18 Biblical Facts Every Christian Wishes Were Common Knowledg

SharePinEmailBeyond the familiar and famous stories and doctrines, many things about the Bible remain largely unknown. Here are 18 surprising facts that Christians wish were common knowledge. The Bible’s Uncertain Origins One fascinating fact about the Bible is the uncertainty surrounding its authorship and compilation. While many books are attributed to well-known figures like Moses,…

Beyond the familiar and famous stories and doctrines, many things about the Bible remain largely unknown. Here are 18 surprising facts that Christians wish were common knowledge.

The Bible’s Uncertain Origins

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One fascinating fact about the Bible is the uncertainty surrounding its authorship and compilation. While many books are attributed to well-known figures like Moses, David, and Paul, the actual process of writing and collecting these texts is complex and, in some cases, shrouded in mystery. For example, the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews has been a topic of debate among scholars, with some arguing it was written by Paul, while others believe it was penned by an anonymous author​.

The Influence of Constantine

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The role of Emperor Constantine in the establishment of Christianity cannot be overstated. His conversion to Christianity and subsequent support led to the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, which was instrumental in defining Christian doctrine and canonizing many texts that form scripture as we know it today​.

The Bible Before Printing

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Before the invention of the printing press, the Bible was hand-copied by monks and was considered a rare and precious commodity. Early Christians primarily learned about the Bible through oral traditions and communal readings during church services​.

The Evolution of Christian Worship

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Ancient Christian worship practices were dramatically different from contemporary rituals. Instead of grand cathedrals, the first Christians frequently gathered in houses. These intimate settings fostered a sense of community and shared worship, and focused on fellowship meals, prayer, and communal singing​.

The Bible’s Linguistic Journey

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The Bible has been translated into numerous languages over the centuries, starting from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and later into Latin with the Vulgate. Each translation effort has helped to spread the Christian message across different cultures and regions. The Bible was written by over 40 different authors, including shepherds, kings, prophets, fishermen, and scholars, over a span of approximately 1,500 years, which accounts for its rich diversity of perspectives and styles.

Apocryphal Texts

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Not all ancient texts made it into the final canon of the Bible. The Apocrypha, a collection of writings included in some Christian traditions but not in others, presents additional insights into early Jewish and Christian thoughts and practices. The term “Apocrypha” refers to a set of books included in the Septuagint and Latin Vulgate but excluded from the Hebrew Bible and many Protestant Bibles, such as Tobit and Maccabees.

The Role of Women

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Often perceived as a patriarchal text, the Bible actually contains many stories of influential women. Figures like Deborah, Esther, and Mary played pivotal roles in their respective narratives and contested the notion of a male-dominated religious history​.

Hidden Texts and Numerology

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Discovered in the 1940s, the Dead Sea Scrolls feature some of the oldest known manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible and date back to the 3rd century BC. These scrolls have proved to be an invaluable source of the scriptural history. Across the entire Bible, numbers like seven, twelve, and forty appear frequently and carry multiple important meanings, and are employed to mirror divine order and completeness​. 

The Psalms’ Musical Heritage

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The Book of Psalms, a collection of songs and prayers, was originally intended to be sung. The musical aspect of the Psalms underscores the importance of music in ancient worship and its role in expressing devotion and emotion​.

The Bible and Archaeology

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Archaeological discoveries have corroborated biblical accounts, and provide strong physical evidence for many of the events and places described in the scriptures. Such findings help bridge the gap between faith and historical fact​, such as the discovery of the city of Jericho and the ancient Hittite civilization.

The Bible’s Impact on Language and Literature

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Biblical phrases and stories have permeated into Western literature and language. Terms like “the writing on the wall” and “a good Samaritan” find their origins in the Bible and continue to be used in everyday speech​.

The Old Testament’s Diverse Genres

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The Old Testament is composed of various literary genres, including history, poetry, prophecy, and law, and as such it presents the multifaceted nature of God’s revelation to humanity through different times and circumstances.

The New Testament’s Canonical Process

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The process of determining the New Testament canon was lengthy and contentious. Early church leaders debated which writings were truly inspired and should be included, which eventually led to the formation of the canon we are familiar with today.

Jesus’ Quotations of the Old Testament

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Jesus frequently quoted the Old Testament in his preaching, and championed the continuity between the Jewish tradition and his new covenant.

The Symbolism in Revelation

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The Book of Revelation, with its vivid imagery and symbolism, has fascinated and perplexed readers for centuries. Its apocalyptic visions are steeped in metaphor and require careful interpretation to understand its messages about the end times and the ultimate triumph of good over evil​.

The Bible and Social Justice

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Many passages in the Bible advocate for justice, mercy, and compassion for the marginalized. From the prophets’ calls for justice to Jesus’ teachings on loving one’s neighbor, scripture provides a complete moral framework for addressing social issues​.

The Spread of Christianity

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The rapid spread of Christianity in the first few centuries AD can be attributed to various factors, including the appeal of its message of hope and salvation, the network of Roman roads, and the dedication of early missionaries like Paul​.

The Bible’s Enduring Influence

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Despite being thousands of years old, the Bible continues to influence modern society in so many profound ways. Its teachings forge moral values, laws, and cultural practices around the world, and continue to demonstrate its timeless relevance and power​. Much more than a religious text, the Bible is a collection of history, literature, and spiritual insight. Exploring its lesser-known passages can deepen our appreciation for this ancient yet ever-relevant work.

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