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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 • Evangelical • Faith

soundoff (8,603 Responses)
  1. Faith

    Talk about getting things wrong....Mathew 12: 40 mentions that Jonas was three days and three nights in the Whale's belly..so i guess the scholars are making things up too. People read the bible dont dispute over it. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Mathew 7: 6
    Scholars should start turning to God instead of using their own knowledge to figure things out. You will never know the answer for everything. Its Faith so Believe.

    June 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • siqiniq

      One point made by the writer is that there are many translations of the Bible. Which one are you using? It is important to remember that the bible is the Word of God, not the Words of God. Read it prayerfully and carefully.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:21 am |
    • HeavenSent

      The writer believes Christians should listen to him because he graduated from one of the biggest CARNAL schools?

      Shaking my head.

      Amen.

      June 29, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • HeavenSent

      God made me to be carnal.

      Shaking my fat booty.

      Amen.

      June 29, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Doc

      If your going to try and quote a scripture then get it right! 2 major flaws in your post are this #1 the man's name is Jonah not jonas as you posted. #2. In the NKJV it says the belly of a great fish, not the belly of a whale. You had the correct verse, you just messed up the words, which is exactly the point Mr. Blake was making.

      June 29, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Michael

      Doc: what was being quoted here was the KJV of Matthew 12:40, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

      June 29, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Pyrrho

      Scholars should start turning to God instead of using their own knowledge to figure things out.

      A person own knowledge is what a person learns through training and life experience. The persons own knowledge of the bible is what a person has learned about the contents of the bible. Thus a person should not use their own knowledge of the bible to figure things out – but that is exactly what you are doing.

      June 29, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  2. Wayne

    Always an interesting read here. The Bible is not fiction. Lots of the events the Bible came true already. Perhaps written by man in the image that God wanted to express. It is written "That a fool believes there is no God". We have been created by a creator. We don't have all the answers but "everyone' in history cannot be wrong. People gave their entire lives because they believed. And when miracles do happen people believe one moment well some go back to themselves later. Remember the word "FAITH". Someone the creator (GOD) wanted people to discover this word and what it means. Look at all the great talents in the word. The great minds. The great universe. It's all for nothing. Water is essential. Who made water? Look at all the blessings that some people have. Why? Gods glory is ever lasting and every tongue will confess. Love. Not Money! Real love – Unconditional Love is what Jesus taught. Few are able to understand what it is. The fruit of the spirit, Love God with all your hearts for it is written.. blessed are the peacemakers.. blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
    May all the starving children in the word be blessed and receive food and your support. Please help think about others.
    Love is something you do folks.

    June 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Good post Wayne.

      Amen.

      June 29, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Love those talking snake stories too. And the nasty gory bits and the wiping out of whole peoples innocents included.

      June 29, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Doc

      I think the problem in our world is that people invented religions to control the masses and as a result many people have become skeptical. If you tell some one that the word of God is the truth and that the Bible is the word of God, then there can not be any mistakes in the bible or contradictions. The more people read the bible the more mistakes they see, which leads to skepticism.

      June 29, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Pyrrho

      Wayne: "People gave their entire lives because they believed".

      The 911 terrorists gave their entire lives because they believed. Thus in your eyes they must be admired as martyrs.

      June 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Scott

      "everyone' in history cannot be wrong." Every one in history knew the earth was flat and knew that witches should be put to death

      June 29, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Texasboy

      When the bible stories were told, they were to told by people who couldn't read, couldn't write and had no idea where things like water came from. So the logical assumption was that it had to be magic.

      June 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Tim

      Can any atheist please explain the phenomenon of near death experiences? How is it that these people (including atheists, in many cases) detail similar versions of Jesus and Heaven, and atheists come back to Earth converted? No atheist has an answer for this (unless it's some b.s. scientific inquiry)

      June 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  3. Chris

    We will all live for an eternity in either heaven or hell. Despite what you might believe, The Bible makes it pretty clear that hell will be a place of unquenchable torment and suffering. What an awful fate for anyone! I only want to see as many people aviod this destination as possible. I know people will mock this, and say I'm simplistic, and narrow minded, and all kinds of other nasty things, but that's ok. I can only speak what I know to be true, and you have the right to accept it or reject it. Read John 3:36 which says: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. It's that simple. Or, if you want to know how simple it is, consider the theif on the cross next to Jesus. You can read Luke 23:42-43. 42. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
    43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. This is the thief on the cross speaking to Jesus, and Jesus replies to him, and he is saved and will be in Heaven. Here he was, on a cross next to Jesus, and he could do nothing, and he didn't even say that much, but Jesus knew his heart. .....for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands
    every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be
    found by you; but if you forsake Him, he will cast you
    off for ever." (1 Chronicles 28:9)
    If you don't know Jesus as Lord, but would like to know more, the easiest was is to read The Bible. If you don't have a Bible, you can read it online. I would recommend the gospel of John to start with in the New Testament if you don't know where to start. Or, seek out a Bible believing church or talk to someone you know is a Christian, as I can guarantee they would love to share what Christ has done for them and let you know how He can change your life

    June 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Scott

      If you REALLY want to know about god and Christianity read the bible; but, start at the beginning and read straight through until you can’t stand any more of the violence, cruelty and hyprocracy of god and his chosen people. I made it to the part about where god has bears slaughter 42 children for calling his prophet bald.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  4. To Cathoholics

    Then again, the whole bible is man-made fiction anyway. What difference would phantom quotes really make now? None, simply delusion for delusion.

    June 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      Still you are reading books written by men from your first grade but still you believed in with out questioning ?? Knowledge has always been handed over from men to men...so what is the difference here...!?

      June 29, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Muneef

      The Words of God are revealed and inspired to men who said it and had it written...

      [3:2] GOD: there is no god except He; the Living, the Eternal.

      [3:3] He sent down to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming all previous scriptures, and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel

      [3:4] before that, to guide the people, and He sent down the statute book. Those who disbelieve in GOD's revelations incur severe retri-bu-tion. GOD is Almighty, Avenger.

      [3:5] Nothing is hidden from GOD, on earth, or in the heaven.

      [3:6] He is the One who shapes you in the wombs as He wills. There is no other god besides Him; the Almighty, Most Wise.

      [3:7] He sent down to you this scripture, containing straightforward verses – which cons-t-itute the essence of the scripture – as well as multiple-meaning or allegorical verses. Those who harbor doubts in their hearts will pursue the multiple-meaning verses to create confusion, and to ext-ricate a certain meaning. None knows the true meaning thereof except GOD and those well founded in knowledge. They say, "We believe in this – all of it comes from our Lord." Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.

      [3:8] "Our Lord, let not our hearts waver, now that You have guided us. Shower us with Your mercy; You are the Grantor.

      [3:9] "Our Lord, You will surely gather the people on a day that is inevitable. GOD never breaks a promise."

      June 29, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  5. ufadoof

    Jesus was an alcoholic jew. Good roll model for children?

    June 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      Shame on you heart and your filthy tongue...if you were in any Islamic country you would be taught how to respect our religious icons the prophets and messengers of God...but as f you I do not know out of which garbage country and came to open your mouth with such ill comments... Is that to you freedoom of speech...? Then you do not really know what freedoms are for...! Freedom is to take your deprived rights and not freedom to curse,insult others and others beliefs...Jesus and his Mother were among the purest that God had created,sent or chosen on earth... Swallow your hurtful tongue...

      June 29, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  6. Howdy

    The true interpretations of the Bible can be confirmed when used alongside the Book of Mormon. The two strengthen each other, like a piece of wood with a nail on each end. False interpretations are refuted. And don't give me the "don't add the the book of this prophecy" (Bible), because you're taking it out of context, & ignoring Deuteronomy 4:2 also.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • James

      Walter, On April 6th, you asked me What must we DO to demonstrate that we BELIEVE. My queitson to you is, Who are we demonstrating FOR?The Lord knows our hearts, it doesn't matter how much outwardly demonstrating we do, only God knows if we truly believe in Him.My point is, because we believe, we automatically do things, behave in a certain way, because the Spirit lives within. Thats how you can sort of tell someone who is walking the walk, because the fruits of the spirit just come pouring out love, kindness, patience, long-suffering, peace, faithfulness, honesty, etc. But even when you dont see those things outwardly all the time, that still doesnt mean anything because we dont know what is in a person's heart. Only He does. So my answer is, do nothing. Just believe. Have faith. and let God do the rest. I dont have to agree with everything you wrote to appreciate the book and accept you as my brother in Christ. And I truly do appreciate the book.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:02 am |
  7. redone

    Which bible? Everyone knows there are several versions of this book, right?

    Adam and Eve are in the bible, the Roman Catholic bible.
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__P5.HTM

    Perhaps it makes sense to find out where this book comes from and why there are so many versions before you quote it. Maybe find out where the word "Satan" comes from, too? Google it, but realise that the information you receive is written according to the author's education and veiws.

    To John Blake: Maybe you wrote this artile so you'd get alot of hits on your work. Try to write something with a little more imagination next time. This has been done, before. It's offensive. Or were you just quoting one of the idiots who tried to rewrite this book to his satisfaction? As for English nursery tales and American popular quotes, that is part of history, too, and has nothing to do with the Bible.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  8. Augure

    How satanist see Death, That's not in the Bible, Gay Marriage foes twist Bible...

    I'm muslim and I really laugh at poor stupid Christians who let a CNN blog called "Belief" twist their scriptures...

    June 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • 4real

      We let them twist them because because God will judge them. He has strictly forbidden us from taking things into our own hands. What is most pathetic is almost everything he claimed isn't in the Bible absolutely is. Most of those concepts are derived from Psalms. The words are different but the meaning is clear. This is what happens when someone uses a concordance to prove a point. John Blake, you may be able to read but your comprehension skills need work.

      June 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  9. satanaski

    It's funny how a person like Mother Teresa can follow the teachings of an imaginary person and turn out to be admired and acknowledged by millions of people. Yet modern folks who have college degrees, who somehow know that Jesus Christ is not God, who may not even believe in God, somehow cannot convince millions of people to admire and acknowledge them as very moral people. Why don't you come up with a comprehensive belief system so that people may believe that your way is a better way than Jesus Christ's way ? It can't be that hard. If a simpleton uneducated carpenter can come up with Christianity, surely it must be easy for you "Oh Highly Educated Person" to show us something better.

    June 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  10. Marie Kidman


    ~~

    June 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  11. Marc Lavoie

    You know that in 2011 people still believe that a man can be a son of a God??? Hellllooooo! Somebody home? 2000 years ago people beleived that the Earth was flat, wolrd was create in 6 days...and crap like that. Wake up people!

    June 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • GodPot

      Actually according to the bible Jesus was only 1/3 God...

      June 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Samuel

      I I can't believe that in the year 2011 people still think that it wasn't until Columbus that people knew the Earth was round. Before pretending to be intelligent at least do a wiki search so you might actually pull it off. The roundness of the Earth was apparent to essentially all learned ancient people and its purported flatness is found nowhere in the bible. Also Gen 1 doesn't necessarily mean that the Earth was created in six days. Before one can object that people only took Gen 1 allegorically after the discovery of evolution and geology one must remember that Augustine, the most prominent non-apostolic Christian, himself even believed in an allegorical Gen 1. Did he have a time machine or some insight into modern science? No, he rejected the literalness based solely on theology and the bible.

      In short, I think you need to spend less time exhorting others to wake up and more time realizing that your points are essentially unintelligible yawns that neither convince nor impress.

      Sincerely,
      Samuel

      June 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  12. billybob

    I AM A BELIEVER. EVERYONE HAS FREE WILL. JUST HOPE YOU ARE NOT WRONG.

    June 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  13. andrilala

    Quran 3:78 And indeed, there is among them a party who alter the Scripture with their tongues so you may think it is from the Scripture, but it is not from the Scripture.

    June 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  14. Jim

    I find it amusing that people quote Leviticus for its endorsement of helping the poor..... It also states explicitly that any adulterer must be put to death, along with many other practices of ancient Jewish society. Revelation says that anybody who picks and chooses phrases from the Word of God for the benefit of their own beliefs will have their name taken from the book of life. I personally believe the whole damn thing is a load of crap, but really people? You're going to pretend to be a fan of Leviticus' morals? Really?

    June 28, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Caleb

      I agree with you Jim that people take what ever they want to form a God by their beliefs. They try to put God in a box that is comfortable for them. I know this may sound harsh but if we went more by Leviticus there would be a lot less teenage pregnancy, teenage rebellion, murder, stealing and adultry. I am sorry you don't believe in God, because He believes in you. I will be praying that He will reveal Himself to you and you accept Him into your life.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Remember, leviticus also says it's a sin to wear polyester or to plant two types of seed in your field. Moral teachings to be sure.

      June 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  15. What?

    Jonah 1:17 says, "Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

    What other big fish can swallow a man whole? Not a whale? What is this, a lesson on semantics? The credibility of the bible has already been proven, and is infallible.

    June 28, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Really?

      Seriously man? I understand your point, but it's more a point of taxonomy than semantics. I'm just going to assume you were being facetious, for my own sake.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  16. Tony

    Can I ask a silly question? If the serpent in the Garden of Eden wasn't Satan, who gave the snake the ability to speak? If your gonna say God gave the snake power to speak, why would God tell Adam not to eat from the tree then turn around ans speak through snake and tell her to eat from the tree?? That's why people think Christians are confused and unstable, we let these so-called scholars speak to some person anxious for a good story and they screw up what the Word of God says. I hope that we would all quote scripture correctly when sharing with others its wonderful message.

    June 28, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  17. Paul

    Why not ditch the error filled, abridged protestant bibles and get a Douay-Rheims. Its based on the Septuagint, the bible that Jesus used.

    June 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • k spencer

      Uh, Jesus didn't use a bible. It was written after his death and resurrection.

      June 28, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • THINKthenTYPE

      @k spencer

      Careful. You are actually half right and half wrong. The New Testament didn't exist but the Old Testament did.

      June 28, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Krinna

      Jesus was Jewish. He would have used the Torah, not the Bible.

      June 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Ian

      The Torah is only part of what Jesus would have used. The Tanak consists of the torah, nevi'im, and ketuvim

      June 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  18. Kathy Voorhees

    Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child is in the Bible! It is just worded different: Proverbs 13:24 (NASB77)
    24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  19. Doug

    Everything in the realm of religion is left for interpretation. A biblical expert is just a person who devotes his/her life to knowing what the bible says...not what it means to individuals, that is far outside their expertise.

    June 27, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Rev.Fuelling

      PROFESSIONAL PREACHERS KILLED JESUS!!!! 12 spirit filled men followed him.....feeding his children...........just like he told Peter.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  20. ken

    don't care about the 6000+ comments about god... but it is fun to point out that the "expert" and all the journalists could have just GOOGLED "this too shall pass" to find the phrase's background. It's on Wikipedia

    June 26, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • bill

      Yeah, those dummies should have looked that up on Wikipedia... in 1993. They coulda done it right on their iPhones... in 1993.

      June 27, 2011 at 6:21 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.