The Bible is the most hotly debated and influential book of all time. Christians vehemently disagree with one another about what the Bible says and doesn’t say; which Biblical laws are eternally proscriptive and which are defeasible; and what the Bible actually means and who gets to decide. But even apart from these debates there’s a lot of blank space in the Bible—places where a lack of information has led readers and interpreters to supply extraneous information. Add to that all the things people think are in the Bible but aren’t and you have a whole different book.
To start off, there’s the insertion of mammals and botanicals in places where they shouldn’t be. Most people grow up learning that Eve took an apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, gave it to Adam, leading to the ejection of humanity from the Garden of Eden. But there’s no apple in the Garden—there’s only a piece of fruit. The interpretation that it’s an apple sneaks in in the King James Version of the Bible.
And there isn’t any mention of unicorns processing twosies by twosies, hooves–a-clattering onto Noah’s Ark. Once again we have fearless band of translators to thank. The English “unicorn” is a translation of a Latin rendering of a Greek word that sounds unicornish (monokeros—one-horned). The Greek is itself a translation of the Hebrew word for wild ox (re’em). From wild ox to unicorn in three easy steps—that’s one heck of a makeover.