religion Christian "Truths" That Aren't Actually in the Bible  

Ashley Reign
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Have you ever heard an overly zealous street preacher spouting out fiery claims in the name of God or reciting terrifying quotes that he assures you come straight from scripture? How often have we all been guilty of taking such people at their word, simply because they proceeded their rants with the all too common phrase, “the Bible tells us….”? The truth is, you might be surprised at the number of "Bible truths" floating around out there that aren't actually backed by the Bible at all.

Here you'll find some of the most common beliefs falsely attributed to the Bible as well as the low down on where they actually come from. You’ll learn the truth about things such as why your Christmas nativity scene may not be as true to history as you think and what well-known phrases actually go back to famous figures like Ben Franklin and even Bono rather than Biblical prophets.

So if you’re ready to set the record straight on time-honored Biblical lore, this is the list for you. Below you’ll find nothing but the cold hard facts as to which common Christian beliefs are a bit of a stretch and which are flat out misconceptions all together.

Baby Jesus Was Visited by Three Kings from the East


Baby Jesus Was Visited by Thre... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Christian "Truths" That Aren't Actually in the Bible
Photo: OpenClipArtVectors/via Pixabay
Although the gospel of Matthew records the story of baby Jesus being visited by wise men from the East, the Bible never says that they are kings, that they rode camels, or even that there were three of them. The number three is often assumed by scholars due to the fact that the wise men presented Jesus with three gifts, though there's no evidence that they weren't actually presented by more than three men.

Some scholars believe that the wise men were actually Babylonian Magi who may have been familiar with the prophecies of Daniel, of the lion's den fame. You see, not only did Daniel have a way with big kitties of the ferocious variety, he went on to become the chief seer and head of all the Babylonian Magi during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.

His prophecies in Daniel 9:24-27 laid out a timeline for the coming Messiah which the visitors of baby Jesus may have used to help determine when to expect Him. They may have additionally been familiar with the prophecy of Balaam in Numbers 24:17 which specifically mentions "a star coming out of Jacob."

Satan Tempted Eve to Eat an Apple in the Garden of Eden


Satan Tempted Eve to Eat an Ap... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Christian "Truths" That Aren't Actually in the Bible
Photo: sipa/via Pixabay
Though the imagery of Eve falling victim to the lure of the serpent and the tasty apple he enticed her to sample is almost universally familiar, the Bible never actually specifies that the fruit was an apple. In fact, Genesis 1:29 actually provides evidence that it certainly wasn't. In the passage, God specifies that it's cool for Adam and Eve to eat from any fruit that bears seeds.

Although the wily serpent behind Eve's downfall is often assumed to be the devil in disguise, the Bible never actually suggests this in any way, either. Many have read into the symbolisim, but for all we know it could've just been a super crafty snake who was randomly capable of speech.

December 25 Is Baby Jesus's Birthday


December 25 Is Baby Jesus'... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Christian "Truths" That Aren't Actually in the Bible
Photo: janeb13/via Pixabay
Though we celebrate Jesus's birthday each year on December 25, it's almost unanimously accepted among Biblical scholars that this was not the actual date of Christ's birth.

In fact, the only clues that the Bible gives as to the timing of the birth of Jesus - such as the fact that there were shepherds living or camping in the fields with their sheep and that a national census was under way - make it far more likely that He was born in the summer or fall.

Mary Magdalene Was a Prostitute Before She Met Jesus


Mary Magdalene Was a Prostitut... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Christian "Truths" That Aren't Actually in the Bible
Photo: Lawrence OP/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
There's actually no evidence in the Bible that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute or even an adulteress. The only time she's ever mentioned before the crucifixion or resurrection of Christ is in Luke 8:2 , when she's listed as one of Jesus's followers who has been released from the power of seven demons. 

It was only in later years (and only in the Western Church) that Magdalene came to be identified as either the "sinful woman" of Luke 7, who may or may not have been a prostitute); or the adulterous woman in John 8, who Jesus saves from stoning. That she was either of these woman however, is based purely on speculation and is in no way supported by the Bible.

Jesus Was Born in a Stable


Jesus Was Born in a Stable is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Christian "Truths" That Aren't Actually in the Bible
Photo: Waiting for the World/Flickr
Only two Biblical writers, Matthew and Luke, mention Jesus's birth and neither of them ever actually specify that he was born in a stable. All we really know is that when the time came for Mary to give birth, which for all we know could've been weeks after the couple actually arrived in Bethlehem, there was no room in "kataluma" - a word often translated to mean "inn," but which more likely means "guest room."
 
We do know Mary laid the baby Jesus in a manger, but in 1st century Judea mangers were everywhere. They could be found on the street, in the courtyards of larger homes, and even inside the first floors of some houses - where animals were sometimes brought inside at night for warmth.

The Bible Says That God Exists in the Form of the Trinity


The Bible Says That God Exists... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Christian "Truths" That Aren't Actually in the Bible
Photo: Lawrence OP/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
Although the Christian concept of the Trinity or "God in three persons" is an incredibly common one, it's never actually mentioned or explained in scripture. Though the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each mentioned, sometimes even together such (as in Matthew 28:19), the idea that they are all the same God is left to readers to infer from the context clues given in scripture.

Revelation Warns of an Evil End Times Figure Called the AntiChrist


Revelation Warns of an Evil En... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Christian "Truths" That Aren't Actually in the Bible
Photo: Michael Lehenbauer/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
Believe it or not, the figure of the AntiChrist not only never appears in the book of Revelation but wasn't even widely associated with the End of Time or Apocalypse until the Middle Ages.

As it turns out the term "AntiChrist" only appears a handful of times in the Bible (2 John 1:71 John 2:181 John 2:221 John 4:3) and is exclusively used as a term for anyone who is literally "anti-Christ," in the same way that one might be "anti-establishment" or "anti-war." "The AntiChrist" is never actually presented as a single figure but is actually meant to be more of a description.

The Term "Immaculate Conception" Refers to Jesus's Virgin Birth


The Term "Immaculate Conce... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Christian "Truths" That Aren't Actually in the Bible
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The two are actually separate things. The Virgin Birth refers to the fact that Jesus was conceived in Mary's womb without the presence of a human father. The Immaculate Conception refers to the idea that Mary was free of original sin when she was herself conceived.