*Editor’s Note – you can now catch Matthew on Podcast and our YouTube channel. This exact article is available and you can watch it at the end of this article
I grew up in the heart of the Bible Belt, where Churches are spaced about 3 blocks apart and supper almost always began with saying Grace. For most of my youth, I attended both Sunday School and Vacation Bible School at a local Baptist Church, and even my Boy Scouts meetings were held at a church.
While I’m certainly no “Bible Thumper” and it’s been awhile since I’ve cracked open my copy of the Good Book, my youth was spent memorizing certain passages from it. In fact, in Vacation Bible School we were even rewarded for our memorization.
We used the New King James Version.
Boy, would I love to meet with those teachers now.
Because it seems that the Bible has fallen victim to the infamous Mandela Effect and certain passages and words are not the way that many of us remember.
Not new editions. Not differences between the various translations and versions.
Actual changes that have left many slack-jawed in disbelief as they grab their family Bible for confirmation, which they’ve read from for years or even generations, only to find that their copy has somehow inexplicably changed.
If you’ve been down the Mandela Effect (ME) rabbit hole for awhile, you’ve likely seen and heard about all of these. I don’t think I’m revealing any actual “new” ones, but if you haven’t heard about these changes and you have more than a passing familiarity with the Bible, I do warn you… this group of MEs can be a bit disturbing.
Where to Start
This is one ME area that really surprises me for several reasons.
First, I think it should be opening more eyes to the Effect. With as many eyes that are on these words each and every week, these discoveries should be sending shockwaves through numerous religious communities.
Second, myself and others have found something really interesting about these changes. When you bring them to the attention of someone fairly religious, e.g. a regular attendee or even a preacher, by first asking them to recite the passage from memory and then showing them the change, many of them get SUPER defensive. Like… screaming mad.
No judgement or opinion on the fact, just something many have noticed and I figured you should be aware of.
Third, as a Christian that does believe in God and what the Bible teaches us, the possible implications of these changes should be getting much more attention.
If you look around Reddit and other ME related sites, you’ll find that the list of possible Bible changes is actually quite extensive. I’m taking today’s opportunity to point out 3 of the main ones that I am personally Effected by. If you know of others that I should be aware of or you think are major changes, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected] and I may cover it in another article.
Okay, this should be an easy one.
Which animal is with the lamb in Isaiah 11:6?
You’ve likely seen countless renditions portrayed in your church’s stain-glass windows or statues at the local Christian book store.
How do you recall it?
1 – “Then the _____ shall lay down with the lamb…”
2 – “The _____ also shall dwell with the lamb…”
Now, which animal do you remember?
Well, if you’re like myself and apparently numerous others in this world, you remember a certain king of the jungle. Heck, there’s even plenty of folks with this iconic imagery permanently tattooed, and oh-so-much more.
From a $10,000 original painting to one with the now inappropriate name of Isaiah, and of course church windows (check out this one on the second row, far right), and even the Vatican museum has this pairing together.
I also came across these images of the Lion and the Lamb.
But you have to ask yourself… why?
Isaiah 11:6 does not now, nor has it ever, referenced the Lion laying with the Lamb. In fact, it’s a different animal altogether.
The New King James Version has “always” been:
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them
If you’re thinking that we must’ve learned the verse from a different version of the Bible, let’s take a look:
King James Bible – The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together….
New American Standard Bible – And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together…
English Standard Version – The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together
New Living Translation – In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion…
The wolf and the lamb. The lion is with a calf, a yearling, and a fattened calf, but not once is it mentioned as lying with the lamb.
So, why isn’t there imagery of the wolf and the lamb all over the place?
Why is there so much that directly refers to Isaiah 11:6 and a Lion and Lamb specifically laying together?
Why do so many of us specifically remember the verse as “Then the lion shall lay down with the lamb?”
Is there a specific symbolism for the wolf that we should be worried about?
Forgive Our What?
Here’s one you should remember quite well — the Lord’s Prayer. Say it in your head or recite it out loud before you continue reading.
So, when you got to the part in Matthew 6:12, did you say it with the following:
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors
Or something more like:
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us
Well, if it’s the second option like what I was taught and remember so fondly, guess what… we’ve “always been” wrong.
New King James Version – And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
English Standard Version – and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
New Living Translation – and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
So, once again, WHY do so many know it as trespass?
Wiki has an entry that states “Though Matthew 6:12 uses the term debts, the older English versions of the Lord’s Prayer uses the term trespasses, while ecumenical versions often use the term sins.”
So “older English versions” such as the 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer that we all have on our bookshelf?
Or the 1928 Book of Common Prayer of the United States Episcopal Church?
Yeah, those were SUPER common in my church. (/s)
Just wait, if either of those two were surprising, this next one may well cause heart palpitations.
And yes, I’m speaking from experience.
While I’ve heard several different names for our resident supreme being, including “Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children,” I have to say that when I recently read the upcoming verse, I was a bit floored.
What other names do you recall?
Yahweh? Elohim? El Olam? Jehovah?
Well, the commandment for us not to take the Lord’s name in vain may have many of us in peril, because Exodus 34:14 has “always” revealed his true name.
New King James Version – for you shall worship no other God, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God
His name is Jealous?
It seems that everyone agrees too:
English Standard Version – for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God
King James Bible – For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God
New America Standard Bible – For you shall not worship any other God, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God
So, millions upon millions of mischievous boys or curious girls never questioned this, you have to admit, rather funny name for God? No comedians have crafted a bit about calling someone jealous and going to hell?
Not a single person I’ve asked about the name of God mentioned Jealous. In fact, that whole section of this verse is “new” to the mass majority who, like myself, recall this as only — For you shall not worship any other God, for the Lord is a jealous God.
What do you remember?
These Changes Go On and On
I’m not exaggerating here, if you head down this part of the rabbit hole just be warned, it’s rather deep. Verses that you think you know, ones you spent countless minutes or even hours reciting over and over in your head, may be completely different than what you recall.
Sure, maybe some of it is due to numerous preachers, priests, nuns, and teachers getting it wrong and teaching us the incorrect way, but none of us saw the discrepancies?
People from various parts of the world, from different faiths, all “misremembering” the same verses the same way?
Seems pretty far fetched to me.
However, I know that anything can happen so I guess statistically that it’s possible.
But I have a feeling that the answer may be just beyond our reach, something that we don’t quite have the capacity to discover or even understand at this point.
On a last little note, sort of a “what if” if you will.
In Amos 8:11 & 8:12, (NKJV)
Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD.
They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not find it.
How long will we be able to find the true word of the Lord if it really is changing right before our very eyes?
Are any of the above new to you? Are there others that have really confused you? Let me know below and of course, follow us on Twitter to get updates about the next Mandela Effect article.