Things People Think Are In The Bible But Are Not

Krystal Smith

Many quotes from The Bible comfort people in times of despair or help guide them through life. However, over the years, we have heard many things that people have told us are from the Bible when they come from other sources. We explore 18 things people pretend are in The Bible but are not:

Money Is the Root of All Evil

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Despite what we have been led to believe, “Money is the root of all evil” is not found in the Bible. The actual verse from 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” This verse stresses the dangers of greed and an obsessive love of money, not money itself. Money can be a tool for good or evil, depending on how it’s used.

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

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The Bible emphasizes purity, spiritual cleansing, and physical cleanliness as aspects of devotion. Still, the proverb “Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness” is absent in Christian teachings. 

Go Forth and Multiply

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While the Bible emphasizes the importance of procreation and the continuation of the human race within God’s creation, the phrase “Go Forth and Multiply” has not been traced to any Christian readings. The closest word is from Genesis 1:28, where it says, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.expand_more Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'”

 “Touch Your Neighbor”

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This phrase is not found in the Bible. It is most likely used in some church services as a lighthearted way to encourage interaction and community among those in attendance. Mark 12:31 says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” which could be what well-meaning Christians relay. 

Adam and Eve Eating an Apple

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Contrary to popular belief, the Bible does not mention an apple as the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. The Bible describes it as the fruit from the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” but never identifies the type of fruit.

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

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This phrase does not exist in the Bible nor originates from Benjamin Franklin, to whom it is often attributed. Its roots go back to ancient Greece. It reflects a philosophy of self-reliance and initiative.

Appearance of Angels

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Angels don’t always appear with the stereotypical image of wings and halos. Sometimes they take on human forms (Genesis 18, Hebrews 13:2), while others appear as dazzling and awe-inspiring beings (Daniel 10:5-6, Revelation 10:1).

Jesus, Being a White Skinned

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Despite the common belief that Jesus was white, he lived in the Middle East during the 1st century AD. People from this region generally have olive-toned or darker skin complexions, so it’s more likely that Jesus shared the physical characteristics of those around him.

“Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child”

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The exact phrase “Spare the rod, spoil the child” doesn’t appear in the Bible. However, it’s a misinterpretation rooted in a Biblical proverb. The proverb says, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” This verse speaks about the importance of discipline in raising a child.”

Jesus Being Born in a Stable

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While the famous Christmas story depicts Jesus being born in a stable with animals, the Bible doesn’t provide this exact detail. Luke 2:7 says, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.”

The Three Wise Men

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The Bible mentions “wise men” coming from the East to visit Jesus after his birth, but it doesn’t provide some of the details found in popular Christmas traditions. The only passage mentioning the wise men, also known as the Magi, is Matthew 2:1-12.

“God Works in Mysterious Ways”

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The phrase “God works in mysterious ways” likely originated from the hymn “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” written by William Cowper in 1774. The hymn reflects the Biblical themes of God’s sovereignty and the importance of faith.

Women Can’t Be Pastors

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Whether women can be pastors is a complex and highly debated topic within Christianity, and the Bible offers verses that are interpreted in different ways regarding this issue. One example is 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, which says, “Women should remain silent in the churches. As the law says, they are not allowed to speak but must be in submission. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” These verses seem to limit women from speaking within the church context.

“Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”

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This phrase is often associated with Christian teachings, but its exact wording cannot be found in the Bible. It originated with the theologian Augustine in the 5th century and was later popularized by Mahatma Gandhi.

Judge Not, Lest You Be Judged

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The core idea of “Judge not, lest you be judged” is found in the Bible but not those exact words. The actual verse from Matthew 7:1 is “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

“Blessed and Highly Favored”

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This phrase is not found in the Bible. The closest is from Luke 1:28, when the angel Gabriel says to Mary, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” The Greek word translated as “favored one” is “kecharitomene.” While there aren’t other exact uses of this word in the Bible, it conveys the idea of someone who has received abundant grace.

Violent Depictions of Jesus

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While Jesus primarily embodies non-violence and grace, there are a few instances in the Bible where he displays actions or words that could be interpreted as forceful or disruptive. However, there is not an overwhelming amount of violence that justifies people saying this about Jesus. 

“God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”

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This passage is often attributed to being a Christian verse. However, it isn’t in the Bible; it is a saying with ancient Greek roots. The Bible paints a more nuanced picture of God’s grace alongside human effort.

Truths About Christianity That No One Is Ready To Hear

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Christianity has a long and complex history and many different ways to understand and practice it exist. As with any religion, some aspects of Christianity can be challenging. Here are harsh truths about Christianity that some people may not be ready to hear: Truths About Christianity That No One Is Ready To Hear

Things People Say All the Time That Are Actually Taken from the Bible

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Did you know that many commonly used (while outdated) sayings that people say all the time actually have origins in scripture, specifically the Bible? Here is a list of outdated things people say all the time that are actually taken from scripture: Things People Say All the Time That Are Actually Taken from the Bible


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