10 Myths You Still Believe About The Bible

10 Myths You Still Believe About the Bible 10) An Apple A Day The story of Adam and Eve is one of the first stories in the Bible The apple began to be identified as the ‘Forbidden Fruit’ in artworks after the German artist Albrecht Dürer [Al-brek-t Due-rer] created his masterpiece in 1504

The iconic work depicted the duo standing by an apple tree But the Bible is not that specific in its telling of the story In fact NOWHERE in the Holy Book does it says that the fruit in question was an apple According to the aptly-named Robert Appelbaum, the confusion of how the APPLE became THE fruit that we tend to associate with this story may be the result of a mistranslated, accidental pun Originally in Genesis it says: ‘God indicates to Adam and Eve that they should not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’

[Pic of Latin translation] But in the first common Latin translation by St Jerome, he translated ‘evil’ as ‘apple’ since both are denoted by the word ‘malus’ 9) Jaws The story of Jonah tells of the man who apparently defied God and was swallowed by a sea creature But while some literature maintains that the creature was a whale, the Bible never actually says this Instead it reads: ‘The Lord had appointed a GREAT FISH to swallow Jonah’ In fact Bible critics have said that this ‘great fish’ is more likely to have been a great white shark

The great white shark is known for its ferocity and not being a fussy eater, unlike the sperm whale, and it IS possible that a great white could grow big enough to swallow a man In 1939 a shark was found that had TWO six-foot-long sharks in its stomach​, which is about the height of a human Whatsmore, the great white shark is found in all the seas on Earth, including the Mediterranean where Jonah was believed to have been swallowed – unlike the sperm whale which is VERY RARELY found there 8) As Drunk As A Lord The topic of alcohol consumption is one that has been argued and discussed for thousands of years by Christians It is often believed, as in other religions like Islam, that drinking alcohol is a sin

The book of Habakkuk in the Bible tells ‘Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle, even to make him drunk’ On face value, this sure does make it sound like drinking alcohol is condemned by the Holy Book But looking at OTHER verses from the Bible, it is clear to see that DRINKING alcohol is not condemned at all In fact in ‘Timothy’, Paul even tells the eponymous character to ‘use a little wine’ for relief from an illness Rather, it is alcohol abuse and overindulgence that is condemned in the Bible as opposed to drinking it at all Galatians says: ‘Envy, drunkenness, orgies, things like these

I warn you as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God 7) For The Love of Money We all know the Biblical expression ‘money is a root of all kinds of evil’ However, this is a perfect example of how taking something out of context completely changes its meaning It is one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible In fact the whole quote reads ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils’

Having money ISN’T the root of evil, as is often believed There were lots of rich people in the Bible who were considered godly such as Solomon and David Instead it is the LOVE of money which is condemned This is because love of money is believed to be the alternative to faith in God’s future grace It is faith in future human resources as they can be obtained with money

Therefore the love of money is almost synonymous with non-belief in the promises of God Jesus said in Matthew “No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and money” So belief in money is disbelief in God 6) Star-Crossed Quotes When advising others to follow their conscience, the phrase "To thine own self be true" is sometimes quoted as a Biblical recommendation But, look through the Bible all you may, and you won’t find it

Simply because it isn’t there The saying is actually from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ People may often mistakenly say it comes from the Bible, well, because it DOES sound like Godly advice and it is written in a way which does indeed sound like it WOULD from the Bible Plus, Shakespeare did use over 2,000 Bible verses in his writings But this wasn’t one of them

In the tragic tale, we can also find ANOTHER saying which is often falsely attributed to the Bible That of ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be’ Not bad advice, of course, but also not from the Bible 5) We Three Kings Of Orient Aren’t We are probably all familiar with the nativity scene depicting baby Jesus in a stable surrounded by animals and three Kings But this image is very inaccurate indeed

Although the gospel of Matthew recounts the birth of Christ, it does not say that He was visited by KINGS, or even that there were three of them They are described as ‘magi’, our closest translation of which is ‘wise men’, and the number three is often ASSUMED because the Bible tells us that three gifts were given Whatsmore, Reverend Ian Paul, an evangelical scholar at the University of Nottingham, says that Jesus was NOT born in a stable, but more likely the upper room of a familial home He says that THIS misconception can be attributed to the mistranslation of the Greek word ‘kataluma’ which has been taken to mean ‘inn’ but is a word that is used elsewhere in the Bible to mean ‘upper room’ And to top it all off, nowhere in the Bible does it say that ANY animals were present at the birth

4) Mary Mary Mary Magdalene has been recorded in the Bible as being one of Jesus’ followers and a witness to his crucifixion, burial and resurrection But identification of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute and sinful woman began in the 6th century and has persisted in Western tradition In fact from the 18th century onwards institutions that took care of prostitutes were called ‘Magdalenes’ But author in ‘US Catholic’ magazine, Heidi Schlumpf, says that this is because Mary Magdalene has been CONFUSED with other women in the Bible – most significantly the sinful woman in Chapter 7 of Luke Meanwhile theologian Dorothy Lee says it may be because Mary was described in the Bible as having had seven demons cast from her

She says this description may have lead some to believe she was a prostitute and that the ‘demons’ refer to her sexuality But nowhere is Mary Magdalene herself categorically associated with behaviour characteristic of a prostitute 3) Talk Of The Devil If someone asked you to picture Satan, the image would probably be one of a red being with horns and a goatee, right? While this image may be the most identifiable one, the truth is, the Bible doesn’t mention ANY of these physical characteristics In fact the only physical mention of Satan in the Bible is as a snake in the Garden of Eden So how have we come to identify with a red caricature as THE image of Satan? In the Middle Ages, artists wanting to depict the devil, such as Hieronymus Bosch and Albrecht Dürer didn’t have much to go on from the Bible so instead they combined images from older traditions

Curator Bernard Barryte [Ba-right] says that our image of Satan is the product of bits from now-defunct religions The cloven feet are probably from the Greek God Pan – the God who was known to instill fear in people, much like Satan – while the horns may be from the gods of various cults in the east 2) Noah’s Ark The animals went in two by two – hurrah hurrah The well known song depicts the Biblical tale and implies that Noah took with him a pair of every animal in the world onto the Ark And this is true to what the Bible says

To an extent In Genesis, God said to Noah, ‘You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female’ Of course, we knew that

But perhaps less well-known is that there wasn’t JUST one pair of EVERY type of animal Later on in Genesis, God added: ‘Take with you SEVEN of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also SEVEN of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth’ [Graphic of clean animals popping up 7 at a time] So while the animals did indeed go onto the ark two by two, some of them actually went on 14 at a time Happy Christmas Although Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December, it is largely acknowledged by Biblical scholars that this wasn’t the actual date of Jesus’ birth Researchers believe that the Roman Catholic Church decided on this date because it’s connected to the winter solstice and Saturnalia [Sat-ur-nay-lee-ah] – a festival of the Roman God ‘Saturn’

By having the 25th December as the day to celebrate the birth of Christ, the church could co-opt the celebrations of pagan religions There is no given date of Jesus’ birthday in the Bible In fact, the only clues it gives are those such as that there were shepherds in the fields with their sheep – hinting that it may have been summer In 2008, astronomer David Reneke [Ren-eck-ee] argued that Jesus WAS born in the summer He said that the Star of Bethlehem could have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky

Reneke [Ren-eck-ee] used computer models to calculate that this event happened on the 17th of June, in the year 2 BC

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