So, here are 10 MORE things you won’t find your Bible:
1 The Father Turning His Face Away From Jesus On The Cross – Not only is there no verse that ever says this happened, the verse that some Christians believe does say it comes from a chapter [Psalms 22] which actually says this: “For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” [v.24] So, no verses are to be found – anywhere in the Bible – to support the notion that the Father turned his face away from Jesus. This means God will never turn away from you, either.
2 Justification For Ignoring The Homeless – Some Christians just love to quote [or misquote] the verse that says “If a man won’t work he will not eat,” because they believe that it gives them permission to yell “Get a job!” to that guy on the corner holding the sign, or the woman pushing the cart along the sidewalk piled with all of her worldly belongings. But, what they miss is the fact that this verse was written to a group of believers who were living in community together, sharing all things in common – including a common meal whenever they gathered together as a body of believers. So, in this context, the poor within that community already had to work to earn money. That meant working in the fields, or perhaps even selling themselves into slavery to work off debts or care for their families. The poor were very acquainted with working. Guess who wasn’t? The Rich! That’s right. This verse is actually a warning to the wealthy, not the poor among them. A paraphrase might be: “Make yourself useful! Serve others! Learn to work with your hands to demonstrate your love for the rest of us here.”
3 The Promise That God Will Make Everything Work Out In The End – Hate to burst your bubble, but that verse you quote all the time because you think “All things work together for our good” [Rom. 8:28] means “God’s gonna turn this disaster into a blessing” doesn’t mean that. Not at all. As famed New Testament Bible Scholar N.T. Wright explains, the verse should be translated a bit differently. Rather than to assume that what this verse intends to teach us is that “everything will work out in our favor eventually” [as we tend to read it], a better way to translate that verse is like this:
“For we know that God, working together with those of us who have been touched by God’s love, is yearning to bring good out of all the suffering and evil we see around us in our world today. This is our calling according to God’s purpose: To collaborate with the Spirit of God within us, to bring His Kingdom to earth, now.” [Roman 8:28, remix]
So, we should stop quoting this verse to say that God will make it all work out in our favor somehow. Instead, we should allow this verse to remind us that we are called to work together with God to bring joy, peace, healing, compassion, justice and love to the world around us. Instead, we should realize that, working together with God, we can transform the evils in this world into the good that God has always intended for us to experience. Or, to put it another way: “The World will change when we change.”
- God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle – This one has been tackled by many other people, many, many times, but it’s worth repeating: The Bible does NOT say this. In fact, it suggests the opposite. Just read what Paul says in 2 Cor. 1:8-19 about this: “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.”
Hmmm….that seems like he’s saying that God did allow them to endure more than they could handle, doesn’t it? But, what about the verse that says God won’t give us more than we can handle? You mean 1 Cor. 10:13? Well, that verse says God won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, but that verse is actually about temptation, not suffering. Even Jesus did not escape suffering. Jesus even promises us that “in this World you WILL have trouble” so don’t act surprised when it hits the fan. The good news is, when it DOES hit the fan [and it will], you won’t have to go through the storm alone because God promises to be with us, no matter what.
- The Bible Is The Word of God – Ironically, whenever Christians declare the Bible is the Word of God, they’re contradicting the Bible. What the Bible tells us is that “the Word was with God, the Word was God and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” [John 1:1], and if you read carefully you’ll notice that, at no point in that sequence was the Word written down. Nope. What we see is the New Testament affirms that the Word of God is Christ, not the Book we wrote about Christ. In Hebrews 4:12 when it says “The Word of God is living and active; sharper than any two-edged sword…” if you keep reading it says “…and nothing at all is hidden from his sight.” So…the Bible is not a “him”, but the Word of God is.
- The Bible Is Your Authority – Not only does the Bible never claim to be the Believer’s ultimate authority, it says that our ultimate authority is Jesus. So, whenever someone makes this claim, please remind them that they are replacing Jesus with a Book. You may also remind them that the Bible is not our source for Truth. [That’s Jesus, too]. And the Bible is also not our foundation. [Yep, our foundation is Christ, according to the Bible].
- Jesus Defining Marriage – My, oh my, do Christians just LOVE to point to the verse where Jesus says “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? [Matt. 19:4] As if the question Jesus is answering here is: “Hey Jesus, what’s the definition of marriage?” But, that’s NOT the question Jesus is answering here. What he was being asked about was Divorce, not Marriage. Since Divorce at this time and place in history was between a man and a woman, Jesus can’t help but respond to the question about male/female relationships in that context. But, interestingly enough, in that very same passage Jesus DOES talk about those who do not participate in the normative male/female concept of marriage and sexuality. More on this HERE>
- White People – Sorry Karen. Jesus wasn’t white. Neither was King David, or Paul, or any of the Disciples, or Apostles. They were brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jews. Even the Romans weren’t technically “white” but you could possibly make an argument for that. Either way, the Bible was not written by White people, about White people, or even really for White People. Not that you can’t get something out of it. But it’s a book about brown-skinned people in a brown-skinned reality. Try not to insert yourself into the story too much, please.
- Support For Tithing In The New Testament Church – Another favorite hobby horse of today’s Evangelical Christian is the importance of paying God your 10 percent every paycheck [off the net, not the gross]. But, what most Christians don’t realize is that the Christian Church never taught tithing and never started doing so until the 700s under Emperor Charlemagne. In fact, I can give you 10 Reasons To Stop Tithing here>
- The Old Testament Scriptures Will Never Pass Away – As with many other examples in this post, this one is not only NOT taught in the Bible, it’s actually the complete opposite. According to Jesus the Old Testament Law and Prophets WILL pass away once they are fulfilled, and since Jesus told us [in the very same sentence] that the very thing he came to do was exactly that [to fulfill the Law and the Prophets], the only question is: Did Jesus accomplish his mission? [and the answer is…] YES!! Not only is this what he cried out from the cross just before he died – “It is finished!” – he also confirmed this in a prayer to the Father just before he went to the cross saying: “I have glorified You on earth by accomplishing the work You gave Me to do” [John 17:4]. For a longer explanation of this, go HERE or HERE.
So, there ya go. 10 more things that your Bible doesn’t say. I’m sure I could probably come up with another 10 things if I had to. But, hopefully you get the point. There’s a lot of confusion out there about what the Bible does and does not say.
And please, don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself. That’s why you’ve been given the Mind of Christ: to discern truth without needing anyone else to teach you…which, come to think of it, is also something affirmed more than once in the New Testament.
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Keith Giles is the author of the 7-part best-selling “Jesus Un” book series from Quoir Publishing. His latest -and final book – in this series, Jesus Unarmed: How The Prince Of Peace Disarms Our Violence is available now. Keith is also the host of Second Cup with Keith [a new solo podcast available now on the Ethos Radio App, for Apple and Android and on Spotify; and the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast [along with co-hosts Matthew Distefano, Dr. Katy Valentine, and Derek Day], and the new Imaginary Lines YouTube Channel with poet Darrell Epp. He and his wife, Wendy, currently live in El Paso, TX and work with Peace Catalyst International.