11 Things You Think Are in the Bible, But Really Aren’t

Ephraim Obare
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So, you consider yourself a bit of a biblical scholar, do you? Well, brace yourself because we’re about to embark on a delightful game of “did they just say that?” You might be surprised to learn that some of the most quoted “verses” are not in any version of the Bible!

You know, things like “God helps those who help themselves” or “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” Yep, you read it right. So, grab yourself a cup of coffee or maybe a humble pie, and let’s tackle 11 things you’ve likely been quoting from the Good Book that, spoiler alert, aren’t in there. Ready to have your mind blown? Let’s go!

“God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”

11 Things You Think Are in the Bible, but Really Aren’t
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Much to your surprise, this adage is not in the Bible. It’s a quote by English political theorist Algernon Sidney. jamin Franklin went on to utilize it in his renowned Poor Richard’s Almanack (1736), and it has since become a frequently cited phrase. The Bible, on the contrary, often emphasizes God’s compassion for the helpless.

Minister Erwin Lutzer makes a compelling argument, nonetheless, finding support for this saying in the Bible (2 Thessalonians 3:10, James 4:8). Yet, we also witness the abundant grace of God, as He comes to the aid of those who cannot help themselves (the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, Ephesians 2:4–5, Romans 4:4–5).

“Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness”

11 Things You Think Are in the Bible, but Really Aren’t
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You might have heard this one from your mother when she was trying to get you to clean your room. Sorry, Mom, but it’s not in the Bible either. This phrase originates from a sermon by John Wesley.

According to Learn Religions, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” is a timeless adage that highlights the significance of cleanliness in our lives. Coined by the English cleric John Wesley in 1778, these words remind us that just as we ardently pursue religion, we should also embrace the virtues of cleanliness. Let’s strive for a harmonious balance between spirituality and cleanliness in our journey through life.

“Money Is the Root of All Evil”

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It’s a misquote. The correct verse is: “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

The Three Wise Men

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The Bible never specifies the number of wise men who visited Baby Jesus, just that they brought three gifts.

“Pride Comes Before the Fall”

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This paraphrases Proverbs 16:18, but the actual verse says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

“This Too Shall Pass”

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Comforting as it may be, you won’t find this phrase in the Holy Book. Its origins are likely Persian. According to Wikipedia,  “this too shall pass” – a timeless Persian adage (Persian: این نیز بگذرد, romanized: īn nīz bogzarad), resonates across languages, offering wisdom and solace in the face of challenges.

Adam and Eve Ate an Apple

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The Bible doesn’t specify the forbidden fruit type that Adam and Eve ate. It could have been a fig, a pear, or a pomegranate.

“Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child”

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It’s a summation of Proverbs 13:24, but the exact language is, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

According to Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting, contrary to widespread confusion, “Spare the rod, spoil the child” does not originate from a biblical verse but a captivating 17th-century poem called Hudibras. Interestingly, it stems from a discourse on a romantic relationship, where the speaker has no intention of addressing child discipline. Fascinating, isn’t it?

“God Works in Mysterious Ways”

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It is a pleasing sentiment, but it isn’t a biblical quote. It’s derived from a 19th-century hymn. According to The Christian website,  the phrase “God works in mysterious ways” may not be directly found in the Bible. Still, its truth resonates throughout scripture, filled with compelling examples that captivate the imagination.

The Seven Deadly Sins

11 Things You Think Are in the Bible, But Really Aren’t
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The list of seven deadly sins is not mentioned as such in the Bible. It’s a concept developed by early Christian theologians.

Wikipedia says that the seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, captivate our attention as a compelling grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings.

Noah’s Ark With Two of Every Animal

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The Bible mentions seven pairs of clean animals and one pair of unclean animals (Genesis 7:2-3) on Noah’s Ark, not just two of each kind.

Remember, context and accuracy matter when quoting the Bible or any other text. It’s important to check facts before spreading them.

Things You Think Are in the Bible, But Really Aren’t

11 Things in the Bible That Challenge Traditional Interpretation
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If you’ve ever found yourself thumbing through the pages of the Good Book, chances are you’ve been left scratching your head once or twice. Or fifty times. Fear not, dear reader! It’s not just you.

Things You Think Are in the Bible, But Really Aren’t

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20 Misquoted Bible Verses and Facts Exploited in Distorted Narratives
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Alright, folks – it’s time for a little divine intervention! Have you ever heard the phrase “Money is the root of all evil?” Or maybe the old classic, “God helps those who help themselves?” Well, plot twist – they’re not exactly from the Good Book, or at least not in the way you think. Oh, the tales these twisted verses could tell if they could speak!

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Well, hello, dear reader! If you’ve landed here, chances are high that you’ve stumbled across a few eyebrow-raising interpretations of the Good Book and are now questioning your Bible literacy. Fear not, you’re not the first, and surely won’t be the last! With its intricate narratives and profound teachings, the Bible can sometimes become a breeding ground for misconceptions.

Are You Guilty of Falling for These 15 Common Bible Misconceptions? Don’t Worry, You’re Not Alone!

10 Bible Verses That Spark Controversy in Modern Society

Bible Verses That Spark Controversy in Modern Society
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The Bible, often seen as a cornerstone of faith for millions worldwide, also serves as a source of passionate discourse, with some verses sparking controversy in the context of modern society.

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11 Things in the Bible That Challenge Traditional Interpretation

11 Things in the Bible That Challenge Traditional Interpretation
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In our quest for understanding, we often turn to the Bible, a book that has provided guidance and solace to generations. Yet, certain passages may provoke more questions than they answer within its sacred texts.

11 Things in the Bible That Challenge Traditional Interpretation

Author

  • Ephraim Obare

    Ephraim Obare is a versatile member of the Frenz Hub writing team, bringing a rich background in economics to his work. An avid swimmer, reader, and cyclist, Ephraim blends analytical insights with his diverse interests.

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