18 Popular Bible Facts That Are Absent from the Scriptures

SharePinEmailThat the Bible is without error is a fundamental belief among Christians. That the Bible is “without error or fault in all its teachings,” is known as Biblical inaccuracy. While the Bible is paramount to our historical understanding of ancient civilizations, having been written by 40 authors over 1,500 years, there are some contradictions between…

That the Bible is without error is a fundamental belief among Christians. That the Bible is “without error or fault in all its teachings,” is known as Biblical inaccuracy. While the Bible is paramount to our historical understanding of ancient civilizations, having been written by 40 authors over 1,500 years, there are some contradictions between the facts of the Bible and the scriptures, which are regarded as holy.

Facts in the Bible That Are Not Supported by the Scriptures

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Here we take a look at some of the facts associated with the Bible that are not found in the Scriptures.

Translated Into Thousands of Languages

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The Bible is the most translated text in the world. It is said that the complete Bible has been translated into around 700 languages, while the New Testament has been translated into over 1,500 different languages. At least one part of the Bible has been translated into over 3,300 languages. The work of the Bible continues to have an impact on around 1.15 billion people, equating to around 15.5% of all language users.

The Bible Did Not Comprise Chapters and Verses

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While modern readers are familiar with the Bible divided into chapters and verses, this was not always the case. In ancient Hebrew, the texts were divided into paragraphs. The paragraphs were identified by two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

The Prohibition of the Bible

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Christians were denied access to their Bible for around 1,000 years. The Church discouraged the public from reading the Bible on their own. This censorship of the Bible intensified through the Middle Ages and later still when translating the Biblical text into native languages was also forbidden.  

John Wycliffe

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John Wycliffe was a theologian, lecturer, and academic at Oxford University, and is known as the man who first translated the Bible into the English language. Wycliffe was born in the 1320s and died in 1384.

The Canon Was Determined by Councils

The canonical books of the Bible were numbered and approved by several councils, as well as synods and popes of the Catholic Church. They began with the Council of Rome in 382 AD. Among the books was the Bible.

Flavius Josephus

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Flavius Josephus was a Roman–Jewish historian and military leader, who was born in 37AD. He provides near-contemporary information on some of the people and events that are documented in the New Testament. The extant manuscripts of Josephus’ book Antiquities of the Jews were written around AD 93–94. They contain one reference to John the Baptist and two references to Jesus of Nazareth.

Biblical Archaeology

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Archaeologists continue to make discoveries related to the Bible that astound historians and scholars of the biblical text. In September 2023, for example, archaeologists in Gaza announced the discovery of graves in a Roman-era cemetery. The same year, genetic material was extracted from two individuals whose remains were found in a family tomb to the west of Jerusalem. The remains dated to around 750–650 B.C.

Apocrypha

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Apocrypha refers to biblical or related writing which does not form part of the accepted canon of scripture. It was determined that not printing the ‘Apocrypha’ books within the Bible would make it less costly to produce. While Catholic Bibles include some of these writings, they are not included in Protestant Bibles.

Codex Sinaiticus

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The Codex Sinaiticus is considered to be one of the most important books in the world. It is the earliest known manuscript of the Bible and was compiled in the 4th Century AD.

Marcion of Sinope

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The Gospel of the Lord was promoted by Marcion of Sinope, a Christian teacher in the middle of the second century. Marcion considered it to be the only true Gospel but did not include the other gospels. Reconstructed fragments of The Gospel of the Lord that were circulated by Marcion of Sinope appear among the Apocrypha of the New Testament.

Masoretic Text

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The Masoretic Text defines the Jewish canon. It is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible in Rabbinic Judaism.

Red Letter Editions

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The Red Letter editions of the Bible are the words that are considered to have been spoken by Jesus Christ, which have been printed in red ink. The inspiration behind the printing of the words in red ink came from Luke 22:20, which said:  “This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which I shed for you.” Highlighting the words of Jesus was not a practice in the ancient texts.  

Sola Scriptura

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Sola Scriptura is Latin for ‘by scripture alone.’ It is a theological doctrine in most Protestant Christian denominations, particularly the Reformed and Lutheran traditions. It suggests that the Bible is the only accurate source of authority for Christian practice and faith.

Dead Sea Scrolls

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The Dead Sea Scrolls include parts of every book of the Old Testament. They were discovered between 1947 and 1956.

Gutenberg’s Bible

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While the process was already established in other parts of the world, the Gutenberg Bible of 1455 helped introduce printing to the West and thereby revolutionized its distribution.

Pseudepigraphy

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Some scholars and historians believe that pseudepigraphy is at work in some parts of the Bible, meaning that certain verses and chapters were written by an author using a different name. 2 Peter in the New Testament is considered by some as an example of pseudepigraphy in the Bible.

Vulgate

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The Vulgate is the Latin version of the Holy Bible. It was created by St Jerome, who was commissioned to revise the old Latin translations by Pope Damasus I in 382 AD.

Septuagint

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The Septuagint is the earliest version of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew, translated into Greek. It is assumed that the Septuagint was made for the Jewish community in Egypt, as at the time, Greek was the most widely spoken language in the region.

Non-Canonical Texts

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Many of the ancient non-canonical books were not included in the New Testament canon.

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