There’s a website called “www.biblegateway.com” It is an online searchable Bible, giving numerous different versions. It is quite useful when reading the Bible critically. For instance, if you search “heaven” it gives 4 different verses in Deuteronomy alone stating that rain comes from heaven, Joshua states in 10:11 that hail comes from heaven, and 1 Kings 8:25 states that no rain from heaven is due to sin.
The reason I looked up “heaven” at all was to see the different contradictions the Bible gives on who gets to go to heaven. The old Testament, not surprisingly, doesn’t mention anything about people being in heaven – it’s just where God lives and sends rain, hail, or drought.
But Jesus changes all that. In Matthew, he says the poor in spirit, the persecuted, the righteous, the converted and those who do God’s will all go to heaven. Matthew 19:21 says you must sell everything to get to heaven, and in 19:23 you can’t be rich and go to heaven. And then ofcourse, Revelation 7:48 says you have to be a male Jewish virgin to get to heaven.
I also like to compare different parallel verses using this website. For instance, Exodus 21:22 states (KJV):
“If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow; he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.”
So “so that her fruit depart from her” is obviously incredibly vague. So much so, that the New American Standard Bible, the Holman Bible, the International Standard Version, the NET Bible, the New Heart English Bible, and the World English Bible all interpret it as premature birth. Yet the Amplified Bible, the Bible in Basic English, the Jubilee 2000 Bible, the King James 2000 Bible, the New Simplified Bible and the Emphasized Bible all say “misscarriage”. Big difference.
Searching “virgin” begins with Genesis 19:8 where the Lot tells the townspeople they can rape his daughters.
Exodus 22:16 states “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, he must pay the bride price for her and marry her. But if her father refuses to let him marry her, he must pay the father a sum of money equal to the bride price (dowry) for a virgin”. Which, if she’s not married, would have been rape.
Leviticus 21:14 States a priest must only marry a virgin from his own clan.
Numbers 31:18 – “But keep alive for yourselves all the girls and all the women who are virgins”.
Numbers 31:32-346 The soldiers captured and kept for themselves 675,000 sheep and goats, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys and 32,000 virgins… 16,000 virgins went to the soldiers and 32 were tax for the Lord.
Deuteronomy 22:14-17 So he makes up false charges against her, accusing her of not being a virgin when they got married. (Worked for Mary…) The young woman’s parents are to take the blood-stained wedding sheet to prove she was a virgin and show it in court to the town leaders.
Judges 11:37 But she asked her father, Do this one thing for me. Leave me alone for two months, so that I can go with my friends to wander in the mountains and grieve that I must die a virgin”.
Judges 19:24 Look, here is his concubine and my own virgin daughter…Do whatever you want to with them.
Judges 21:11 Kill all the males, and also every woman who is not a virgin.
Judges 21:12 They found four hundred young virgins among the people in Jabesh…
Matthew 1:23 A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called “Immanuel”. (Whoops).
Revelation 14:4 They are the men who have kept themselves pure by not having sexual relations with women; they are virgins. They follow the Lamb whereever he goes. They have been redeemed from the rest of the human race and are the first ones to be offered to God and to the Lamb.