After talking to Christians and being immersed in Christian-based culture for years, I’m always surprised by how different the popular Christian view is from their own scripture.
For example, they believe that:
- Angels are kind and helpful
- Jesus created Christianity as it is now
- When you die after accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you go straight to Heaven to meet your loved ones.
- Heaven is a nice place.
If you don’t know already, none of these things are in the Bible — only the opposite.
In the actual Bible:
- Angels are armed mercenaries destroying cities
- Jesus insisted that people should obey the Law (Torah or Old Testament) in full, but like the newer way introduced by Paul.
- You go to Heaven (in fact, a new Earth) only at the end of times.
- Heaven is a large floating cube, presided by creatures full of eyes, not a quiet cloudy place.
I can think of 4 reasons why people would have those ideas, that are not based on the book they believe was at least inspired by their god.
- False Assumptions without Specific Knowledge: They just didn’t read the book themselves — they heard parts read here and there at church and at school but never bothered to read the whole Bible by themselves. They rely on misconceptions heavily influenced by art by the means of paintings, books, movies and TV series, but not the original text.
- Selective acceptance: The disconnect can be caused by people skipping over the uncomfortable passages and remembering only the “good parts”.
- Merging of different accounts: Instead of taking the Gospels individually, they merge the events written in the four existing Gospels to create a new fifth one not based on the actual text.
- Wishful reinterpretation: People can’t accept the actual meaning of what they read so they make up a new meaning based on what they wish for.