the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men were building (Genesis 11:5). Genesis 11:6–7 then says,

“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 to do. Go to, let Us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.’”

Then verses 8–9 say,

“So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 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.”

This is where and when the different races and different languages of the world were created by God. Archeologists and scientists tell us that the different peoples of the earth that exist today first “appeared” in their respective countries around the world about 15,000–20,000 years ago. The problem with the modern-day “archeologists and scientists,” however, is that they say that all these peoples “migrated” from the Middle East to the various parts of the earth. And during their “migrations” to the various parts of the earth, they “evolved” into their different races and developed their new languages.

This is not what happened.

When the Lord “came down” to see the city and the tower which the children of men were building, and to confound their language so that they could not understand one another's speech, the Word of God says that He “scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth.” This means that God “translated” them to the various parts of the earth.

“Translation” is when God supernaturally makes a person disappear from one place, and makes them appear in another place. This happened to Philip in Acts 8:39–40:

“And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through, he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.”

Philip was “translated” from the road that went south from Jerusalem to Gaza, to Azotus. Philip did not travel or “migrate” to Azotus. God supernaturally “translated” him there.

This is what happened to the people who were building the city and tower of Babel in Shinar. God supernaturally “translated” them (some of them, not all of them) from Shinar to the various places of the earth, and in the process, He gave them new languages and changed them into different races. This happened about 15,000–20,000 years ago.

It is ridiculous to think, as some people say, that God only supernaturally gave the people new languages at the tower of Babel, and then the people all split into groups based upon what their new language was, and began walking thousands and thousands of kilometers to the four corners of the earth, with some of them getting in makeshift canoes or boats and heading out into the thousands of kilometers of vastness across the oceans—not having any idea what lay out there! And all the people that spoke the Indian languages traveled until they came to India, and all the people that spoke the Chinese languages traveled until they came to China, and all the people that spoke the Japanese language traveled until they came to Japan, and all the people that spoke the Native American languages got in makeshift boats or canoes and traveled thousands of kilometers across the ocean until they came to the Americas (which they didn't even know were there!), or walked all the way from the Middle East through the entire continent of Asia to Beringia (what is now called the Bering Strait) and walked across it to the Americas, etc., etc., etc. This is completely absurd.

There may have been some people at some point in time, that took a boat to get to the Americas, or walked from Asia to North America across Beringia, but that is NOT how people got to the Americas originally.

And then how did they change into the different races?

Thank God the Bible tells us what happened in Genesis, chapter 11.

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This page last updated June 18, 2021.