Myth or Fact?
The Christian elder Timothy instructed those interested in worshipping the true God not to pay attention to “erratic notions” and “myths.” (1 Timothy 1:3, 4, Byington) Is such caution necessary today? Yes, because wrong ideas about the Bible and its teachings turn people away from true worship. Below are some commonly held ideas about the Bible. Notice the statements from the Bible itself. These can help you to separate myth from fact.
▪ Myth: Bible miracles are impossible.
Fact: Humans have much to learn about God’s creation. No scientist can fully explain gravity, precisely define all the components of an atom, or explain the exact nature of time. “Can you find out the deep things of God, or can you find out to the very limit of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7) Since creation is beyond our complete understanding, capable scientists are becoming increasingly cautious about saying that a certain thing is impossible.
▪ Myth: All religions lead to God.
Fact: “If you remain in my word,” said Jesus, “you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31, 32) If all religions led to God, would their members need to be set free? In fact, Jesus taught that relatively few people are on “the road leading off into life.”—Matthew 7:13, 14.
▪ Myth: All good people go to heaven when they die.
Fact: “The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it. Hope in Jehovah and keep his way, and he will exalt you to take possession of the earth.” (Psalm 37:11, 29, 34) Only 144,000 faithful humans go to heaven. Their God-given assignment is to “rule as kings over the earth.”—Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1, 4.
▪ Myth: The “Old Testament” is no longer useful for Christians.
Fact: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) “All the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) The “Old Testament,” the Hebrew Scriptures, is a vital source of spiritual instruction and gives us grounds for faith in the “New Testament,” the Christian Greek Scriptures.
▪ Myth: Much of the book of Genesis, including the account about Adam and Eve, is allegory.
Fact: Jesus’ genealogy right back to Adam was recorded by the Gospel writer Luke. (Luke 3:23-38) If Genesis were myth, then where in the genealogy would the real names end and the so-called legendary ones begin? Jesus, who existed in heaven before coming to earth, believed what was written in Genesis, including the account of Adam and Eve. (Matthew 19:4-6) Thus, to question Genesis is to undermine the credibility of Jesus himself, as well as that of many Bible writers.—1 Chronicles 1:1; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Jude 14.