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10 myths about the Bible

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4. The Bible is exclusivistic.
That is, it teaches that only some are “in” while most are “out.” For example, this statement of Jesus is often interpreted in a narrow, exclusivistic manner: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). But as the Gospels indicate, Jesus was not trying to get people to accept a certain phrase or even a certain narrow teaching. He invited everyone everywhere, and in all time, to love God supremely, and to love their brothers and sisters. This is the way, the truth, and the life by which we come to God.

5. The Bible says that people who aren’t Christian are just plain wrong.
In fact, the writers of many parts of the Bible seem to go out of their way to emphasize that everyone everywhere can recognize and base their lives on God as infinite Love. In the book of Acts, Peter has an experience that shows him that God doesn’t care about a person’s background as long as the person is truly righteous (see Acts 10:1-35).

6. The Bible teaches that we’ll go to hell if we don’t accept Jesus as our personal savior.
Few biblical passages actually talk about hell. Rather, many passages talk about the blessings that flow – here and now and eternally – from doing right (see the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, for example).

And here’s a passage that emphasizes that salvation is won as we think and live the way that Jesus did: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31, 32).

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