Too Good To Be True?

Reading through the headlines today, I ran across a photo that took me back to middle school. The cover of our science textbook was a 280 million-year-old fossil discovered in the Italian Alps in 1931. It looked to be similar to many of the lizards I saw running around my backyard, but scientist had long celebrated it as a “puzzle piece for understanding early reptile evolution.” They loved the fossil so much that they gave it the scientific name Tridentinosaurus antiquus.

The fossil appeared in many books and article citations over the decades, but come to find out, no one ever studied it in detail. That was until late last year when, Dr. Valentina Rossi (University College Cork in Ireland), and her team took a closer look. So what did they find? It’s a fake, not just a fake, a bad fake. According to their very detailed analysis (, the dark color of the fossil, thought to be preserved genetic material, isn’t — it’s just black paint covering a couple of bones and carved rock. Dr. Rossi replied to CNN reporter Ashley Strickland, “The fossil was believed to be unique because there were no other examples from the same geographical area and geological period of that preservation in a fossil vertebrate at the time.” Yes, unique because it was fake! From the beginning there were oddities about the find, such as a general lack of visible bones, including the skull bones, despite the fact that the body didn’t appear completely flat. So the initial assessment was that the specimen was essentially a mummy of an ancient reptile. “The answer to all our questions was right in front of us, we had to study this fossil specimen in detail to reveal its secrets — even those that perhaps we did not want to know,” Rossi said.

I cannot help but think of the many false Biblical prophets and preachers that have come before us and those that remain. Their false teaching sounds too good to be true, because it is!! A simple reading of the Bible exposes their false claims. At one time, when the average person did not have a Bible, it was understandable how false teaching could spread. Just like in the scientific world, if you don’t have the tools, you have to take the word of those who do. Today that is no longer true. This explains the rise in division among educational disciplines, not because of the lack of knowledge, but the opposite. Once reserved for those in higher education, knowledge now is available to everyone. I think of the Biblical Bereans who listened openly to what Paul had to say, but didn’t just take his word for it. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

With the rise of social media, we have never been as connected as a people, but we have also never been so divided. Don’t get overly emotional about something you read or see online. Do you research before going all in. The same is true with the “new messages” we hear from mega-pastors. You have access to the same Bible they do, use it! We are warned many times in the New Testament that these types of things will happen. Don’t be fooled because you did not put the time into personal study.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

Serving the Savior,
Bro. Jonathan 

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