Dear and precious friends. Perhaps you have heard of something called the “Mandela Effect,” a growing internet buzz over parallel universes getting mixed up. I heard of this several years ago on a late night radio program when I happened to be driving late. Apparently, it had legs, because it’s still around. In this article, I will provide six exhibits of proof that this theory is wrong, with respect to changes in the Bible.
In my younger years I went through a “science fiction” phase, so I can converse about parallel universes and alternate realities with the average “treckie.” Most people figure out sooner or later that science fiction is only one percent science and 99 percent fiction, and it loses its appeal. For others, it becomes almost a religion. I would not expend valuable blog space on this topic, except that this particular theory is very unsettling to many, if it is believed, or even just suspected. It’s NOT funny.
I found this out first hand when a member of my own family became intrigued by it. Unfortunately, this pill when swallowed is more than just unsettling, it can lead to a hysteria. It starts with curiosity, moves to intrigue, and ends in hysteria. Everything is changing and WE have to DO something about it!!!
May we please stop right there for a moment?
Why should a born-again Bible Believer, living securely in the hands of God, get hysterical about anything, let alone an internet theory about our universe getting itself into a cosmic tangle? The sensation alone ought to tell you something is wrong. The truth should “set you free,” not send you into a panic. Deep spiritual truths lead to joy, peace, tranquility, security in the loving hands of the creator. If something is having the OPPOSITE effect, you might consider that it is coming from the OPPOSITE source. If you have been feeling unsettled over this, I’ve got good news: you do NOT have to live that way. There is a way back to peace of mind, and I hope this article helps you get there.
I don’t often address such things. I wouldn’t have at all, except that this theory is now casting a cloud of doubt over the Bible, our very lifeline of Spiritual truth. (If you are counting, thats TWO big clues who the author of this is) The narrative goes like this: Because our historical timeline has somehow been tampered with, history has been changed, and our Bibles now read differently. (Depending on who you ask, this is either an accident, or a deliberate conspiracy). But a lot of people have become convinced, from their past memory work, that the Bible used to read differently than it now does.
Now, if you are a true believer in this theory, I should mention that I have read the lists of alleged verse changes, so I’m not speaking from ignorance. I also have a degree in Bible Literature, if that means anything to anyone. But before getting into that, will you please return with me to “Sci-Fi 101” and review what happens when history changes? The altered history becomes the NEW reality, and there is no evidence that things were ever different, even in memory. When history changes, things WEREN’T ever different, that’s what history IS. So in this “new” timeline, the people of the world have lived a different collective past, and that provides everyone a different set of memories. Trying to find evidence that history has been changed is like poking your finger in a bucket of water, pulling it out, and trying to find the hole. The new history covers up every gap, INCLUDING everyone’s memory. So the whole theory has some serious problems with “”orthodox sci-fi” doctrine” to begin with. But I digress.
Point number two: Who is the creator? Hint: If you have ever been to Sunday school, you realize that the answer to most every question is “God.” Therefore, IF—and that’s a big if—IF there are parallel universes, who is the creator of them? Hmmmm. God? Ok, lets just say that parallel realities do exist, and by some mix up, we are accidentally living in one of them. Is it still God’s universe? Does He still has everything under control? (good Sunday Schoolers also answer “”yes”” most of the time)
So, moving ahead in this “new reality” exercize, are there lies and deceptions in it, just like the other reality? Sure, whatever reality we are in, lies and deceptions are all around us just like always. So, things being as they are, how do we combat lies? Has the method changed? How did Jesus do it? Luke 4 gives the answer: “IT IS WRITTEN.” Those three words are Jesus answer to each of the Devil’s lies. (yes, even in “this” reality) If you are doubting, please turn to Luke 4:4-10, and notice that in “this” reality, “”IT IS WRITTEN”” is STILL the answer to every lie. Notice also that the Devil is STILL the author of lies. (John 8:44)
So, what would a liar do in this situation? Get on the Devil’s side of the chessboard for a moment. The surest way to defeat lies is with “IT IS WRITTEN,” right? The Devil knows that. So, the best strategy for him is to get you to do what? DOUBT what is written. If he can get you to do that, just doubt the Word of God a little bit, he’s got you whipped, WHATEVER universe you are in.
Here are few more KJV scriptures that survived the “tampering.”
I Cor. 14:33 “God is not the author of confusion.”
Matt. 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” That verse is STILL in there.
Psalm 138:2 “…thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” THAT verse is still in there.
What this means is, in THIS reality, whatever you think it to be, the Bible is STILL our absolute! Unless you think that the omnipotent God has somehow lost the power to preserve His own Word, “…by which the heavens were of old” (2 Peter 3:5)
Whoops—what just happened there!? Did you catch it? The WORD is ABOVE the creation, not PART of it. Therefore—(drawing on Sci-fi 101 again)—therefore, IF everything else in creation changes, there is something that does not change because it was never a part of creation to begin with. What is that one thing? The Word of God.
Yes, I know, the alleged changed verses, I’m getting to that. Just wanted to tag first base before heading to second. The above verses, existing in THIS universe, should settle it for you, EVEN IF, you can’t answer every puzzle. You don’t have to answer every puzzle! Humble yourself and accept what God has declared in THIS REALITY, and your long lost peace starts to return.
Now, something IS changing, and there happens to be some rock hard evidence what it is. If you are forever invested in the Mandela Effect, my apologies and prayers. But for those who are still wondering, drifting toward confusion, I offer this next section. This blog is already long, and I don’t have time to deal with every verse, but I’ll take what some say is the “toughest case,” the question of Wineskins and Bottles. Any of the other “”proof”” verses could be handled similarly.
Didn’t the King James used to say “Wineskins” but it now says “bottles?” Don’t I remember my pastor, etc., explaining what wineskins were? Yes. Both of us remember that. He told us what wineskins were and how they work, because it doesn’t make sense to have bottles bursting. It was a vivid illustration, and the thought of bursting wineskins was memorable and stayed with you. It stayed with me too. But the King James version has NEVER said “wineskins”. That was a contribution of the REVISED VERSION, also very old, released in the 1885. The “wineskins” rendering is very old, very familiar to the ear, quoted by preachers and teachers for over a century, but it did not originate in the KJV.
Here is a scan of a page of the 1611 King James Version. This scan is not from a recent publishing, this is an actual picture of a page of the 1611 KJV, from the presses of King James himself, the very first release. This page is over 400 years old. There are still a few copies around, one of which is the the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC.
Every page of the 1611 KJV Bible has been scanned. (you may download it free here, if you wish)
Notice the verse: It says “bottels” (with the old English spelling) That is what it has ALWAYS said, in each of the places where this passage occurs.
Here is a page from the Stephens Texus Receptus Greek/English Interlinear Bible. If you don’t know what that is, you can read about it here.
But basically, this is the Greek text on which the King James Bible was based. Notice that it prints the KJV in the side margin, and puts translated english words under the greek words. (this book has been on my shelf for years, and it has not changed either 😉
Notice, the interlinear translation says “”skins”” but the KJV printed in the margin uses “”bottles”.” Why the difference? Because it is done by two different translators in two different time periods, the KJV on the left margin, and the modern translator under the greek words. The translation choice of the modern translator is different because “bottles” NOWADAYS have come to mean a container made of glass. Back in the days of King James, “bottles” just as often meant skins used for holding liquid. It was a perfectly reasonable word choice at the time. However, your dear pastor (or sunday school teacher, etc) in teaching on this verse understood the potential confusion. So he went to the trouble to explain to you that in Jesus day, they did not have “bottles” as we think of them. They had “wineskins.” You remembered that all your life. Thank you PASTOR!
Still not convinced?
Here is AUDIO from a sermon preached by William Branham on Jan. 13, 1957, Titled “What does it take to Make a Christian Life” William Branham preached exclusively from the King James Version. He admitted confusion in his younger years about how “bottles” could burst. Later in life, he traveled as a missionary and realized that the “bottles” were actually skins.
“….Jesus taught the same thing in Luke when He said you cannot put new wine into old bottles. That was sometimes hard for me to understand before I became a missionary, to see what “bottles” and so forth. I thought, well, the bottle, what we call a bottle, it just wouldn’t get old. But in the Palestinian country, and during this time especially, the bottle was an animal skin that had been tanned up and sewed up and tied up in places, and the skin contained the liquid…”
He makes a similar point a week later in a later sermon titled “The Impersonation of Christianity.” In this sermon, the subject of wine and wineskins is not a passing point, but a central point throughout the entire sermon, starting from paragraph 92 on. As such, it was necessary for him to explain how “bottles” as in the KJV, were actually wineskins.
You may hear that entire sermon “here”
Here is AUDIO from Dr. J Vernon McGee who’s Bible teaching has been on the radio continuously since the 1980s. He used exclusively the King James Version. Like any good Bible teacher, he does the SAME THING. He QUOTES “bottles” and EXPLAINS “wineskins.” This recording was made over 40 years ago.
In fact, compare ANY Bible teacher of the past who has taught on this subject from the KJV. Listen to the recording. Read any old commentary. They nearly always explain “bottles” as “wineskins.” Once you get back to say, Matthew Henry’s commentary, which is nearly 300 years old, he doesn’t explain, because the old English was still in use. He just quotes, “bottles.” More modern writers explain it. But why does there NEED to be an explanation? Dont miss this—Here is why: Precisely BECAUSE the KJV says “”bottles”,” and it doesn’t make sense without the wineskin explanation. In other words, the wineskin explanation, in hundreds of commentaries going back centuries, is PROOF that the KJV ALWAYS said “bottles.” Otherwise, no explanation would have been necessary.
W.E. Vines Dictionary of Bible words has been published continously since the early 1900’s. This picture is from my paper copy on my shelf. IT ALSO EXPLAINS the difference between Skins and Bottles and lists the exact number of times the word is used in the KJV Bible and where, pointing out that RV renders the greek word “Askos: “Skins” while the KJV renders it “Bottles.” Yes, long, long, ago Bible teachers were explaining the KJV’s use of the word bottles, and using the word “wineskins” to do it.
I could go on, for there are multiple dictionaries out there, and eventually, you hop back past all the English translations, and are into the greek itself. But, if the rendering of “bottles” goes that far back in history, as these exhibits show, WHEN did this alleged “new history” with a “changed bible” begin? It had to be BEFORE the 1611 KJV, because THAT version says “bottels.” An intervention in time changes everything AFTER the intervention, but nothing BEFORE. (Sci-fi 101 again) That’s why Marty Mcfly could safely go “Back to the Future,” his mission accomplished. He didn’t have to keep chasing back into the past, because the negative effects of his time travels didn’t keep slipping farther back in time. Time runs one way: forward. Cause, effect, cause, effect. You don’t get a stomach ache yesterday following a bad lunch today. The KJV said “bottels” in 1611. So IF we are in a parallel universe, we have been living in it for at least 400 years now, and it hasn’t hurt any one. There are even previous English versions if you want to keep chasing it. My guess is it was bottels in the Bishops Bible, on which the KJV was based, and in the Tyndale Bible which was before that. What if the change skips over into the Greek too? If we chase it back far enough, we might find that these “changes” originated in the very words of Jesus! But I digress again.
Now as I said before, something IS changing, and I offer here some evidence for thoughtful minds of exactly what it is. This isn’t pseudo-science, this is real science. Please study the links below, especially those of you who KNOW for a fact what you remember. Those last words were carefully chosen: you know for a fact WHAT YOUR MEMORIES DECLARE, not the facts themselves, and there is a difference.
link 1. “Neural Correlates of Reactivation and Retrieval-Induced Distortion”
link 2. “Study Finds Memories Can Change with Each Recall; Researcher Sees Criminal Justice Implications”
link 3. “Your Memory is like the Telephone Game”
link 4. “Your Memory Isn’t What You Think It Is”
It is established through careful experimentation that the human memory is an evolving record, even those memories you think are the strongest of all. Sure, they are strong memories, but that does not make them right, it just makes them strong memories. In the above studies you will see that it has been demonstrated that a memory changes with EACH RECALL of it. You don’t notice that your memory is changing, that part slips by you. You just remember to the last instance that you recalled it (and unknowingly modified it). The modifications are JUST AS STRONG to you as the original memory.
This is where the red-faced foot stomping comes in. I know, I’ve seen it. But please consider this:
If you are a true believer in the Mandela Effect, you have made the human memory the HIGHEST AUTHORITY of all. It is above what is written, in any book. It is above what is recorded, in audio, in video, in any means. Contary to all science, it is above history books, above dictionaries, above artifacts. The human memory approaches and even surpasses the DIVINE omnicience of God, for it is even ABOVE THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD ITSELF! which is above creation. That means human memory transcends the universe and God Himself. You have made human memory your absolute, your GOD.
If that doesn’t pose a problem to you, I respectfully suggest that you have drunk Mandela Effect Kool-Aid. In that case, I can offer you no solution other than this: You and everyone else who remembers the Bible “correctly” must get together and reconstruct it from your memories. But just to be sure it’s right, let each person do it INDEPENDENTLY, then get all the copies together and see how well they match. Wouldn’t THAT be a vivid expose of the truth about human memory!
You may leave these pseudo sci-fi paranormal theories to internet theologians, and build your house upon the ROCK, the unchanging WORD of God, which the creator of ALL universes, who knows past, present and future with perfect understanding, gave you to rest your soul upon.
Peace. Be still. I assure you, there is nothing wrong with the Bible.
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