March 2018 - Things the Bible doesn't say (but you thought it did)

Things the Bible doesn't say (but you thought it did)


Did Eve pick an apple from the tree and give it to Adam? No, at least it was never identified as an apple. The first celebrity couple may have fallen into sin by eating the forbidden banana or mango.

Does the sun shine only on the righteous? Well, nearly, but the actual quote is that 'he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous'. So next time you are catching rays at the bus stop, remember that you might be judged as evil instead of good!

I've heard people say, “I'm a Christian, so I believe in an eye for an eye”. Unfortunately, though that appears in the Old Testament, Jesus updated it saying: ‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well'. Which is rather inconvenient for those who say, “Vengeance is mine, saith Colin”.

Jonah was never swallowed by a whale. The term used is simply 'a large fish'.

And there are no mentions of unicorns – sorry!  The English “unicorn” is a translation of a Latin rendering of a Greek word that sounds unicornish (monokeros—one-horned). The Greek is itself a translation of the Hebrew word for wild ox (re’em). From wild ox to unicorn in three easy steps, but a nice thought.

'God helps those who help themselves' is a fantastic justification for avoiding one's social duty, but please don't think it's the Judea-Christian God that they are speaking of, and it's certainly not in the bible. Instead it was the English political theorist Algernon Sidney who originated the now familiar saying. Similarly, 'Charity begins at home' is not to be found in the good book.

Jesus never mentions homosexuality (you would have thought it was all he talked about considering the current furore in some churches), and there may be other surprising omissions. Instead, perhaps, I might conclude with the words of blesséd Martyn Joseph:

He never said God helps those who help themselves
He never said Blessed are the rich
He never said Do unto others before they do it unto you
He never said Its too bad buddy the winner has to take it all
He never said success is the key
You gotta be cruel to be kind
And he never said it's a jungle out there
Where the weak must get left behind

He Said..
Answer a stranger's cry for help
Love your brother as you love yourself
You only have to seek and you will find
Forgive your enemies, drop that grudge

Don't judge others and you won't be judged
Just knock and the door will open wide

Nick Bird

Letters from the Rev
Webpage icon March 2019 - Politics, Polarisation & Prayer
Webpage icon February 2019 - Bike Theft
Webpage icon January 2019 - A Healing Presence
Webpage icon December 2018 - It is more blessed to give than to receive
Webpage icon November 2018 - A Hundred Years of Remembering
Webpage icon October 2018 - Gay is OK
Webpage icon September 2018 - Time
Webpage icon August 2018 - Finding the Gift
Webpage icon July 2018 - Who has the power?
Webpage icon June 2018 - The story of a peasant and a horse...
Webpage icon May 2018 - That Space
Webpage icon April 2018 - Paradigm Shift
Webpage icon February 2018 - Who is welcome in church?
Webpage icon January 2018 - Starting Over
Webpage icon December 2017 - Be still!
Webpage icon November 2017 - Seven Sacred Spaces
Webpage icon October 2017 - Free Together!
Webpage icon September 2017 - Open your eyes and live!
Webpage icon August 2017 - Carrying the hot rock of resentment