Fact checking This is what happened when we fact checked Obinim’s Bible knowledge

While we aspire to hold our politicians to a high standard, how will our ‘men of God’ fare if they are fact checked?

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There have been increased calls on Ghana’s media to check the veracity of claims made by politicians especially in this election season.

The absence of the Right to Information law makes it very difficult for the media to do so; having to rely on data from think tanks and personalities whose motivations are questionable.

While we aspire to hold our politicians to a high standard, how will our ‘men of God’ fare if they are fact checked?

play Daniel Obinim and his wife Florence Obinim


Daniel Obinim is one of Ghana’s controversial pastors; never shy of making the headlines. In August, the self-styled bishop whip a teenage couple in his church for having sexual intercourse that resulted in a pregnancy. This incident was shown on  television network he owns causing massive outrage in the country.

Related: WATCH : Obinim's followers dispersed with water cannon at Police HQ

He was also criticised for yelling at his wife publicly during the incident. In his response, he stressed how much he loved his wife repeatedly; but the area of interest was an analogy he used from the Bible.

“…If you read the Bible; in Genesis it says, Joseph had made up his mind to divorce Mary privately. But an angel of God told him not to do so because she was pregnant with the Holy Spirit…”

The facts

There are 66 books of the Bible; divided into Old and New Testaments. The Old has 39 books while the new has 27 books.

Joseph and Mary are not mentioned anywhere not just in the book of Genesis but the entirety of the Old Testament. The first mention of Joseph and Mary is in the book of Matthew instead in the story of the life of Christ.

There is at least 400 years of between Malachi (the last book in the Old Testament) and Matthew according to some theologians. Some also say that the Old Testament (from Genesis to Malachi) spans at least 3,000 years.

See also: We had sex only once - Obinim victims confess

Bottom line

Joseph is indeed mentioned in the book of Genesis for his life and times in Egypt. However, this is a completely different personality; very much unrelated to the situation with Mary and Jesus’ life story.

The verdict

So what is the verdict when you put Obinim under the microscope? This was just a slip or he probably just does not know the Bible that well for a bishop.

Obinim is a very polarising figure in Ghana. While his thousands of followers say he is an Angel of God, many Christians in Ghana are very critical of his style. They say he does not truly the tenets of their faith and the message of the Bible which Christians are expected to live by.

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