Historical Events  Religion
Historical Events  Religion
Salem Witches

How were the Salem Witches executed?

MMDE: The Salem Witches were drowned or burnt at the stake

Current: The Salem Witches were hanged

The year is 1692.

Superstition in Europe regarding devilry sweeps across America, and reaches a fever pitch in Salem, Massachusetts. A group of local young women claimed others were practicing witchcraft, and so began the infamous Salem Witch trials.

By the time they were over, more than 150 men women and children were accused and 19 were executed. Eventually, they were all pardoned, but that brought little solace to the families and community as a whole.

How were they executed? The popular notion is they were all burnt at the stake, but it turns out that wasn't the case, and in fact never happened in the USA, only Europe, and even then rarely. The Salem Witches were all hanged apart from one male, who died whilst being pressed under stones refusing to confess.

Historical Events  Religion
David Soul

The Gospel of Judas Iscariot

MMDE: There is no Gospel according to Judas

Current: There is a Gospel according to Judas

A carbon dated leather-bound papyrus manuscript from 280AD was published by The National Geographic Society as The Gospel of Judas.

It was called the Codex Tchacos when first discovered in Egypt in the 1970's, after the antiquities dealer, Frieda Nussberger-Tchacos. It's in over a thousand fragments, and is thought to be a translation of an older Greek manuscript from AD 130-170. 

The contents are controversial. It is said Judas was the only disciple who was told the true message from Jesus, and far from being his betrayer was in fact acting according to the instructions of Jesus.

Historical Events  Religion
Three wise men

Jesus: According to the bible, how many wise men were there?

MMDE: 3 wise men came to see baby Jesus

Current: The number of wise men seeing Jesus is not stated

When people think of a Bible question around the 3 wise men, they think it's about them being kings, because there are other references to this such as the carol "we three kings". The reason is the Bible doesn't say they were kings. What most don't realise is it also doesn't say how many there were. It seems history has somehow created this idea based on them bringing 3 gifts.

It gets worse - it doesn't even say they came to see him right after he was born. It only says they came to visit him as a baby, so it could have been up to a couple of years later. 

Historical Events  Religion
Abraham Lincoln

Was Abraham Lincoln a Christian?

MMDE: Abraham Lincoln was a devout Christian

Current: Abraham Lincoln was not a devout Christian

Since he grew up in a deeply religious Baptist family, most people think it goes without saying that Abraham Lincoln was a Christian. After all, he's thought of today as the best President the US ever had.

One look at him gives the impression he's not only off to Church but wouldn't be out of place up there pounding the pulpit to the congregation. After all, this is the compassionate President who abolished slavery.

It comes as such a surprise, therefore, to people who hear he was not that it's being pointed to as a Mandela Effect. He never even became a church member.

Historical Events  Religion
St Nicholas

What color were they before they were red?

MMDE: White

Current: Tan/green

Saint Nicholas was born in Greece in 270 AD. He was a bishop, so would have worn the appropriate bishops attire of the day.

He was known for being kind to children, often gifting them with presents as he travelled preaching the Christian word.

Many people who are aware the modern image of Santa Claus, in his red and white clothing with a huge white beard, is less than 100 years old, are surprised to hear how he looked originally. That's because they think he wore white flowing robes, whereas in fact they were mainly tan with a little green.

Historical Events  Religion
David and Goliath

How tall was Goliath?

MMDE: 9 feet 6 inches

Current: 6 feet 9 inches

We all know the story of David and Goliath, where the famous Biblical tale describes the Philistines epic battle with the Israelites coming to a head with each sending a single man to fight each other. The Philistines sent Goliath, said to be a huge giant, whereas the Israelites sent David, unarmoured except to a sling and 5 rocks, after David put his faith in God. The outcome is legendary - David defeated Goliath with a rock to his head. That's pretty impressive for such a big giant ... but wait a moment, just how tall was he?

Many people are surprised when they hear the translation into a modern description of his height, recorded as "Six cubits and a span". That's because it's 6 feet and 9 inches - the same height as the heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, for example.

Historical Events  Religion
Mummy

How many mummies were found in the Pyramids?

MMDE: Many mummies were found in the Pyramids

Current: No mummies were found in the Pyramids

Ask most people what the Pyramids were built for, and the chances are they'll tell you they were the tombs of the Pharaohs. So if you then ask them how many mummies were discovered in them and they tell you "many", they might be experiencing a Mandela Effect because the answer today is none.

One explanation is that the tombs were robbed in ancient times. Whilst this is possible, experts point to the sarcopagus in the Khufu Pyramid being too small to hold a body. Other theories range from the mundane, such as the Pyramids actually only being built to store grain, to the extreme, such as them being power stations using energy of a form unknown to us today.