Myth Busting

Download PDF

There are many errors that prevail in scriptural discussion, and history is replete with erroneous understandings. The Bible actually to a large degree tends to interpret itself, insofar as it often references itself, so words, themes and meaning can be understood within the Bible’s own frame of reference. However there is also a considerable amount within the Bible that can only be understood with reference to things external to it – e.g. historical events. The Bible is not cut off from history, it is an historical document as well as a picture of the mind of God.

The first station in truly understanding the Bible is to read it in its entirety. The next station is getting the most exact and unpolluted translations of the original text. Frequently, misunderstandings arise out of incomplete knowledge; sometimes we need the established patterns of the Old Testament to understand an event or reference in the New Testament. Sometimes a complication, oversight, or tinkering in the translation process can lead us into a blind alley. Being able to reference the original Hebrew and Greek can clear up certain issues like that.

God speaks to us very powerfully through the Bible, but if we find we have reached a point where somehow we are getting confused, or conflicts of understanding, then the best remedy is a deeper more thorough reading of the Bible, and a willingness to jettison or challenge received teaching. The Bible is the ultimate authority, and if your preacher or teacher is not matching up, then you have to reassess your foundational knowledge.

There are certain flagrant errors that I see recycled over and over again, which cause nothing but confusion. These are not questions of interpretation or complexity of meaning, these are simply lazy misconceptions which have been handed down and get accepted simply through perpetual regurgitation. I will call these myths, because they have a lot of force, but little substance in reality.