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