The Jews have Hebrew. Muslims have Arabic. Hindus have Sanskrit.

For Christians, is there any holy language? Is there any holy language for Christians according to words of Jesus Christ and the apostles (from New Testament)?

  • Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your question, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page and How we are different than other sites? Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 14:14
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    One of the Christian distinctives is precisely this point - there is no holy language! In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek! (Galatians) Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 21:05

5 Answers 5


Essentially, no: there is no language specified for religious use in Christianity.

From the early days of the Church, there was variety in religious language. The Western Church primarily spoke Latin (the vernacular) while the Eastern Church spoke Greek (again, the vernacular).

Various churches have languages that have special status, especially for liturgy. For instance, Latin still has a special status in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church; Old Church Slavonic is the liturgical language of the Russian Orthodox Church (among others); Syriac is used by the Maronite Church and the Syriac Orthodox Churches (again, among others). Hebrew and Greek obviously have a special importance as the languages of the Bible.

But none of these languages is as tightly bound to religious identity as Arabic, Hebrew or Sanskrit are to Islam, Judaism and Hinduism respectively.

(If I were to theorise, I would suggest that this is due to the nature of the development of these religions. Whereas those religions developed mainly in one culture, Christianity rapidly spread to and developed in multiple cultures. So it is not bound to one specific culture or language in the same way.)

  • I don't know that most of these groups (Islam might be the only exception I can think of) think that the language itself is especially holy. The other groups just have their literature written in a particular language, and so attempt to study it so that they can correctly interpret their sacred texts.
    – mojo
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 13:26
  • It's not so much that it is considered inherently holy, but that its use has become particularly associated with the practice of a certain religion. Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 16:18

Dogmatically no, there is no holy language in to do services or to speak in.

There was a called Three-Language heresy, according to which it was said that the Christian has only three languages to use in church: Hebrew (not Aramaic), Greek, and Latin. This "" was based on the words [Luke 23:38 ]:

38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

and [John 19:20 ]:

20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

So some people have said that since the referred to only three languages, so the can use the only those; even when it sends a mission to other non-Christian people, the first task is to teach the people one of the languages, and then preach the .

During the times of enlightment of Slavs the condemned the as a heresy, and recognized the Slavic alphabet as a holy language, however exactly this heresy has been persistently preached by German missionaries, and after a series of discussions sparked condemnation by the Slavic teachers.

However, we need to say that in arguments of the heresy advocates were non-empty. The point is that a human is a complex being, and he understands the meanings of words, of speech, of which he uses not only one level to communicate. So there is a high style, a low or "trade" style of speech, and of course a holy level. And this level of course may be used by a human for prayer, and if human don't use the style, all his life is subject to desacralizations. It is just one the rules for . For example, the Solun brother had known this rule, and created the church-Slavonic language as an artificial one based on the Macedonian dialect of old-Slavic language of that time.

In the present time we see the various languages which are used as a sacral languages of a various churches even non-Orthodox, or Catholic.


The Bible affirms in many places that God loves all nations, tribes, and tongues/languages.

At the very inception of the church at Pentecost, God worked so that people heard the message of Christ in their own languages.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. Acts 2:1-6 NASB

In the Book of Revelation, the prophecy is that there will be believers from every language on earth.

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Revelation 5:9 NASB

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10 NASB

Furthermore, the concept of all nations runs throughout the Scriptures like a scarlet thread. Implicit in individual nations is individual languages as well, as God actually created the languages in Genesis 11. To list just a very small fraction of the verses:

Adam: God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it..." Genesis 1:28a NASB

Noah: “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Genesis 9:7 NASB

Abraham: "...and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Genesis 12:3b NASB

Great Commission: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations..." Matthew 28:19a NASB

So, no, there is no sacred language in Christianity. The Old Testament is almost entirely Hebrew, yet Jesus likely spoke in Aramaic, and His words were recorded in Greek.

Because of the belief there is no sacred language, but God is the God of all people who speak any language, Bible translation has been a primary investment throughout the world. In fact, it may be that the translation of the Bible into every spoken language could be completed by the end of this century.

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    In a way, every language is holy!
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 6:38

Although I am not sure that this is what you are asking, but there is the speaking in tongues which Paul made mention of in 1st Corinthians, and there are these:

Romans 8:26 KJV Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

1st Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

1st Corinthians 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.


I see good answers so far, but I'll still add mine.

A Holy language to speak to each other? I don't think so. However, the scripture says

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26 KJV

We can talk to God in a language that only He (not even ourselves) understand, possible through the Holy Spirit.

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