Wasn’t Babel the city of Eridu


Hi there.

I used to be a member of the Church and a devout Christian. I recently found something on your website that deeply disappointed me. I am specifically referring to the following answer you gave to "Where is the Tower of Babel?" In that answer, you state that Babel is most likely Babylon, which is simply not the case. We can see this when Babel is called the first city. This indicates that Babel existed before any of the other Mesopotamian cities.

The only city that fits this description is Eridu. We can also see that Eridu was Babel in the story of Enmarkar and the Lord of Aratta. In this story, he requests tribute from a king of the unknown kingdom of Arrata. The interesting part of the story is that he is requesting tribute to build a "Tower"(ziggurat) in Eridu. The story also speaks of how people need to speak in a single language and says that it once was as such. The last point on Eridu being Babel is that Eridu has a massive unfinished ziggurat. The name of the king who built the ziggurat in Eridu was Enmarkar. The final word in his name, "Kar," means hunter, giving both Nimrod and Enmarkar the epithet "hunter."

Babel and Eridu are, by many accounts and evidence, the same place. Ultimately, my problem comes down to this. How are we expected to believe the Church of Christ to be the only correct church when the minister of that church doesn't understand the details of the Bible itself?

I get that where Babel was is not important to the overall message of the church on salvation, but would these inaccuracies not harm the church's credibility? Would that not put a wrench in the whole "only right" church message? Because the church is demonstrably wrong about both the Bible and history.

This is not meant as an attack, but as someone who once was part of the church, I understand how important the truth is to God and Christianity.

Many blessings.


It is unfortunate when someone wishes to claim another person's knowledge is flawed but then makes mistakes himself.

There are only two passages that mention the city of Babel:

"Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD." The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city" (Genesis 10:8-12).

"So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth" (Genesis 11:8-9).

Nimrod created a small empire in Shinar by ruling over Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh. Nothing in the biblical text says that Babel was the first city. It says it was one of four cities Nimrod used to start his empire. Also, notice that the Bible stated that when the language of men was divided by God, work on the city of Babel stopped. This doesn't preclude that another city was later built on the old site.

"If one reads the Matter of Aratta beginning with Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, the problems start when Enmerkar wants to beautify the temple of Inanna with materials from Aratta. He asks Inanna what to do and she suggests he send a message to Aratta demanding the materials he needs. Enmerkar casts "the spell of Nudimmud" (the spell of Enki, god of wisdom) which allows everyone, no matter what language they speak, to understand everyone else. He then sends his messenger ("eloquent of speech and endowed with endurance"), who has memorized his words precisely, across the seven mountains with his demands." [Joshua J. Mark, "Matter of Aratta," World History Encyclopedia, 8 February 2023].

The actual text of Enmarkar and the Lord of Aratta reads:

"Chant to him the holy song, the incantation sung in its chambers -- the incantation of Nudimmud: "On that day when there is no snake, when there is no scorpion, when there is no hyena, when there is no lion, when there is neither dog nor wolf, when there is thus neither fear nor trembling, man has no rival! At such a time, may the lands of Cubur and Hamazi, the many-tongued, and Sumer, the great mountain of the me of magnificence, and Akkad, the land possessing all that is befitting, and the Martu land, resting in security -- the whole universe, the well-guarded people -- may they all address Enlil together in a single language! For at that time, for the ambitious lords, for the ambitious princes, for the ambitious kings, Enki, for the ambitious lords, for the ambitious princes, for the ambitious kings, for the ambitious lords, for the ambitious princes, for the ambitious kings -- Enki, the lord of abundance and of steadfast decisions, the wise and knowing lord of the Land, the expert of the gods, chosen for wisdom, the lord of Eridug, shall change the speech in their mouths, as many as he had placed there, and so the speech of mankind is truly one." ["Enmerkar and the lord of Aratta: translation", 7 September 2001].

This text indicates that people spoke multiple languages, and the desire was to place a spell on people to speak one language. This does not match the biblical record regarding Babel. If this legend were based on some reality, it would have had to have taken place after the incident at Babel. I should also point out that trying to use an ancient legend to establish an accurate portrayal of history is a poor choice.

The fact that one person was known as a hunter and another person happened to have "hunter" as part of his name does not establish that they are the same person.

In my answer to "Where is the Tower of Babel?" I mentioned that ziggurats were built throughout this region, and the basic plans likely followed those of the infamous tower in Babel. The fact that Eridu had a ziggurat isn't evidence that it was the location of the tower of Babel. I also stated that while it is generally believed that Babylon's capital was built at the site of Babel, there is no way to prove this and we are likely never to know with certainty.

Finally, you will not find any claim that the churches of Christ are the only correct church on this site. This is a strawman argument.

Now, what does all this say about your credibility?


What you have said is absolutely true but also just up to a point.

I am speaking to you as a previous member of the body of Christ. I didn't say that the church (not your specific building), so claiming that the site doesn't claim to be the only correct church is just nonsense. Romans 16:16 "Greet each other with a holy kiss for the churches of Christ greets you," and Ephesians 4:4 says, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling." I know the teachings of the church cause I wanted to become a preacher myself in the church.

Sure, Babel isn't mentioned to be the first city ever built, but I also never said that they stopped building the city due to the confusion of languages. I stated that Eridu has an unfinished ziggurat that would've been the largest ever built, but it was never finished. I could provide you with the evidence found by an Archaeologist who wanted to find Babel, and he did.

Where I am today, I hold a much different opinion as to what truly happened at Babel than I did when I was a Christian. I am not an atheist either, should that be a concern. The most important part for me about this is that the story of the city and Tower of Babel has to be true, regardless of religious traditions. I believe the city and Tower did exist because I have seen the evidence. I would think that proving that the confusion of languages did exist would be an important fact toward the biblical narrative because it is such an important event in human history that it shaped the entirety of humanity's historical landscape.

As I said before, I am not trying to fight or argue to that extent. I am not trying to bring discontent. I am simply trying to understand how such an event can just be forgotten and never be able to prove. If we can prove that the battle of Troy happened and the story has some semblance of truth, why can't we do the same with the Bible?


We know about the Battle of Troy mainly because of Homer's Iliad and Odessey, written 300 to 600 years after the events. There are also bits and pieces in other Greek literature and art. Whether you want to believe Homer's depiction of the events depends on how much you think Homer enhanced the legend to create his work.

We know about the confusion of languages at Babel because of the record in the Bible. Since there is historical documentation, it hasn't been a lost event. Whether you want to believe the Bible's record depends on whether you trust that the Bible is an accurate document. The evidence that the Bible accurately records events has been proven repeatedly, so I have full confidence in this particular record as well.

Notice that you state that the Battle of Troy is historically proven and ask why we can't do the same with the Bible. The question is inaccurately stated because you are comparing an event with a record. A more accurate question is to state that we can confirm bits of Homer's accounts of the Battle of Troy, so does that make Homer's account trustworthy in all details? We can confirm the many historical references found in the Bible, though not all, because things have gotten lost over time. Where we can confirm, we find the biblical account to be accurate. Thus, do we trust the Bible's accounts of other facts that we haven't found confirmation for yet? See The Historical Accuracy of the Bible.

The fact that you once considered preaching but left the faith isn't evidence that you know what is taught in the various congregations of the church. You made a charge, and I pointed out that the evidence does not exist in the records of what I and this congregation teach. Yet, you want to use a claim to disparage what I teach. It would help if you did a better job of presenting your case. You are writing to me, not a non-existent "Church of Christ" organization.

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