Who doesn't love to learn new things? Well, we all know that it doesn't matter how many times you pick up the Bible, we can always find something new to us inside those pages! Here are 7 things about the Bible that you might not know!
1. God May Have Set the Pace for the Workday Starting at 9:00 a.m.
One of the questions scholars and historians alike have been trying to answer for centuries is just when was Adam created? Through studying the Biblical text and calculations, in 1650, Archbishop James Ussher calculated that the world was created at about 4004 B.C. A few years later, a man named John Lightfoot calculated that Adam was created on October 23rd at 9:00 a.m. How he came to that exact conclusion, we can't be sure, but if he's correct, it would mean that God might have been the first to adhere to the 9-to-5 work day that we're accustomed to today!
2. The Waters were Parted Three Separate Times in the Bible
Of course we all know the story of Moses parting the Red Sea to scare the crap out of some fis-um, I mean, to lead the Israelites out of captivity, but did you know that there are two other times in the Bible when waters were split so someone could cross? In fact, both instances occurred at the Jordan River. The first time the Jordan was separated was for Joshua to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, after 40 years of wandering in the desert. That's right, the journey of the Israelites started and also ended with the parting of water! The second time the Jordan was parted occurred when Elijah and Elisha needed to cross.
3. The Bible Has Totally Had Mistakes in It
During the Middle Ages, we didn't have printing presses to crank out new copies of the Bible by the boatload! In fact, back then, Jewish scribes and Christian scholars would keep the Scriptures alive by meticulously copying the text of the Bible by hand, over and over again! (Did you ever have to write a sentence on a chalkboard 100 times for doing something bad in school? Yeah, well, think of that times a million...) Some got pretty creative, using elaborate calligraphy and even using different colored inks to produce some beautiful margin art at the beginning of some books. But one thing that no one can argue with is the fact that this method of copying, which lasted for centuries, is not foolproof. Several errors, misspellings, word additions and omissions occurred in many copies. Fortunately, enough of these manuscripts survive that it has been easy for modern day scholars to accurately judge which ones are correct.
4. Martin Luther Hated the Book of Esther
Esther has historically been a book of controversy because it provokes strong reactions in many readers. Martin Luther, the man we recognize as the leader of the Protestant Reformation, hated the book. He's quoted as saying "I am so hostile to this book [referring to 2 Maccabees] and to Esther that I could wish that they did not exist at all." While Esther remains, 1 & 2 Maccabees have largely been removed from all Christian Bibles except for most Catholic ones. Not all Biblical scholars felt the same as Luther. Maimonides, the great Jewish rabbi, held the book of Esther in such high esteem that he said if all other Scripture were to fall away, The Law of Moses and the Book of Esther would always remain.
5. The Bible is the Origin of the Phrase "Blood Money"
We all know how Judas Iscariot traded Jesus' life for 30 pieces of silver. Well, this act has lead to the phrase "blood money", which is money exchanged for the life of a human being. Ironically, when I donate my actual blood, I get a cookie instead of cash...
6. A Rose was Not Always a Rose
In the Song of Solomon (must be 18 to read...), the man's lover is compared to the "rose of Sharon". However, the flower being referred to was not a rose at all. In fact, it was most likely a tulip of some kind. I have no idea who Sharon was and why she was so bad at identifying flowers.
7. There were Too Many People Named Judas
The New Testament actually tells of six different men named Judas. One of them was the brother of Jesus who wrote the book of Jude. There was another who was one of Jesus' disciples. To distinguish him from Judas Iscariot, he's referred to in the Gospel of John as "Judas (not Iscariot)". There is no mention as too how many changed their name after Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, but I'm sure at least one of them started telling people to call him "Craig" or something.