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Is the Bible Wrong About Unicorns?

Is the Bible Wrong About Unicorns?

The King James Version of the Bible uses the word “unicorn” a total of nine times: Numbers 23:22 and 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9-10; Psalms 22:21, 29:6 and 92:10 and Isaiah 34:7. [Most modern translations use the word “bulls” in these passages which, as will be shown, is no more accurate than unicorn.] Of course we know that unicorns are a mythical creature so doesn’t this prove that the Bible cannot be taken as completely accurate? Actually, no.

First, it is possible that such a creature could have existed at some time and become extinct, but that would be a pretty lame argument and one that I would never use. After all, there are no known fossils of anything like the unicorn so I’m going to assume that unicorns never existed and move on to a more reasonable explanation.

Note that all of the occurrences are in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word which is translated as “unicorn” is re’em. The Septuagint version, a Greek translation of the Old Testament used by Jews living in what is known as the Diaspora (exile, that is, not in the Holy Land), the word monocerus, literally ‘one horn’ is used.

If you take a look at the various passages that speak of a unicorn, you begin to notice that the animal described is quite bulky. It looks nothing like a horse.

The Bible is not the only ancient written work in which the word monocerus appears. Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD), a Roman author, naturalist and commander in the Roman army and navy uses the Latin equivalent in his book Natural History (Book VIII, Chapter 29). The animal he describes, which English-speakers call the rhinoceros, is a one-horned animal that actually exists although its existence is imperiled due to over-hunting. When you examine the biblical texts, you will see that the rhinoceros fits much better than a horse-like creature.

So the Bible is not in error although the translators of the King James Version erred in their translation. That is not a problem since translations of the Bible are not considered to be infallible and this is not the only translation error in the KJV.

Sources

Johnson, J.D., Th.D., James J.S. 31 Jan 2018. Institute for Creation Research: Skeptics’ Pointless Ridicule of the Bible’s ‘Unicorns’ https://www.icr.org/article/10440

Wikipedia: 

© 2019 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.

Artwork: “The gentle and pensive maiden has the power to tame the unicorn” by Domenico Zampieri (1581-1641).

#religion #Christianity #Catholic #Bible #apologetics #KJV #unicorns #rhinocerus #myth #errors

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Written by Gary J Sibio

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  1. Regarding the concept of Earth, there are various Scientists who have described… ‘How will the world end.’ Hypothesis – Some may be right, some may be wrong. But either the world will perish or the world will live forever. Both cannot take place simultaneously – It is unscientific. But this is exactly what the Bible says. It is mentioned in the Bible, in the book of Hebrews, Ch. No.1 Verses No.10 and 11, and the book of Psalms, Ch. No.102, Verse No.25 and 26, that…‘Almighty God created the Heavens and the Earth, and they will perish.’ Exactly opposite is mentioned in the book of Ecclesiastics, Ch. No.1, Verse No.4, and the book of Psalms, Ch. No.78, Verse No.69, that… ‘The earth will abide forever.’ I leave it to you to choose which of the two Verses are unscientific – the first pair or the second pair. One has to be unscientific – Both cannot take place. The world cannot abide forever as well as perish – It is unscientific.

    • Your problem here is easily dismissed when you realize that the word translated “world” in the Bible can mean two different things: (1) the physical planet or (2) the way things operate on the planet (governments, economies, that sort of thing). If you look at the context of the passages you quoted you will see that the Bible teaches that the physical planet (definition #1) will be totally renewed but not destroyed. However, the way things currently operate (definition #2) will end.

  2. The Bible says in Genesis, Ch. No.1, Verse No. 11 to 13…‘The vegetation, the herbs the shrubs, the trees – they were created on the 3rd day And the Sun, Genesis, Ch. No. 1, Verses. 14 to 19, was created on the 4th day. How can the vegetation come into existence without sunlight, and how can they survive without sunlight ?

    • It was only one day. BTW, science expects us to believe that a comet or asteroid hit the Earth causing the extinction of the dinosaurs causing a years-long “night” yet, somehow, only the dinosaurs were affected. It provided no problem for plats or other animals.

    • The earth wasn’t created on the fourth day. The Bible is clear the earth was created in the beginning. This means for something to exist there must be time, space and matter. The earth and heavens were created before the sun and all living things including the stars and moon.
      The earth was created when time begun clicking in seconds, minutes and hours.
      Vegetation sprouted from the land meaning the land existed before vegetation and that the sun was created before the plants but after the earth had been created.
      As humans, we are still limited in our knowledge of the universe. I find it intriguing science is confirming biblical facts. That to me is interesting.

  3. Genesis, Ch. No. 1 Verses 9 to 13 says… ‘Earth was created on the third day.’ Genesis Ch. No. 1 Verses 14 to 19 says…‘The Sun and the Moon were created on the fourth day.’ Today science tells us… ‘Earth is part of the parent body… the sun.’ It cannot come into existence before the sun – It is unscientific.

    • Did you know their assertion is only theoretical. It hasn’t yet been proved. And we know science doesn’t rely on theories but facts. Our scientific minds are still limited.
      There is a region in the universe that is pitch black which has been proved by science. It is total blackness that you can feel the darkness. This supports the creation that after God created the heavens and the earth, there was no light. It was darkness. He separated darkness from light.
      You will notice there are two types of lights. The second refers to the sun and the moon and stars. The first one refers to God.
      Another thing to consider is that no one knows the exact age of earth or the sun or the universe. It’s still debatable because they are just theories.

  4. Further, the, Bible says Genesis, Ch. 1, Verses 9 to 13… ‘Earth was created on the 3rd day. How can you have a night and day without the earth ? The day depends upon the rotation of the Earth Without the earth created, how can you have a night and day?

  5. There is few scientific errors in the bible which i believe is error.
    Bible says in Genesis Ch. No. 1 Verses No. 3 and 5,…‘Light was created on the first day.’ Genesis, Ch., 1 Verses, 14 to 19… ‘The cause of light – stars and the sun, etc. was created on the fourth day’. How can the cause of light be created on the 4th day – later than the light which came into existence on the first day? – It is unscientific.

      • What I know is that there are still many things we haven’t discovered. We can’t say the Bible is false when we don’t have prove it is so. In fact, science has proved many biblical facts. I believe the unicorn existed. It’s that it has not been found yet. Or, it goes by another name.
        For one to disapprove something is not a fact, he must provide provide scientific proof it never existed.

  6. Wow thank you for the education. Of course I knew that unicorns were mythological creatures but a rhinoceros makes a lot of sense. I will keep your references if that is OK with you. Any type of history is fantastic in my point of view…

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