[forthright] Is it in Your Bible?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthright@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 14:30:36 -0600
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Square One

Is it in Your Bible?
by Richard Mansel

Knowledge of the Bible is indispensable in the
lives of Christians (John 12:48). We know God
chiefly through the Word of God. Scripture teaches
his greatness, power, majesty, and grace
(Deuteronomy 5:24; Psalm 89:8; Revelation 4:11;
Ephesians 2:8,9). "You shall know the truth and
the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32, NKJV).

God's will is learned through Scripture. We learn
how he wishes for us to live, love, and laud him
through the pages of the Bible.

In Psalm 119:9-11, the Psalmist asks, "How can a
young man cleanse his way? By taking heed
according to Your word. With my whole heart I have
sought you; Oh, let me not wander from Your
commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I may not sin against You."

We must, therefore, have a good knowledge of the
Bible in order to live as God would have us live.
We have unprecedented opportunities to learn the
Bible. Bibles are plentiful in physical,
electronic, and audio formats. The internet offers
an endless amount of Biblical resources. Yet,
knowledge of the Bible is less now than it has
been since the Middle Ages.

This fact is increasingly true as we witness the
writings and comments of people in the religious
world. Apparently there is some mythology that is
growing alongside the Bible that is becoming as
well-known as Scripture./1 And as the Bible is
read less and less, this mythology will only grow
in prominence.

Before we examine some Biblical examples, let us
mention one from the entertainment world in order
to establish what we mean. If we polled a group of
people as to the most famous line from the film,
"Casablanca," they would say, "Play it again,
Sam." Yet, this line is not even in the film.

Turning to the Bible, we find the following
examples:

First, if we polled people as to the fruit Adam
and Eve ate in the Garden of Eden, most all would
say an apple. Yet, Genesis 3:3,6 says simply
"fruit." Nowhere do we read that this "fruit" was
an apple despite most people being convinced of
this "fact."

Second, Mary Magdalene is almost universally
believed to have been a prostitute. There are even
Magdalene houses to help save prostitutes from
their dangerous lifestyles. However, Scripture
never says Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. This
myth was perpetuated by Pope Gregory in the 6th
century./2 The only mention of Mary, outside of
the crucifixion and resurrection passages is in
Luke 8:2 where it says seven demons were cast out
of her. It is sad that she is slandered as a
prostitute.

Third, every December we see nativity scenes,
plays, and art depicting the three wise men
visiting Jesus at the manger. In fact, the wise
men were never at the manger and no number of wise
men is ever specified in Scripture. The scene at
the manger is recounted in Matthew 1:18-25. Later,
in 2:7-11, the "wise men" (no number given) visit
the "Child" in the "house" of his parents.
Obviously, Jesus was no longer a newborn at the
manger.

This matters because Biblical knowledge is
eroding, and if false information can grow
alongside of the Bible, the true knowledge will
diminish in stature. People will know "about" the
Bible instead of possessing truth.

Where will this false knowledge end? We already
have people believing all kinds of things about
the plan of salvation that are not in the Bible.
It is sad that there are Bibles everywhere on
desks, tables, and shelves and so few in the
hearts of men.

_____________
1/ "Mythology" in the sense of, "a set of stories,
traditions, or beliefs that have accrued around a
particular person, event or institution"
(Webster’s Random House Dictionary, 1991, p. 896).
2/ http://tinyurl.com/9kqgu

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