There are two times in the Bible when animals spoke.
The first involved a serpent.
“‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman.” Genesis 3:4
The second embroiled a donkey.
“Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’” Numbers 22:28
In the second instance, it clearly states that God was the one who opened the donkey’s mouth. However, in the first instance we are told that the serpent categorically spoke, though it was under the influence of Satan.
The question that comes up is, did all animals speak at the beginning of creation?
Though there are no biblical verses to support that they all did, there remains that one recorded time when the serpent did actually speak on its own; which points to the possibility that most likely (some or all) animals did have to some degree the gift of speech, until the fall of man when God’s curse fell upon all creation and removed said gift from them.
“Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals!” Genesis 3:14
Just like Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden because of their disobedience and could not get back in, animals lost their speech privilege because of their role in man’s fall and could not recover it. Instead, they ended up vocalizing themselves using various feral onomatopoeias.
If animals did not speak from the very beginning, God would not have opened the donkey’s mouth in the 2nd instance (not that He couldn’t otherwise), because God NEVER goes against the order He created in nature.
Every miracle is an instance of God super-activating the existing order. For instance, a supernatural healing is a normal, natural healing that is sped up, given that the body was created to naturally heal itself.
The natural order of things is one of the reasons Jesus did not turn stone into bread when the Devil asked him to.
“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3
It’s not that Jesus couldn’t do it, but within the created order rock cannot be made to turn into bread. The Devil wanted Jesus to circumvent God’s natural order of things, and Jesus refused – in addition to not wanting to take orders from Satan.
As further proof of maintaining said order, Jesus turned bread into more bread (super-activation) for the multitudes that came to hear Him.
Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?” Matthew 16:9,10
“In a wise man’s dwelling, precious treasures and oils are stored.” Proverbs 21: 20
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22
You are just a steward of the money you earn, therefore learn to control it before it controls you. In other words, get in the habit of using and bequeathing it properly:
a. meet your family’s needs (vacation included);
b. don’t waste money on frivolous things;
c. prepare for bad times (savings and insurance);
d. invest in your retirement;
e. lay away for your children’s future;
f. take eternity into account and apply Jesus’s parable of The Unrighteous Steward in Luke 16:1-12.
With that parable, Jesus delineated a two-prong position:
1) Salvation. The unrighteous steward gave away commercial goods to those who could give back to him in return. Scratch my back, I scratch yours. That’s the way of the world. And for the world it is a smart way to deal. However, you, as a disciple of Christ, have something better to give. The Gospel of Salvation. And it is not to be exchanged for filthy lucre like many “preachers” do today. It is to be given to all, expecting nothing in return.
2) Money. You must not only give the Gospel away for free, you must also bestow money on those who can’t give back to you. That way they can see Christ in you as well as getting a taste of the goodness of the Lord through your giving.
“Taste and see that the LORD is good.” Psalm 34: 8
“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” Luke 6: 33
When you give, it is as if God Himself is giving.Said gesture affords you the opportunity to share Christ. It is also a seed impregnated with Christian love that later oncould yield the fruit of change in marginal “Christians” or salvation in the souls of those who do not know Christ. That’s why Jesus said to “make friends using unrighteous mammon.”
Thereupon, those at the receiving end of your gift, once saved, will be able to partake with you of the everlasting life, which is the real dividend or the true riches that God Himself will assign to you as your own.
Many Christians believe that a woman should only wear dresses and not pants. Those with said frame of mind are only misusing the following verse.
“The woman shall not wear that which pertains unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” Deuteronomy 22:5
First, there were no pants in existence when those words were written.
Second, that verse simply means exactly what it says. If a man puts on a garment belonging to woman (e.g., a dress), he’s not acting like a man, but like a woman – thus, contrary to nature. Today, we call such a person a transvestite. That’s the spirit of the verse.
It has nothing to do with pants and dresses, especially when in biblical times both men and women wore tunics, which looked almost identical.
Therefore, the spirit of the verse is what needs to be upheld.
Life flows from God. Thus, its intrinsic value revolves around the Creator. In other words, without God there’s no substance to life.
And the only way for life’s meaning to materialize is to love and serve God by loving and serving one another.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.‘ This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
“Whoever wants to be great among you, let him be one who serves.” Matthew 20:26
When you buy a car, for instance, you buy something that was created to serve the one who buys it. Likewise, God created us to love and serve.
If there’s any other lopsided disposition in the human soul, then the heart has become adversely infected and is in dire need of an adjustment.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
The enemies of God love to say 1) that those who exercise spiritual faith are only using it as a crutch, instead of applying logic and reason; 2) that faith has not revealed us anything about the universe; and 3) that religion is the bane of human existence.
1. Actually, those who abuse the “crutch” argument are in fact using it as their own crutch in order to defend their lack of faith, which deep down causes their foolishness to echo in their spirit.
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” Psalm 14:1
Logic (or wisdom) and reason (or understanding/common sense) were given to us by God. So their argument is silly, to say the least.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 1:18
“For the LORD gives wisdom.” Proverbs 2:6
“Keep sound wisdom and discretion.” Proverbs 3:21
“We know that the Son of God is come, and has given us understanding.” 1 John 5:20
In addition, the supporters of the “faith-as-crutch” fallacy love to point to science as faith’s Achilles’s heel; but what they always fail to reveal is that many world-renowned scientists, when at a crossroads, unequivocally acknowledge the existence of God using simple deductive reasoning.
“It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion,” explains Physicist Paul Davies, the winner of the 2001 Kelvin Medal issued by the Institute of Physics and the winner of the 2002 Faraday Prize issued by the Royal Society (amongst other awards).
“People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature – the laws of physics – are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company.
“However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
2. How can faith not reveal us anything about the Universe, when faith tells us that God is the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 115:15), or the Universe as they are called.
Further, the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah and the Advent of the Holy Spirit drastically changed the world. From that point in history nothing has been the same.
The Holy Spirit of Christ has been inspiring the world forward through dazzling innovations and technological achievements, not to mention the fact that the backward and hateful thinking of pagan cultures has been wiped out by Christian mores.
Where were all these achievements before Christ? Nowhere. The civilization we’re living in is known as Christian Western Civilization, which has impacted the entire globe.
3. Religion, as some interpret and use it, may be baneful. However, a personal relationship with God through Christ Jesus is not. It’s the salvation and redemption of man’s soul.
Religion is man-made with earthly rules and agendas. A relationship with Christ is not. They are two different concepts.
Besides, imagine a world without Christian love and compassion. That would be the bane of human existence. Many throughout history have given us a glimpse of that reality.
From Mao Zedong to Meginstu Haile Mariam, from Kim Il Su to Pol Pot, from Hideki Tojo to Stalin, these Atheists killed over 110 million people – not to mention antiquity rulers like Pharaoh and Caesar who actually thought themselves gods and annihilated multitudes.
“All those who hate Me love death.” Proverbs 8:36
No true Christian who follows the teachings of Christ would ever harm anyone. If lawbreakers, murderers, and mass murderers – politicians or not – pay lip service to the Lord, it’s just to mask who they really are: Atheists pretending to be Christians.
We’ve received many missives and questions squarely attacking the veracity of the bible. We’ll answer a few.
Question #1: Scholars who have had the rare privilege of studying the Bible have identified a whopping 14,800 mistakes and discrepancies. Although yes the bible is coherent, its history is an extremely convoluted one. I spent some time researching the subject a couple years ago and I must admit it’s quite the rabbit hole. How do you respond?
Answer #1: a) It is not a “rare” privilege to study the Christian bible. Everybody can and should and must. It’s the ONLY book with the truth.
b) The discrepancies are usually in translating words correctly from the Old Testament Hebrew and the New Testament Greek. See BAD TRANSLATION. And it’s quite doubtful that there are 14,000 mistakes in the bible. Seriously, why didn’t they make it 140,000 or 1 million while they were at it? Scholars are usually full of it, especially those who hate God.
c) The word of God is not a rabbit hole. If it feels like that, it’s because it’s on purpose. It’s God’s way of nudging us to investigate and connect His thoughts on whatever subject is being explored, and which are scattered throughout the bible. The Good Book may appear truncated and cryptic, that’s also because it’s a spiritual book that can only be fully understood with the help of its author, God. See The Word of God.
Question #2: I read several threads here and was astounded that someone speaking with ‘authority’ stated that the bible was historical fact! The bible is allegorical.
In fact, the garden of Eden, the great flood, etc. – all those stories were stolen from other middle eastern cultures. The idea that there are people in the 21st century who take these anecdotes literally is mind-boggling.
Biblical legend doesn’t equal historical fact.
Answer #2: We, on the other hand, are not astounded at all by your foolishness.
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Psalm 14:1
That’s the only way to classify the ‘authority’ behind such an idiotic theory.
You wrongfully assume God’s word to be false – as if God isn’t capable of choosing a few men to write His story, when mere mortals rely on historians to do the same.
Consequently, using your mind-boggling logic, Christopher Columbus, Johannes Gutenberg, plus every other important figure in human history are nothing but concocted characters, whose allegorical stories are meant to inspire stupid people.
Further, the bible didn’t steal anything from other cultures. THEY DID. They acted out God’s prophetic pronouncements. Read When Prophecies Echo.
Illogical argument of a prejudicial mind does not equal truth nor historical fact.
Question #3: “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, this day you will be with me in paradise.'” Luke 23:43
There is a controversy about a possible discrepancy and where the comma should have been placed in His words. The meaning changes accordingly from “this day you will be in Paradise” to “I tell you this day.”
I don’t know if you agree with the new interpretation, but thought you might consider including it in one of your examples of Biblical mistranslations.
Paradise, so I read, was not a Hebrew but a pagan Greek concept. What is your thinking and research on that passage?
Answer #3: There’s no discrepancy at all, and paradise is not a pagan concept.
a) Whether the repentant thief would be in paradise “today” or “some other day” is not really an issue that deserves to be made a federal case out of. The fact of the matter still remains that the repentant thief would be in paradise – that day or the next, especially when…
“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8
However, our position is:
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
Because why would Jesus say, “I tell you today, you’ll be…?” Didn’t Jesus know that what He was saying He was saying “that day” which was “today?” Was there some “other day” He was supposed to say it? It doesn’t make any sense.
So we’re quite sure that “today” was the appointed time Jesus meant when He promised the repentant thief paradise.
b) The Christian paradise is NOT a pagan notion.
Where Jesus is, everlasting life is as well: thus paradise is in the bosom of the Lord. In addition, there are many other verses that point to the Christian paradise reality, both in the Old and the New Testaments.
“To him who overcomes I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2
Pagan cultures were the ones that mimicked and enacted biblical prophecies, never the other way around.
Question #4: Why wasn’t the New Testament written in Aramaic or Hebrew? Many believe that the fact that it was written in Greek is a glaring discrepancy when one considers the spoken languages of the time.
Answer #4: The original non-translated bible is in Hebrew (Old Testament) and in Greek (New Testament). In Jesus’s time no one spoke Hebrew but Aramaic, as Jesus demonstrated on the cross: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (Matthew 27:46)
Why then wasn’t the New Testament written in Aramaic? Simply because Greek was the language of scholarship during the years of the composition of the New Testament from 50 to 66 AD.
“So the New Testament authors wrote in Greek,” explains The International Bible Society. “They did not, however, use really high-class or classical Greek, but a very common and everyday type of Greek. For many years some scholars ridiculed the Greek of the New Testament because many of its words were strange to those who read the writings of the great Greek classical authors such as Plato and Aristotle. But later many records were uncovered of ordinary people, and amazingly there were the same common terms used in everyday speech! The ridicule dried up accordingly.”
Question #5: The discrepancies you’ve discovered in the bible, listed in your main site of Biblicism Institute under Bad Translation, prompt one to question even following the bible, especially since God has apparently not brought man to make a faithful interpretation?
Answer #5: Why follow the bible? Because you should.
And yes, God has brought man to a faithful interpretation of it, even if you erroneously think He has not. As you yourself already attested, whatever inaccurate transliterations that currently exist in the many versions have been discovered and fixed in our Bad Translation section.
That alone should tell you that God is still watching over His word, even if those corrections have not yet been added to all published versions: that’s why you need to make a mental note of them for when you’re studying the word.
Besides, the entirety of the bible has 2 main purposes:
Those are coherently and faithfully interpreted and translated throughout the bible, no matter the version.
Question #6: Could there be manipulation at the root of some discrepancies in published bibles?
Answer #6: Yes, though it’s limited to the word Jew.
In all currently published bibles the word Jew is what is printed, instead of Judahite or Judean as it should be. However, in the 1985 New King James version, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., there’s a glaring discrepancy:
“…the Judeans, who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men.” 1 Thessalonians 2:15
That’s the only place in that version where the word Ioudaios is rightly translated as Judean instead of the conspicuous word Jew.
Which prompts the following questions:
Did Jews bribe Thomas Nelson, Inc. to do it? If so, what did they stand to gain? And do the editors at Thomas Nelson, Inc. actually know that the word Jew is NOT in the bible?
All in all, it simply is deliberate manipulation. Because, simply put, the same Greek word Ioudaios is oddly translated two different ways in that version.
And the only place where it’s different is in that very uncomfortable and crucial verse where we are being led, like sheep to the slaughter, to envisage “Jews” (of today, of course) as not contrary to all men and not the killers of our Lord; while the “Judeans,” of the tribe of Judah, were the actual contrary ones who crucified the Lord and persecuted Christians.
Still, in other verses where the word Jew is maintained throughout, the Talmudic Rabbinists (aka Fake Hebrews or Jews) get to be seen as the Hebrews of old – a misappropriated appellation that is full of benefits for them, including the theft of Palestine to create modern-day Israel.
Consequently, yes, the editors at Thomas Nelson, Inc. do know that the Word Jew is NOT in the Bible, and yet they keep using it. See The Word Jew Is Not In The Bible.
Anger can be useful, though it can also easily become a conduit for sin.
“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20
So what should happen when we do get angry? After all, Jesus Himself got angry.
“So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” John 2:15
The purpose of godly anger is to demonstrate and reveal a wrong, especially when God’s commandments are not being followed.
“He said, ‘Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a marketplace!’” John 2:16
“You must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people… Expel the wicked person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:11,13
Anger shows our displeasure. When it’s acted upon in a godly way, the other party, if he has a heart for change, will feel convicted and will eventually repent; otherwise, he’ll audaciously display his own anger and be forever offended.
The same principle applies to parents as they discipline their children.
“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24
A parent’s duty is to teach his children righteousness. When they disobey, he gets angry or disappointed, depending on the level of the offense. With many kids, whose parents did a proper job from the very beginning, there’s often no need to use the rod.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Sometimes the gravity of an offense might challenge parents to take that further step, the rod. Still, it is not an opportunity to beat a small child senseless until he bleeds. A gentle spanking, with the right amount of sting, can usually do the trick and show the parents’ anger.
Spanking may or may not work with adolescents, since they’re almost adults. Therefore, adult techniques, which are usually laden with dialogue and stern discipline, should take precedence.
With complete strangers, anger should be kept under total control. It is not our job to correct them.
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
“Anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9
When strangers are angry with us, this is the way to act:
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” Proverbs 15:18
In family, anger should be quickly resolved.
“Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27
In general, when anger is burning inside this is what is required:
“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.” Psalm 4:4
Then apply wisdom from above.
“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17
Many think they were because of this Scripture reference:
“And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” Acts 2: 44-45
The reason early Christians sold everything they had was because they took Jesus’s warning seriously.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city.” Luke 21: 20,21
Therefore, soon after Pentecost, Christians started getting rid of everything they owned in Judah or Judea with an eye towards leaving the area before the day of retribution caught up with them. Read Where is Satan Now? for the sequence of events.
Furthermore, sharing with others less fortunate has always been a Christian mandate, not a communist one.
On the other hand, the whole idea of communism is to steal from regular folks in order to enrich the leaders of the movement, while the centrality of its tenets is the hatred of Christianity.
Communism was created by Jews who hated Christians, and that’s why the first move of any communist regime is to try to stifle Christianity.