A startling technological development that has been recently unveiled could have connections to the “interpretation of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:10) and bears some similarity to the end time prophecy originally given by the prophet Joel and echoed by the Apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost. A company doing business as Waverly Labs recently announced they have developed an electronic device to be worn in the ear that can translate many human languages in real time – as they are being spoken by a native speaker. The device; known as “The Pilot,” is roughly the size of a large hearing aid and fits into the user’s ear in the manner of an ear-bud one would use to listen to music, etc. The device is controlled by using a smart-phone application that lets the user indicate what language needs to be translated. According to Waverly Labs the Pilot, which is designed to work offline – meaning it can be used with or without an internet connection – will be able to translate in real-time between English, French, Spanish, and Italian upon launch, with additional support for other languages planned for a later date. Additional languages will include East Asian, Hindi, Semitic, Arabic, Slavic, African, and more.
A Bridge Over Cultural Gaps
Certain features of the device will also allow it to potentially bridge cultural gaps and can help spread the Gospel in an exciting way! The device can operate using only an always-on data connection to access the wearer’s smartphone’s processor using wireless data transmission. It is claimed that the Pilot has perfected the real-time speed compared to the other existing smartphone translator services. The Waverly Labs creator said that he came up with the idea to create the Pilot after he met a French girl and was having a difficult time communicating with her using the currently available translation applications such as Babelfish and Google Translate. An additional use of the Pilot is that the earpieces can be shared by two people. Thus, while talking in different languages, the in-ear device will serve as the wearers’ translators so that they can understand each other. The ultimate goal of this device, as expressed by its creator, is to eliminate the barriers of language that currently separate and divide many people around the world. While this device has a great potential to bridge many cultural gaps and to enhance our ability to spread the Gospel, it also has an interesting similarity to end times prophecy.
Relevant Bible Prophecies
The Apostle Peter and the eleven other apostles were in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them mightily and they began to speak in other languages (Acts 2:1-4). This miracle was necessary as there were vast multinational crowds of people in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Pentecost. The Bible says these crowds were comprised of “devout men, out of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5). Moreover, the Bible lists at least 16 different nations and people groups that witnessed the Apostles preaching on the Day of Pentecost. The Lord used the miracle of tongues to enable the Apostles to clearly communicate the Gospel in numerous languages with such a diverse group of people. Interestingly, many Bible scholars believe that the miracle was also in the ability of the various people to hear the Apostles preach in their own language. Support of this is gained from Acts 2:6 that records “every man heard them speak in his own language” and other verses that also emphasize the crowds “heard” the Apostles preaching in their own languages (Acts 2:7-11). If this was the case, the Pilot device may have an interesting similarity to the modern day fulfillment of the gift of interpretation of tongues. The potential connection to end times prophecy is in the fact the Apostle Peter noted that the events on the Day of Pentecost were the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. While Joel does not mention the occurrence of tongues, Peter could not have ignored the fact of what had just taken place while he and the other apostles were speaking. Yet, Peter was still inspired by the Holy Spirit to cite that what had happened was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:16-21). Given this interesting similarity, we should pray for the various aspects involved.