Many theologians and Christian historians believe that it was at this moment, to satisfy Constantine and his commitment to his empire's many sun worshippers, that the Holy Sabbath was moved by one day, contradicting the clear words of what ultimately became the Bible. And while the Bible mentioned nothing about the day of Jesus's birth, the birth of the sun god was celebrated on December 25 in Rome; Christian historians of the 12th century wrote that it was the pagan holiday that led to the designation of that date for Christmas. The majority of the time at Nicaea was spent debating whether Jesus was a man who was the son of God, as Arius proclaimed, or God himself, as the church hierarchy maintained.
The followers of Arius marshaled evidence from the letters of Paul and other Christian writings. In the Gospel of Mark, speaking of the Second Coming, Jesus said, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Paul's writings are consistent in his reference to God as one being and Jesus as his son. Same with the Gospel of Matthew, where Peter tells Jesus that he is the "Son of the living God" and Jesus responds that "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
But Constantine sided with those who believed Jesus was both God and man, so a statement of belief, called the Nicene Creed, was composed to proclaim that. Those who refused to sign the statement were banished. Others were slaughtered. After they had returned home and were far from Rome, some who signed the document later sent letters to Constantine saying they had only done so out of fear for their lives. About 50 years later, in A. The Nicene Creed was rewritten, and those who refused to sign the statement were banished, and another wholesale slaughter began, this time of those who rejected the Trinity, a concept that is nowhere in the original Greek manuscripts and is often contradicted by it.
To this day, congregants in Christian churches at Sunday services worldwide recite the Nicene Creed, which serves as affirmation of their belief in the Trinity. It is doubtful many of them know the words they utter are not from the Bible, and were the cause of so much bloodshed. Some modern Christians attempt to use the Gospel of John to justify the Trinity—even though it doesn't explicitly mention it—but they are relying on bad translations of the Greek and sentences inserted by scribes.
50 Bible Verses About Wisdom
To understand how what we call the Bible was made, you must see how the beliefs that became part of Christian orthodoxy were pushed into it by the Holy Roman Empire. By the fifth century, the political and theological councils voted on which of the many Gospels in circulation were to make up the New Testament.
With the power of Rome behind them, the practitioners of this proclaimed orthodoxy wiped out other sects and tried to destroy every copy of their Gospels and other writings. And recall that they were already working from a fundamentally flawed document. Errors and revisions by copyists had been written in by the fifth century, and several books of the New Testament, including some attributed to Paul, are now considered forgeries perpetrated by famous figures in Christianity to bolster their theological arguments.
It is small wonder, then, that there are so many contradictions in the New Testament. Some of those contradictions are trivial, but some create huge problems for evangelicals insisting they are living by the word of God. To illustrate how even seemingly trivial contradictions can have profound consequences, let's recount the story of Christmas. Jesus was born in a house in Bethlehem. His father, Joseph, had been planning to divorce Mary until he dreamed that she'd conceived a child through the Holy Spirit. No wise men showed up for the birth, and no brilliant star shone overhead.
Joseph and his family then fled to Egypt, where they remained for years. Later, they returned to Israel, hoping to live in Judea, but that proved problematic, so they settled in a small town called Nazareth. Not the version you are familiar with? No angel appearing to Mary? Not born in a manger? No one saying there was no room at the inn?
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No gold, frankincense or myrrh? Fleeing to Egypt? First living in Nazareth when Jesus was a child, not before he was born? You may not recognize this version, but it is a story of Jesus's birth found in the Gospels. Two Gospels—Matthew and Luke—tell the story of when Jesus was born, but in quite different ways. Contradictions abound. In creating the familiar Christmas tale, Christians took a little bit of one story, mixed it with a little bit of the other and ignored all of the contradictions in the two.
The version recounted above does the same; it uses parts of those stories from the two Gospels that are usually ignored. So there are two blended versions and two Gospel versions. Take your pick. There are also deep, logical flaws here that should be apparent to anyone giving the Bible a close read. Many Christians read the Old Testament as having several prophecies that the Messiah will be a descendant of David, a towering biblical figure who was the second ruler of the Kingdom of Israel. And both Matthew and Luke offer that proof—both trace Jesus's lineage to his father Joseph and from there back to David.
Except…Joseph wasn't Jesus's father. Jesus is the son of God, remember? Moreover, the genealogies recounted in the two Gospels are different, each identifying different men as Joseph's father and grandfather. Mary, the mother of Jesus, can be the only parent with a bloodline to David, but neither Gospel makes any mention of that.
The stories in the four Gospels of Jesus's death and resurrection differ as well. When brought before Pontius Pilate in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus speaks only two words and is never declared innocent. In the Gospel of John, Jesus engages in extended conversations with Pilate, who repeatedly proclaims this Jewish prisoner to be innocent and deserving of release. The Book of John was the last to be written and came at a time when gentiles in Rome were gaining dramatically more influence over Christianity; that explains why the Romans are largely absolved from responsibility for Jesus's death and blame instead is pointed toward the Jews.
That has been one of the key bases for centuries of anti-Semitism. And who went to anoint Jesus in his tomb? In Matthew, it was Mary and another woman named Mary, and an angel met them there. In John, it was Mary alone; no one met her. As told in Matthew, the disciples go to Galilee after the Crucifixion and see Jesus ascend to heaven; in Acts, written by Luke, the disciples stay in Jerusalem and see Jesus ascend from there.
Some of the contradictions are conflicts between what evangelicals consider absolute and what Jesus actually said. For example, evangelicals are always talking about family values. But to Jesus, family was an impediment to reaching God. In the Gospel of Matthew, he states, "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Then there is what many fundamentalist Christians hold to be the most important of all elements of the Bible: the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world. What modern evangelicals want to believe cannot be reconciled with the Bible.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says of the Apocalypse, "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be done"—in other words, the people alive in his time would see the end of the world. Paul in 1 Corinthians is even clearer; he states, "The time is short. Some evangelicals counter these clear words by quoting 2 Peter as saying that, for God, one day is like 1, years. Two problems: That does nothing to counter what either Jesus or Paul said. And even in ancient times, many Christian leaders proclaimed 2 Peter to be a forgery, an opinion almost universally shared by biblical scholars today.
None of this is meant to demean the Bible, but all of it is fact. Christians angered by these facts should be angry with the Bible, not the messenger. The next time someone tells you the biblical story of Creation is true, ask that person, "Which one? Few of the Christian faithful seem to know the Bible contains multiple creation stories.
Bible Verses About Truth
The first appears on Page 1, Genesis 1, so that is the version most people tend to embrace. However, it isn't hard to find the second version: It's Genesis 2, which usually starts on the same page. Genesis 1 begins with the words "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth"; Genesis 2 starts with "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. Careful readers have long known that the two stories contradict each other. Genesis 1 begins with expanses of water that God separates, creating the earth between them.
Genesis 2 describes a world without enough water, which is then introduced.
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Vegetation exists before the sun and the stars in Genesis 1; it's the other way around in Genesis 2. In Genesis 1, man is created after plants and animals; in Genesis 2, plants and animals come after man. This is nothing unusual for the Old Testament. In fact, even though many evangelical Christians insist that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament including Deuteronomy, which talks about Moses having died and been buried , biblical scholars have concluded that two Jewish sects wrote many of the books.
Each prepared its version of Old Testament, and the two were joined together without any attempt to reconcile the many contradictions. These duplications are known as "doublets. The doublets make reading the Old Testament the literary equivalent of a hall of mirrors. Take the Genesis story of Noah and the flood. In Genesis 6, God tells Noah to build an ark and load it with animals, and "Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
But the directions changed the second time, with Noah told to bring seven of every kind of clean animal and two of every kind of unclean animal. It gets stranger. In Genesis , Noah and his family board the ark, and the flood begins. Then, in the very next verse, Genesis , Noah and his family board the ark again, and the flood begins a second time. The water flooded the earth for 40 days Genesis , or days Genesis But Noah and his family stayed on the ark for a year Genesis Even well-known stories have contradictory versions.
As every child knows, David killed Goliath; it's right there in 1 Samuel But don't tell those children to read 2 Samuel unless you want them to get really confused. There, it says in many versions of the Bible that Elhanan killed Goliath. Other Bibles, though, fixed that to make it coincide with the words in 1 Chronicles, were Elhanan killed the brother of Goliath. These conflicting accounts are only serious matters because evangelicals insist the Old Testament is a valid means of debunking science.
But as these example show, the Bible can't stop debunking itself. In fact, the Bible has three creation models, and some experts maintain there are four. In this version, the world is created in the aftermath of a great battle between God and what theologians say is a dragon in the waters called Rahab. And Rahab is not the only mythical creature that either coexisted with God or was created by him.
God plays with a sea monster named Leviathan. Unicorns appear in the King James Bible although that wasn't the correct translation of the mythical creature's Hebrew name. There are fiery serpents and flying serpents and cockatrices—a two-legged dragon with a rooster's head that word was later changed to "viper" in some English-language Bibles. And in Exodus, magicians who work for the Pharaoh of Egypt are able to change staffs into snakes and water into blood. In Genesis, the "Sons of God" marry the "daughters of man" and have children; the "sons of God" are angels, as is made clear in the Books of Job and Psalms.
Evangelicals cite Genesis to challenge the science taught in classrooms, but don't like to talk about those Old Testament books with monsters and magic. But the translation there is odd, in part because the word homosexual didn't even exist until more than 1, years after when 1 Timothy was supposed to have been written.
So how did it get into the New Testament? Simple: The editors of these modern Bibles just made it up. Like so many translators and scribes before them, they had a religious conviction, something they wanted to say that wasn't stated clearly enough in the original for their tastes. And so they manipulated sentences to reinforce their convictions.
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The King James Version translated that as "them that defile themselves with mankind. The next thing to check here is whether 1 Timothy was based on a forgery. And the answer to that is a resounding yes. In , a German scholar named Friedrich Schleiermacher published a letter observing that 1 Timothy used arguments that clashed with other letters written by Paul. Moreover, 1 Timothy attacks false teachings, but they are not the types of teachings prevalent when Paul was writing—instead, they are more akin to the beliefs of the Gnostics, a sect that did not exist until long after Paul's death.
And at times, whoever wrote this letter uses the same words as Paul but means something completely different by them. Used by permission. All rights reserved. However, he goes on to describe in-depth that the grace that is in Christ Jesus means so much more than forgiveness. It also means truth and help. It teaches us not to sin, so that we can be completely free to live a life of victory that leads to perfection.
E-books Check out our selection of free e-books! Written by ActiveChristianity. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. What is our hope? That we will have eternal life Hope will not disappoint us during our walk, nor will it disappoint us on that day when hope realizes its final fulfillment and we shall be like Him and see Him as He is.
That we will be like Christ We purify ourselves, are sanctified, and make progress because we have hope. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. The promises that help us to keep our hope Hope causes us not to get discouraged, not to give up, because we have something to keep going for.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. Today, the little boy is healthy — and loved. Church, community, and World Vision volunteers all generously give their time freely to unload and distribute relief supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.
John Nalukobo, 74, is surrounded by the orphaned grandchildren he and his wife raise, plus one of the goats they were given from another family in the community. That family first received goats from a World Vision donor who purchased the animals through the Gift Catalog. Last year, John was also able to donate goats for another family in need.
Fifth-grade teacher Susan Depascale, left, and special education para-educator Marianne Papastavaros hold boxes of school supplies in the World Vision Mobile Teacher Resource Center outside their school in Bridgeport, Conn. Women of Vision distributed school supplies to children at various schools in Bridgeport in October Even in the book of Exodus chapter 35 , we see the Israelites all generously giving the materials and time to build the tabernacle. Move forward some in the Bible, and in Malachi , giving is the one thing God tells us to test him in.
In the New Testament God himself gave us his only son because he loves us so much, and that Son died on a cross for us. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Share the story of Jesus.