TULSA, Okla. – Hundreds of people hungering for Bible truth turned out for the first-ever “Shocked by the Bible” event last Friday night in this Midwestern city, hearing a personal plea to “just read the words on the page.”
WND’s Joe Kovacs promoted Bible truth while shattering many popular misconceptions during a speech in Tulsa, Okla., Aug. 6, 2010.
“Wow, look at all these people. I’m shocked!” declared Joe Kovacs, the executive news editor of WND and author of the No. 1 best-selling book “Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You’ve Never Been Told.” “I didn’t know so many people had an interest in Bible truth these days.”
The event, held at the Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center in Tulsa, lasted more than two hours as Kovacs methodically went through some of the biggest misconceptions the general public has about the contents of the Bible, and then explained in simple, non-condemning terms what Scripture actually states.
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Explaining his reason for writing the book, Kovacs, a Bible-believing Christian, said, “I just really got fed up with hearing people talking wrongly about the information in the Bible.”
“We’re gonna talk tonight about a theme I call ‘just reading the words on the page.’ This is all you have to do when you read the Bible is – just for basic accuracy’s sake, you don’t have to add stuff that’s not there – you just have to read the words on the page. The words say what they mean and they mean what they say.”
The first major misconception Kovacs shattered is the erroneous notion that three wise men showed up to see Jesus when he was a babe in a manger the night he was born in Bethlehem, when the truth of the matter is that no wise men at all met Jesus that night. The Gospel of Matthew 2:11 clearly reveals an unspecified number of wise men actually showed up some time later, when Jesus was a young child in a house, not a babe in a manger.
“According to your Bible,” Kovacs noted, “wise men met Jesus for the first time as a young child in a house. Those are the words on the page. So can we stop this nonsense of thinking that they showed up at the manger? It’s just not true. It’s not biblical. I mean, if you want to believe that they showed up at the manger, you’re free to do so, but it is not biblical.”
Kovacs also took aim at one of the biggest misconceptions in all of Christianity: the idea that Jesus was executed on a Friday afternoon, placed in the grave Friday evening, and then rose from the dead around sunrise Sunday morning.
“Is this in your Bible?” asked Kovacs. “No, it is not. And this stuns people when I tell them this. In fact, it’s impossible. It is absolutely impossible.”
Listen to Joe Kovacs explain how Jesus died on a Wednesday and rose on a Saturday (8 minutes)
Kovacs explained the only sign Jesus said he was giving to prove his divine identity, was that He would be “three days and three nights” in the grave (Matthew 12:39-40), and be raised “after three days” (Mark 8:31).
“You don’t have to be a math wizard or a math genius,” Kovacs said. “You just have to know how to count.”
“You cannot cram three days and three nights between Friday night and Sunday morning. Let’s count ’em up. You have Friday night and Saturday night, that’s two nights. You’ve got Saturday daytime, that’s one day. You can’t even count Sunday day because by sunrise Jesus was already gone. The women found an empty tomb, so we’re looking at two nights and one day. Well, that doesn’t sound like three days and three nights. That just sounds like two nights and one day.”
He continued: “The only time frame that can fit this is that He died on a Wednesday afternoon, spent three days and three nights, I think it’s exactly 72 hours [in the grave], rose at some unspecified moment Saturday night because we’re not told the exact moment that He was raised from the dead by His Father.”
Kovacs explained there’s confusion among so many because the Bible does say Jesus was killed the day before a Sabbath day of rest. But he said the Bible itself mentions that particular Sabbath day was not the regular weekly Sabbath of Saturday, but an annual Sabbath day known as a “high day,” which is mentioned in John 19:31.
Kovacs also shattered a popular misconception about the landing place of Noah’s Ark, as the Bible says the famous vessel did not rest upon “Mount Ararat,” but actually “the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4).
“Here’s a little bonus factoid that’s not in the book that might blow your mind,” he said. “That word ‘Ararat’ right now in your King James Bible is translated as something completely different. It’s translated as ‘Armenia’ in 2 Kings 19:37 and Isaiah 37:38. … If the translators were consistent, they could have very easily said that Noah’s Ark rested upon ‘the mountains of Armenia,’ and therefore people would be looking [for the vessel] on more than one mountain.”
“Shocked by the Bible” skyrocketed to three No.1 spots on Amazon.com before and after its official release
He concluded with discussion about the spectacular, ultimate destiny for all of mankind, which is not to float on a cloud forever playing a harp, or going fishing or playing golf for eternity.
He explained it’s to become the children of God, born into the actual, immortal Family of God, judging angels and the citizens of this world.
“‘God is bringing many sons to glory.’ This sentence is in your Bible (Hebrews 2:10). Jesus is the firstborn among ‘many brothers and sisters’ (Romans 8:29, NLT). ‘The one who makes men holy and [those] who are made holy are of the same family.’ This sentence is in your Bible. ‘So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers'” (Hebrews 2:11, NIV).
“We’re going to be in the God Family,” Kovacs said. “Why do you think you call him our Father? Because He’s our Father!”
“We’re the children of God! We’re meant to live and reign and rule in the family of God above the angels for all eternity. It is a fantastic future.”
Even after the event officially wrapped up at about 10 p.m., Kovacs remained in the lobby until after 1 a.m., answering questions from attendees and even the convention center’s security staff who could not get enough information about simple Bible truths.
“I’m just thrilled with the response to ‘Shocked by the Bible’ and this first public appearance,” Kovacs said. “If we could just get people to read their Bibles again for the words that are actually on the page, then this Babylon of confusion would evaporate in a hurry.”
“Shocked by the Bible,” published by top Christian publisher Thomas Nelson, hit the No. 1 spot in three categories on Amazon.com upon its release in September 2008. It is now in its seventh printing, and has been translated into Russian and Korean.
Kovacs, who is not affiliated with any organized church, was invited to speak in Oklahoma by the Tulsa Church of God, a nondenominational Christian church, and is willing to address other groups interested in biblical truth.
Those wishing to contact Joe Kovacs can e-mail him here.
Find out what you’ve been missing. Get “Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You’ve Never Been Told” personally autographed by the author. It makes a wonderful gift that will be remembered for a lifetime.