imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

Biblical myths we always believed

In My Eyes: by Edward B. Antonio

When Mang Maing, a freethinker Christian, declared there were no three kings who visited Christ when he was born, his Catholic friends disagreed with him no end.

We inherited many of these kinds of myths through oral transfer, fellas, when we were young and lazy enough to find out why. If I have to add to what MangMaing said, the people who visited Christ were magi or “wise men” who probably came from the east (Persia) and were interpreted as numbering three because of the 3 different gifts they bestowed.

Some of the popular beliefs we used to believe are really myths, fellas:

Contrary to popular belief, Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden not because they ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but in order to prevent them from eating from the tree of life which would make them “live forever.” Here is the verse (Genesis 3:22-23): “And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever. [23] And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken.”

Jonah was swallowed by a huge fish – though its type is not mentioned. No whale is mentioned in the passage.

Samson and Delilah is a famous story from the Old Testament which ends rather badly, as Samson’s long hair is cut short to destroy his strength. The common misconception is that Delilah was the one to give him the chop. But in fact, it was Delilah’s servant who did it.

There weren’t three kings, but they were mentioned as magi or wise men. The Bible does not say of kings or camels visited young Jesus. It does report wise men (“magi”) came, but it does not say how many. Since the word “magi” used in the Bible is plural, there were apparently at least two, and there could have been more—even several more. The Bible simply mentions three costly gifts they presented—gold, frankincense and myrrh, but this does not necessarily indicate the number of magi. There is also no proof of what country these men came from.

Also, the wise men clearly did not visit Jesus when he was still lying in the manger, as is commonly shown on greeting cards and in plays.

The Bible does not condemn drinking alcohol (remember that Jesus’ first public miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding party), or gambling and betting. The closest it comes to the latter is to recommend against “get rich quick schemes” (Ecclesiastes 5:10) and loving money excessively.The Bible does not condemn the drinking of alcohol – that misconception is a holdover from Calvinistic and PuritanicalProtestantism. What the Bible say is “Be not drunk of the fruit of the vine” – at the same time many gainsayers will claim that the water was turned into grape juice – but the original Gospels clearly use a word which translates from the original Greek as wine a “fermented grape beverage”.

Traditionally drunk means “falling down drunk” – in other words, the loss of the will to control oneself.

God helps those who help themselves” – a wise and good quote that everyone knows is from the Bible. But, in fact, it isn’t. It was a man and not a god who coined the well-known proverb. It was Benjamin Franklin in his Poor Richard’s Almanac.

Another quote we all know from the Bible is “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Is the answer yes?Well, we don’t know because the Bible doesn’t tell us what He replied. If God were to have answered, we can presume it would have been in the affirmative if all of the other commands to look after our brothers in the New Testament are taken into consideration.

The Virgin Mary is not described in the Bible as having travelled to Bethlehem on a donkey. No mention is made at all in the gospels of the mode of transport used in the journey. The first mention of her riding a donkey comes from the non-Biblical Protoevangelium of James. It was written around 150AD and is also one of the oldest works to describe Mary as a virgin both before and after the birth of Christ. The exact quote from the Protoevangelium is “And he [Joseph] saddled the ass, and set her upon it;”

The Old Testament refers to Moses as having horns on his head after he went up the mountain to see God. This prompted Michaelangelo to sculpt him with the horns. Many people believe that this was due to a mistranslation of the description of Moses. Moses really is described as being horned. In Old Testament times, a person who was believed to have seen or been touched by God was described as having horns (or rays of light) coming from their head. It was an ancient symbol much like today’s gloriole or halo.#