Saturday, September 7, 2013

Know Your Bible

Many people who oppose God recognize if they can discredit or disprove the Bible, Christianity has nothing to stand on and they can go about their business justified. This is why we must be like the Apostles – so familiar with scripture they cannot twist us up and deny that the Word of God is binding on them. Here is an example. How would you disarm this argument?

The thought here is that all these animals and beings are false and mythical and are referred to the Bible but the Kangaroo, the one animal on this list that we know exists is not in the Bible. There are several ways to answer this. Keep in mind that anyone who bring up such an argument raises it to try to avoid the issue that they need to deal with: the Gospel.  The first thing to do is to not skirt the issue but ask are these in creatures in the Hebrew and Greek or just in the English translation – the King James Version? They are in the King James Version and most of these are mistranslations given that 500 years ago the King James translators did not have as good handle of Hebrew as we have today – that is why these creatures are not found in newer and more accurate English translations.
We can prove that by actually looking up where each creature comes in the KJV and then comparing the verse with a newer translation. Therefore if you do not like things like satyrs, cockatrice, or unicorns in your Bible, get a newer translation that better renders Hebrew.

Sea Monster

See Job 7:12, Psalm 74:13,14. Isaiah 27:1, and Ezekiel 32:2 (NIV for these).  Many scholars associate any Biblical mention of Sea Monster with “Leviathan”.  Leviathan often appears in newer English rendered as “crocodiles” and I’m not too sure I agree with that translation choice given that “Leviathan” is a big part of Jewish Extra Biblical texts. Also given that only 5% of the earth’s oceans have been explored, how do we know that there is no Leviathan? The only verse in the KJV that has “sea monster” in it is Lamentations 4:3 but in NIV “sea monster” is rendered as “jackals”.


See Job 41, Psalm 74:14; Psalm 104:26; Isaiah 27:1 See above “Sea Monster”.


See Job 40:15.  “Behemoth” is rendered “hippopotamus” in CEV translation. Like Leviathan, with all the various animal that exist and have existed it is irrationally to conclude that the Bible authors did not know what they were talking about. And yeah, maybe Job is referring to a hippo.

Twenty-two verses in the KJV in the Old Testament. In the NIV all references to “dragon” are in Revelations. For example Deuteronomy 32:33 renders “dragons” as “serpent”. And some of the places where dragon is being used it’s not talking about an animal but a metaphor for pharaoh. Sometimes leviathan is called a “dragon”. Some of the references are not referring to a creature but is metaphorical. We do not have much of a way to be sure one way or the other when it comes to books like Revelations. Either way you and I still need Jesus.


Nineteen verses in the KJV contain the word “Giant”. Newer translations like the NIV use the Hebrew words like “Nephelim” and “Rephaites” instead of translating the words to “Giant(s)” Scholars are split if these were people of superhuman size or not. The Bible does not restrict us to either interpretation. Regardless of where you come down, there is no way it matters when it comes to your own sin and need for Christ.


Four verses in KJV contain the word “cockatrice”. A cockatrice is a mythical creature. All four references in the NIV has it rendered as a snake. This makes sense given Isaiah 14:29:
Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
How could a creature come from a serpent and not be a snake?  Simple: it has to be a serpent.


Kangaroos are not in the Bible. It is a good thing Kangaroo are not in the Bible because no one who lived in the Middle East and Egypt during the times the Bible were written in would have seen one. This is actually evidence of the Bible being true.


Satyrs are mentioned in the KJV twice in Isaiah. The NIV renders the Hebrew word as “wild goats” in both cases. This is a better translation and fits the context of the verses.

Talking Donkey

Balaam’s donkey spoke to him in Numbers 22:21-33. Verse 28 very specifically says that the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth so that she could speak.  How is this so unbelievable? If you believe that God spoke all of reality in existence, how would this be difficult? It would not. Easy peasy. Nor does the text suggest that this was normative.


“Unicorn” appears in the KJV nine times. It’s a mistranslation. The NIV uses “OX”
There are a lot of animals and creatures we know that do exist are not mentioned by name in the Bible, this doesn’t change the need of every man, woman, and child for Jesus.  This is how you could redirect such a conversation back to what matters – the Gospel. This is what they have to deal with. We all do. No matter what.