No, Reverend, That’s Not What The Bible Says

churchsignJohn Blake reports for CNN on something many of us have long suspected – that people who like to spew quotes from the Bible often mangle or just make them up:

NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible.

“Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season. “This, too, shall pass.”

Ditka fumbled his biblical citation, though. The phrase “This, too, shall pass” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Ditka was quoting a phantom scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there.

Ditka’s biblical blunder is as common as preachers delivering long-winded public prayers. The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it’s also one of the most misquoted. Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches – all types of people – quote passages that actually have no place in the Bible, religious scholars say.

These phantom passages include:

“God helps those who help themselves.”

“Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

And there is this often-cited paraphrase: Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden.

None of those passages appear in the Bible, and one is actually anti-biblical, scholars say.

But people rarely challenge them because biblical ignorance is so pervasive that it even reaches groups of people who should know better, says Steve Bouma-Prediger, a religion professor at Hope College in Holland, Michigan…

[continues at CNN]

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  • Jahopson Tx

    “He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him
    betimes” (Proverbs 13:24) and “Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou
    strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and
    deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverbs 23:13-14)

  • Jahopson Tx

    “He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him
    betimes” (Proverbs 13:24) and “Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou
    strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and
    deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverbs 23:13-14)

    • Quint X

      The rod is a reference to the hooked staff the shepherds carried as they tended their flocks. It isn’t made for beating a sheep, but for gently returning them to the group and the path. Many, many Christians have misinterpreted this passage in order to validate their practice of beating their kids as correction. The passage refers to loving guidance, not spanking.

      • Quint X

        …and to the degree I am wrong, I disagree wholeheartedly with the “good book”. ;-)

        • Butter Knife

          Dude, the second passage explicitly states it is good to hit your children when necessary… what do you think “strike him with the rod” means? Hooked staff used for herding sheep or not, one you start striking with it the shape is pretty much incidental (and, by the way, the butt ends of those are great for whacking a ram across the brow… sometimes that’s the only way to get one’s attention before it gores and tramples you to death in a misguided attempt to prove dominance).

          • KxBk6U

            A shepherd would never have beat his sheep with a rod. Also, if you took the “rod of correction” to mean striking your child with a rod, Proverbs 23:13 would be a lie — one can indeed kill a child by beating him physically with a rod. We know the Bible doesn’t lie, so it must mean something else, right? We do use the “rod of correction” here, but by that we mean that we teach our children, we redirect them when necessary, and we protect them — we don’t use the rod to hit them any more than a shepherd would.

          • Corourke

            Actually I’m ok with letting that one slide by as a lie since we know the bible lies on a much much larger scale than that. It says the earth is older than the sun and that plants existed before there was a sun to feed them in spite of actual science proving the opposite. This is why using a 2000 year old book of fairy tales as a substitute for science is such a stupid thing to do. Oh the bible also says that true believers that ingest poison will be unharmed, this is where the snake kissing offshoots of Christianity come from, though many of them are injected with antivenin to survive “mishaps”. The problems with the bible being totally fabricated or wrong isn’t the real issue, its that anyone takes it seriously.

            There is more “proof” of The Doctor then there is of Jesus. Neither exist in historical records other than as a fictional being.

          • Ashleyemanuel

            STOP quoting these bull crap atheist ideas, people as well as christians have mis interpreted the bible. In fact there are entire books and pasages written in ancient Hebrew that were removed by Constantine that talk about our true beginnings and belong before this misinterpretation of “the earth existing before the sun” what that really means is that humans or man have existed before the sun. But that is a whole other story and I take it that most people are way to closed minded to begin to even comprehend what that really means. Open your mind. 3D is not the only demension that exist. Ill leave it at that… wouldnt want to stir up too much choas…

          • Corourke

            Actually I’m ok with letting that one slide by as a lie since we know the bible lies on a much much larger scale than that. It says the earth is older than the sun and that plants existed before there was a sun to feed them in spite of actual science proving the opposite. This is why using a 2000 year old book of fairy tales as a substitute for science is such a stupid thing to do. Oh the bible also says that true believers that ingest poison will be unharmed, this is where the snake kissing offshoots of Christianity come from, though many of them are injected with antivenin to survive “mishaps”. The problems with the bible being totally fabricated or wrong isn’t the real issue, its that anyone takes it seriously.

            There is more “proof” of The Doctor then there is of Jesus. Neither exist in historical records other than as a fictional being.

          • Butter Knife

            Do you have any actual agricultural experience? I strongly suspect you do not. Also, I’m pretty sure that the proverb doesn’t mean to say you can’t beat a child to death, but rather that striking a child and not killing them is not (necessarily) wrong.

            Again, it talks of striking a child. This has a clear, literal meaning, and your attempts to ignore this don’t seem to have any sort of rational theological or linguistic basis. You’re certainly welcome to disagree with the Bible on this issue, but you’re trying to claim it says something other than what it rather clearly does.

  • Butter Knife

    In my experience, the average Atheist, Pagan, Buddhist, Agnostic or follower of some other religious/philosophical path knows roughly 50% more about Christianity than the average Christian*. Mind well the word “average”, and I refer almost exclusively to USians.

    This is hardly a revelation (hyuk hyuk…), in that context.

    *I would guess that is in large part because those groups are largely non-proselytizing, non-Ethnic and require some substantial personal research to actually profess. Hence my omission of Judaism, Islam and Hinduism from the list, as well as aggressive recruitment cults such as Scientology. With the recent growth of Atheism, I would also anticipate that item being pulled from the list in the near future, as more and more people are brought up to simply believe in it without any other religious or philosophical background.

  • Butter Knife

    In my experience, the average Atheist, Pagan, Buddhist, Agnostic or follower of some other religious/philosophical path knows roughly 50% more about Christianity than the average Christian*. Mind well the word “average”, and I refer almost exclusively to USians.

    This is hardly a revelation (hyuk hyuk…), in that context.

    *I would guess that is in large part because those groups are largely non-proselytizing, non-Ethnic and require some substantial personal research to actually profess. Hence my omission of Judaism, Islam and Hinduism from the list, as well as aggressive recruitment cults such as Scientology. With the recent growth of Atheism, I would also anticipate that item being pulled from the list in the near future, as more and more people are brought up to simply believe in it without any other religious or philosophical background.

    • DeepCough

      “In my experience, the average Atheist, Pagan, Buddhist, Agnostic or
      follower of some other religious/philosophical path knows roughly 50%
      more about Christianity than the average Christian*. Mind well the word
      “average”, and I refer almost exclusively to USians.”

      Well, as it turns out, Atheists know a lot more about religion than the respective followers thereof.

      http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/09/28/survey-atheists-know-more-about-religion-than-believers/

      • the velvet teen

        “picking apart the Bible for what is seen as a personal advantage
        over others or the other, picking apart the Bible to disprove others,
        still, like the former, in an attempt to sound/feel “better” or smarter
        than the person with the opposite view.  And of course, it’s much easier
        to confirm your own disbelief with.. well, almost anything out of the
        Bible.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=766865696 Karen Campbell

        Maybe because atheists did their research and decided religion was bunkum based on facts rather than brainwashing?

    • dontsteponthegrassman

      It all depends on whether the Bible is read literally or not.  Those that are most extreme in their views (i.e. Christian extremists & Atheists) tend to read the Bible quite literally.  One, picking apart the Bible for what is seen as a personal advantage over others or the other, picking apart the Bible to disprove others, still, like the former, in an attempt to sound/feel “better” or smarter than the person with the opposite view.  And of course, it’s much easier to confirm your own disbelief with.. well, almost anything out of the Bible.   

      I was baptized and raised in church and went to a private, Christian school as a kid and after that declared myself atheist, then later agnostic, but really this internal question of the existence of God was more so the question of the existence of the *Christian God.*  But to me, I was told there was only “one God” and that certain one God happened to be this certain way… (side note: to me, there is only one God, but IT’S more like a computer that we are all plugged into..) Later in life, I developed a more personal relationship with a God than I thought religion could offer me and actually, as of lately, I *have* opened a Bible to begin reading it from a different point of view.  Upon opening it this time around, I realized it, not once, actually says that God is a man in the sky, yet this is the image that is burned into all of our minds and affects all of ours lives, whether we want it to or not.  I think one has to keep it mind, it was written to explain a CONCEPT of God, to sort of paint a picture with words, so that the reader can visualize this God, thus bringing the individual closer to this entity.  It’s like a beginner’s guide.  The way the Bible is worded, however, is as if I am reading a mythological story with principles to be learned, whether they really are relevant now or not.  It is an interesting piece of writing and I do quite enjoy it’s outlandish, fantasy stories and it’s historical value, for what it is. 

      • Butter Knife

        I’d argue that neither most Christians nor most atheists take the Bible very literally at all. They might claim to, but both will simply ignore the parts that they don’t “get” or don’t want to respect. That’s why the Protestant Ethic is a thing, in spite of being absolutely diametrically opposed to everything that the Bible actually says.

      • af

        As an atheist, I don’t take the bible literally, and I also don’t know many atheists that take the bible literally.

        • af

          How many people are familiar with the saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” How many different authors are in the bible, how many times has the bible been rewritten and edited, added to and taken away from, interpreted and re-interpreted?

          • Mike

            You forgot how the bible was put together. A political commitee gathered a bunch of books, gave an up or down vote which ones should be included, and, voila, you have the bible

  • Guestylesty

    I highly recommend youtube dot com/watch?v=RQW5lm3hR2M

  • Guestylesty

    I highly recommend youtube dot com/watch?v=RQW5lm3hR2M

  • Quint X

    The rod is a reference to the hooked staff the shepherds carried as they tended their flocks. It isn’t made for beating a sheep, but for gently returning them to the group and the path. Many, many Christians have misinterpreted this passage in order to validate their practice of beating their kids as correction. The passage refers to loving guidance, not spanking.

  • Quint X

    …and to the degree I am wrong, I disagree wholeheartedly with the “good book”. ;-)

  • DeepCough

    “In my experience, the average Atheist, Pagan, Buddhist, Agnostic or
    follower of some other religious/philosophical path knows roughly 50%
    more about Christianity than the average Christian*. Mind well the word
    “average”, and I refer almost exclusively to USians.”

    Well, as it turns out, Atheists know a lot more about religion than the respective followers thereof.

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/09/28/survey-atheists-know-more-about-religion-than-believers/

  • Anonymous

    People who are religious, but not scholars “misquote” because they generally don’t bother to learn the actual verse, but the message as portrayed through their understanding, which may or may not be accurate in or out of context which they probably got from someone else.

    People who are not religious and not scholars misquote the bible because they didn’t understand what they read and give anti-bible messages which may or may not be accurate in or out of context which they probably got from someone else.

    People who are scholars whether religious or not generally know it’s a heck of a lot more complicated than what some body reading it without all the information will generally get out of it and a 5 minute google search doesn’t make you an automatic scholar on all things bible.

  • SF2K01

    People who are religious, but not scholars “misquote” because they generally don’t bother to learn the actual verse, but the message as portrayed through their understanding, which may or may not be accurate in or out of context which they probably got from someone else.

    People who are not religious and not scholars misquote the bible because they didn’t understand what they read and give anti-bible messages which may or may not be accurate in or out of context which they probably got from someone else.

    People who are scholars whether religious or not generally know it’s a heck of a lot more complicated than what some body reading it without all the information will generally get out of it and a 5 minute google search doesn’t make you an automatic scholar on all things bible.

  • dontsteponthegrassman

    It all depends on whether the Bible is read literally or not.  Those that are most extreme in their views (i.e. Christian extremists & Atheists) tend to read the Bible quite literally.  One, picking apart the Bible for what is seen as a personal advantage over others or the other, picking apart the Bible to disprove others, still, like the former, in an attempt to sound/feel “better” or smarter than the person with the opposite view.  And of course, it’s much easier to confirm your own disbelief with.. well, almost anything out of the Bible.   

    I was baptized and raised in church and went to a private, Christian school as a kid and after that declared myself atheist, then later agnostic, but really this internal question of the existence of God was more so the question of the existence of the *Christian God.*  But to me, I was told there was only “one God” and that certain one God happened to be this certain way… (side note: to me, there is only one God, but IT’S more like a computer that we are all plugged into..) Later in life, I developed a more personal relationship with a God than I thought religion could offer me and actually, as of lately, I *have* opened a Bible to begin reading it from a different point of view.  Upon opening it this time around, I realized it, not once, actually says that God is a man in the sky, yet this is the image that is burned into all of our minds and affects all of ours lives, whether we want it to or not.  I think one has to keep it mind, it was written to explain a CONCEPT of God, to sort of paint a picture with words, so that the reader can visualize this God, thus bringing the individual closer to this entity.  It’s like a beginner’s guide.  The way the Bible is worded, however, is as if I am reading a mythological story with principles to be learned, whether they really are relevant now or not.  It is an interesting piece of writing and I do quite enjoy it’s outlandish, fantasy stories and it’s historical value, for what it is. 

  • Simiantongue

    Holy books are like software end user license agreements. Most people never read them, they just scroll to the end and click I agree. 

  • Simiantongue

    Holy books are like software end user license agreements. Most people never read them, they just scroll to the end and click I agree. 

    • Guest

      brilliant

    • http://twitter.com/_wait_what _will_s_

      dude… simple, yet elegantly precise..altogether *win*.

  • Guest

    brilliant

  • Guest

    brilliant

  • Guest

    brilliant

  • Butter Knife

    Dude, the second passage explicitly states it is good to hit your children when necessary… what do you think “strike him with the rod” means? Hooked staff used for herding sheep or not, one you start striking with it the shape is pretty much incidental (and, by the way, the butt ends of those are great for whacking a ram across the brow… sometimes that’s the only way to get one’s attention before it gores and tramples you to death in a misguided attempt to prove dominance).

  • Butter Knife

    Dude, the second passage explicitly states it is good to hit your children when necessary… what do you think “strike him with the rod” means? Hooked staff used for herding sheep or not, one you start striking with it the shape is pretty much incidental (and, by the way, the butt ends of those are great for whacking a ram across the brow… sometimes that’s the only way to get one’s attention before it gores and tramples you to death in a misguided attempt to prove dominance).

  • Butter Knife

    Dude, the second passage explicitly states it is good to hit your children when necessary… what do you think “strike him with the rod” means? Hooked staff used for herding sheep or not, one you start striking with it the shape is pretty much incidental (and, by the way, the butt ends of those are great for whacking a ram across the brow… sometimes that’s the only way to get one’s attention before it gores and tramples you to death in a misguided attempt to prove dominance).

  • Butter Knife

    I’d argue that neither most Christians nor most atheists take the Bible very literally at all. They might claim to, but both will simply ignore the parts that they don’t “get” or don’t want to respect. That’s why the Protestant Ethic is a thing, in spite of being absolutely diametrically opposed to everything that the Bible actually says.

  • Anonymous

    “To have faith in a religion is like having faith in politics, both are as bad as beleiving in Santa Claus.” 

  • Anonymous

    “To have faith in a religion is like having faith in politics, both are as bad as beleiving in Santa Claus.” 

  • AKT6168

    “To have faith in a religion is like having faith in politics, both are as bad as beleiving in Santa Claus.” 

    • Sheffi

       Since when is it bad to believe in Santa Clause?

      • Fedupublicsectorworker

        The operative words are to “believe in” to go along with a myth to appease children and make them happy is fine, to “believe in” Santa Claus” is just nuts! 

  • the velvet teen

    “picking apart the Bible for what is seen as a personal advantage
    over others or the other, picking apart the Bible to disprove others,
    still, like the former, in an attempt to sound/feel “better” or smarter
    than the person with the opposite view.  And of course, it’s much easier
    to confirm your own disbelief with.. well, almost anything out of the
    Bible.”

  • http://twitter.com/_wait_what _will_s_

    dude… simple, yet elegantly precise..altogether *win*.

  • KxBk6U

    A shepherd would never have beat his sheep with a rod. Also, if you took the “rod of correction” to mean striking your child with a rod, Proverbs 23:13 would be a lie — one can indeed kill a child by beating him physically with a rod. We know the Bible doesn’t lie, so it must mean something else, right? We do use the “rod of correction” here, but by that we mean that we teach our children, we redirect them when necessary, and we protect them — we don’t use the rod to hit them any more than a shepherd would.

  • KxBk6U

    A shepherd would never have beat his sheep with a rod. Also, if you took the “rod of correction” to mean striking your child with a rod, Proverbs 23:13 would be a lie — one can indeed kill a child by beating him physically with a rod. We know the Bible doesn’t lie, so it must mean something else, right? We do use the “rod of correction” here, but by that we mean that we teach our children, we redirect them when necessary, and we protect them — we don’t use the rod to hit them any more than a shepherd would.

  • Corourke

    Actually I’m ok with letting that one slide by as a lie since we know the bible lies on a much much larger scale than that. It says the earth is older than the sun and that plants existed before there was a sun to feed them in spite of actual science proving the opposite. This is why using a 2000 year old book of fairy tales as a substitute for science is such a stupid thing to do. Oh the bible also says that true believers that ingest poison will be unharmed, this is where the snake kissing offshoots of Christianity come from, though many of them are injected with antivenin to survive “mishaps”. The problems with the bible being totally fabricated or wrong isn’t the real issue, its that anyone takes it seriously.

    There is more “proof” of The Doctor then there is of Jesus. Neither exist in historical records other than as a fictional being.

  • keista

    anyone have children?

  • keista

    anyone have children?

  • Butter Knife

    Do you have any actual agricultural experience? I strongly suspect you do not. Also, I’m pretty sure that the proverb doesn’t mean to say you can’t beat a child to death, but rather that striking a child and not killing them is not (necessarily) wrong.

    Again, it talks of striking a child. This has a clear, literal meaning, and your attempts to ignore this don’t seem to have any sort of rational theological or linguistic basis. You’re certainly welcome to disagree with the Bible on this issue, but you’re trying to claim it says something other than what it rather clearly does.

  • Ashleyemanuel

    STOP quoting these bull crap atheist ideas, people as well as christians have mis interpreted the bible. In fact there are entire books and pasages written in ancient Hebrew that were removed by Constantine that talk about our true beginnings and belong before this misinterpretation of “the earth existing before the sun” what that really means is that humans or man have existed before the sun. But that is a whole other story and I take it that most people are way to closed minded to begin to even comprehend what that really means. Open your mind. 3D is not the only demension that exist. Ill leave it at that… wouldnt want to stir up too much choas…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=766865696 Karen Campbell

    Maybe because atheists did their research and decided religion was bunkum based on facts rather than brainwashing?

  • The House of Madness

    “He
    who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him
    betimes”Proverbs 13:24Not much of an improvement though, is it?

  • The House of Madness

    “He
    who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him
    betimes”Proverbs 13:24Not much of an improvement though, is it?

  • Anarchy Wolf

    I always remember a conversation between two guards from the first assassin’s creed:
    “Well, the bible says god helps those who help themselves.”
    “No it doesn’t actually, that’s from Aesop’s Fables.”

  • Anarchy Pony

    I always remember a conversation between two guards from the first assassin’s creed:
    “Well, the bible says god helps those who help themselves.”
    “No it doesn’t actually, that’s from Aesop’s Fables.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/nik.nikkel Nik Nikkel

    As usual ignorance rules.  Also, Mike, the Bears did not pass enough.

  • NikNIkkel

    As usual ignorance rules.  Also, Mike, the Bears did not pass enough.

  • Sheffi

     Since when is it bad to believe in Santa Clause?

  • af

    So, my mother is a born-again, and she says we are in a time period where Satan has been allowed to try to tempt and turn the world against God and Jesus. “It says so in the bible” apparently…but can anyone tell me where? I even asked her to ask her pastor about it, but I’ve yet to get an answer. Is this another phantom bible story?

  • af

    So, my mother is a born-again, and she says we are in a time period where Satan has been allowed to try to tempt and turn the world against God and Jesus. “It says so in the bible” apparently…but can anyone tell me where? I even asked her to ask her pastor about it, but I’ve yet to get an answer. Is this another phantom bible story?

  • af

    As an atheist, I don’t take the bible literally, and I also don’t know many atheists that take the bible literally.

  • af

    How many people are familiar with the saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” How many different authors are in the bible, how many times has the bible been rewritten and edited, added to and taken away from, interpreted and re-interpreted?

  • Charles Towers

    “This too shall pass” (Hebrew – gam zeh yaavor) is a phrase occurring in Jewish lore about King Solomon and a ‘magic’ ring having that phrase engraved on it. The saying became popular when Abraham Lincoln told the story of Solomon’s ring in a speech he gave in Wisconsin.Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_does_the_saying_This_to_will_pass_come_from#ixzz1P78aQYFE

  • Charles Towers

    “This too shall pass” (Hebrew – gam zeh yaavor) is a phrase occurring in Jewish lore about King Solomon and a ‘magic’ ring having that phrase engraved on it. The saying became popular when Abraham Lincoln told the story of Solomon’s ring in a speech he gave in Wisconsin.Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_does_the_saying_This_to_will_pass_come_from#ixzz1P78aQYFE

  • Anonymous

    The operative words are to “believe in” to go along with a myth to appease children and make them happy is fine, to “believe in” Santa Claus” is just nuts! 

  • Ksfrench79

    First, Mike Ditka is NO reverend… haha!!! But, “and it came to pass” is cited in the Bible numerous times and has been misquoted..

    No Christian believes the phrase “God helps those that help themselves”…  it is a phrase made up by non-believers to poke fun of Christians for quoting 2 Thessalonians 3:10

    “spare the rod, spoil the child” was a quote coined from words spoken in Proverbs 13:24
    There are many phrases even in secular history that have evolved because of language barriers and differing cultures.  Not every Christian can memorize the Bible cover to cover so it’s obvious some things will be para-phrased.  This attempt, however, to demonize Christianity through cultural and traditional ideas is a sad story.  I’m very sorry for the author of this article and those who nod their head to it.

  • Ksfrench79

    First, Mike Ditka is NO reverend… haha!!! But, “and it came to pass” is cited in the Bible numerous times and has been misquoted..

    No Christian believes the phrase “God helps those that help themselves”…  it is a phrase made up by non-believers to poke fun of Christians for quoting 2 Thessalonians 3:10

    “spare the rod, spoil the child” was a quote coined from words spoken in Proverbs 13:24
    There are many phrases even in secular history that have evolved because of language barriers and differing cultures.  Not every Christian can memorize the Bible cover to cover so it’s obvious some things will be para-phrased.  This attempt, however, to demonize Christianity through cultural and traditional ideas is a sad story.  I’m very sorry for the author of this article and those who nod their head to it.

    • Altarbridge715

      Proverbs 13:24New International Version (NIV)

       24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

    • Anarchy Pony

      We’ll demonize you all we want. After all the damage you people have done. 

  • Anonymous

    Proverbs 13:24New International Version (NIV)

     24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

  • Anarchy Wolf

    We’ll demonize you all we want. After all the damage you people have done. 

  • Mike

    You forgot how the bible was put together. A political commitee gathered a bunch of books, gave an up or down vote which ones should be included, and, voila, you have the bible

  • hurkamur1

    Hahaaa.. I think he meant to say “George Harrison said”.

  • hurkamur1

    Hahaaa.. I think he meant to say “George Harrison said”.

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