Time for 8 quick but handy to know religious facts that you probably didn’t know. Even if you aren’t that religious, this list is sure to have something weird that you didn’t know.
1 There Was No Year Zero
Did you know there was no year 0? This is because the current system of our calendar, the Gregorian Calendar went from 1BC to 1AD. But why, babies aren’t one when they’re born?
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This has to do with the basis of the calendar being religious in nature and forming itself from the birth of Jesus Christ. Before his birth we were living in BC, before Christ. Every year before his birth goes backwards in counting and is usually annotated with BC, before Christ. From the moment of his birth we were living in AD, which comes from the Latin Anno Domini , which means “in the year of our lord.” Since every year since his birth has been regarded as living in His year, the first year was year 1.
So when you look at the current dating of our years you will now see the reason for no year zero.
2 Locusts Are Mentioned 24 Times In The Bible
If ou are especially religious the Bible is something that is held pretty close to heart. It’s used a a moral guide on how to live life in the presence of God, and how to treat your fellow human beings. But it isn’t all just about God and His human followers. It actually makes mention of Gods other animals, and a lot of them. But when it comes to mentions some animals get more attention than others. And insects, surprisingly, get a lot more than many. So which insects get the most mentions in the Bible?
The most listed bugs in the bible are Locust: 24, Moth: 11, Grasshopper: 10, Scorpion: 10, Caterpillar: 9, and Bee: 4. The list was compiled by entomologist W.G. Bruce in 1958.
3 Why Do We Say Bless You After A Sneeze?
SO why do we say bless you after a sneeze? To be honest no one knows the real origin of the custom, but there are some hot contenders.
Your heart does not stop, not even for a millisecond when you sneeze, but some cultures believed that it did, so began saying bless you.
In other cultures sneezing was seen as good luck, or Gods fortune, so saying bless you was a sign of recognition of that luck.
Another possible origin, and probably the oldest recorded use of bless you, is that people used to think that when you sneezed your soul was escaping, or sneezing opened your body up to evil spirits to invade, and saying bless you guarded you from it.
Another suggestion is that the custom began around 590 AD when the plague was making its way through Europe. Pope Gregory I ordered prayer and parades through the streets in an effort to protect from the disease. It became common practice to bless someone who sneezed in an effort to protect them from the plague.
As it was in use far earlier than it was ever recorded the true origin may never be known.
4 A Spanish Town Threw Goats Out Of A Church As Part Of A Religious Celebration
Now this sounds like a very Christian thing to do. It has a church, a saint, a celebration and animal cruelty. Say what? Yep, a disturbing celebration in a town in Spain had a real shocking tradition that wasn’t really necessary at all.
The Spanish village of Manganeses de la Polvorosa used to throw a goat out of the church tower on January 24th every year to celebrate St Vincent the Martyr. It was banned in 1992 for being cruel. It was then reinstated in 1998 after the villagers protested. It was again banned in 2001 by the Spanish government. But we better clarify something about this weird practice.
The goats didn’t die. And they weren’t dead when they were tossed out of the church either. The villagers would catch the unwilling and unwitting goat in a blanket, leaving it terrified, but otherwise physically unscathed.
5 The Dalai Lama Eats Meat
Popular culture would have us believe that all Buddhist are vegetarians as they believe it is wrong to slaughter any sentient being. But this might surprise a lot of people, the Dalai Lama actually eats meat. It is often considered by many people that Buddhist are vegetarians, however throughout the ages many Buddhist monks, Lamas included, have been omnivores. The present Dalai Lama, the 14th Dalai Lama tried being a vegetarian, however after contracting hepatitis he was ordered to consume meat on every other day.
On a visit to the White House he was offered a vegetarian menu and declined it.
I’m a Tibetan monk, not a vegetarian.
~The Dalai Lama on rejecting a vegetarian meal while visiting the White House
6 Was The Forbidden Fruit Eve Ate An Apple?
The forbidden fruit in the bible is commonly thought to be an apple, but it may not be the case. The actual word mentioned in Latin is malus. The Latin word malus can mean both evil and apple. Even Rabbi scholars have debated this term for generations and have suggested it could have been a fig, carob or grape.
In fact, even though the apple is the favored fruit for Christians in Germany and France, in other regions of Europe and abroad, the forbidden fruit was often depicted as a fig. This can be seen in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel where Adam, Eve and the serpent with a fig, not an apple.
So while in contemporary art and literature the common thought is that the forbidden fruit was an apple, it may not have been at all.
7 Did The Chicken Or The Egg Come First
OK, I must admit it. This isn’t really a fact because no one really knows for sure. The question, which came first, the chicken or the egg, is one that many philosophers have pondered over the ages. But it hasn’t been restricted only to philosophy. The conundrum has also been openly discussed among religious theologians around the world, in each religion separately. This is where this question about the chicken or the egg becomes a fact. Believe it or not, but many religions take a very different view on which one came first.
Just like many of the great philosophers, religions too have asked the question, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Even though it’s a question that needs to be asked and pondered, I can not help but feel that they would have been better sevrved not asking that question at all. Why? They can not seem to agree on a uniform answer.
We’re not going to pretend that religions always agree. They seldom do. Religion has been the cause of a lot of conflicts, murder and human rights violations for centuries. But when it comes to fundamental beliefs, under many circumstances they manage to find common ground. For example, most preach peace and goodwill, if only they practiced what they preached. But with the chicken or the egg, they missed the mark. I guess we’re lucky it’s not such a big stumbling block.
According to Genesis the chicken came before the egg. But according to Hindu writings the egg came before the chicken. Hindus believe it came from the supreme egg known as Brahmanda which created all life. Then again, we could always look at the dictionary and we will all see that in alphabetical order, chicken is listed before egg.
What is your thought on this eternal question? Tell us below as we’d be extremely interested to know what you think came first.
8 The Bible Has Some Pretty Messed Up Verses
For a book that is supposed to be the moral guide for all Christians, it has more than a few verses that could be regarded as, well, awkward at best. From overly sexist material, which should be expected for a piece of work its age (although one would wonder why God would be sexist at all, and not all loving), to genocide, murder and slavery. It has a lot of things that really do contradict a loving, peaceful and forgiving God. So what are some of the weird Bible verses?
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.(1 Timothy 2:12)
No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose organ has been cut off may become a member of the Assembly of God.(Deuteronomy 23:1)
As you can see, just those two verses seem pretty out there, but it goes on more, and tends to be a bit worse.
Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. She lusted after their genitals as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions.(Ezekial 23:19-20)
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.(Psalm 137:9)
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