Bible · Christianity · religion

things you’ve been told are in the Bible that really aren’t

When religious traditions and legends are started and repeated through the years, it’s common for us to just accept them as true unless we are determined to read the Bible for ourselves. Those of us who would rather have the truth over tradition often find it necessary to examine what we’ve been taught compared to what the Bible actually says so we can set aside false information in order not to pass them on ourselves. Here are a few things that I’ve been told are in the Bible, but they really aren’t.

  1. Adam & Eve fell into sin when they ate an apple. Genesis 2:17 tells us that they weren’t supposed to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It wasn’t an apple tree.
  2. Satan is the exact opposite of God. In order for this to be true, Satan would have to be equal to God in his power and abilities. The Bible says time and again that God has no equal and that he is the most powerful being in the universe [Isaiah 46:5]. Satan is a being created by God who is opposed to God, but he will never be God’s exact opposite.
  3. There are seven deadly sins–pride, avarice, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. This list is a spin-off of Proverbs 6:16-19 which says “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Notice how the two lists don’t exactly match. The Bible names a whole lot more than seven sins that cause a person to end up in hell [see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Revelation 21:8]. The seven deadly sins are a man-made tradition that came courtesy of Catholicism.
  4. God was silent for the 400 years between the Old Testament & New Testament: This is an assumption that is made based on scriptures like Matthew 11: 13 where Jesus said, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” However, Jesus must have meant something other than a 400 year silence from God between OT prophets and John. Why? Because God sent messages via Gabriel to John’s father Zacharias and to Mary before John was born. I’m not even sure it’s accurate to say that God could be silent 400 years. After all, if God is “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” [Isaiah 46:10], then God speaks through fulfilled prophecy that is prophesied in scripture and that’s how he spoke between the testaments. God didn’t speak in any additional scripture form during that time, but he still spoke.
  5. Jesus never spoke against homosexuality. This lie has been told repeatedly by liberal professors at universities and seminaries and via the secular media, and is now promoted by so-called liberal “Christians”, but Jesus only deemed valid any sexual relationships between a man and woman who were married to each other [Mark 10:6-9]. He considered all other sexual relationships as fornication and he condemned fornication [Mark 7:21-23]. So by default, he spoke against homosexuality.
  6. Jesus & his disciples drank grape juice, not alcoholic wine. In Matthew 11:19, Jesus admitted to drinking alcoholic wine which is why the religious leaders called him a winebibber. Jesus drank but he never, ever got drunk since that would have been sin. The context of Matthew 11:19 was that Jesus socialized by feasting and drinking wine, but he was falsely accused of excessive eating and drunkenness since the simple acts of eating and drinking would not have been condemned by Jewish leaders. Furthermore, Paul advised Timothy to drink a little wine to help Timothy’s stomach ailment [1 Timothy 5:23]. Only alcoholic wine has medicinal properties. Plain old grape juice doesn’t.
  7. Jesus never said he was God. This myth has been made popular in recent times by the Jesus Seminar and others who falsely claim Jesus was deified by his followers after his death and the death of the 12 disciples. However, the Bible proves otherwise. In John 8: 56-59 we find Jesus telling the Jews–Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself… Jesus referred to himself as “I am”, a phrase that God used of himself when he revealed himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14. The Jews knew exactly what Jesus was saying, so they picked up stones to kill him. Several chapters earlier, in John 5:18, we are told–Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. So Jesus made it clear to everyone that he was God in the flesh.

–Harry A. Gaylord–

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13 thoughts on “things you’ve been told are in the Bible that really aren’t

  1. Interesting post, but I submit your #5 is not exegetically supportable. (Exegesis being defined as seeking to draw out from the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, without reading into the text the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it.)

    Nearly every person who acknowledges an aversion to homosexuality does so on the basis of what he or she believes the Bible has to say. In their mind, there is no doubt whatsoever about what the Bible says and what the Bible means. Their general argument goes something like this: Homosexuality is an abomination and the homosexual is a sinner. Homosexuality is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, if we are to be faithful to the clear teachings of Scripture we too must condemn homosexuality. Needless to say, this premise is being widely debated among evangelical today and seriously challenged by biblical scholars, theologians and religious leaders everywhere.

    It rarely occurs to any of us that our reading of Scripture is profoundly colored by our own cultural context and worldview. In light of your post above and since I speak and teach on this topic, I thought you’d find some of the posts on this site (link below) of particular relevance. Feel free to surf the “Archives” page for links to more.

    Perhaps the warning of Jesus about the perils of trying to conduct eye-surgery when we are unwittingly the victim of poor vision ourselves might be a salutary one to remember on this issue.

    -Alex Haiken

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    1. Alex, please be honest. Your objection to #5 is because you’re homosexual and you want to continue comfortably in your lifestyle without anyone confronting you about your sin. I chose not to include your link to your website since pro-gay forces have basically taken over our education system, the secular media, government, and some churches. If anyone is interested in pro-gay arguments, they can find them anywhere, so I’m not going to assist in such an endeavor.

      The only reason stances for or against homosexual behavior is being debated among evangelicals is because there are some in the evangelical circles who aren’t willing to stand firm on what the Bible has always taught from Genesis to Revelation. Homosexuality has always been and will always be wrong. My stance against homosexuality can be argued from several angles using the Bible correctly in both what it says and what it means. When people try to muddy the waters to cast doubt on what it says and what it means, it is because they are under the influence of forces who desire to cause confusion. Since God is not the author of confusion, we can conclude this confusion originates with forces opposed to God.

      Jesus said in John 15:20, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” He set the precedent that those who keep (obey) his teachings will keep the teachings of his disciples. Peter recognized that Paul’s teachings were scripture in 2 Peter 3:16. So did the rest of Christ’s apostles at the church in Jerusalem in Acts 15. So since Jesus taught us to keep their teachings, and they verified Paul’s teachings as being from God, then those who keep Christ’s teachings will hold to Paul’s teachings when he speaks against the sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9, which includes effeminate [men who play the part of women], and abusers of themselves with mankind [men who sleep with other men].

      Jesus also said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil,” [Matthew 5:17]. Since Jesus came to uphold and confirm the principles of the law, he upheld and confirmed that “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination,” [Leviticus 18:22]. But since he also did not come to condemn the world to physical death that the law required for sexual sins, because his own death would take care of that, he set aside the requirement for those who sin sexually to receive capital punishment.

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      1. Harry, in all due respect, you incorrect on all of the following:

        (#1) My objection to your #5 is not because I am homosexual any more than you’re approval of it is because you’re heterosexual. My objection to your #5 is strictly based on the fact that your position is simply not exegetically supportable (see below).

        (#2) If your wish to speak accurately and credibly, you must move away from using terms like homosexual “lifestyle” without putting an “s” at the end of it. You are under the fallacious assumption that all gay people live the same way and have the same values. The “lifestyles,” if you will, of gay people are every bit as diverse as the lifestyles of straight people are. The term “lifestyle” is at the heart of a serious category confusion. Mother Theresa and Madonna, for example, are both heterosexual women. But we can hardly say their “lifestyles” or values are even remotely similar. You cannot use “lifestyle” and “sexual orientation” interchangeably.

        (#3) You said: “The only reason stances for or against homosexual behavior is being debated among evangelicals is because there are some in the evangelical circles who aren’t willing to stand firm on what the Bible has always taught from Genesis to Revelation.” While it is true that there will always be some who find it too costly to take an unpopular stand no matter what the issue at hand may be. It is grossly presumptuous of you to infer that every evangelical Bible scholar and theologian who does not agree with you on this issue does so because they are “unwilling to stand firm on what the Bible says.” It is grossly presumptuous and it is untrue. Much scholarly work has been done on this topic by evangelical Bible scholars and theologians working in good faith and out in the open, and while you’re free to disagree with them, they would categorically take your to task for your grandiose stereotyping of their stated positions.

        (#4) I fully agree with you that God is not the author of confusion. But that does not change the fact that over the years we Christians have found “proofs” in our Bibles that the world is only 6,000 years old, that slavery is God-ordained, that women and blacks should not be allowed to vote, that interracial marriage is wrong, that women should neither preach, teach or wear lipstick, and on and on. The Bible verses that once footnoted these notions are all still in the Bible. Those who ascribed to these notions were — like you on this issue — all convinced they had the Bible on their side and that their understanding of the Bible was self-evidently correct. They all had substantial support too from many other like-minded Christians. But most of us now think they were interpreting the Bible wrongly and making serious mistakes as a result — mistakes which led to fanaticism, persecution and even war. Was God the author of confusion on these issues? Or were we Christians simply blinded by their prejudices, personal aversions and unwilling to admit that they only know in part and see thru a glass darkly?

        (#5) You inferred below that I do not recognize and respect the inerrancy and trustworthiness of Scripture. Fact is I do. I love the Bible. In my handling of Scripture, I am, as in other areas of my life and outlook, very conservative. As a Christian, I consider myself both conservative and evangelical. If I were accused of twisting the Scriptures to justify sin, it would cut me very deeply. My love for God’s Word will not let me twist it or otherwise do it any harm. But I also understand there are exegetical rules we must adhere to if we wish to interpret Scripture responsibly.

        While you do quite well at quoting Scripture, you appear to be sorely lacking in applying any exegesis to them. You will never arrive at biblical truth by beginning with the question: What does this mean? The reason is that’s the wrong starting point. You’re really asking, “What does it mean to us today, individually?” and that’s why we end up with scores of different answers that can be answered by anyone subjectively. If you have 25 people, you can end up with 25 different opinions, resulting in 25 different doctrines, every one of which may be wrong, even though they all sincerely and completely believe they are correct. Exegesis always asks, “What DID it mean?” There’s a vast difference in those questions as starting points.

        To that end, I have published numerous exegetical treatments on the very verses you get an “A” for simply quoting, including but limited to:

        “Genesis 19: What the Bible Really Says Were the Sins of Sodom”
        “Leviticus 18: What Was The Abomination?”
        “Romans 1: What Was Paul Ranting About?”
        “Romans 2: Paul’s Bait and Switch”
        “Why No One in the Biblical World Had a Word for Homosexuality”
        “Exegesis: Not for the Faint in Heart”

        Links to each of these may be found on the “Archives” page. Since you are so confident of your hermeneutical skills on this topic, I would welcome you to show me and your readers exegetically where I am wrong and you are correct. May iron sharpen iron.

        -Alex Haiken

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      2. #1) Don’t insult my intelligence with your “not exegetically supportable” argument. Your ulterior motive is to brainwash people into thinking “gay is ok.”

        #2) Your argument about which terms to use is based on your own personal bias in favor of homosexual behavior. Whether you call it homosexual “lifestyle”, gay, sodomy, effeminate, or abusers of themselves with mankind, it’s sinful lust that the Bible clearly says those involved in “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

        #3) I’m not at all presumptuous. God’s word will never pass away and God’s word says clearly that those who lust after other people of the same gender are evil. Why is it that those so-called scholars and you don’t understand this? Jesus asked a similar question to those who only believed him intellectually but not in their hearts in John 8 when he said “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not… He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

        The Bible says that no scripture is of any private interpretation, but that’s exactly what you are doing–assigning your own private interpretation to God’s word to fit your eisegesis. I was comparing scripture with scripture to give its proper interpretation and anyone who really knows God knows what I said is true. Those who are into homosexuality or advocate for it are into living & promoting lies. So it’s easy to see who their real father is. Not everyone that says “Lord, Lord” shall enter the kingdom of heaven.

        #4) You’re the one who has more in common with those who used the Bible to oppress women and blacks. Just as they misinterpreted the Bible to promote their sin, you’re misusing it to promote your own sin. People are born female or black, they aren’t born gay. But even if they were born gay, that doesn’t let them off the hook for that behavior since the Bible calls it sin. Since we’re all born in sin and God calls on all men everywhere to repent of their sin (which they were born with) then sodomites must repent also since the Bible calls it sin and they will not inherit the kingdom of God until they do.

        #5) Your words & advocacy for homosexuality clearly shows you don’t really respect God’s word. Jesus said, “if you love me, keep my commandments.” You are the type of person Paul spoke of in Romans 1 “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Fornicators and those who promote their ungodly lusts shall not inherit the kingdom of God. “They that are unlearned and unstable wrest” the scriptures as you have done [2 Peter 3:16].

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  2. (#1) Is attempting to insult me the only way you can try and defend your position? Don’t insult me with your presumptuous assumptions as of my “ulterior motive is”. Are you now assuming the role of the Holy Spirit too in that you know my heart? I know you don’t like it and wish it was not true, but the fact remains people with a high regard for Scripture, and who are prayerfully committed to ordering their lives in accordance with it, are honestly divided over this issue. This includes an ever growing number of evangelical Bible scholars and theologians. As people examine the few passages that generally get appealed in this debate more closely and in context they are discovering that your interpretation simply does not hold up to scrutiny. You will have to deal with that sooner or later.

    (#2) Actually, your argument is based on your own personal aversion to cultural conditioning against homosexual behavior. As Carl Trueman, my former professor of historical theology and church history at Westminster Seminary admitted on his own blog: ““For people like myself, now in middle age, dislike of homosexuality came with the territory; our reasons for opposing it were more to do with our own cultural backgrounds than with any biblical argumentation.”

    (#3) Yes, God’s word will indeed never pass away. But that does not change the fact that throughout 2,000 years of church history well meaning Christians just like yourself have used their Bibles to defend what they perceived to be an attack against the “clear teachings of Scripture”. However, history has revealed that what many of these well meaning brothers and sisters were defending was their presumption of what the Bible teaches, not the truth of Scripture. As former professor of biblical exegesis F.F. Bruce put it: “It is not enough to say: ‘The Bible says’… without at the same time considering, to whom the Bible says it, and in what circumstances.”

    You said: “The Bible says that no scripture is of any private interpretation, but that’s exactly what you are doing — assigning your own interpretation to God’s word to fit your eisegesis. Exegesis is reading out from the Bible what the original writers were saying. Eisegesis is reading one’s own ideas or prejudices back into the Bible. Exegesis is about getting out of the text what is truly there in the first place. Eisegesis is about putting into the text something never intended by the author. It rarely occurs to any of us that our reading of Scripture is profoundly colored by our own cultural context and worldview.

    (#4) Your argument would hold water if you could exegetically defend your position. But you have not because you cannot. The only thing you continue to do is say “homosexuality is sin because the Bible says so” with no exegetical support to back it up. These are nothing more than your personal presuppositions. Where’s the beef, as Clara Pella used to ask? You and do not get to rip passages from their context and replace them in another age for the sake of convenience. Nor do we get to make things up as we go along. And as always, we’re stuck with the internal interpretation of the text as the primary meaning.

    #5) The fact that I strongly disagree with your position does not “clearly show” that I don’t really respect God’s word, as you inferred, any more the fact that you strongly disagree clearly shows the same. If that is your only defense, you have no defense at all. Let’s get to the beef here instead of you continuing to try and sling insults at me. Can you exegetically support your doctrine? Or can you offer nothing meaningful as to keep on professing, “Well, my doctrine is the truth because I believe it’s the truth?”

    Let’s start get back to the text: You published a blog post titled, “Things You’ve Been Told are in the Bible That Really Aren’t.” In that post, you stated that one of those things was: “Jesus never spoke against homosexuality.” Now either have the integrity to admit that you were in error by saying this, or come clean and tell us one thing that Jesus ever spoke against homosexuality. Fact is Jesus never spoke a single word about homosexuality. Not a word for it, not a word against it, zero, zip, nada. You can keep on insulting me as much as you like, but that is the fact.

    -Alex Haiken

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    1. #1) I have defended my position using scripture to show how off you are. I’m not assuming the role of the Holy Spirit, but he dwells in me to help me judge between good & evil. The Spirit guides us into all truth [John 16:13], but you argue against the truth, so that speaks volumes about whose influence you & the “Bible scholars” you cling to are under. I don’t know you personally, but I know how gay activists operate because I’ve encountered them before including two of them who were my professors.

      #2) I’ve demonstrated using scriptures correctly in their context & true meaning that homosexuality is sin. My opinions are in line with the Bible, yours aren’t. I don’t care what some seminarian quoted to you. “Let God be true but every man a liar,” [Romans 3:4].

      #3) The only reason you can’t accept what I’ve said is because you’ve hardened your heart against God to cling to your sin. I stand with the Lord Jesus Christ & his apostle Paul who states “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ,” [2 Corinthians 2:17]. You, on the other hand, have corrupted the word of God to preach a different Christ & a different gospel than the one the Bible preaches. Galatians 1:8-9 tells us what to think of those who preach a different gospel.

      I know the difference between exegesis & eisegesis. That’s why I applied the word eisegesis to you in my last comment. You are putting into God’s word what you want to get out and have corrupted the word of God.

      #4) My exegesis is right on target. Your position is applauded & accepted by many in secular media and liberals of the world. The fact that evil men of the world who hate true Christianity applaud your position is because you are of the world and you fear men, wanting to please men instead of God. People of the world are demanding churches accept homosexuality as okay and you’ve joined their chorus. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God,” [James 4:4].

      #5) The word of God says time & time again that people who pursue sexual relationships with people of the same gender are in sin. And it says it clearly in several different ways so even someone who lacks intellect can get it, whether it’s “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination,” [Leviticus 18:22], or “…God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet,” [Romans 1:26-27].

      Since “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of…” [2 Corinthians 7:10], and you have no sorrow for your sin to repent, it’s obvious you aren’t godly. And your argument about Ezekiel 16:48-50 twists, or wrests, the scripture which Peter warned us against in 2 Peter 3:16. You claim God was angry with Sodom over other sins, not homosexuality. Ezekiel said–

      Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

      If one were to look up what God considers “abomination” as mentioned in Ezekiel, the Holy Spirit leads us right back to Leviticus 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

      Alex, “Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?” [Mark 12:24]. Therefore instead of wasting your time arguing with me to spread your lies, REPENT OF YOUR SIN! And I say that with the true love of the Lord Jesus because I don’t want you to miss out on God’s blessings.

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  3. Harry, with all of your denial, insults, character assassination and presuppositions, you still avoid like the plague answering the question: You published a blog post titled, “Things You’ve Been Told are in the Bible that Really Aren’t.” In that post, you stated that one of those things we’ve been told that is not true is: “Jesus never spoke against homosexuality.” Now there are only two possibilities here. Either Jesus DID speak about homosexuality or Jesus DIDN’T speak about homosexuality.

    If he did speak about homosexuality tell us what he said about homosexuality. If he did not speak about homosexuality (and surely he didn’t), then have the integrity to say that you are incorrect. Skip the insults, presuppositions and character assassinations. Just answer the question and let’s see who is playing fast and loose with the biblical text.

    -Alex Haiken

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    1. I haven’t denied anything. You’re the one denying homosexuality is a sin. Avoiding? Really? I’ve answered the question several times over. But since I haven’t given the answer that tickle your ears, you won’t accept it. If you see truth from the Bible as insulting or a character assassination, then this shows you really don’t regard the Bible as you previously claimed. Your purpose is to deny that the Bible speaks against sodomy so you can promote your gay rights agenda.

      This part is for the benefit of my other readers since you’ve shown you really don’t care what God says. Here’s what Christ told John in Revelation–

      And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8

      The word for whoremonger here is “pornos,” a masculine noun referring to a man who involves himself in sex outside of marriage, whether to men or women. It also refers to male prostitutes. So the word applies to homosexuals since they “play the prostitute” or whore by having sexual relationships outside the God-established, true form of marriage.

      Jesus also said–

      For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. Mark 7:21-22

      Now one should ask, why did Jesus use the plural “fornications” instead of just the singular “fornication”? The Greek word porneia is plural and was a word used at that time for all types of sex outside of marriage, whether incest, pedophilia, lesbianism, sodomy, or bestiality. So Christ chose not to itemize but to use an all-encompassing word that can be applied specifically to all these sins. When ancient Greeks used the word, they knew it could apply to include all such sins. It’s like the word “lie” in its application to fraud, perjury, or obstruction of justice as well as simple deception. Or using the word “stealing” to apply to embezzlement, burglary, or extortion.

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  4. I didn’t see if this was mentioned, but I thought I’d bring it up.

    Jesus is God, right? And the Bible is God’s Word. So whatever the Bible as a whole speaks against, that is Jesus himself speaking against it, is it not?

    And so we can do away with Alex’s petty argument against the diction of your article, and get down to the real issue…

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    1. So correct, Luke. There are many angles that one can come from using the Bible to totally shred Alex’s arguments. But as it says in Proverbs, “The way of a fool is always right in his own eyes.” No matter how you try to reason with one and your arguments are totally solid and watertight, a fool will cling to his own errors.

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