Have you ever had a conversation about Christianity with someone, and they use the Bible to support an unbiblical concept? It can be confusing and shocking when they’ve twisted Scriptures!

Apologetics, the study of defending the faith, works to provide not only a correct interpretation of the passage at hand, but an understanding of why it was misconstrued.  The Apologetics Study Bible Notes contain a list of these passages, along with further information for your study.

We picked five twisted Scriptures to share with you:

5 TWISTED SCRIPTURES

DANIEL 8:14

He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”

“Daniel’s prophetic 2,300 days have interested many throughout history who have sought to predict the date of the Lord’s return. By interpreting each day as a year, William Miller, a Baptist pastor from New York, calculated that Christ’s second advent would take place between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.

As the date approached, a wave of excitement and expectation swept across America. Thousands of Christians from mainline churches, convinced of the accuracy of Miller’s prognostication, joined with the new adventist movement. Many of these “Millerites” sold their property to wait anxiously for the arrival of God’s kingdom.

When the date passed without any cataclysmic event, Miller set October 22, 1844, as the new date for the parousia, or return of Christ. A second failure, known as the “Great Disappointment,” led Miller to repent of his errors.

Several of his followers, however, said that Miller’s latest date was correct but that his explanation was wrong. According to them, on October 22, 1844, Jesus moved from His seat at God’s right hand into the holy place to begin an “investigative judgment” of all professing believers, many of whom will be blotted out of the book of Life.

This remnant of Millerites eventually founded the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

JOHN 9:2

His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“This verse, when twisted, seems to support reincarnation. The implication is that in a previous life the man sinned and was thus born blind in the next life. The reference, however, is to a Jewish belief that a fetus could commit a sin while in his mother’s womb. The concept of reincarnation was foreign to Hebrew thought.

Jews believed in resurrection, not reincarnation.”

1 CORINTHIANS 15:29

Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?

“Mormons refer to this verse as support for their practice of baptism for the dead. According to Mormon doctrine, no one can be born again apart from baptism at the hands of a Mormon priest. This creates a problem for those living before the advent of Mormonism. The solution is to baptize the dead by proxy.

There are several possible interpretations for this verse. Even if baptism for the dead were a practice in some first-century congregations, it was being administered by heretics (“they”), who according to the passage rejected the resurrection.

Paul was not endorsing the ritual.”

2 CORINTHIANS 12:2

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.

“Some New Age teachers mention this verse as support for the practice of astral projection, or soul travel. Followers of Eckankar regularly attempt to separate soul and body, which supposedly enables them to traverse the various realms of the universe.

Paul called his experience a vision (12:1) and indicated that it was not self-initiated but rather happened to him unexpectedly. There is no scriptural support for astral projection.”

1 TIMOTHY 6:16

Who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

The basic premise of the soul sleep theory, also known as conditional immortality, is derived from this verse among others (see Gn 2:17; 3:4,19,22; Ps 146:4; Ec 9:5; Ezk 18:20; Rm 6:23).

Groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, The Way International, and a host of “sacred name” sects believe that when humans die, their bodies go into the grave and remain unconscious until resurrection day. The vast majority of Christians, however, believe that human consciousness survives death.

Jesus exhorted, “Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt 10:28).

The Apostle Peter talked about laying aside his “tent,” that is, dying (2 Pt 1:14), which seems to indicate that the personality survives death.

Paul made a similar statement in 2 Co 5:1. Paul also wrote of death as “the desire to depart and to be with Christ” (Php 1:23).

The author of Hebrews wrote of “the spirits of righteous people made perfect” (Heb 12:23).

And the martyred tribulation saints cry out, “O Lord . . . how long until You judge and avenge our blood?” (Rv 6:10), showing that they are alive when making this plea.

Most importantly, Jesus spoke on the subject when He assured the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with Me in paradise” (Lk 23:43). When referring to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Jesus concluded that “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Mt 22:32).

LEARN TO DEFEND YOUR FAITH

The Apologetics Study Bible is packed full of content from well-known apologists such as the McDowells, William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, Lee Strobel, and more. You’ll have insights on nearly every verse of the Bible, helping you think through critical concepts. Additionally, there is a HUGE list of extra articles meant to answer some of your biggest questions about other religions, worldviews, and science and their impact on Christianity.

Look inside!

Interested in learning more? Visit our website to read more about The Apologetics Study Bible.

36 Comments

  1. Hmmm. There were no punctuation marks when Holy Scripture were originally written in Hebrew and Greek. Using our English translations instead of going directly to the original language for such heavy doctrinal questions is questionable. For example Lk 23:43. “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” Move the comma. “Verily I say unto thee today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” And of course, comparing verse to verse, precept to precept is invaluable. Compare verses that have to do with Hades and Sheol — in the original languages.

    • Putting the comma after the word “today” renders the word superfluous – to anyone present, it was obvious that Jesus was speaking “today.” I can’t imagine Jesus was wasting his breath as he suffered and died – surely the comma belongs before today where the word has meaning.

      • Thank you, Alex, for saving me from having to type that out, yet again.

        Substitute yesterday or tomorrow for the word “today” – the sentence makes no sense.

      • But Jesus didn’t go to Heaven that day, so how could the thief be with him that day?

        • Jesus said Paradise, not Heaven. Also known as Abraham’s Bosom as in Luke 16. As Jonah was in the belly of the whale, Jesus was in the belly of the earth where He proclaimed His victory to the wicked dead Mat 12:40 & 1 Ptr 3:18-20. After Jesus paid the price for our redemption, Paradise was now found to be in the third Heaven as in 2 Cor 12 and Rev 2:7 as the righteous now have an open door to heaven.

    • Gordon Tippett Reply

      Moving the comma makes the sentence awkward. And you have to look at all the verses that relate to the topic. It is quite clear in Revelation that John saw spirits pfvthe dearly departed in Heaven.

    • Gordon Tippett Reply

      Moving the comma makes the sentence awkward. And you have to look at all the verses that relate to the topic. It is quite clear in Revelation that John saw spirits of the the dearly departed in Heaven.

    • There was no punctuation in the Greek, that is true. That does not mean we get to put it wherever we feel it works best. The syntax, grammar, tense, and word order in the Greek tells us what that verse means. It does not leave open the possibility for it to mean “today I am telling you this thing that will happen at some undetermined future time.” The tense of all the Greek words would have to be different to say that. The consistent result of educated Koine Greek scholars holds that the correct translation requires us to put the comma before “today.”

    • Rodney Garcia Reply

      If the comma was placed correctly before the word today, then the punctuation would make Jesus a liar. For he tells Mary on Sunday morning of His resurrection, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ” John 20:17.

      How could Jesus tell the theif that they would be in heaven (paradise is heaven – the tree of life is said to be in paradise and heaven – therefore they are the same) that very day (Friday) and then say He had not yet ascended to heaven on Sunday morning? Clearly, the comma goes after the word today. He is giving the theif the assurance that very day.

      • Chris Miller Reply

        Jesus is not just a man; Jesus is God. Omnipresent and outside of time.

        “Before Abraham was, I Am” – John 8:58
        “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

        6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

        9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own,[b] and his own people[c] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

        14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son[d] from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:1-14

        Jesus was not limited by his human body, rather He humbled himself and went to the Cross.

        God Bless You Guys.

  2. Hein Zentgraf Reply

    The verse twisted by most Christians is Matthew 5:17, insinuating Jesus abolished the law and the prophets. He actually came to magnify the intent of what was given to Moses and expand on that. Without the “law”, which is another abominable translation, we would never know what sin was and could live as if sinless.

    • How could the abolishment of the law and the prophets be insinuated Matthew 5:17, which clearly states the opposite?

  3. Calvary Atamudzi Reply

    I love this explanations and origins .
    Will want to learn more

  4. Daz Sheppard Reply

    The Hebrew form of speech for emphasis is ‘I tell you today, …’
    Jesus was using this to the thief, he was emphasising that the thief would be in paradise, definitely, but not saying when.
    Where is paradise?
    Not heaven – Acts 2:34 tells us David, a man after God’s own heart, is not there.
    Psalms and Ecclesiastes tell us that there is no consciousness after death – Psalm 6:5.
    As you state, Jesus’ hope was in the resurrection. He will return to the earth to raise the dead (Acts 1) and it is the earth that wil lthen be the paradise – look at all the Old Testament prophecies, like Isaiah 2 and 35. God’s purpose is the ‘all the earth shall be full of the glory of the Lord’ and Jesus said ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’.

      • Darren Sheppard Reply

        He is, but not for them in heaven. If we go to heaven when we die, why have none of the faithful in Hebrews 11 not yet received the promise they were given?
        And why does he say in John he will come again, not that they will go to him?

    • Actually, in reference to Acts 2:34, it doesn’t actually say David is not in Heaven, it just says he didn’t ascend to Heaven. Also, it’s comparing him with Jesus, so i’m pretty sure the whole “For David did not ascend to heaven…” is just a comparison to show that Jesus did, he had the power because he is Lord and God. Sooooo, you are essentially doing hw exact thing this blog is warning against and twisting scripture.

  5. Paul Benedetti Reply

    a law can be changed. Correct? a truth cannot. Correct? Christ came to show the truth and enhance laws so they could conform to unescapable truth. laws can be changed, a truth etched in the stone of reality, can not. in Christ, Paul B

  6. These are all good comments to think about. First make an effort to understand scripture in it’s original language. Then try to look for God’s principal that transcends time since He is the same yesterday, today and forever. It is also helpful to understand He is a God of covenants. Jess lived on this earth under the Old Law based on a covenant. God did change the Old Law, when Christ fulfilled it as He said in Matt. 5:17. That is why we today live under a New Covenant, Law of Christ. The timing of this transformation is where we get stuck. Our New Cov. is a spiritual one. Now try to think on the spiritual vs. the literal and physical. May God bless you all in your diligent study of His Word.

  7. Our goal as Christians should not be to argue about what scripture says or doesn’t say. It doesn’t matter whether we believe paradise will be here on this earth or otherwise. Will we, when we get there, when we bump into each other say, “I told you so”. I personally don’t agree the way Genesis 1:1 was translated. it should say, “in the beginning of creation, when GOD created heaven and earth”. there’s no use making a big fuss over it. The Bible has brought many to Christ. Us bickering about biblical matters is very unappealing to non-Christians. let us lead by example and show the love of Christ in us. That can be the light that the world so desperately needs right now.

  8. Bruce Haskin Sr. Reply

    You didn’t mention Matthew 18:20. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV). When it is removed from its context of congregational discipline, it is used to to bring a sanctified presence to any gathering.

  9. Tunde Fajimi Reply

    Different scriptural interpretations (among other things) have been a primary reason, in my opinion, for the lack of the expression of love among we people who call ourselves Believers in Christ, in many denominations, over the many centuries.

    The fear of doctrinal error, and possible judgment from the Lord, and maybe sometimes just the inability to hold an understanding conversation, make us intolerant and dismissive, and so negate our witness.

    For example, I was born and raised Catholic, until my college years during which I came to seek and find Christ for myself under a Pentecostal tradition. I have also studied Seventh Day Adventist doctrine during am extended time when I was exposed to their teachings for a couple of years.

    We’re all seeking to know God and to have our lamps (still) lit when He returns (or at least to have oil in them), and if He tarries before our passing to be ready anyway.

    I agree with aspects of different comments above, that original language translations (and the traditional contexts of the recipients of the particular book of scripture) may better explain the meaning, rather than relying on our English (modern) versions. Same with punctuation.

    The challenge is that not everyone is literate or has access to those bills to personally define their own faith. Most will just rely on the authority of their church leaders and fathers, and never question or review.

    What do we say about the millions that can’t read or live in oppressive and oppressed areas of the world. How do we peach to them and reach them to live when they decide to believe in Christ? How do we teach them to treat other believers, known or unknown?

    I think those questions are key to our revelation as Christs in the eyes of the world, and not necessarily in our different interpretations. Sheep and goats is what Christ used as His analogy of the Judgment. Let’s humbly learn from, engage with, and love all that call on the Name of the Lord, without bias or favoritism.

    He will sort it all out at the end.

    • Mildred McCarthy Reply

      So very very true: and while seeking God and living closely to His heart and finding His Way in His Word, how very important to always remember that, although His Word is inerran, we, His Children, are not. Let us stand firm in our convictions and Scriptural doctrine, but live peaceably with all of those who call on His name with us.

    • Shirleen M. Hall Reply

      You told the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If it was more teaching what is right in the eyes of God instead of disagreeing with one another the world would be a much better place to live in. Let’s us get back to the truth and do as the Lord says to do, which is go out and feed my sheep if you love me…

  10. Missed the “BIGGIE:” Catholics’ misinterpretation that the man, Peter, was the “rock” upon which Christ would build His Church, rather than on (very!) fallible Peter’s “Great Confession”– the huge doctrinal waves of which took the Church way off course for about 1300yrs from about 200-1500AD! (Still is Billion+ Catholics who still looked/look to the (often, wildly!) fallible man “on Peter’s chair,’ instead of Peter’s “confession,” for guidance after the Reformation!)

    AND, No, the difference in Petros/petra (Gk.)”small & large rocks isN’T the core of the mistake; it’s the FALLIBILITY issue of ever putting that much on ANY single (hu)man! What a horribly foolish & tragic mistake & one that, along with key other apostasies since, have severely damaged His Word & Church since early on!

    So damaging they’ve likely come from the Evil One, who best knows the cracks in our “humanness” ever since Grandmother Eve & Grandfather Adam said, “Yes, I think I will…”

    • I am not defending “Roman Catholic”. Denomination should lead us to Jesus after that everything changes. I have had to “Unlearn” so many things since I invited Holy Spirit into my life, its great.
      “My people perish for the lack of knowledge “ (somewhere in the Bible I think !)
      Truth sets you free.
      I love learning truths, especially by looking at something from a different viewpoint there by revealing the truth.
      Can you help me with scripture to clarify what you are saying ?
      Please do not take this as a challenge, I just want to learn truth.
      God Bless
      TJ

  11. We must always test scripture by scripture it is one,by the one who inspired it
    we as humans truly need the Holy Spirits help in all our studies of scripture the old and new testaments must be looked at together for a correct belief and what joy there is in coming to know the author of all scripture

  12. John 14 v 26 I will send you the Comforter the Holy Spirit who will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have taught you.
    John 10 v 27 I know My sheep and My sheep know My voice.
    I am in the Father the Father is in Me We will come and dwell (live) in you.
    This is about relationship.
    2 Corinthians 6 v 18 I will be your Father and you will be My sons and daughters says the Lord God Almighty.
    God will reveal the words to us we only need to beliieve Him. Test our answers with each other and scripture. The story is about love and coming into a loving relationship with God through belief in/on Jesus Christ/ Immanuel and fellowship with / in The Holy Spirit. God will teach us if we ask and listen. God bless you all Andy

  13. Rodney Garcia Reply

    Jesus statement in Matthew 22:32 about being the God of he living is in the context of the resurrection. The Sadducees came to him asking about and doubting the resurrection. If Jesus meant that believers went to heaven immediately, it would be confirming the Sadducees’ belief that there is no resurrection. Why do you need a resurrection if those who have died in Christ are already in heaven? No, Jesus said in verse 31, “concerning the resurrection of the dead… God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” verse 32. Clearly, His statement is to be taken in context of resurrection not death.

    Paul said that it is a the resurrection (which great takes place at the second coming – 1 Thess. 4:16, 17) that the corruptable and mortal shall put on incorruption and immortality. Certainly the saints who have died are not in heaven now still corruptable and mortal, waiting for the second coming to be changed and finally fit into heaven!

  14. In your blog you stated that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that after someone is buried: “their bodies go into the grave and remain unconscious until resurrection day.”
    Being a witness of Jehovah, not having english as my motherlanguage, I don’t recognise that as a correct rendering of our believe.
    It is true that Jesus compared the state of being dead with being asleep (John 11:11). But Jesus didn’t meant that literally. We believe that when somebody dies, he or she doen’t have a consciousness anymore. To be conscious someone needs a functioning brain. Without a brain it is impossible to feel pain, think or have any mental activity. It is like Ecclesiastes states: “…the dead know nothing at all…” (Ecc. 9:5), and “on that very day his thoughts perish” (Ps. 146:3, 4).
    Indeed, we don’t believe in an eternal soul, because the bible states “the soul who sins dies…” (Eze 18:4), but in a resurrection in the future.
    You may find accurate knowledge of our believe at jw.org. Please consult that website accurately, or call to our office, if you want to give an accurate rendering of our believes. Beste regards from Robert D. at Tegenwichtblog

  15. Brian Orner Reply

    At some point we have to trust that God was involved in the various translations. Otherwise we are all left confused.

    As far as the Law and the Prophets, might that mean the sacrificial and ceremonial laws? And the Prophet is now Christ?

    As far as baptism of the dead, Paul was teaching near an area where there was actually a pagan/heretical practice of baptizing for the dead.

Write A Comment

Pin It