Christianity Doesn’t Have a Sacred Language (And That’s Important)

A religion for the masses

Grant Piper

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Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

Most major world religions maintain a sacred language that is used to teach, preach, and decipher important texts. The sacred language is usually attached to the original holy texts that are foundational to the religion. Sacred languages are still treated with respect today and form a cornerstone of some of the world’s largest religions. This is true of all of the largest religions in the world, save for one. Christianity does not have a sacred language. At first, this doesn’t seem remarkable, but when you look at Christianity’s origins and the way that the religion managed to spread, it becomes a peculiarity with a deeper meaning than most people realize.

The Sacred Languages

The world’s largest religions include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism. Each one of these has a sacred language save for Christianity.

The sacred languages are as follows:

  • Islam: Classical Arabic (Qur’anic Arabic)
  • Hinduism: Sanskrit
  • Buddhism: Pali
  • Judaism: Ancient Hebrew

These languages are still held in high esteem, and learned imams and rabbis must be fluent in their sacred languages in order to maintain credibility within their respective communities. Sanskrit, despite being a dead language, remains an important part of Hindu culture. Sacred language gives religious orders a strong connection to the past. Sacred languages are also used for gatekeeping important texts and separating holy things from unholy things.

And yet, Christianity has no sacred language. Why is that? There were attempts by certain sects to establish sacred languages (such as Latin or Greek), but such attempts never ultimately succeeded. That is because a sacred language goes against one of the founding tenets of Christianity. Christianity is for everyone. Not only does Christianity not have a sacred language, but it has always dealt with the lingua franca of the day, which makes it very different from other similarly sized religions.

A Common Language for the Common Man

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Grant Piper

Professional writer. Amateur historian. Husband, father, Christian.