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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. Wisdomforlife

    How about this one: "God accepts you as you are." Does he? http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2007/09/17/does-god-accept-us-as-we-are/

    August 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  2. suzanne

    First of all there are two (2) Statues of Liberty in Las vegas nv One at NY NY and one on W Sahara.

    The Bible says DO NOT spare the rod and spoil the child QuoteProverbs 13: 24 " If you do love him, you will correct him."

    August 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  3. Jeff A

    Remember if you eat shrimp or lobster you are an abomination to God, Leviticus 11:9-12 and Deuteronomy 14:9-10. The bible clearly states this, but religious people still eat shrimp? (source: godhatesshrimp.com) Basically the bible is something people feel good believing in, and are able to pass judgement to anything that they believe and they will find a verse to manipulate to back them up... It depends on what religion you are in, for you interpretation of the bible. Some religions believe when the bible mentioned not worshipping an idol, they were referring to having a TV... and so on!

    August 9, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Rahzmahm

      An abomination, until the Mosaic Law was fulfilled, at Jesus' death (1 Corinthians 8:7-13). Also, remember God told Peter to quit calling unclean that which has been made clean (Acts 10:1-35). This was a symbol that previously "unclean" Gentiles could now be members of the Kingdom of God.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  4. Gary

    This article is misleading right from the beginning, or maybe the author is just ignorant when saying Satan did not tempt Eve to eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden. In the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, the serpent is clearly identified as being Satan..."And he seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:2) II find it funny that an article written to highlight the mistakes people make about what's in the Bible is written by someone who is also spreading inaccurate information about what's in the Bible. It's the same as the idiots who claim the Bible says the Earth is flat, when in fact, the Bible clearly stated that the Earth is round, thousands of years before before science was able to prove it. "There is One who is dwelling above the sphere of the earth" (Isaiah 40:22)

    August 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • GodPot

      Just so you know Gary, the word YOU and your bible translated "sphere" is translated as "circle" in most bibles since the hebrew word חוּג "chug" was also used in Job (and 3 other scriptures) refering to a carpenters tool, what we know of today as a compass, which is used to draw a circle. It had no spherical context in ancient Israel.

      Also, the article is making the point that in Genesis, Moses never specified who the serpent was. John, several hundred years later, identified who he believed it was as Satan.

      August 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  5. elijah44

    The Word of God is true again. The Lord said that a fool will not understand My word. A fool will not grasp understanding. While you guys stick with your gods like the republicans, democrats, the tea party, hollywood, Nfl, Nba and every other idol. I think im going to stick with the safety of the Lord. As long as you stick with those idols, you will all ways be dissappointed. Psalms 37 says that the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord! King David of Israel wrote these words almost three thousand years ago. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold he was no more, indeed I sought him, but he could not be found. So will happen to all haters of the lord Jesus. Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom. In all your getting, get understanding. From the word of God proverbs 4.

    August 7, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  6. Dave

    This Bible thing is catchy.... I'm thinking of writing my own Bible and I will call it the "Really Holey Bible".. it will be a bunch of stories and fables that I make up.. a lot like the original one but more fun. I might put some coupons in the back or something also.... I bet I could make more money on this than Oprah did on her TV show... :-)

    August 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Boman

      Well then, you at least need to learn how to spell, you fool!

      August 7, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • bshereec

      Ha ha ha! (:

      August 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • jay

      hey, Dave– if you want to write your own bible and start your own religion, it would help if you could become crucified first and then raise yourself from the dead...that would lend a lot of credibility to your bible....

      starting your own religion can not only be fun, but profitable in the short term...just ask L.Ron Hubbard or Joseph Smith...the long term eternal results may be surprisingly hot, so beware!

      August 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • jay

      Dave– your uninspired bible will have a lot more creditibility if you could somehow become crucified, and then three days later rise from the dead. Or perhaps if you could somehow make one accurate prophecy, it might begin to be believable. Short of those standards, your bible would only be baseless speculation.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  7. Captian Waffle

    ^ The roflcopter has landed.

    August 5, 2011 at 3:06 am |
  8. Biblicus

    I don't like snakes and I don't like Satan.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • nehock

      Your god created BOTH with FORKNOWLEDGE of each ones significance. Study other religions such as Ancient Sumerian ( where Abraham came from ) and you will find the true story of Genesis.
      see http://www.halexandria.org/dward179.htm

      August 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  9. Lisa

    What bothers me is that the supposed expert has never heard of the origin story of the phrase "this too shall pass" and he relies on a hunch instead of doing the smallest amount of research. It is not some misreading of the King James bible. I always heard the tale as an ancient Eastern ruler asking his wise men for a single phrase that could be used on either occasions of joy or sorrow. After many years of thought and study they came to him with, "This too shall pass away." I did a quick Google, and it's right there on Wikipedia, explaining that it originated in Persia centuries ago.

    August 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • GodPot

      Try searching for "This to shall pass bible" and you will find numerous sites correcting the misconception that the phrase is found in scripture. That is why it was added to this article.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • GodPot

      I will agree that Mr. Wells comment about having a "hunch" as to where Ditka came up with it is quite thin and seem's amateurish at best.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  10. Serp

    Of course people don't read or actually follow the bible. If they did, they'd have to stop being racist and prejudiced.

    Leviticus 19:33 clearly says you can't mistreat foreigners that come to your country and instead must treat them as your own. That would completely destroy Fox News and their anti-foreigner/Muslim stance, so it is best to ignore things like this.

    August 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      May be you should read your own Bible more carefully.

      Exodus 31:15 (Kill those who dare to work on the Sabbath)
      Leviticus 20:13 (Kill gays)
      Exodus 21:15 (Kill disobedient kids)
      (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 (Kill non-believers)

      August 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Bob

      Gupsphoo: It's scary that you would interpret these scriptures as saying that "you" should kill gays, misbehaving children, etc. These scriptures never say you should put these people to death just that they will. Most likely this is a punishment by God not by us.

      August 10, 2011 at 9:24 am |
  11. hallaspalace

    The Bible is a compilation of 66 books with 40 different authors. It was written over a span of 4000 years. With all those different authors and that duration of time it contains no contradictions. There is no other compilation from that many books with as many authors that agree and maintain that same ideas in the world. Try it, go to any library find 66 books by 40 different authors and with no contradictions. What this article points out is that many people no longer read nor understand the Bible. It has become an urban myth and it is quoted by some to only serve their purpose. The Bible has been reduced to a cultural icon and for many people who clam to be Christian it is only culturally and not spiritually. They no longer follow the teachings nor acknowledge the exclusivity. They in fact are not Christians at all and have reduced the Bible to nothing of importance.

    August 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • J.W

      Your should read Matthew 5

      August 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Retired Army in San Antonio

      You say that the 66 books of the bible have no cotridictions?

      You.....are.....wrong.....way wrong!!!!

      August 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Retired Army in San Antonio

      OK.....I mispelled 'contradictions'.......

      August 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • desultoryphilippic

      No contradictions? Have you read the Bible? Two creation stories. Four different stories of the life of Jesus, only one of which says he was "born of a virgin."

      O, and don't get me started on Job. That is the contradiction of contradictions. God takes a bet with Satan over the faithfulness of Job, allows Satan to do whatever he wants to this otherwise good man. This is a loving God? In winning that bet, God lost.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Dave

      No contradictions ?? Yeah ... you might want to actually read it! And this is after it was edited an uncountable number of times by guys who had an agenda... Pretty crappy work..

      August 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Freddy

      No contradictions? You must be talking about some other book. The bible is filled with numerous contradictions. Just spend 5 minutes of research "and this too shall pass" – that is your statement about the bible being free of contradiction. Good luck!!

      August 8, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Rahzmahm

      EVERY person that has told me that the Bible contradicts itself has NEVER shown me a single contradiction from the Bible. Not one in 30 years of my personal Bible reading of over 10 translations and four languages. I've even researched in two of the most revered seminaries in the country (Rutgers in NJ & Western in Michigan) and have not been able to find a cleric who use the Bible for something other than a platform for personal beliefs.
      Wading throught the preconceived notions, proverbial sayings, perceived contradictions is a seaweed of people who do not know truth when the Bible reveals it.
      Okay, I'll get off my platform! ;-)

      August 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • Anon

      You don't notice the contradictions because you're too christarded.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  12. mike

    the bible is a fantasy.. its on the same level as a spider man comic. Knowing that rational adults take this literally is a scary thought.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Nick

      What's even scarier is thinking mankind is the end all be all of wisdom, that there couldn't exist anything in this universe above us in intelligence and power. Most people are too egotistical to believe they aren't the top of it all.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Mark

      The bible is a factual historical book and 'stories' in the bible have been recorded by many scholars and writers, especially during Roman times.

      You sound like an uneducated heathen

      August 8, 2011 at 6:16 am |
    • jloome

      That's total nonsense, Mark. Total nonsense. There are very few parallels between real archaeological and anthropological findings and writings from that period and those in the Bible. Simply mentioning real people in a book does not legitimize the book, anyway, particularly when the earliest copy dates to more than a century after the alleged life and death of Christ.

      Belief is belief. But when you confuse it with fact, the only person you're really doing a disservice to is yourself.

      August 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Nick – "Most people are too egotistical to believe they aren't the top of it all."

      So you are saying it's egotistical to be an atheist, but you don't find any boosted ego in believing that not only do you know who created the universe, but that you have a direct mind link with this being and can send it telepathic messages and cry's for help and the universe creator listens and comes to your aid like some invisible superman as your own personal protector, and even when you die you won't really be dead because you believe you are immortal in invisible form and get to go hang out with the Universe creator and his buds like your in the Justice League. Nah, nothing egotistical about that...

      August 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • big daddy

      Psalm 121

      lIBERALS ARE A FAIRYTALE WHY ANYONE BELIEVES THEM I HAVE NO IDEA

      August 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Bob

      Godpot: So do you not find yourself egotistical in that you presume to know that christianity is a false belief and that the way you show your faith or lack thereof is the one and only true way to be? Get over yourself, whether you have a belief system or not does not mean you can sum up thousands of years of religion and say that you know its all BS.

      August 10, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  13. Mike in SA

    Wow...you mean some people paraphrase things they read and/or hear? Go figure.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  14. jay

    hey, maybe Mike Ditka wasn't so far off...."this too, shall pass" is very close to "it came to pass"....the Bible uses this phrase so much to teach us that your problem, heartache, headache, inconvenience, moral challenge, or whatever, CAME TO PASS....IT DIDN'T COME TO STAY!!! SO CHEER UP AND GET OVER IT!!!
    Go to BibleGateway.com and do a phrase search for "and it came to pass" in the KJV. You will find it in the Bible a whopping 497 times.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • john

      Also, although the specific phrase may not occur there, the sentiment expressed by the phrase "this too shall pass" is found throughout the Book of Ecclesiastes, so you could reasonably assert that someone who attributes this phrase to the Bible is merely paraphrasing instead of quoting.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Rahzmahm

      "It came to pass." – Grammatically sounds like something has already happened; the preterite form of the verb "to pass.".
      "This too shall pass" – Grammatically sounds like the subjunctive tense; something is "hoped" to pass.

      No Bible can change what has already happened and change it to a hope, doubt, or desire.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  15. mark

    what is the purpose of this story? so a chicago bears coach was used to invoke a point of what exactly? i seriously doubt the author knows the bible at all. i don't claim to be an expert so therefore I don't quote it unless i know absolutely whats in there. but this is journalism? seriously? why don't you write about the ark that was found in turkey?

    August 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • GodPot

      "i don't claim to be an expert so therefore I don't quote it unless i know absolutely whats in there." I'm pretty sure thats the point of the article. You choose not to quote since you are not an expert and have decided paraphrasing God's supposed word is either haughty or foolish. The article points out that there are many other people who do not have a problem with it so you get a mix of partial bible quotes, misinterpretations and outright fakes all claiming biblical origination when there isn't.

      But, since it is likely just a compilation of ancient cultures moral codes written down and then refined over the centuries, it may be paraphrased itself from the original verbal principles.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  16. Chad Parker

    Actually since most who love the Bible haven't even read it all the way through for themselves, then don't we have to blame the so-called Bible experts these people choose to depend on, for distorting the books translation. Preachers come up with terms such as "apple" and "whale" to relate the text to followers, but the King James version does not use those terms. The problem is that those same preachers have no more authority than the lay person or the self-proclaimed scholars to interpret Bible meanings.

    Since the Bible was written by prophets and apostles who had authority from God, the only sure translation would also come from that same authority through God's chosen prophets and apostles (not from scholastic studies but from the revelations of the Spirit). Don't blame the King James version. It has preserved the Bible better than any other version.

    By the way, the serpent certainly is Satan, literally. He is identified as such in Revelations 12:9 (And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.) Then in verse 13 the dragon/serpent/Satan/devil's actions are tied directly to Eve in the garden (And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child). Yes, that "old serpent" has been around even before the world was, trying to lead God's children astray and making "war in Heaven" (see verse 7).

    I do not know these things of myself. I know the Bible was originally written by men who spoke with God and had authority from Him to bring His message to us. But I also know that God has called and ordained with Priesthood authority prophets and apostles today when he restored His church as named today the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • bub

      So any time a serpent appears in the Bible it is a reference to Satan? If so, then God instructed Moses and Aaron to summon Satan in Exodus 7:8-10

      August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Peggy

      Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. He was the first pope. The Bible is a Catholic book. The Catholic (first bible!) has 72 books. Martin Luther removed those that contradicted his teaching. People couldn't read the bible in those days because they 1. Couldn't read 2. It was handwritten and there weren't many copies and they had to have it chained to keep it from being stolen. It is so important to have Bible and Tradition as our guide! God couldn't possible want us to interpret His Word by ourselves in our sinfullness! Take this statement and put emphasis on each one of the words one at a time and say it out loud. Start with 'I" and then do it again with "didn't" , etc. "I didn't say you stole the money." Do you see how it means something different each time? The bible wasn't written until hundreds of years after the death of Christ. Everything was told by word of mouth. (Tradition). Nor was it written in English!! Study the Early Church Fathers and learn what those who got the truth from the first apostles have to say. http://www.biblechristiansociety.com and http://www.salvationhistory.com are good places to begin...God bless!

      August 5, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • jloome

      You're aware that Genesis and Revelations were written by entirely different people at entirely different times, right? Taking an earlier story that - as the author correctly stated - does not mention Satan and then "injecting" him into that story via something written perhaps a century or more later is called revisionism.

      August 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  17. Flip

    “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”?
    Proverbs 13:24 (King James version)
    He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

    August 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • GodPot

      "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."

      See, it's the scripture pedophile priests like to quote...

      August 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • hallaspalace

      Unfortunately your adolescent comment and your prejudice has added nothing to this article.

      August 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • GodPot

      Yes, I am prejudiced against pedophiles, I'll admit it. My comment was to poke fun at those who fund & support the pedophiles with the donations they drop in the plate each Sunday. Also, Flip's point I believe was that "spare the rod, spoil the child" shouldn't be listed in the article because the bible has a similar quote. But the point of the article was that people often mis-quote the bible, as they do here since the term "spoil" is not used. A more correct paraphrase would be "Spare the rod, hate your child, but he that loves their child, punishes them."

      August 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  18. Flip

    Isaiah 55:6-11: (could be taken as “God works in mysterious ways.”)
    (6)Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
    (7)Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
    (8)For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    August 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  19. Flip

    2 Corinthians 11:3:
    3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (King James Version). Not tempted....deceived.
    Beguiled (Verb)
    1. To deceive by guile; delude.

    2 Corinthians 11:3:
    3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. (New Living translation)

    August 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • OK

      I think the article's point was not that the Bible doesn't say that the serpent deceived Eve, but that it does not equate the serpent with the devil.

      "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."

      August 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • DJ

      Rev 2:20 – "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years." (NIV) See also Rev 12:9. According to the Bible, the serpent in Eden = Satan. You can choose not to believe it, but the claim that the Bible doesn't make a connection simply isn't true.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  20. Richard S Kaiser

    @ LinCa

    You wrote, "The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people to the people of the US as a monument to American independence. It was not erected as a symbol of the ancient Roman religion. It is not a religious symbol."

    The Statue of Libert,,,,,,,,,,,,What an iconogram in the grandest of Grand! What do I know about such a statue of Libert? I know at least I "think I know" that in Her Right hand is held a torch and held by her side in Her Left Hand was a Book? If correct just what TYPE of Book? Maybe the Gospel? Correct me if I be wrong,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Please! :-)

    August 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Stop the presses! I drpped yet but 2 more letters! the above post should be as follows;

      @ LinCa

      You wrote, "The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people to the people of the US as a monument to American independence. It was not erected as a symbol of the ancient Roman religion. It is not a religious symbol."

      The Statue of Liberty,,,,,,,,,,,,What an iconogram in the grandest of Grand Scales! What do I know about such a statue of Libert?y I know at least I "think I know" that in Her Right hand is held a torch(representing?) and held by her side in Her Left Hand was a Book? Just what TYPE of Book? Maybe the Gospel? Yes? No? Maybe? Correct me if I be wrong,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Please!

      August 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • huh

      I'll play.....the tablet represents the American Declaration of Independence. Duh.....

      August 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      "You're gonna fire me CNN! But Stop the Presses one more Time!

      @ LinCa

      You wrote, "The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people to the people of the US as a monument to American independence. It was not erected as a symbol of the ancient Roman religion. It is not a religious symbol."

      The Statue of Liberty,,,,,,,,,,,,What an Iconogram in the Grandest of Grand Scales! What does One know about such a Statue of Liberty? I know at least I "think I know" that in Her Right hand is held a torch(representing?) and held by her side in Her Left Hand was a Book? Just what TYPE of Book? Maybe the Gospel? Yes? No? Maybe? Correct me if I be wrong,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Please!

      Take it to the Press CNN! :-)

      August 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ huh

      Huh huh? you mean it's not a book? Surely huh you do gest! i may have to google it Be back in a minute or 2 or 3,,, shucks maybe longer! :-)

      August 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      huh, I'm back! This is what I found, "Facts & Information About the Statue of Liberty: She stands at the entrance of New York harbor . . . a 151-foot statue of a woman holding a book and a torch on-high."

      Not a tablet I am to say! What kind of book though? BRB huh!

      August 2, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ huh

      The same website has this written,"Construction of the statue began in 1875 in France, and was completed in June 1884. A design patent, for the statue was issued, by the United States Patent Office, on February 18, 1879. The statue was dismantled and shipped to New York, arriving on June 19, 1885. The statue then took four months to rebuild. On Lady Liberty’s tablet is inscribed “July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals, Day of America's Independence from Britain: July 4, 1776”, and inscribed upon the base for the statue is an excerpt from Emma Lazarus poem "The New Colossus" which reads as follows

      Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-lost to me

      Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus," 1883;

      August 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ ALL Bloggers

      In case you are interested in reading this is the website I found such facts regarding the Statue of Liberty:

      http://www.french-at-a-touch.com/Statue_of_Liberty/statue_of_liberty.htm#Swan_Ally,_Paris

      There are 5 Statues of Liberty located in various places around the world;

      New York Harbor
      Swan Island, Paris
      Paris Luxembourg Gardens
      Bordeaux, France
      Colmar, France

      Makes one truly wonder about these humble people the French who we hear little about these day in the USA. :-(

      August 2, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Richard S Kaiser

      You said "There are 5 Statues of Liberty located in various places around the world;

      New York Harbor
      Swan Island, Paris
      Paris Luxembourg Gardens
      Bordeaux, France
      Colmar, France
      "

      Don't forget the one in Las Vegas. The US Postal Service put it on a stamp just a few weeks ago.

      August 2, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Hey

      hey as**shole you're the one that state "f correct just what TYPE of Book? Maybe the Gospel? Correct me if I be wrong,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Please!"

      You just proved yourself wrong so you left a message to be an as*s-hole nothing more. What a jerk you proved nothing but you even got it wrong....that's called a JERK!

      August 3, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
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About this blog

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.