God ordained vernacular languages!


I volunteer with a small missions agency, Vernacular Video Mission International, which focuses on bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to people using their “vernacular” language.  According to Wikipedia, “A Vernacular, mother tongue or mother language, and less frequently one sense of idiom[1] and dialect,[2] is the native language of a population located in a country or in a region defined on some other basis, such as a locality. For example, Navaho is a local language in the southwest of the United States, English is the state language of a number of countries.”

Ever wonder why people speak so many different languages?  Genesis gives us some clues!  I was reading the post-flood accounts in the reading for today, and was amazed at how many times I underlined words like “language,” “clans,” “nations,” ….

Genesis 11:5 -9 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let US go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused [1] the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

The fact that we have so many different dialects and language groups is because God caused it!  There are thousands of unreached people groups, perhaps separated by high mountains or thick jungles.  Many of these people do not yet have a Bible or any portion of a Bible in their “vernacular” or heart langauge.  Pray for missions organizations such as Wycliffe (pioneering language translation) and Vernacular Video Mission International  (helping to distribute these vernacular Bibles along with film productions and showings to those who cannot read) 

God gave peoples all these different langauges and commanded us to go.  That may mean we learn another language.  Maybe we give funds to help buy Bibles for people to have in their own language.  Maybe we sponsor a project to help dub a childrens’ video from English into Kankanaey.  Maybe we join with those who hike into the remote areas to share the good news of Jesus Christ where they have never heard.  Stay tuned as I write from the Cordillera region of the Philippines next month.