What is the true language of God?
True Name of God
True Name of God – What is it?
What is the true name of God? Before we answer that, it would help to talk about language. There are about 7000 languages spoken today. Since God is omniscient, He knows them all. Before the tower of Babel, thousands of years before Jesus walked on earth, people spoke only one language (Genesis 11:1-9). No one knows what language that was. It might have died out then and there. Even if a descendant language exists, no speaker of it would understand its ancient ancestor. Languages change every generation. That makes literature several hundred years old difficult to read. Literature several thousand years old is impossible to understand today without special information.
What language does God speak? Every language. What language did He speak before humans existed? No one knows. Maybe He spoke a near infinite number of languages. Maybe He didn’t even speak like we understand the term. After all, God doesn’t have a tongue, lips, teeth, and vocal cords like we do.
True Name of God – What is the importance of language?
We can talk about and even debate this question. But more important than any pronunciation of any word is the actual meaning of the term God. There is only one supreme being. He is the creator of the world—all knowing and all powerful.
- “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Allah means “the [one and only] God” in Arabic. It’s a beautiful name. Aramaic and Hebrew have similar words. But God revealed a different divine name to Moses, Yahweh (Exodus 3:14). Though distinct in sound, it also has a beautiful meaning: “the One who is.” Up until recently, a small group of people living in Southeast Asia had no alphabet. None of them wrote or read their own language. But they were not without a beautiful name for God: Mugbabaya—“the Ruler over all.” It’s the meaning of a word that counts. Whatever the language and however we might pronounce God’s name, unless the word springs from a pure heart, what rolls off the lips means nothing to Him. As the Bible says,
“Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).
Compliments of Scott Munger, PhD, Biblica, All rights reserved in the original.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? — We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, «Jesus is Lord,» you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
What Language Did Jesus Speak?
While historians and scholars debate many aspects of Jesus’ life, most agree on what language he mainly spoke.
Updated: March 23, 2021 | Original: March 30, 2020
While scholars generally agree that Jesus was a real historical figure, debate has long raged around the events and circumstances of his life as depicted in the Bible.
In particular, there’s been some confusion in the past about what language Jesus spoke, as a man living during the first century A.D. in the kingdom of Judea, located in what is now the southern part of Palestine.
The issue of Jesus’ preferred language memorably came up in 2014, during a public meeting in Jerusalem between Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, and Pope Francis, during the pontiff’s tour of the Holy Land. Speaking to the pope through an interpreter, Netanyahu declared: “Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew.”
Francis broke in, correcting him. “Aramaic,” he said, referring to the ancient Semitic language, now mostly extinct, that originated among a people known as the Aramaeans around the late 11th century B.C. As reported in the Washington Post, a version of it is still spoken today by communities of Chaldean Christians in Iraq and Syria.
“He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew,” Netanyahu replied quickly.
News of the linguistic disagreement made headlines, but it turns out both the prime minister and the Pope were likely right.
Jesus Was Likely Multilingual
Most religious scholars and historians agree with Pope Francis that the historical Jesus principally spoke a Galilean dialect of Aramaic. Through trade, invasions and conquest, the Aramaic language had spread far afield by the 7th century B.C., and would become the lingua franca in much of the Middle East.
In the first century A.D., it would have been the most commonly used language among ordinary Jewish people, as opposed to the religious elite, and the most likely to have been used among Jesus and his disciples in their daily lives.
But Netanyahu was technically correct as well. Hebrew, which is from the same linguistic family as Aramaic, was also in common use in Jesus’ day. Similar to Latin today, Hebrew was the chosen language for religious scholars and the holy scriptures, including the Bible (although some of the Old Testament was written in Aramaic).
Jesus likely understood Hebrew, though his everyday life would have been conducted in Aramaic. Of the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew and Mark records Jesus using Aramaic terms and phrases, while in Luke 4:16, he was shown reading Hebrew from the Bible at a synagogue.
Alexander the Great Brought Greek to Mesopotamia
In addition to Aramaic and Hebrew, Greek and Latin were also common in Jesus’ time. After Alexander the Great’s conquest of Mesopotamia and the rest of the Persian Empire in the fourth century B.C., Greek supplanted other tongues as the official language in much of the region. In the first century A.D., Judea was part of the eastern Roman Empire, which embraced Greek as its lingua franca and reserved Latin for legal and military matters.
As Jonathan Katz, a Classics lecturer at Oxford University, told BBC News, Jesus probably didn’t know more than a few words in Latin. He probably knew more Greek, but it was not a common language among the people he spoke to regularly, and he was likely not too proficient. He definitely did not speak Arabic, another Semitic language that did not arrive in Palestine until after the first century A.D.
So while Jesus’ most common spoken language was Aramaic, he was familiar with—if not fluent, or even proficient in—three or four different tongues. As with many multilingual people, which one he spoke probably depended on the context of his words, as well as the audience he was speaking to at the time.
Sarah Pruitt is a writer and editor based in seacoast New Hampshire. She has been a frequent contributor to History.com since 2005, and is the author of Breaking History: Vanished! (Lyons Press, 2017), which chronicles some of history’s most famous disappearances.
Adam naming the animals as described in Genesis. In some interpretations, he uses the “Adamic language” to do so.
The Adamic language, according to Jewish tradition (as recorded in the midrashim) and some Christians, is the language spoken by Adam (and possibly Eve) in the Garden of Eden. It is variously interpreted as either the language used by God to address Adam (the divine language), or the language invented by Adam with which he named all things (including Eve), as in the second Genesis creation narrative (Genesis 2:19).
In the Middle Ages, various Jewish commentators held that Adam spoke Hebrew, a view also addressed in various ways by the late medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri. In the early modern period, some authors continued to discuss the possibility of an Adamic language, some continuing to hold to the idea that it was Hebrew, while others such as John Locke were more skeptical. More recently, a variety of Mormon authors have expressed various opinions about the nature of the Adamic language.
According to Ethiopian and Eritrean traditions, the ancient Semitic language of Ge’ez is the language of Adam.  Southern Semitic languages spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea are older than Northern Semitic languages, such as Hebrew.  Semitic languages were spoken in Eritrea from approximately 2000 BC. 
Augustine addresses the issue in The City of God.  While not explicit, the implication of there being but one human language prior to the Tower’s collapse is that the language, which was preserved by Heber and his son Peleg, and which is recognized as the language passed down to Abraham and his descendants, is the language that would have been used by Adam.
Further information: Confusion of tongues and Lingua ignota
Traditional Jewish exegesis such as Midrash  says that Adam spoke the Hebrew language because the names he gives Eve – Isha  and Chava  – only make sense in Hebrew. By contrast, Kabbalism assumed an «eternal Torah» which was not identical to the Torah written in Hebrew. Thus, Abraham Abulafia in the 13th century assumed that the language spoken in Paradise had been different from Hebrew, and rejected the claim then-current also among Christian authors, that a child left unexposed to linguistic stimulus would automatically begin to speak in Hebrew.  Umberto Eco (1993) notes that Genesis is ambiguous on whether the language of Adam was preserved by Adam’s descendants until the confusion of tongues,  or if it began to evolve naturally even before Babel.   Dante Alighieri addresses the topic in his De vulgari eloquentia (1302-1305). He argues that the Adamic language is of divine origin and therefore unchangeable.  He also notes that according to Genesis, the first speech act is due to Eve, addressing the serpent, and not to Adam.  In his Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1320), however, Dante changes his view to another that treats the Adamic language as the product of Adam.  This had the consequence that it could no longer be regarded as immutable, and hence Hebrew could not be regarded as identical with the language of Paradise. Dante concludes (Paradiso XXVI) that Hebrew is a derivative of the language of Adam. In particular, the chief Hebrew name for God in scholastic tradition, El, must be derived of a different Adamic name for God, which Dante gives as. 
Early modern period
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By the 17th century, the existence and nature of the alleged Adamic language was commonly discussed amongst European Jewish and Christian mystics and primitive linguists.  Robert Boyle (1627–1691) was skeptical that Hebrew was the language best capable of describing the nature of things, stating:
I could never find, that the Hebrew names of animals, mentioned in the beginning of Genesis, argued a (much) clearer insight into their natures, than did the names of the same or some other animals in Greek, or other languages (1665:45). 
John Locke (1632–1704) expressed similar skepticism in his An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). 
Latter Day Saint movement
Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, in his revision of the Bible, declared the Adamic language to have been «pure and undefiled».  Some Latter Day Saints believe it to be the language of God.  Glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, was commonplace in the early years of the movement, and it was commonly believed that the incomprehensible language spoken during these incidents was the language of Adam. However, this belief seems to have never been formally or officially adopted.  Some other early Latter Day Saint leaders, including Brigham Young,  Orson Pratt,  and Elizabeth Ann Whitney,  claimed to have received several words in the Adamic language by revelation. Some Latter Day Saints believe that the Adamic language is the «pure language» spoken of by Zephaniah  and that it will be restored as the universal language of humankind at the end of the world.    Apostle Orson Pratt declared that «Ahman», part of the name of the settlement «Adam-ondi-Ahman» in Daviess County, Missouri, was the name of God in the Adamic language.  An 1832 handwritten page from the Joseph Smith Papers, titled «A Sample of the Pure Language», and reportedly dictated by Smith to «Br. Johnson», asserts that the name of God is Awman.  The Latter Day Saint endowment prayer circle once included use of the words «Pay Lay Ale».  These untranslated words are no longer used in temple ordinances and have been replaced by an English version, «O God, hear the words of my mouth».  Some believe that the «Pay Lay Ale» sentence is derived from the Hebrew phrase «pe le-El» ( פה לאל ), «mouth to God».  «Pay Lay Ale» was identified in the temple ceremony as words from the «pure Adamic language».  Other words thought by some Latter Day Saints to derive from the Adamic language include deseret («honey bee»)  and Ahman («God»).  The Book of Moses refers to «a book of remembrance» written in the language of Adam. 
See also: Goidelic languages
It has also been claimed that Scottish Gaelic or Irish was the language spoken in the Garden of Eden. One book that promoted this theory was Adhamh agus Eubh, no Craobh Sheanachais nan Gàël (1837; «Adam and Eve; or, the Gaelic Family Tree»).  
- History of linguistics
- Mythical origins of language
- Origin of language
- Proto-Human language
- Universal language
- ^«Is ‘Ge’ez’ the original language of humanity? | Ethiopia The Kingdom of God». ethiopiathekingdomofgod.org . Retrieved 3 January 2023 .
- Adugna, Gabe. «Research: Language Learning — Amharic: Home». library.bu.edu . Retrieved 3 January 2023 .
- Munro-Hay, Stuart (1991). «Aksum: An African Civilisation of Late Antiquity» (PDF) . www.livingston.org . Retrieved 3 January 2023 . > : CS1 maint: url-status (link)
- ^ Book XVI, chs. 10 — 12.
- ^Genesis Rabbah 38
- ^Book of Genesis 2:23
- ^ Genesis 3:20
- ^ Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language (1993), p. 32 f.
- ^ Genesis 11:1–9
- ^ Genesis 10:5
- ^ Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language (1993), 7–10.
- ^ Mazzocco, p. 159
- ^mulierem invenitur ante omnes fuisse locutam. Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language (1993), p. 50.
- ^ Mazzocco, p. 170
- ^Paradiso 26.133f.; Mazzocco, p. 178f.
- Gorporius Becanus, Johannes (2014). Van Adam tot Antwerpen: Een bloemlezing uit de Origines Antwerpianae en de Opera van Johannes Goropius Becanus. Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren. pp. 265–77. ISBN9789087044312 .
- ^ abc
- Noordegraaf, Jan (1983). «Nog eens Hedendaagsch fetischisme». Voortgang. Stichting Neerlandistiek VU. 4 (10): 193–230 . Retrieved 16 January 2018 .
- ^Book of Moses6:6.
- Robertson, John S. (1992), «Adamic Language», in Ludlow, Daniel H (ed.), Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 18–19, ISBN0-02-879602-0 , OCLC24502140
- ^ Copeland, Lee. «Speaking in Tongues in the Restoration Churches», Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol 24, No. 1
- ^ Brigham Young, «History of Brigham Young»Archived 12 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Millennial Star, vol. 25, no. 28, p. 439 (1863-07-11), cited in History of the Church1:297, footnote (Young prays in the Adamic tongue).
- ^ abJournal of Discourses2:342Archived 25 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine (God = «Ahman»; Son of God = «Son Ahman»; Men = «Sons Ahman»; Angel = «Anglo-man»).
- ^Woman’s Exponent7:83Archived 25 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine (1 November 1878) (Whitney sings a hymn in the Adamic tongue).
- ^Oliver Cowdery, «The Prophecy of Zephaniah» [permanent dead link] , Evening and Morning Star, vol. 2, no. 18, p. 142 (March 1834).
- ^Bruce R. McConkie (1966, 2d ed.). Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft) p. 19.
- ^Ezra Taft Benson (1988). Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft) p. 93.
- ^«Sample of the Pure Language» ca. March 1832
- ^ Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, The Mormon Murders (New York: St. Martins’s Press, 1988)
- ISBN0-312-93410-6, p. 69. «the sign of the Second Token [is] raising both hands and then lowering them while repeating the incantation «Pay Lay Ale» three times»
- ^ ab«Current Mormon Temple Ceremony Now Available», Salt Lake City Messenger, no. 76, November 1990.
- Scott, Latayne (2009). The Mormon Mirage: A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today. Zondervan. p. 332. ISBN978-0-310-29153-4 .
- Book of Mormon. Ether 2:3. > : CS1 maint: others (link)
- Doctrine and Covenants. Doctrine and Covenants 78:20. > : CS1 maint: others (link)
- ^Moses 6:5, 46.
- McEwan, Emily (27 February 2015). «Gaelic design for the 21st century: A laptop decal». Gaelic.co . Retrieved 9 February 2019 .
- Wolf, Nicholas. «When Irish was still the greatest little language in the world». The Irish Times . Retrieved 9 February 2019 .
- Allison P. Coudert (ed.), The Language of Adam = Die Sprache Adams, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1999.
- Angelo Mazzocco, Linguistic Theories in Dante and the Humanists, (chapter 9: «Dante’s Reappraisal of the Adamic language», 159–181).
- Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language (1993).