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11 Common Myths About Jesus Exposed

Think you know Jesus? There are some pretty huge myths Him, and it’s important that you’re able to recognize them when you see them. Here’s a list of 11 of the biggest and most popular myths about Jesus:

Myth: Jesus Was a Myth

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Despite some claims to the contrary, the evidence that Jesus was a real historical figure is quite robust, extending beyond the Bible to other historical records. It’s easy to fall into skepticism given some inconsistencies perceived in biblical narratives, but the historical documentation supporting Jesus’s existence is overwhelming.

The Bible itself is an intricate collection of 66 books written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. These texts were penned by eyewitnesses and during the lifetimes of other witnesses. This timing enhances their reliability, as inconsistencies could have been easily challenged by contemporaries. Over 23,000 archaeological finds support the Bible’s accounts, and none have definitively disproven any biblical record.

Further, the Bible’s robust manuscript evidence strengthens its credibility. For example, the New Testament has about 6,000 manuscripts written just decades after the originals, far outnumbering the manuscript evidence for any other ancient writings. Even critical arguments about translation changes or ecclesiastical manipulations (like those supposedly at the Council of Nicea) fall flat against the evidence of consistent ancient texts and the early church fathers’ writings. These early texts can recreate 95% to 98% of the New Testament, showing a remarkable preservation of the original content across centuries.

Like it or not, Jesus is a real, historical figure. Whether or not you believe He’s the Son of God and Savior of this World is up to you and the Holy Spirit.

Myth: Jesus Wants Us to Follow Our Hearts

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It’s a common saying to “follow your heart,” but this advice doesn’t quite line up with what the Bible teaches. In Jeremiah 17:9, the heart is described as “deceitful above all things and beyond cure,” highlighting that our emotions and desires can often mislead us due to our inherent sin nature. This means making decisions based purely on how we feel can be risky and unwise.

Instead of just fixing our flawed hearts, the Bible explains that faith in Christ gives us a brand-new heart. As stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17, becoming a believer in Jesus transforms us into a new creation with fresh desires aligned with God’s will. So, rather than following our old hearts, we’re encouraged to lean on this new heart and the guidance it brings under Christ’s influence.

Myth: Jesus Was a Carpenter

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The common belief that Jesus was a carpenter might not be entirely accurate. This idea stems largely from Western interpretations of biblical texts, influenced by cultural depictions of Joseph teaching Jesus to work with wood. However, a closer look at historical and linguistic details suggests a different picture. The term “tekton,” often translated as “carpenter” in the Bible, actually means craftsman or builder.

Considering the geographical and cultural context of northern Israel, where stone was the predominant building material, it’s more likely that Jesus, like Joseph, was a stonemason rather than a carpenter. The landscape of Israel, largely devoid of extensive woodlands, supports this interpretation. Stone construction would have been a more practical and common occupation, making the traditional image of Jesus working primarily with wood less likely.

Myth: Jesus Was Just a “Good” Teacher

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Though Jesus taught valuable lessons through parables and sermons, calling him just a “good teacher” doesn’t capture who He really was. At the heart of Christianity is the belief that Jesus is not only a teacher but also the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Consider an interaction in Luke 18:18-19, where a ruler calls him “Good Teacher” and asks about eternal life. Jesus responds, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” This wasn’t just a modest reply; it was a hint at His divine nature.

By suggesting that if he is good, he must also be divine, Jesus shows He’s much more than a moral instructor—He is the great I Am.

Myth: Jesus Was Always a Peacemaker

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While Jesus is often seen as a symbol of peace and love, he wasn’t shy about confronting injustice. Jesus flipped tables and drove out money changers from the temple, showing He could take a strong stand when needed. He even stepped in to protect a woman from being stoned, clearly opposing unfair treatment. Jesus himself explained that his presence wouldn’t always bring peace.

In Matthew 10:34, he said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” This indicates that following his teachings could lead to conflict, especially when it involves standing up for what’s right. His approach was about shining a light in the darkness, which sometimes requires challenging the existing order.

Myth: Jesus Hated Money and People With Money

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It’s a common myth that Jesus was anti-money or lived in total poverty, but that’s not quite right. He often talked about money, saying it’s the love of money—not money itself—that can lead to problems. He and his disciples even had a budget that was managed by Judas, and they had support from well-off followers.

In teachings like Matthew 6:24, Jesus pointed out that you can’t devote yourself to both God and money. He encouraged generosity, like in Luke 12:32-34, where he suggests selling belongings to help the poor, underlining that it’s not about having money, but how you use it that matters.

Myth: Jesus Was Against Paying Taxes

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Did you know there’s a myth that Jesus was against paying taxes? Well, it turns out, he actually supported it. Take the story where Jesus tells Peter to catch a fish that surprisingly has a coin in its mouth—just enough to cover their taxes. It’s a practical lesson on fulfilling civic duties without fuss.

Even more telling is when the Pharisees tried to trip him up with a question about taxes in Matthew 22:15-22. Jesus, ever the wise teacher, held up a coin and said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” This clever reply underlines that it’s okay to pay taxes and still live faithfully.

Myth: Jesus Never Claimed to Be God

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While Jesus never directly said “I am God,” he did use language that subtly hinted at his divine identity. He often used the phrase “I am,” echoing the name used for God in the Old Testament. Also, consider his words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one,” and in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was born, I am.”

I mean, it’s pretty hard to confuse what He’s saying.

Myth: Jesus Had Blond Hair, Blue Eyes, and White Skin

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Many pictures show Jesus with blond hair and blue eyes, but this isn’t historically accurate. In reality, Jesus was a Middle Eastern Jew and would have had features common in that region—likely darker skin, dark curly hair, and brown eyes.

The Bible even notes that Jesus didn’t stand out in his appearance. Isaiah 53:2 mentions, “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him,” suggesting he looked like most people of his time. The European features we often see are modern interpretations, not historical truths.

Myth: Jesus Was Married

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The notion that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene comes from stories like those in “The Da Vinci Code,” but it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. There’s no actual evidence in historical records or the Bible to back this up.

Marriage is HUGE in the eyes of God. If Jesus had been married, the Bible would have mentioned it. The fact that it doesn’t suggests this idea is more a modern myth than a historical truth.

Myth: Jesus Was Born on December 25th

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While many of us celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25th, it turns out this date might not be accurate. The choice of December 25th was likely made by the Catholic Church to align with existing pagan winter solstice celebrations.

Historians, piecing together timelines around King Herod’s death, suggest Jesus was probably born between 7 and 4 B.C.E. So, why do we stick with December 25th? Without an exact birthdate, it remains a convenient and cherished tradition to celebrate on this day.

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