Church Urban Legends

(Via Justin Taylor)Well, shoot, some of those great stories and illustrations that your pastor uses in the pulpit aren’t necessarily exactly true. Trevin Wax has a rundown, including:

2. The high priest tied a rope around his ankle so that others could drag him out of the Holy of Holies in case God struck him dead.

Various versions of this claim have been repeated by pastors, but it is a legend. It started in the Middle Ages and keeps getting repeated. There is no evidence for the claim in the Bible, the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, the Pseudepigrapha, the Talmud, Mishna or any other source. Furthermore, the thickness of the veil (three feet) would have precluded the possibility of a priest being dragged out anyway.

Well heck, I really liked that one. But tell me more about that three-foot-thick veil. That’s got to be good for a sermon illustration or two.

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