By Femi Aribisala
The fact that a book is in the bible does not mean everything in it is true.
In the debate about sacrifices, Christians put great reliance on the book of Hebrews. However, Hebrews is very unreliable. It is one of those books in the bible that is full of falsehood. As a matter of fact, there is more falsehood in Hebrews than in any other book in the bible except Romans.
Doctoring the Scriptures
Hebrews specialises in re-writing and falsifying the biblical record. David says: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; MY EARS YOU HAVE OPENED.” (Psalm 40:6). This quote is changed in Hebrews to: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME.” (Hebrews 10:5). How can such blatant distortion still be construed as the word of God?
Hebrews says: “It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4). This is pure fabrication. Ezekiel says: “The prince is to provide a bull as a sin offering for himself and for all the people of the land. Every day during the seven days of the Feast he is to provide seven bulls and seven rams without defect as a burnt offering to the LORD, and a male goat for a sin offering.” (Ezekiel 45:22-23). Therefore, the efficacy of the sacrifice of bulls for atonement is in the scriptures.
Hebrews then contradicts itself by saying: “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22). This statement is an outright lie. Nevertheless, Christians persist in referring to it. It is not necessary to shed blood in order to receive forgiveness. For example, money can be used for atonement: “You shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves.” (Exodus 30:16). Money is without blood.
Fine flour could be used to atone for sin: “If, however, he cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, he is to bring as an offering for his sin a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering.” (Leviticus 5:11). Flour is without blood. Jewelry was also used to atone for sin: “We have brought as an offering to the LORD the gold articles each of us acquired- armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces- to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD.” (Numbers 31:50). Jewelry is without blood.
As a matter of fact, sacrifices are only required in the few cases where the sin is unintentional: “When anyone sins UNINTENTIONALLY and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands- if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the LORD a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed.” (Leviticus 4:2-3). Where the sin is intentional, sacrifices are unacceptable: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD.” (Proverbs 15:8).
Time and time again, the prophets preached repentance and obedience, placing them above sacrifice. Accordingly, God says in Hosea: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6). Even praise worship is better than sacrifice. The psalmist says: “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bull, which has horns and hooves.” (Psalm 69:30-31).
Indeed, Hosea says: “The children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice.” (Hosea 3:4). How can they “abide many days without sacrifice” if “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness?” Since sacrifices are only permissible in the Jerusalem temple, how can they receive forgiveness for their sins while in captivity in Babylon, which soon had more Jews than Palestine?
The answer is simple. Forgiveness can be obtained solely through repentance and prayer, for the simple reason that: “In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity.” (Proverbs 16:6). God says: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). This means forgiveness is obtainable without blood sacrifice.
Concatenation of falsehood
Hebrews says: “By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.” (Hebrews 11:11). This is not true. Sarah doubted and did not believe. The Ishmael option came from her.
Hebrews says the Law was given by angels. (Hebrews 2:2). This is false. Moses says God gave it to him. (Exodus 33:11). Hebrews says Jesus tasted death “for everybody.” (Hebrews 2:9). This is false. All men continue to die. Hebrews says Jesus was not perfect but was made perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10). This is false. Jesus was perfect: he did not become perfect. (1 Peter 2:22). Hebrews says: “God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” (Hebrews 4:4). This is false. Jesus says God has never stopped working. (John 5:17).
Hebrews says: “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27). This is false. Some men, like Lazarus, die twice. Hebrews says: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls.” (Hebrews 13:17). This is rubbish. No man watches over another man’s soul. Jesus is the only Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. (1 Peter 2:25).
Hebrews says Melchizedec is a priest forever like Jesus because he is: “Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life.” (Hebrews 7:3). This is false. Jesus has a genealogical record. We know his father and mother.
Falsifying the New Covenant
Hebrews says: “When there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.” (Hebrews 7:12). This is false. The new covenant does not imply a change of the law. God says: “I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33). It is a new covenant but the same old law.
Moreover, the priesthood does not determine the law. Hebrews talks about a change of priesthood. But Moses talks about an everlasting priesthood. (Exodus 40:13-15). In truth, the priesthood does not change because Jesus is a descendant of Levi. Mary, Jesus’ mother, was a cousin to Elizabeth, who was “of the daughters of Aaron.” (Luke 1:5).
This means Mary’s mother was either a sister or aunt to Elizabeth, making her a pure bred “daughter of Aaron.” This makes Mary herself to be from both the tribes of Judah and Levi. Mary’s mother was from the tribe of Aaron, but her father, Heli, was from Judah. (Luke 3:23). In effect, Jesus is also of the tribe of Levi. Hebrews is wrong in talking about a change of priesthood.
Do not be deceived. The fact that a book is in the bible does not mean everything in it is true.