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Facts About the Bible

In 1661, John Eliot published a Bible in the Nipmuck language, the first bible published in what is now the United States. The longest word in that bible is in Mark 1:40, Wutteppesittukgussunnoowehtunkquoh, which means "kneeling down to him." (source)

The fruit which for eating it Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden is simply referred to in the Bible as the fruit of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." It is never referred to as an apple. The confusion arose when the Bible was translated into Latin because the Latin word malum means both "apple" and "evil".

View more facts about: Languages of the World

In the Southampton library in England is an old bible known as the "Bug Bible," printed by John Daye in 1551. It name comes from the fact that it renders Psalm 91:5 as: "So that thou shalt not need to be afraid for any bugs by night." Most translations use the word "terrors", not "bugs". (source)

The middle chapter in the Protestant Bible is Psalm 117, which is also the shortest chapter in the Bible.

There is an edition of the Bible, issued in 1717, by the University of Oxford, at their Clarendon Press, which is known as "The Vinegar Bible", derived from a typo in the heading to Luke 20, wherein "Parable of the Vineyard" is printed "Parable of the Vinegar." (source)

An edition of the Bible published in 1631 inadvertently omitted the word "not" from the line "Thou shalt not commit adultery." It became known as the "Wicked Bible." (source)

Based on the Bible, it would appear that the ancient Hebrews had rather different taste in pets that we do. Apart from an offhand mention in the book of Tobit (only accepted as canon by Catholics and Orthodox) of a dog being a companion on a journey, and one occurrence in the Synoptic Gospels of a pagan woman implying that a dog is allowed inside the house, dogs are uniformly depicted as unclean scavengers in the Bible. Cats are not mentioned at all. (source)

The first Bible published in what is now the United States was written in a language that no-one can speak today. At the age of 42, John Eliot, pastor of a church at Roxbury, Massachusetts, began studying the Natick Indian dialect Nipmuck, with a view of translating the Bible into that language. He completed the translation in 1658, after a labour of eight years, and the New Testament was issued in 1661 and the Old Testament in 1663. Upwards of one thousand copies were printed, of which twenty copies were dedicated to King Charles. Shortly afterwards, most of the Natick Indians died and their language became ext­inct. (source)

In Matthew 18:23–35, there is a parable about a man who owes another man 10,000 talents. This sum would be the equivalent, at that time, of a labourer's wages for almost 200,000 years. (source)

Guido de Jars spent half a century between 1244 and 1294 in creating a manuscript copy of the Bible, with illuminated letters. He was 90 years old when he completed it. (source)

It is estimated that over 7,500,000,000 copies of the Bible have been made. (source)

The oldest writing contained in the Bible is the Song of Deborah in Judges 5. It dates from the 12th century B.C., only a short time after the events described in the song would have occurred. (source)

Only three angels are mentioned in the Bible: Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael (the last of whom is only mentioned in the Book of Tobit, which is accepted as canon only by Catholics and Orthodox). (source)

View more facts about: Saints

Lucan de Vries composed 3,100 anagrams of the letters of Luke 1:28 in Latin, "Ave Maria, gratia Plena, Dominus tecum," with U and V interchangeable. (source)

View more facts about: English Words

Ethiopia's Emperor Menelik II believed that the Bible had curative powers, and he would eat a few pages of it to help restore his health whenever he felt sick. However, he died in 1913 as a result of eating the entire Book of Kings. (source)

View more facts about: Unusual Ways to Die

The seven deadly sins (anger, covetousness, envy, gluttony, lust, pride, and sloth) are not found in the Bible; they were first enumerated by St. Thomas Aquinas. (source)

View more facts about: Philosophy and Religion | Saints

The word "mugwump" first appeared in a Bible published in 1663 by John Eliot in the now-ext­inct Nipmuck language. The word nowadays refers to a fence-sitter, but it originally meant "chief", as used in Genesis 36:40–43. (source)

In the book of Genesis, the first man is identified as Adam; however, most scholars do not interpret this as the man's personal name. The Hebrew word adham means "man", and most believe that it should be read as a generic name, referring to mankind in general, not as a proper name. Eve, however, is a proper name.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible, first published in 1946 by Thomas Nelson & Sons, was so popular that one year the publisher had to buy up the entire seal catch in North America in order to bind their volumes in leather, and they still needed extra hides of India water buffalo to finish the task. (source)

In 1654, Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh, having worked through the genealogy of the Bible, announced that the time of creation was on Sunday, October 21, 4004 B.C., at 9:00 in the morning. Ussher settled on the hour because it was a "civil" hour of the day and he figured God would be civil. (source)

View more facts about: Calendars

Slavery appears to have been a universal institution in the ancient world. For example, it was never questioned in either the Old Testament or the New Testament. (source)

View more facts about: Ancient People | Slavery

In the year 534, Dionysius Exiguus (also known as Dennis the Little), created the system, still used today, of counting the years starting with the birth of Christ. Unfortunately, he made some errors in calculation, so the birth of Jesus probably took place around 6 B.C. (Herod the Great, who is mentioned in the stories of Jesus' birth in the bible, died in 4 B.C.) (source)

View more facts about: Calendars | Roman Empire

The Free Pentecostal Holiness Church is a fundamentalist Christian sect in the southern United States. Its members believe that the Bible is the literal word of God. As Mark 16:18 states that true believers are able to defy fire, poison, and serpents, as part of their religious services the congregation will handle rattlesnakes, drink strychnine and touch fire. (source)

View more facts about: Philosophy and Religion

The Ethiopia of antiquity is not the Ethiopia of today. The Greeks referred to the Kingdom of Meroe, on the Nile south of Egypt, as Ethiopia, "the land of the burnt-faces." This is where the Ethiopian official to whom Philip preached in the Book of Acts would have lived. When the Abyssinians, who live in what is now Ethiopia, adopted Christianity in the fourth century, they took the name of Ethiopia for their nation.

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