Common Bible Misquotes- 10 Things the Bible never says and why it messes with our concept of Christianity.
Bible Misquote #1- God helps those who help themselves
NOT TRUE AT ALL
Not in the Bible. God helps Christians in many ways and with those who aren’t Christians, He works to make Himself known through both Creation and through the Bible.
Honestly? This phrase is based more out of prideful ambition than it is from the Bible.
Bible Misquote #2- God will never give you more than you can handle.
NOT TRUE AT ALL
This! THIS one is definitely not to be found in the Bible.
God WANTS you to be in a situation that you can’t handle so that you will give up and rely on Him.
God wants a relationship with you. He wants you to give up your selfishness and take on His will for your life. (And why not? He sees everything and knows the best things for you! ❤️ )
So the next time you get yourself in a big, hairy mess… don’t think: “Why did God give me so much just to leave me on my own?” Think: “How can I use this circumstance to lean on God and make God famous?”
Bible Misquote #3- If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.
PERHAPS A PARAPHRASE
Yup. I mean, this is a nice rule to follow but, not from the Bible. You could kind of say that this is an EXTREMELY loose paraphrase of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them to do you” Luke 6:31
Bible Misquote #4- We shall overcome
PERHAPS A PARAPHRASE
This is a phrase often used in civil rights circles, and its history is rich and deep. 1 John 5:4 says: “for everyone born of God overcomes the world”. Slaves in the south would sing “I’ll be all right someday” to encourage each other through their often horrible circumstances, and it was sung throughout the 19th century. A hymn was written in 1901, ‘I’ll Overcome Someday” It was sung in many civil rights marches and sit-ins.
Everyone who is born of God will overcome the world. 🙌
Bible Misquote #5- This, too, shall pass
KINDA… NOT REALLY
This exact phrase isn’t in the Bible but in the book of Ecclesiastes, the Bible talks about how there are seasons for everything, including the present-day troubles you are facing.
Bible Misquote #6- To thine own self be true
I am amazed how often I hear this in Christian circles. 😣
This is actually Shakespeare and the OPPOSITE of the Biblical message.
The Bible says that your innermost thoughts are evil and contradictory. The inner workings of your heart, your deepest insecurities, are not godly. Everyone has them. One of my biggest heartaches throughout my whole life has been feeling unwanted in different aspects of my life. It’s a fear without much basis, but my heart makes it into a big thing. The Bible says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
AKA: Your heart is a liar and is SO INCREDIBLY contradictory that even YOU can’t understand it.
Hard to be true to a lyin’ heart.
Bible Misquote #7- Love the sinner, hate the sin
Although…this is kind of a helpful phrase for Christians who aren’t sure with how to deal with addicts in their lives, etc, but again… not gonna be found in the Holy Book. However, Jesus spoke with the worst of the worst sinners (at least according to everyone else in the Jewish world) and told them to go and sin no more. (See John 7)
Bible Misquote #8- Gaining your angel’s wings
KINDA CORNY, and ALSO NOT ACCURATE
I used to think that when I died, I would essentially become an angel. Heaven is going to be a seriously wonderful place, but Heaven is going to be a place where we have physical (human) bodies, not angel bodies. “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not grow faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Like eagle wings ≠ Angel wings
Angels are a totally different creation, and when humans encounter them in the Bible, they are usually terrified at first and ask for mercy.
Bible Misquote #9- Money is the root of all evil
KIND OF MISLEADING
Maybe this Biblical phrase was passed around so much that it lost its original meaning. There isn’t anything wrong with money.
Being rich isn’t a sin. In fact, there were lots of rich people in the Bible who were considered godly, Solomon, David, The Centurion who trusted Jesus (he was an authority in the Roman army = money), Lydia the Purplemaker, and more.
Rich people fuel MANY VERY IMPORTANT ministries all around the world. We are supposed to help each other through this journey called life.
What’s wrong is the LOVE of money. What was wrong with the Rich Young Ruler in the Bible is that he wouldn’t give up his money for the sake of Christ himself. He valued his own name over Jesus’ name.
So Christians, if you get rich, give your money away regularly and freely to people and ministries that need it. One of the most beautiful things about Christianity is when it works as it should and it helps the least of these. 👊
Bible Misquote #10- Cleanliness is next to godliness
NOT TRUE AT ALL
This phrase was written in a Jewish customs book called the Talmud, but I kind of disagree with the premise. I don’t necessarily think that just because someone is dirty means that they are ungodly. I think rather that Jesus spoke that people who the most unpopular (people who are poor, needy, etc) were the ones who were to be the most blessed by God in Heaven.
Also, God doesn’t care about your outer cleanliness NEAR as much as your inner cleanliness. He even spoke to the Pharisees about this specifically. Check it out at Matthew 23:25-28
What do you think?
Did you learn anything from this? Let me know!
Can you think of any more phrases that people incorrectly attribute to the Bible?