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The Bible's Untruths Are True
by Gregory John Monroe
4/05/2015 / Education
So Peter, with divine help, broke out of jail. He went straight to where the saints were praying for his release. Knocking on the door and announcing who he was, the woman on the other side of the door was so excited, she didn't open the door. Instead, she went and announced to the group that, indeed, Peter had been released and was outside the door.
They didn't believe her. They thought her delusional. But she adamantly insisted that it was Peter at the door. Finally they stopped the ridicule and accepted that someone was at the door. That someone, they said, must be his [Peter's] angel.
All this is recorded in Acts 12: 6-15. The Bible faithfully and truthfully relates what was said. But was what the group said about Peter true? Of course not.
That's why it's so important to study in context not only the scripture at hand, but in terms of the whole Bible as well. I'm saying this because some sects have interpreted the statement "his angel" to mean that the prayer group thought Peter had been executed, and that he had become an angel. These sects believe, therefore, that all believers become angels after dying.
Though it's true the prayer group made the untrue "his angel" statement, I've no doubt they made it based on what they scripturally knew about angels. That is, angels are created as a separate, independent order of beings. They are witnesses of deeds and words, and, as such, they minister to the needs of the saved. The group, undoubtedly, considered the person at the door to be Peter's guardian angel.
One other example of the Bible speaking the truth about an underlying untruth is in the book of Job (1: 21). In it, Job says that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. This is a statement often claimed of God in tragedies. Though job said it and believed it, we know from context that it was God's adversary, the devil, who caused the calamities that befell Job.
Consequently, the Bible is the whole truth. Within that whole, subsets of untruth are truthfully relayed. That the Bible is faithful to what actually happened and what was said is a testament to its credibility and reliability.
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