Questions about the First Language, Animals on the Ark, and Eating in the Church Building

Question: “What was the first language?”

The first language, the language of Adam and Eve, has been lost, with no hope of rediscovery. While it is clear from the book of Genesis that Adam and Eve and their descendants had a spoken language, we have no idea what language it was, or how long it survived. From the creation of man to the universal flood was 1,565 years. A lot can happen in 1,500 years, and if more recent history is an indication, the original language likely evolved over time into different languages. But if there were any documentation of the first language, it would have been destroyed by the flood. But after the flood, there was only one family left alive on the earth, and they spoke only one dialect. The next few generations continued to speak that one language (Genesis 11:1), but we still don’t know what that language was. Then, during the tower of Babel incident, the Lord “confused their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (Genesis 11:7). This infers that even the one language that they had all once spoken was now lost forever. So, how do we have a written record of these things, and with what language was the book of Genesis written? Genesis was written by Moses whom God provided these truths. Moses spoke and wrote the Hebrew language, the language of Abraham’s descendants. Abraham was from Ur of Chaldea (Babylon), and would have most likely spoken the Sumerian language, which, by the way, is the oldest known written language). The Sumerian language was spoken in southern Mesopotamia, the same area where Abraham was from. However, when he traveled to the land of Canaan, either he or his descendants after him began to speak a new language, a modified form of the languages that surrounded them in their new area, such as Phoenicia, Moab, and Canaan. And at some point, the Hebrew language obtained an alphabet of pictographs, and the written version of the spoken language was born. The word Hebrew means “one from beyond”, and relates to Abraham’s journey by faith in God, who called him out of his country to another land that he would give to his descendants. This is the language that Moses used to record the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Question: Do you know how many animals were on the ark?

Yes, that is, if we can count every kind of animal that is alive today, as well as any animal that has become extinct. God explained to Noah that He would bring to Noah every animal “of their kinds” (Genesis 6:20), thus the ark did not contain every species of animal, but only every kind of animal, for example, one kind of cat, one kind of dog, one kind of horse. Biologically, we know that within every animal is the genetic code of every species within its kind. Thus, only one male and female according to their kind is all that is needed to rebuild thousands of species within a kind. Today, there are 5,000 kinds of animals. But God brought upon the ark 2 of every kind, thus there would be 10,000 animals on the ark. But we also must account for any animal that is now extinct in our day. To be more than fair, let’s double the number of animals to account for the extinct; so, we are up to 20,000 animals on the ark. However, God also brought 14 of every clean animal, let’s estimate the clean animals on the ark to be about 1,000 more animals; thus, we have a total of 21,000 animals. Considering the capacity of animals in modern shipping vessels, and since we know the exact size of the ark, simple math would put the ark’s carrying capacity to be 180,000 animals. Thus, all the animals on the ark would have taken up only 12% of the ark’s capacity. So, we see that the animals had plenty of room to stretch out!

Question: “Is it sinful for the church to fellowship at the church with a meal if the food is provided by the members? I don’t feel 1 Corinthians 11:22 is applicable due to misuse of the Lord’s Supper – that is not this issue.”

There are many things to consider concerning this question, both scripturally and historically. And sadly, churches have split due to conflicting stances on this issue, and such division is foolish, unscriptural, and ought never to happen. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.” (Romans 14:20). Certainly, the question of whether we can use the church’s building to eat together is no cause for the body of Christ to be rent asunder, for hate to arise, and souls destroyed; if even an inkling of this begins to occur, then the matter is to be dropped immediately. Now then, let’s consider this question. On the surface, eating a meal together shouldn’t be wrong, and the location where we have that meal doesn’t seem like it could pose a problem; but from a historical standpoint, there are many examples of churches turning to offer meals in their building, and where are they now? What do these churches look like years later? So many who have followed this pattern have adopted many other forms of entertainment, festivals, and plenty of other distractions that truly are unscriptural for the church to involve itself in. So, if the door is open to something seemingly innocent, such as eating together in the building, what else might slip through the door behind it? This is only my opinion and my own observations of churches. As for the text of 1 Corinthians 11:22, I do believe it is applicable to this situation. I agree that the context concerns the misuse of the Lord’s supper, but according to Paul, a certain group of brethren was arriving ahead of the rest to partake of the Lord’s supper. Paul rejects their actions, saying, “it is not to partake of the Lord’s supper”. So, the emblems they were eating were the same as the Lord’s supper, but it was not the Lord’s supper because of their attitude and focus. But if it is not the Lord’s supper, what is it? If it was no longer a spiritual meal, then it was a common meal; a meal that was enough to stuff their stomachs full (11:21). Therefore, Paul says “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in?” Here, Paul cites an appropriate location for having a common meal: our homes. So, it is important to separate our common activities (that we still ought to enjoy together as Christians!), from our place of worship. The Jews had understood this well; from a cultural standpoint, they did not use their synagogues for secular activities. The Greeks of Corinth, however, came from a culture where feasting was a major part of their activities in an idol’s temple. In the previous chapter, Paul already spoke against the activities of a worldly-minded church, saying, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” (1 Corinthians 10:7). So, from a scriptural standpoint, I would not be comfortable with holding meals in the church’s building, because, according to God, eating leads to playing; and from the historical perspective, I would be too fearful of what else this would open the door to.

Article by Tanner Campbell.