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Barbarian Language

The Greek word pronounced bar-bar-os, originally meant a foreigner, or more specifically, someone who was not Greek, or even more specifically, someone who was not a Greek speaker. The original word made no reference to any sort of crude behavior or level of civilization. The King James Version translates that word as barbarian.

The English word barbarian, as it's used in the translated Scriptures, does not have the same meaning as it usually does today i.e. someone who is uncivilized or savagely-violent. That definition was mostly invented by imperialistic nations that brutally conquered the people of other lands and then hypocritically called them "barbarians" for trying to defend their sovereignty against the truly "barbaric" atrocities and war crimes committed by the invaders. Empire after empire, for many centuries of human history, have arrogantly done it.

"There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all"

The apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) used the original Greek word, that is translated as "barbarian" in the King James (most modern-day translations use the words "foreigner" instead of "barbarian"), merely in reference to a foreign language i.e. "if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian."

Speaking In A Public Place

"14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues [see Speaking In Tongues], what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation [i.e. revelation means to reveal; see Apocalypse], or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me." (1 Corinthians 14:6-11 KJV)

Paul plainly said that Christianity is open to all the "barbarians" of the world, that is, anyone who truly repents and obeys God (see The Process Of Conversion).

"3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 3:6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." (Colossians 3:5-11 KJV)

When Paul was shipwrecked on Malta / Melita, the people of the island warmly welcomed him and all of the other survivors. They were "barbarians" (KJV) to Paul only in the sense that they spoke a different language. In fact, to the people of Malta, it was Paul and the other shipwrecked people who were the "barbarians" because they were the foreigners, not the people of Malta in their own country.

"28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. 28:2 And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. 28:3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper [see Vipers] out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 28:4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 28:5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm." (Acts 28:1-5 KJV)

Many people helped Paul in his ministry, including many "barbarians": I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians."

"1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; 1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, but was let hitherto, that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles [Paul was The Apostle To The Gentiles]. 1:14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise." (Romans 1:8-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is it that will enable all humans to become brothers and sisters, with the same Father?
See Spiritual Conception


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