Many of us grew up hearing basic Bible stories such as Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit, Cain murdering Abel, and Noah’s Ark. Most of us have even read or told these Bible stories to our kids, probably numerous times. But have we told them the same stories we were taught growing up, from our picture Bibles, or have we opened our Bibles to see what the scriptures actually say?
Ask nearly any believer what fruit Eve ate and they will tell you it was an Apple. Nowhere in scripture are we told what type of fruit it was. Why do so many people believe it was an apple?(Fill in the blank for whatever fruit your culture suggest it is) Because that is the foundation that was laid when we were taught this story. Picture Bibles depict an apple, coloring pages in children’s church depict an apple, over and over the image of an apple is associated with the fall of man, so when we grow up, we have been programmed to believe that the fruit that Adam and Eve ate off of the tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden was an apple. Some of you may be looking it up right now because you are so sure that you can remember reading about that apple in your Bible. We won’t quote the whole scripture, but it’s in Genesis 3 for those that would like to take a look. The famous “Apple” is nowhere to be found in these verses.
What about Cain and Abel. As the story goes, Cain crushed Abel’s head with a rock and committed the first murder. At this point, most people would be in full agreement, but let’s read what the scriptures actually say.
Cain said to Abel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.” While they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him. Genesis 4:8
No mention of a rock or any other murder weapon. So why do so many people believe that Abel was murdered with a rock? Same reason people think Eve ate an apple because that is what we have been programmed to believe, through our picture Bibles and coloring sheets in children’s church, among other things.
Ask almost any child in church and even most adults how many of each kind of animal were on the ark, and the likely answer will be two. It’s because we grow up in children’s church seeing this in images and singing songs about the animals entering the Ark “two by two,” but what do the scriptures actually say?
But I will establish my covenant with you. You shall come into the ship, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. Of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ship, to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of the livestock after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort will come to you, to keep them alive. Genesis 6:18-20
So far so good, two by two…male and female seems to hold up with what Scripture says, let’s read a few more verses just to make sure…
Yahweh said to Noah, “Come with all of your household into the ship, for I have seen your righteousness before me in this generation. You shall take seven pairs of every clean animal with you, the male and his female. Of the animals that are not clean, take two, the male and his female. Also of the birds of the sky, seven and seven, male and female, to keep seed alive on the surface of all the earth. Genesis 7:1-3
Of all the clean beasts take seven pairs. Seven males and seven females equaling fourteen total for all the clean animals. Of all the unclean beasts take just two. Just one male and just one female of the unclean beasts. Of the birds seven pairs, so seven males and seven females equaling fourteen as well.
Now all of a sudden the children’s church version of this story doesn’t quite add up. We don’t recall hearing the story told with seven pairs of clean animals and two pairs of unclean animals entering the ark. Why were we not taught this growing up? Why are we not teaching it to our kids?
To understand why Noah was instructed to bring seven of each of the clean animals, we have to continue reading into Leviticus 11 as well as Deuteronomy 14 where YHWH reminds His people which animals are food and which are not food. We say “remind His people” because Noah apparently knew what was considered clean and unclean based on the verses in Genesis 7. These instructions were not something new given after the exodus from Egypt.
These are just a few examples of things we are programmed to believe as children learning the Bible that do not actually line up with scripture. What else might we have been taught that does not actually line up with scripture? Y’shua was born on Christmas? Jonah was swallowed by a “whale?” Sabbath was changed to Sunday? The Three Wise Men were there at Y’shua’s birth? Is it all about Grace? Once saved always saved? The Law was nailed to the cross? The Old Covenant was just for the Jews? Christians are in the New Covenant, and it is fully in effect?
Don’t take any man’s word for truth. Instead, we need to open our Bibles and begin praying and reading it for ourselves, from the beginning, with an open mind and heart, not taking the preconceived or programmed teachings along with us as we read.