Paganism and Christianity—how much have pagan practices corrupted Christian doctrines? Where did some common beliefs credited to Christianity—such as the veneration of Mary—actually originate? In this episode of Tomorrow's World, let's go through five myths that modern Christianity has adopted—but the Bible refutes.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
Professing Christians know that Jesus gave His life for mankind, but what else do they know about Jesus and why He came to earth as a human being? On today’s Tomorrow’s World program, we’ll expose five myths about the Jesus of the Bible. He is, as Bruce Barton wrote, The Man Nobody Knows.
How surprising that is, when the world’s largest collective religious body claims to worship Him.
John 3:16 is perhaps the most famous of all verses, yet one that says something very different from what people think. Stay tuned!
As surprising as it may be, commonly held beliefs indicate much misunderstanding about the Savior of the world.
The first myth is a major doctrine found among some Christian denominations.
It’s amazing what people accept as truth simply because that is what their priest tells them, without ever investigating it for themselves from the only authoritative book about the life of Jesus. So,
Myth #1: Jesus’ mother was a perpetual virgin
This myth has far-reaching implications.
Scriptures mention Jesus having brothers and sisters, but some allege that these verses refer to either cousins or disciples. What are we to believe? Should we follow traditions handed down to us that conflict with easy-to-understand scripture? Or should we believe the Bible? You be the judge!
The false narrative of Jesus’ mother remaining a perpetual virgin and Jesus having no siblings is soundly contradicted in John 7, beginning in verse 3:
His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him (John 7:3–5).
So much for “His brothers” referring to disciples! This does not mean that He never referred to His followers as being brothers, only that He had “brothers” who were not disciples.
Another scriptural example of His blood family is found in Matthew 12, verses 47–50, where there is a clear distinction between His physical family and His spiritual family:
Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:47–50).
These references to brothers cannot be shrugged off easily.
Let’s notice another passage on this subject where sisters (plural) are mentioned.
Matthew 13:54–56 relates how citizens in the area where He grew up, were perplexed by the wisdom and miracles He performed:
… when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” (Matthew 13:54–56).
Any objective reader who is not influenced by unfounded traditions recognizes that Matthew 1:24–25 ought to lay the question to rest.
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
Although “firstborn son” does not necessarily mean there were others, the inference is certainly there.
But more importantly, any student of the Bible knows that the expression “did not know her” is a euphemism for sexual relations, as we see in Genesis 4:
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain (Genesis 4:1).
And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch (Genesis 4:17).
And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth (Genesis 4:25).
My friends, instead of blindly following Church traditions, read the Bible for what it says!
But you may wonder, “Is it important to know that Mary did not remain a perpetual virgin and that Jesus had half-brothers and sisters?”
The answer is found in
Myth #2: The narrative that Mary is our intercessor
Mary was the mother of Jesus and scripture indicates she was a righteous woman.
But the role of Mary has been grossly and blasphemously corrupted. Nowhere do we find in the Bible anything about her “immaculate conception.”
Non-Catholics often misunderstand that the immaculate conception refers to Christ’s conception, but this biblically unfounded doctrine refers instead to Mary. Here is what a Catholic source explains:
The Immaculate Conception is a Catholic dogma that states that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain. That’s what “immaculate” means: without stain (“Immaculate Conception and Assumption,” Catholic Answers, Catholic.com, Accessed MAy 11, 2022).
Yet, where is the proof of this? Certainly not from the Bible! Where does it come from?
What many do not realize is how deeply, and how early, Christianity was corrupted by pagan doctrines that long predate Christ.
Many historical sources show that the worship of Mary came about as traditions about pagan goddesses were transferred to the mother of Jesus. This truth is well established. Here is merely one example from the highly respected Church historian Jesse Lyman Hurlbut.
Writing about the origin of Mary worship, he says:
About 405 A.D. images of saints and martyrs began to appear in the churches, at first as memorials, then in succession revered, adored, and worshiped. The adoration of the Virgin Mary was substituted for the worship of Venus and Diana (Hurlbut’s Story of the Christian Church, 1918, p. 79).
Nowhere in the Bible do we read of Mary being immaculately conceived. Nowhere do we read of her remaining a perpetual virgin.
We read just the opposite. And nowhere in the Bible do we read of Mary as intercessor between God and man. That role is reserved for Jesus Himself—not Mary, not human priests. He is the One through whom we approach the Father. He revealed that to us on the night in which He was betrayed.
We find in John 14:6:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Then in John 14 verses 13 and 14 Jesus says if you ask in His name, HE will do it.
You don’t have to go to His mother to appeal to Him.
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:13–14).
It is through the name of Jesus Christ, not Mary, that we come to God. There is not one shred of evidence in the Bible for the worship of Jesus’ mother. Not a single verse indicates we should use the name of Mary to approach Jesus or His Father. The simple truth is, as many historical sources prove, the cultus of Diana, Ishtar, and other goddesses have been transferred to Mary. When she awakes in the resurrection, she’ll be astounded [at] how the worship of pagan goddesses has been transferred to her.
So let us look at:
Myth #3: Jesus’ gospel is only about His death, burial, and resurrection
Now don’t misunderstand; that certainly is good news, and good news is what the word gospel means, but what gospel did Jesus proclaim for three-and-a-half years prior to His crucifixion?
Why is it that so few know and understand what that message is, when it’s spelled out so clearly in scripture after scripture?
Isn’t it strange that church-goers cannot tell you what the Bible reveals about Jesus’ message to mankind? No, it wasn’t about His death, burial, and resurrection—though that is part of the good news. And no, it wasn’t about going to heaven. It was about a world-ruling Kingdom of God to be set up on the earth.
Here is the beginning of His ministry as recorded in Mark 1:14–15.
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14–15).
Do you realize that most of Jesus’ many parables were about this kingdom?
For example, Mark 4:30:
Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it?” (Mark 4:30).
The expression “kingdom of God” is found 69 times in the New Testament of the New King James Version. Obviously, I don’t have time to cover them all, but proclaiming this message was one reason Jesus said He was sent to earth.
See Luke 4:43:
… but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent” (Luke 4:43).
And Luke 8, verse 1 shows that He took this commission very seriously.
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God (Luke 8:1).
And what does that have to do with you?
Contrary to the widely held doctrine of going to heaven, His message was about a divine family ruling on earth—a family that you can be born into. Why, when there is so much said about this in the Bible, do so few comprehend Jesus’ message?
And this brings us to:
Myth #4: The reward of the saved is retirement in heaven
We have pointed this out many times on this Tomorrow’s World program and in our other resources, but let me quickly review this with you from the pages of the Bible.
In a prophecy of the future, Zechariah 14:9 tells us:
And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—“The LORD is one,” And His name one (Zechariah 14:9).
But Jesus will not be alone in ruling. Revelation 19:16 tells us that Jesus will be King of kings and Lord of lords:
And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16).
Now, who are these kings and lords that Jesus will be King and Lord over? Scripture reveals the answer.
Speaking of the twelve tribes of Israel, the prophet Ezekiel, tells us:
I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken (Ezekiel 34:23–24).
When Jesus’ disciples asked, what was in it for them for following Him, He gave them this direct response in Matthew 19, verse 28:
So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).
So we have Christ as King over all the earth, David as king over all Israel, and the twelve apostles—each ruling over one of the twelve tribes of Israel under David.
That is what the Bible reveals, but what about you and me?
What’s in it for us?
Was Jesus’ message to live a good life, jam as much fun into it as you can before you die, and then go to retirement in heaven?
Not at all!
The reward He offers is right here on earth to rule with Him and help solve the problems that exist here below—to bring peace, happiness, and prosperity to all men everywhere.
In Jesus’ parable of the minas, He describes Himself as a nobleman going into a far country to receive a kingdom. His servants are told to do His work while He is gone, and He demands an accounting upon His return, and gives rewards according to how each does. Here are the rewards, as found in Luke 19, beginning verse 16:
Then came the first, saying, “Master, your mina has earned ten minas.” And he said to him, “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.” And the second came, saying, “Master, your mina has earned five minas.” Likewise he said to him, “You also be over five cities” (Luke 19:16–19).
Now that doesn’t sound like a boring retirement sitting on clouds with little to do, or staring into the face of God in a celestial trance forever—the so-called beatific vision!
The narrative about our Savior is that the One we know of as God the Father, was harsh and demanding, but Jesus came with a message of love. Now it is true that Jesus’ message was a message of love, but so was the message of scripture prior to His coming.
Remember how Jesus answered the lawyer who asked, “What is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.” [this comes from Deuteronomy 6:5] This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” [that comes from Leviticus 19:18] On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37–40).
With this understanding, why is it that people believe this fifth commonly held myth about the Jesus Christ of the Bible, that
Myth #5: Jesus did not agree with the Old Testament message
As shocking as this may sound, scripture reveals that Jesus was, get this, the God of the Old Testament! Now don’t take my word for it. Prove it from your own Bible! Note what the Apostle John revealed about the relationship between the Father and the One referred to as the Word. John 1, verses 1–3:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1–3).
So who was the Word? The answer is found in verse 14:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
The member of the God family that is referred to as the Word, who made all things and without Him nothing was made that was made, is none other than Jesus Christ.
Look it up in your own Bible and read John 1:1–14.
But that is far from the only proof that Jesus was the God of the Old Testament.
Another powerful scripture is Ephesians 3, verses 8 and 9.
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God [note this] who created all things through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:8–9).
Need more proof? Consider Hebrews 1, verses 1 and 2:
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, [and get this] through whom also He made the worlds. (Hebrews 1:1–2).
Still not convinced?
Who was it that created the angels? Who was it that created Adam and Eve, our first parents? Paul answers this in Colossians 1:15–18:
He [that is, Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:15–18).
But there’s more.
There is no stronger statement than is found in 1 Corinthians 10, verses 1–4:
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1–4).
No wonder Jesus claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath! He was the one who created the Sabbath for mankind!
Today we have exposed five commonly held myths about the Jesus of the Bible.
Why are these myths promoted in our modern churches, when they are so easily debunked from the pages of the Bible?
Thank you for watching! If you found this video helpful, and want to cast off commonly held myths about Jesus and understand more about one of Jesus’ most memorable statements of truth, be sure to order your free copy of John 3:16—Hidden Truths of the Golden Verse. Just click the link in the description.
You will be surprised how different His message was from what you’ve heard. And remember to subscribe to our channel to continue learning the plain truth from the pages of the Bible. See you next time!