5 The Tower of Babel

Start the challenge by finding and reading a Bible verse from Genesis 11:8.

Match the answers to the questions! (The answers were correct in December 2010 but may have gone up by now!)

Question A: How many languages are spoken on earth?

Question B: How many languages have all or part of the Bible?

Question C: How many people are there in the world?

Question D: How many people have at least part of the Bible in their own language?


  • 6,890*
  • 6.8 billion
  • 4.7 billion*
  • 2,565*

You can find the estimated world population today at www.census.gov/

* source: Wycliffe International


Read more…

The story so far…

After the flood, Noah’s three sons – Shem, Ham and Japheth – settled in different places and had many children, and everyone on earth is descended from them. Time passed and people forgot about God. They became proud and began to feel that they could do anything they wanted. But God saw what they were like.

Now read Genesis 11:1–9 together.


What happened next…

Human beings had spoiled the world, but God had a plan to put things right. His plan started with one of Noah’s great-great… and so on, grandsons – Abram.


Explore the Bible

Answer the questions from Big Bible Challenge page 12 together.


Did you know…?

Ziggurat Archaeologists have found the remains of high, stepped towers in the Middle East. The Tower of Babel was a supersized ziggurat.

Closer to heaven The builders thought they would get closer to God by being higher up and nearer heaven. Today we know we don’t need a tower! God tells us that we can know him more by believing and obeying his word.

Babel For the first time people had gathered together to disobey God by building the tower. When God made it hard for them to understand each other, the city was called “Babel”, which sounds like a Hebrew word meaning “mixed up”. Babel later became Babylon (see Challenge 10 God’s messengers).


Try it out

Write coded messages to your family and friends about this Bible story.

Make up a code by:

  • changing letters by 5 places, so a=e; b=f; c=g and so on; or
  • giving each letter a number, so a=1; b=2; c=3 and so on.

If you enjoy codes, try something more complicated by mixing the letters up more or by replacing letters with signs and symbols. Find out about the Morse code or semaphore alphabets and use those to write messages that “confuse” your language.

Translate a verse of this Bible story into your code and challenge your Bible Coach to work it out. Then see how you get on, working out the solution to their code.


Talk to God

Ask God to help you focus on him today.

  • ashley

    Praise the LORD! Please inform me of exciting ways of delivering messages to children 9-12 yrs in sunday school.Thanks God bless

    • Hi Ashley,
      You’ve come to the right place! Big Bible Challenge is exactly what you say – a way of delivering God’s big story for children 7-12 years old. You can use the Big Bible Challenge book and website together to explore 100 Bible stories, giving a big overview of God’s big story from Genesis to Revelation. If you click on the tab marked ‘Bible coaching’ you will see a drop-down menu with a heading ‘Introducing the Big Bible Challenge‘: that will give you loads of help and information to use the material in groups.
      maggie, Big Bible Challenge team

Skip to toolbar