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If the human race was originally created from one man and one woman, why are there so many different races today? (continued)

When the apostle Paul spoke to the learned philosophers of his day at Mars’ hill in Athens, he made the point that God “giveth to all life and breath and all things, and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:25,26)(1). The entire human race, regardless of specific ethnicities, is of “one blood” and is able to intermarry. Peter emphasized that God’s offer of salvation is open to everyone regardless of their ethnicity: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34,35)(2). The Greek word for “nation” is ethnos, from which our English word ethnicity is derived. 

When God made humans “male and female” at the beginning (Genesis 1:27)(3),  He chose sexual reproduction as the primary means for procreation among animals and many types of plants. The alternative is asexual reproduction. It occurs, for example, when a cutting is made from an established plant and rooted to grow a new plant. Genetically the cutting is identical to the parent source from which it was taken.  

In sexual reproduction, each parent contributes an equal amount of genetic material. Sexual reproduction leads to a range of variation that is much greater than variation obtained through asexual reproduction. The limited range of variation possible is built in to the design, which is itself an amazingly complex system. God designed the human race with the capacity to express variation in physical attributes like eye colour, hair colour and texture, skin colour, and height, as well as emotional attributes like degrees of calmness and excitability.  

If procreation had been based on asexual reproduction–cloning–then the human race would have much greater uniformity in appearance and in temperament; humans would be more homogeneous. That degree of homogeneity would not have well suited God’s purpose to take from humanity “a people to bear His name”. The vision of the multitude redeemed by the glorious purpose of God in Christ reflects ethnic variation: 

“by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,  and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

This verse also gives a clue about one reason for the emergence of different racial groupings: the separate language of each tribe.  

Genesis 10 gives an outline of the original branches of the human race, after the flood from which Noah and his wife were saved, together with his three sons and their wives. This outline has been called “the table of nations.” After naming the descendants of Noah’s family line, Genesis gives a summary statement for each son:  “From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations” (Genesis 10:5 (Japheth); 10:20 (Ham); 10:31 (Shem))(4).

As the world was repopulated after the flood, and the descendants of Noah settled the earth, at the time of the fourth generation from Shem









God intervened, as recorded in the incident of the Tower of Babel, in Genesis 11. It was at Babel that  

“there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9).


genesis chart.jpg

The separation of the human race ethnically was very closely tied to the division of the human race linguistically (by language). 

The Judeo-Christian worldview holds that God is our Creator and that we are all descendants of the same original human pair made in the image of God. 

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