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Actually, that's not in the Bible
Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden right? Nope. That's one of many phantom passages that people think are in the Bible.
June 5th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Actually, that's not in the Bible

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) – 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.

“In my college religion classes, I sometimes quote 2 Hesitations 4:3 (‘There are no internal combustion engines in heaven’),” Bouma-Prediger says. “I wait to see if anyone realizes that there is no such book in the Bible and therefore no such verse.

“Only a few catch on.”

Few catch on because they don’t want to - people prefer knowing biblical passages that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs, a Bible professor says.

“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book,” says Rabbi Rami Shapiro, who once had to persuade a student in his Bible class at Middle Tennessee State University that the saying “this dog won’t hunt” doesn’t appear in the Book of Proverbs.

“They have memorized parts of texts that they can string together to prove the biblical basis for whatever it is they believe in,” he says, “but they ignore the vast majority of the text."

Phantom biblical passages work in mysterious ways

Ignorance isn’t the only cause for phantom Bible verses. Confusion is another.

Some of the most popular faux verses are pithy paraphrases of biblical concepts or bits of folk wisdom.

Consider these two:

“God works in mysterious ways.”

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

Both sound as if they are taken from the Bible, but they’re not. The first is a paraphrase of a 19th century hymn by the English poet William Cowper (“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform).

The “cleanliness” passage was coined by John Wesley, the 18th century evangelist who founded Methodism,  says Thomas Kidd, a history professor at Baylor University in Texas.

“No matter if John Wesley or someone else came up with a wise saying - if it sounds proverbish, people figure it must come from the Bible,” Kidd says.

Our fondness for the short and tweet-worthy may also explain our fondness for phantom biblical phrases. The pseudo-verses function like theological tweets: They’re pithy summarizations of biblical concepts.

“Spare the rod, spoil the child” falls into that category. It’s a popular verse - and painful for many kids. Could some enterprising kid avoid the rod by pointing out to his mother that it's not in the Bible?

It’s doubtful. Her possible retort: The popular saying is a distillation of Proverbs 13:24: “The one who withholds [or spares] the rod is one who hates his son.”

Another saying that sounds Bible-worthy: “Pride goes before a fall.” But its approximation, Proverbs 16:18, is actually written: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

There are some phantom biblical verses for which no excuse can be offered. The speaker goofed.

That’s what Bruce Wells, a theology professor, thinks happened to Ditka, the former NFL coach, when he strayed from the gridiron to biblical commentary during his 1993 press conference in Chicago.

Wells watched Ditka’s biblical blunder on local television when he lived in Chicago. After Ditka cited the mysterious passage, reporters scrambled unsuccessfully the next day to find the biblical source.

They should have consulted Wells, who is now director of the ancient studies program at Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania. Wells says Ditka’s error probably came from a peculiar feature of the King James Bible.

“My hunch on the Ditka quote is that it comes from a quirk of the King James translation,” Wells says. “Ancient Hebrew had a particular way of saying things like, ‘and the next thing that happened was…’ The King James translators of the Old Testament consistently rendered this as ‘and it came to pass.’ ’’

When phantom Bible passages turn dangerous

People may get verses wrong, but they also mangle plenty of well-known biblical stories as well.

Two examples: The scripture never says a whale swallowed Jonah, the Old Testament prophet, nor did any New Testament passages say that three wise men visited baby Jesus, scholars say.

Those details may seem minor, but scholars say one popular phantom Bible story stands above the rest: The Genesis story about the fall of humanity.

Most people know the popular version - Satan in the guise of a serpent tempts Eve to pick the forbidden apple from the Tree of Life. It’s been downhill ever since.

But the story in the book of Genesis never places Satan in the Garden of Eden.

“Genesis mentions nothing but a serpent,” says Kevin Dunn, chair of the department of religion at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

“Not only does the text not mention Satan, the very idea of Satan as a devilish tempter postdates the composition of the Garden of Eden story by at least 500 years,” Dunn says.

Getting biblical scriptures and stories wrong may not seem significant, but it can become dangerous, one scholar says.

Most people have heard this one: “God helps those that help themselves.” It’s another phantom scripture that appears nowhere in the Bible, but many people think it does. It's actually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, one of the nation's founding fathers.

The passage is popular in part because it is a reflection of cherished American values: individual liberty and self-reliance, says Sidnie White Crawford, a religious studies scholar at the University of Nebraska.

Yet that passage contradicts the biblical definition of goodness: defining one’s worth by what one does for others, like the poor and the outcast, Crawford says.

Crawford cites a scripture from Leviticus that tells people that when they harvest the land, they should leave some “for the poor and the alien” (Leviticus 19:9-10), and another passage from Deuteronomy that declares that people should not be “tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.”

“We often infect the Bible with our own values and morals, not asking what the Bible’s values and morals really are,” Crawford says.

Where do these phantom passages come from?

It’s easy to blame the spread of phantom biblical passages on pervasive biblical illiteracy. But the causes are varied and go back centuries.

Some of the guilty parties are anonymous, lost to history. They are artists and storytellers who over the years embellished biblical stories and passages with their own twists.

If, say, you were an anonymous artist painting the Garden of Eden during the Renaissance, why not portray the serpent as the devil to give some punch to your creation? And if you’re a preacher telling a story about Jonah, doesn’t it just sound better to say that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, not a “great fish”?

Others blame the spread of phantom Bible passages on King James, or more specifically the declining popularity of the King James translation of the Bible.

That translation, which marks 400 years of existence this year, had a near monopoly on the Bible market as recently as 50 years ago, says Douglas Jacobsen, a professor of church history and theology at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

“If you quoted the Bible and got it wrong then, people were more likely to notice because there was only one text,” he says. “Today, so many different translations are used that almost no one can tell for sure if something supposedly from the Bible is being quoted accurately or not.”

Others blame the spread of phantom biblical verses on Martin Luther, the German monk who ignited the Protestant Reformation, the massive “protest” against the excesses of the Roman Catholic Church that led to the formation of Protestant church denominations.

“It is a great Protestant tradition for anyone - milkmaid, cobbler, or innkeeper - to be able to pick up the Bible and read for herself. No need for a highly trained scholar or cleric to walk a lay person through the text,” says Craig Hazen, director of the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University in Southern California.

But often the milkmaid, the cobbler - and the NFL coach - start creating biblical passages without the guidance of biblical experts, he says.

“You can see this manifest today in living room Bible studies across North America where lovely Christian people, with no training whatsoever, drink decaf, eat brownies and ask each other, ‘What does this text mean to you?’’’ Hazen says.

“Not only do they get the interpretation wrong, but very often end up quoting verses that really aren’t there.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Faith

soundoff (8,604 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    God does say to be clean with water and in spirit in the Bible so this is just a useful paraphrase. It does come from reading God's word. CNN guest should get a clue.

    June 12, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  2. Dennis

    Roo is a fool and is only lieing to themselves.

    June 12, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  3. Name* mika

    The whole bible is a LIE!

    June 12, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  4. zabethmarsh

    Why does the author,John Blake, feel the need to call out Lutherans and bash them for trying to spread the true word of God. Of course some people are going to misquote it. But they would also misquote it if they were told Biblical stories by educated clergy. Has the author never played the telephone game as a child. It is human nature to misquote and misinterpret things. But that is why believers discuss things. There is *so* much to learn in the Bible that one can spend their entire life studying the text and still have knowledge and wisdom left to learn. But God in his plan for us, gives us the knowledge and wisdom that we need when we need it. Martin Luther wanted the common man to learn for themselves and part of that learning is going to include misquoting and being corrected. We are, in fact, only human and likely to make mistakes.

    Instead of blaming Lutherans, John Blake should be thanking them for giving the common man access to the Bible. Without Lutheran's and their belief in the true interpretation of the Bible and Jesus's words, Mr. Blake might not have any article to write. The Bible and its teachings would belong theologians only.

    June 12, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  5. NixManes

    It is always a mistake to go to a christian to find out what's in the bible. Odds are they've never read it and simply regurgitate what they've been told by a preacher of some sort who has no desire to actually have people read the bible themselves because of what they'll actually find. Instead, they preach in their own words 99% of the time, peppering their sermons with a verse here and there to give an appearance of legitimacy.

    If someone wants to know what's in the bible without reading it, It's better to go to an atheist. Odds are much better they have actually read it and can give you a straight summary without all the picking and choosing to fit one of the tens of thousands of types of christianity.

    For believers, the bible is like a literary ink blot, being able to find whatever they wish to see. There will still be people who believe certain thing even after being shown they aren't there, like the fact that the snake in Genesis was never tagged as being anything else. Not until Job is a devil-like creature even mentioned, and even then it's just a rebelious angel character. But, believers will believe whatever they want no matter the evidence. That's the nature of beliefs: they can be held no matter what, which makes them worthless and founded on nothing other than desire.

    June 12, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Dennis

      Nix You must have met alot of fake people pretending to be Christians. I have read my Bible cover to cover. This guy Steve on CNN doesn't have a clue as most professors don't. Buy youself a Bibles on Disc and just do your own search. Don't take my word or anyone elses. You will find that one part of the Bible is later clarified by reading more of the Bible. An experienced Christian takes care not to mis Quote the Bible, however I do understand parasphrasing may happen and is usually acurate when told by an inteligent person, Christian or Not so Long as they actuallly read the Bible, Gods written word. Again just read for yourself and you will become educated. Good or Bad : )

      June 12, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  6. Nu

    Actually Ditka was quoting the late Rev. James Cleveland who wrote a then popular song 'This too will pass'.......;)

    June 12, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  7. Greg

    Actually there were four wise men. The fourth was turned away for bringing fruit cake. :)

    June 12, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  8. John

    As an atheist I do NOT go around forcing my opinions on others. IF someone wishes to believe in ... insert appropriate belief here ... then that is their choice. When said belief is clearly illogical and ludicrous THEN, as an intelligent individual, I may make a comment re the lack of any reason behind a belief. If the believer is not interfering with my life and the choices I make, I let people live how they wish. However, when someone does use religion as their 'guilt' tool for passing judgement on an action or point of view I have adopted this is when I pass comment in return. A simple look at the non-christian comments here is enough to make anyone an atheist.

    June 12, 2011 at 5:55 am |
  9. shawn

    CNN, you are wrong on the Satan not in the garden reference. Check your Bible. Much of the curse given to the serpent is actually intended for Satan. Why would God curse Satan in the garden if he wasn't involved in the temptation? The apple is where people usually get it wrong. The Bible only mentions a fruit.

    June 11, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Muneef

      It was mentioned even in the Quran as being a fruit but not stated type...again in the Quran there is no mention at all of a serpent in the Gardens that mislead Adam&Eve but rather mentioned Satan as having lead them with pride and by buttering them promising them infinite life if had eaten from it and that was the con by Satan that had started the test we are in...

      June 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • NixManes

      "Why would God curse Satan in the garden if he wasn't involved in the temptation?" Nice circular logic. You should find someone to proof you thoughts before you publicly pronounce them. It'll be less embarrassing.

      Genesis doesn't mention a satan figure whatsoever. The snake is just that, a snake. Actually, it's a lizard at first because it doesn't have to crawl on its belly until after the curse, so before that it had legs. Many ancient religions are fulll of talking animals of all kinds, including human/animal hybrids and human/god hybrids. Christianity and the bible are no different. The whole the-snake-is-the-devil thing was a later invention, a morphing of an old story that happens in all religions.

      June 12, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • Muneef

      [7:20] The devil whispered to them, in order to reveal their bodies, which were invisible to them. He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you from this tree, except to prevent you from becoming angels, and from attaining eternal existence."

      [7:21] He swore to them, "I am giving you good advice."

      [7:22] He thus duped them with lies. As soon as they tasted the tree, their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Their Lord called upon them: "Did I not enjoin you from that tree, and warn you that the devil is your most ardent enemy?"

      June 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Muneef

      Nix manis.

      Was not talking about the bibles but rather about the Holy Quran...

      June 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  10. jaYne

    correction
    'interpretations' made to fit and least likley to makethem 'un'comfortable

    June 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  11. Jess

    "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ." Is a favorite quote of mine. Often, I feel it could be changed to suit any religion, creed, or group. My mother was a Sunday school teacher. My pastor was a good man, and required community service projects of his Confirmation students. As my statement of faith given to the congregation, I spoke of the actions of Christ, and asked, "What is the most important thing Christ did?" I ask the same of those who would speak for God. I tell them, it is not that he died for your sins. It is that he showed the world how to live. He is not the only one, not the first or the last, and to truly have faith, you should try to be the next. If the Bible gives you the strength to be a better person, it is beautiful. If it gives you the anger to hurt others, it is ugly. In the end it is a book, and a test of free will.

    June 11, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • jaYne

      Jess
      that sentiment by gandhi well fits 'sects of religions' ...
      your post expressed eloquent thoughts of how i [should] interpret the Bible; and this was through the meaning of Jesus' actions and Words...He guided and then asked and told us to do this as well...we would do better to try keep hold of and strive to do what Jesus 'did'...
      yet people do not or can not allow any deviation from, not what is written down in the BIBLE, but what beliefs (or facts) were 'interred' into our consciousness...these beliefs are somehow allowed to become hard facts....so it can be a scary prospect [ if ] to find out 'our' truth not as was believed...we fend off this fright by holding on tighter to our comfortable conceited concept and then we spout louder; but should we be really..? if we were better followers of the Christ instead of just spouting x-tians, we then might allow ourselves to take up the cross- by understanding what He was really telling- by not thinking automatically we know how to be perfectly righteous and especially by not allowing how we feel others should be perfectly righteous for OUR eyes..there is a lesson from Jesus which shows in itself how dare we impose such concrete rigidity of meaning onto others when HE Himself spoke and preached in ~parables~

      when we read and understand Jesus and His teachings we will be more inclined than not to realize we open our mouths to eat only the feet we stuffed in 'em..cuz it is hard for us sinners to practice what we preach but we must not be fools of ourselves for still GOD only and forever is perfect..and since HE is our judge we x-tian sinners have no time for seeking the ungodlyness of others...this time is for us to find\hold within ourselves God and be better at being good..when we try, it's pretty freeing to finally begin to act as if guided by HIM instead of guided by the limitations of Man...
      check out quotes on the web by Jesus

      June 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Muneef

      "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ."

      Agree they are unlike their Christ, he was circ-um-ci-sed while they are not...! So how was he their example to follow??

      June 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  12. AmericaFail

    @Sabrina Really? The Athiest's and non-christians are the ones forcing their beliefs down people throats? Christians have destroyed the world and will continue to do so until they all die off. Wars, poverty, ignorance, all can be contributed to Christianity and the Holy Church. Christian's believe that anyone who doesn't agree with them is ignorant and false, you shove your crappy belief system down the throats of people that can actually think for themselves and don't need a misinterpreted, outdated book to tell them how to live. Does everyone forget that the Church used to kill people who thought the world was round? Stop blindly believing in a book that was written to control uneducated populations of people who otherwise had no reason to listen to their leaders. Do some research before you blindly advocate a false belief system.

    June 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • empiric

      "Wars, poverty, ignorance, all can be contributed to Christianity and the Holy Church."

      A ludicrous misrepresentation. More deaths can be attributed in a couple of decades of your best test-case, an explicitly-atheist society following an explicitly-atheist agenda, the Soviet Union, than in all conflicts even associatable, much less shown as the primary factor, of all forms of religion across all recorded history. War, sure, it was accountable for that, but even more notable for genocidal murder of its own citizens by the millions.

      What's the best refutation of your view? To use the position -you yourself- hold to demonstrate not only are you contradicting yourself, you are contradicting your entire existence. Per evolution, humans simply would not have survived as the sole remaining near-hominid around without massive inter-tribal warfare. There is no question that this was the case, within an evolutionary model, entirely historically previous to, by -your own- stance, any religion whatsoever. Context-dropping and choosing to ignore the necessary inferences of your own views may be fun, like acknowledging gravity but refusing to note things fall, but please be clear your stance is as self-contradictory on every level as any statement could possibly be.

      June 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  13. Joe Joe

    "If God wanted us to eat nuclear food, he would have given Adam the Microwave!" – St. Thomas Aquinas

    Never take a quote at face value. Investigate!

    June 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  14. David Turner

    Maybe it is time to write a modern day book of proverbs to add to the Bible that we all contribute. Mine comes from an old Baptist minister who told me when I was a teenager "When you go 30 miles over the speed limit, your guardian angel is 30 miles an hour behind you."

    June 10, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  15. FireEmUp

    Once upon a time there was a man. Now give me your money.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  16. RightturnClyde

    Well >6,000 comments makes this a very heated "discussion" (and it is not supposed to be that). Look .. misquoting things is not limited to the Bible .. the new media reported a mass grave in Texas (with children) without even checking their story out. Misquoting is done every day by every kind of source: academics quote out of context (footnotes), lawyers are notorious, reporters, news anchors, business ads, white paper reports, CDC. So it is hardly a surprise. Some people misquote "on purpose" (to deceive) and others merely fail to do their homework. The American indigenous used to say "white man lie." That kind of sums it up.

    June 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  17. Matt

    @sabrina: you're an idiot. period.

    June 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • djconklin

      Love the proof. Typical of those who feel threatened and have nothing to offer other than a put-down.

      June 10, 2011 at 5:58 am |
    • Sean

      The proof is in Sabrina's post, which is at least %50 put-down.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  18. James Black

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=390]
    i

    June 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  19. Robert Jordan

    This too shall pass comes from a Buddhist tale about a king who inscribed that saying on a ring so that he would remember during every crisis that things will get better when they are bad and also that things will get worse when they are doing well.

    June 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  20. Mike C.

    I think the author has made a mistake themselves. Most of what is listed as misquotes could easily be categorized as conceptual summarizations. Sure there is no scripture that says exactly "spare the rod, spoil the child", but there are plenty of verses in Proverbs that say much the same thing:

    Proverbs 22:15: "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away."
    Proverbs 23:13: "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die."
    Proverbs 29:15: "A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother."

    The "spare the rod..." phrase would seem a summarization of one aspect of the Proverbs. That some people think it is a direct quote from scripture is no reason to think that it's somehow awful that people use the phrase in reference to scriptural concepts.

    Again, that Genesis does not directly state Satan as the serpent does not matter unless you believe the Bible to be a set of disparate books. If you see all the books as a cohesive narrative then you would know that the serpent was Satan. It is simpler then to summarize the concept in "Satan tempted Eve..."

    June 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Ross Archer

      Misquoting myths is the hobgoblin of small minds.

      June 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Ross Archer

      Misquoted myths are the hobgoblin of small minds.

      June 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Chad

      Well put, Mike. Well put. I was thinking exactly the same thing. People will try anything to marginalize the Holy Scriptures and those that use the scriptures as a compass. Exhibit A: “It is a great Protestant tradition for anyone – milkmaid, cobbler, or innkeeper – to be able to pick up the Bible and read for herself. No need for a highly trained scholar or cleric to walk a lay person through the text,” says Craig Hazen, director of the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University in Southern California.

      But often the milkmaid, the cobbler – and the NFL coach – start creating biblical passages without the guidance of biblical experts, he says.

      “You can see this manifest today in living room Bible studies across North America where lovely Christian people, with no training whatsoever, drink decaf, eat brownies and ask each other, ‘What does this text mean to you?’’

      June 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • FRITZEVERETT

      MIKE I KNOW YOU WANTED TO WRITE MORE i COULD TELL FROM YOUR THOUGHTFUL LIST OF SCRIPTURES PROVERBS I WONDER IF MATTHEW 13:25-39 WOULD GIVE A LITTLE MORE CLALITY ON WHO SATAN IS. IN GENESIS GOD DECLARES THAT THE SERPENT FOOLED THE WOMAN–AS SHE STATED. GENESIS 3:15 SAYS I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN YOU AND THE WOMAN. THE ROOT WORD ENMITY COMES FROM THE ENGLISH ROOT WORD "ENEMY" THE NEW TESTAMENT ROOT WORD IN MATT: CLEARLY IDENTIFIES THE SERPENT AS SATAN OR THE "ENEMY" THE ONE CURSED TO HIS BELLY.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Doug F

      Mike, try reading Proverbs 13:24 and you will read the direct quote IS in the Bible.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Doug F

      Actually I should have said that the quote "Spare the rod, hate the child" IS in the Bible. The verse is in Proverbs 13:24. Yes, it is really there.
      As far as the serpent and temptation it should be noted that Satan is AS REAL as God and he used the uncursed serpent to speak to Eve and to temp her. So, actually Satan did tempt Eve. Who is John Blake of CNN and what does he know? Obviously Satan spoke thru the serpent! God gave mankind a choice between sin and obedience and Eve and Adam chose sin.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Nitajah2

      You are right....what we have said so many times..like..Spare the rod, Spoil the child..is a paraphrase. And for those who do not know what "paraphrase means"..look it up. Personally I found that most of the phrases that are coming under fire as not appearing in the Bible...do appear in the Bible as a paraphrase.
      I have yet to understand why the Bible is such a source of argument, and fear.....In the beginning God created....if you believe this, and it is your free will not to, but if you do.....then the Bible is our book of understanding, and instruction that God himself delivered in his own way so that we might understand better who he is, and what he wants from us as his creation, and a pattern to live by....that is all. You have the right to choose.....nowhere in the Bible will you see anything but freedom of choice....consequences..... because of bad choices...yes. But you are free to make whatever choice you choose...believe, don't believe....make your choice.....live your life..... ignore God, ignore the Bible....exercise your freedom of choice..what do you have to lose....hmmmmmm?
      God is not

      June 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Nitajah2

      You are right....what we have said so many times..like..Spare the rod, Spoil the child..is a paraphrase. And for those who do not know what "paraphrase means"..look it up. Personally I found that most of the phrases that are coming under fire as not appearing in the Bible...do appear in the Bible as a paraphrase.
      I have yet to understand why the Bible is such a source of argument, and fear.....In the beginning God created....if you believe this, and it is your free will not to, but if you do.....then the Bible is our book of understanding, and instruction that God himself delivered in his own way so that we might understand better who he is, and what he wants from us as his creation, and a pattern to live by....that is all. You have the right to choose.....nowhere in the Bible will you see anything but freedom of choice....consequences..... because of bad choices...yes. But you are free to make whatever choice you choose...believe, don't believe....make your choice.....live your life..... ignore God, ignore the Bible....exercise your freedom of choice..what do you have to lose....hmmmmmm?

      June 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.