Actually....That's Not in the Bible

Actually....That's Not in the Bible

Here are a few common phrases often misunderstood to be Scripture.

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  • God helps those who help themselves.

    God helps those who help themselves.

    Although this DIY-inspired motto is often attributed to God's Word, it is thought to have originated from an Aesop's fable "Hercules and the Waggoner” which ends with the moral "God helps those who help themselves."

  • This too shall pass.

    This too shall pass.

    There are many theories on the origin of this adage. Some attribute it to an old English poem, “The Lament Doer” while others believe it stems from a fable and still others credit it to Jewish folklore. The Scripture 2 Corinthians 4: 17-18 gives the same insight that our troubles are temporary and perhaps was the inspiration. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

  • Money is the root of all evil.

    Money is the root of all evil.

    This is a common misconception of a shortened version of 1 Timothy 6:10 which reads: "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil…" The omission of the word "love" greatly changes the meaning as money itself is not evil-- the love of money is.

  • Cleanliness is next to godliness.

    Cleanliness is next to godliness.

    This phrase originates as an ancient proverb and was popularized when Sir Francis Bacon wrote, “Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.”  Later, John Wesley made a reference to the expression in one of his sermons, "Slovenliness is no part of religion. Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness."

  • God works in mysterious ways.

    God works in mysterious ways.

    This popular quote comes from William Cowper’s poem “Light Shining out of Darkness” which reads, “God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.” It is believed the inspiration behind this phrase came from Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

  • The lion shall lie down with the lamb.

    The lion shall lie down with the lamb.

    Although “the lion shall lie down with the lamb” is one of the more popular quotes from the Bible, it’s really misquoted.  Isaiah 11:6 says, "And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them." Isaiah 65:25 reads, "The wolf and the lamb will graze together and the lion will eat straw like an ox…" Although the phrase "the lion shall lie down with the lamb" is a shortened version, the sentiment remains the same.

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