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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 (8,604 Responses)
  1. Buzzing

    "Ditka’s biblical blunder is as common as preachers delivering long-winded public prayers. The Bible may be the most revered book in America"
    Well actually much of what is said in church is paraphrased for instinstance, "Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
    That is in Proverbs 13:24 where it says, "He who spares his rod hates his son. But he who loves him disciplines him diligently." Ministers would have to constantly quote the Bible, but it is simply easier just to paraphrase, and as long as the meaning doesn't change there is nothihg wrong with that.

    August 13, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  2. Lisa S

    In this article it states that the Bible does not put Satan in the Garden of Eden. That is simply not true. At Revelation 12:9 it says :This Great Dragon_ the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world_was thrown down onto the earth with all of his army–The Living Bible
    And again in the KJV: And the gret dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceivith the whole world: he was cast out and his angels were cast out with him.
    And again NWT: So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan,who is misleading the entire inhabited earth, he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.
    Isn't this an artiicle about people misquoting the Bible? Please get your scriptures straight....

    August 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • ovidiusmaximus

      Most of the time in Revelation, John is referring to the Emperor Domitian as the great monster. Satan as conceived by modern Christians was not in existence in the theological thought of the early Christians.

      August 12, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Anthony

      Actually Lisa, The article says THE BOOK OF GENESIS does not mention Satan. Here are the quotes:

      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.

      Maybe you should "read the article" before you criticize.

      August 12, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Roger

      Lisa – You gave three quotes, not one of which said the devil was in the Garden of Eden. All three said he was cast to Earth, but don't say where. Your quotes also say his minions were with him. There's no mention of any other influences in the Garden. Wouldn't the minions be there, too, if the Devil was? Why do you think the devil was in the Garden rather than somewhere else?

      August 13, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  3. Andrew

    Actually, Ben Franklin was never quoted as saying "God helps those who help themselves". This is a phantom quote of his that many people love to claim as a quote from the founding fathers. There are so many of these that tea baggers say thinking the founding fathers agree with them. Delusion is a wonderful thing

    August 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  4. JimQ

    The writer draws distinctions that make no difference. He does more damage to the truths of the Bible than the "errors" he claims to expose.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • openingfaceoff

      Agreed...if we read Revelation 20, the words there clearly call the devil by his many names and forms...dragon, serpent who is the devil and Satan. If one reads God's Holy Word in context, that supposed error is cleared up.

      Revelation 20: 1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

      Who else would the serpent of old be, but the serpent mentioned in Genesis 3?

      August 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • GodPot

      "If one reads God's Holy Word in context, that supposed error is cleared up."

      If one read's 40 different authors 66 different books compiled from nearly 2000 years of history in context, that "supposed" error is cleared up. So simple, why didn't I think of that.

      If you read Milton's "Paradise Lost" in context it's obvious that the fruit they ate was a metaphor for s e x. So anyone who refers to it as such is not wrong because another author wrote a book after the supposed events that added clarity. Right?

      August 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  5. Raeann

    The Bible can take on many different meanings for different people. Some people change things and then it gets passed on from one to person to the next. The problem isn't the interepretation as much as the other people taking it up as truth when they don't read and study it. I think that someone that reads and studies the Bible everyday sometimes has problems with what exactly the Bible says. It is a big book! It is also a book that you have to put a lot of thought into when reading. Yes it is a serpent in Genesis. But if you have someone reading all through the Bible in the end the devil is described as serpent like, so I can see where that intrepation came from. Just like Jonah and the big fish. I don't know of any fish that are big enough for a man to get swallowed by except a whale. I think it is just an innocent switch in someone's mind, and it stuck!

    August 12, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Rahzmahm

      You are correct; one should read the ENTIRE Bible before making an inaccurate statement on top of an inaccurate statement! The Bible interprets itself in its entirety. Supporting your points:
      "Revelation 12: 9: So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, . . ." “Revelation 20:1 …the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan…” At Genesis 3:13, Eve said the serpent deceived her. Then Paul confirms that Eve was deceived (1 Timothy 2:14) and the serpent seduced Eve (2 Corinthians 3). These scriptures do not say “serpent-like.” The Devil, called Satan is in opposition of God and masqueraded, in some way, as a serpent in order to deceive Eve. Hence, the scriptures identify the Devil as a serpent.
      Also
      Matthew 12:40 KJ and RSV both say, “whale”; Living Bible, TEV, NWT, & NIV state, “great, big, or huge ‘fish’.” The Phillips Modern English, Jerusalem Bible and NEB all say, “sea monster”. Does it matter- really? Jonah was in the belly of some big sea creature for "three days" just as Jesus was in the grave for three days. That was the point of the comparison or sign that Jesus gave the Pharisees.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  6. Liz

    This person is very uninformed as to how one translates the Bible. It is very ignorant and misleading. Very unfortunate.

    August 11, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Shahbaz

      I know... I was trying to apocparh it in an unbiased way... Mel Gibson needs some serious help... Whatever the agenda was, though, it's not as though Mel Gibson invented the whole part about the Pharisees demanding crucifixion. That isn't a surprise to anyone who has read about it, I don't think. We wouldn't deny that Nazis killed millions of Jews to spare the feelings of Germans. Are all Germans Nazis? Are all Jews members of the Sanhedrin two thousand years ago? I think that's a pretty big leap (but I understand lots of other people don't feel that it is–my point is maybe they shouldn't). I think we CAN assume that any dramatic portrayal of the Bible is a way to "share the good news" (or recruit) which I hear is slightly important to some Christians. ;)

      April 1, 2012 at 6:49 am |
  7. JG

    What's wrong with just being a good person and giving to charity....? Why do we have to pair it with a side of BS...? I'd like to ask all of the "believers" out there, would you still be so sure about your religion, if it weren't indoctrinated into you as a child? I would bet not. If we were all approached with various relgious beliefs as adults, most would laugh them all off. I do every day.

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

      My faith became important to me when I was 23 years old. Wasn't raised with this......so PLEASE stop assuming that all faith based people are INDOCTRINATED like someone (even if I was) that INDOCTRINATION is bad. WHAT IF.....THE "supposed" INDOCTRINATION was actually the truth.

      YOU KNOW WHATS FUNNY (AND ACTUALLY SAD) is most people's FAITH (OR PERCEIVED TRUTH ABOUT FAITH) is generated over the years BY WATER COOLER TALK and what other people perceive to be popular. WHEN PEOPLE TELL ME WHAT THEY BELIEVE....and its anti Christianity.....I GO REALLY......WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU ACTUALLY PURSUED GOD (WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART AND OPEN MIND ) AND INVESTIGATED YOUR CLAIMS OF FAITH THAT YOU BELIEVE IN TODAY.

      AND WHAT I HAVE FOUND IS THEY NEVER HAVE INVESTIGATED THEIR FAITH.....THEIR BELIEF SYSTEMS CAME FROM WATER COOLER TALK OVER THE YEARS AND THEY HAVE BOWED DOWN TO WHATEVER THEY PERCEIVE TO BE POPULAR SEDIMENT. SHORT ANSWER IS.....THEY NEVER...INVESTIGATED THEIR CLAIMS OF FAITH PERSONALLY......THEY HAVE ARM CHAIR QUARTERBACK APPROACH TO THEIR FAITH......

      I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU....BUT IF I'M GOING TO BELIEVE ANYTHING.....I WILL PERSONALLY INVESTIGATE AND PUT SOME OF THESE MAJOR QUESTIONS OF LIFE TO BED.....RATHER THEN BEING PASSIVE MY WHOLE LIFE AND NEVER REALLY EVEN PURSUED GOD AND CHRISTIANITY (SO SAD THAT THIS IS THE PATTERN OF MOST PEOPLE).

      August 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Johnathan

      That is too funny....another uneducated fool trying to discredit the Bible. The spare the rod spoil the child Scripture is in the book Proverbs (READ BELOW AS SOMEONE ALREADY FOUND IT FOR). And yes...God does move in MYSTERIOUS WAYS when you look at Scripture AS A WHOLE....but its not an actual Scripture Yes.

      BUT PLEASE....STOP WITH THE CRAP....YOU WORK FOR CNN....WE KNOW YOUR MOTIVE IS DISCREDIT CHRISTIANITY AT EVERYWHERE YOU GO.....STOP WITH LIES...STOP WITH THE PROPAGANDA.....PEOPLE WHO ARE EDUCATED AND HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THEM CAN READY WRITE THROUGH YOUR MOTIVES OF WHY YOU WRITE SUCH AN ARTICLE....

      OR WAIT.....MAYBE YOU WRITE THESE ARTICLES BECAUSE CNN TELLS YOU THAT THIS IS ONLY WAY YOUR GOING TO KEEP YOUR JOB. PERHAPS YOUR MORE WORRIES ABOUT A JOB THEN YOU ARE....OF GIVING AN ACCOUNT ON JUDGMENT DAY.....WHERE GOD WILL EXPOSE YOUR MOTIVES AND YOUR DECEPTION OF MANKIND.

      August 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Christianity Discredits Itself

      "As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you."

      (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)

      August 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  8. Johnathan

    That is too funny....another uneducated fool trying to discredit the Bible. The spare the rod spoil the child Scripture is in the book Proverbs (READ BELOW AS SOMEONE ALREADY FOUND IT FOR). And yes...God does move in MYSTERIOUS WAYS when you look at Scripture AS A WHOLE....but its not an actual Scripture Yes.

    BUT PLEASE....STOP WITH THE CRAP....YOU WORK FOR CNN....WE KNOW YOUR MOTIVE IS DISCREDIT CHRISTIANITY AT EVERYWHERE YOU GO.....STOP WITH LIES...STOP WITH THE PROPAGANDA.....PEOPLE WHO ARE EDUCATED AND HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THEM CAN READY WRITE THROUGH YOUR MOTIVES OF WHY YOU WRITE SUCH AN ARTICLE....

    OR WAIT.....MAYBE YOU WRITE THESE ARTICLES BECAUSE CNN TELLS YOU THAT THIS IS ONLY WAY YOUR GOING TO KEEP YOUR JOB. PERHAPS YOUR MORE WORRIES ABOUT A JOB THEN YOU ARE....OF GIVING AN ACCOUNT ON JUDGMENT DAY.....WHERE GOD WILL EXPOSE YOUR MOTIVES AND YOUR DECEPTION OF MANKIND.

    August 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • GodPot

      Christian's discredit Christianity more than anyone else.

      August 11, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • GodPot

      "The spare the rod spoil the child Scripture is in the book Proverbs" Um, no it isn't.

      Proverbs 13:24 does have a similar quote "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." 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."

      Why do we atheists and agnostic's always have to correct Christians as to whats in their own book. Morons.

      August 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jesus

      Hey Johnathan,

      My dad wanted me to tell you to quit using caps. It's very rude, and it makes you look dumb.

      Love,
      Jesus

      August 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  9. joyce

    Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. – prov 22:15

    Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
    Punish them with the rod
    and save them from death – prov 23:13-14

    August 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • J.C.

      So you agree that the phrase "spare the rod, spoil the child" does not actually appear in the Bible even if a partially similar sentiment is found in Proverbs?

      August 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  10. Rahzmahm

    Oh! Did anyone else notice the beautiful artwork of Adam and Eve? One thing makes me go, “hmmmm.” Since they were directly created by God himself, and not born from a woman, they should not have navels – products left from an umbilical cord! I couldn’t resist. However, I positively love the art.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  11. Heather

    Moral of this article: We are still easily deceived as Eve and Adam were (2nd Corinthians 11:3)! What to do? Read the Bible, learn from the Holy Spirit and others how to interpret it and then live by it, and be ready to give an answer for what we believe. Thankfully God want's us to understand His Word and gives His Holy Spirit to those who reveive Christ as their Savior, and gives wisdom to all who ask. There are excellent resources that teach people how to interpret the Bible and God wrote the Bible for us!

    Satan is referenced in Revelations and 2nd Corinthians as a Serpent, and the curse God gives in Genesis doesn't make sense if the serpent is just an animal. This site, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/09/05/feedback-satan-lucifer-serpent, has more food for thought. Deceived may be a better word for what the serpent did to Eve, but tempted works by the definition because the serpent enticed Eve to do wrong by promise of gain, not to say she was not responsible in her choice to listen to the serpent rather than God.

    Another example of someone questioning a "phantom scripture": http://www.bloggingtheologically.com/2009/07/08/everyday-theology-god-helps-those-who-help-themselves/

    August 11, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  12. Rahzmahm

    Here’s a good one for you all to chew on:
    The best excuse to commit sin and think God is indifferent, is to use the spurious text, “Let the one of you that is sinless be the first to throw a stone at her,” previously found in John 8:1-11. Most modern Bibles do not include that text anymore. John 8:5 clashes with Hebrews 10:26-31, where willful practice of sin places one in adverse judgment. That text also goes against the Mosaic Law, which Jesus would not have condoned breaking.
    I have heard too many people use that ideology to remain “Christian” while committing all kinds of sins (Galatians 5:19-21).

    August 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  13. Nikki

    First of all, to all these people saying he is wrong... be specific, look at more than one passage for reference, and be sure that the translation you are using is accurate. You can't really take any translation and say, "Jesus said this exact phrase right here" when in reality, he spoke Aramaic. Some recent translations, like The Message version, isn't a true translation, but a paraphrase of an English Bible that makes it more understandable, but less accurate.

    The author of the article didn't say that they were not necessarily Biblical principles, (like the "spare the rod" one, for instance), but they are misrepresentations and summations. His point in that it is dangerous is because they can be stretched and pulled and formed into any type of ideal or view you want to believe, as long as you have the right "passage". It quickly turns Biblical principles to pagan ideas.

    August 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  14. jdunai

    Some how the King James Bible is now at fault. Wasnt the 1600's translation written with the understanding that if anyone translated that book wrong, their heads would be cut off? Just a bit different from todays standard and politics.

    By the way, 2 Peter 3:10-11 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

    Ditka was right, this too shall pass. But for this writer your wording better be exacting. Yet John Blake has not written it perfect.

    August 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Nikki

      Um... Ditka was not right in what he said. The verse you provided does not say "all things shall pass". It refers to a specific incident in which the heavens will pass away. Not every verse in the Bible is a universal principle.

      Also, he specifically said, "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". He was giving what some people believe, not necessarily his own thoughts. Also, it's the DECLINING POPULARITY that is at "fault". which makes sense, with so many different translations out there it can be hard to tell if a person is using a direct quote if you haven't studied the Bible intensively.

      August 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  15. james c

    the bible said matt 12-40 it was a whale dingdong

    August 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Rahzmahm

      KJ and RSV both say, “whale”; Living Bible, TEV & NIV state, “great, big, or huge ‘fish’.” The Phillips Modern English, Jerusalem Bible and NEB all say, “sea monster”. But does it matter- really? Jonah was in the belly of the big sea creature for "three days" just as Jesus was in the grave for three days. That was the point of the comparison or sign that Jesus gave the Pharisees.

      August 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  16. james c

    who ever this dingdong is should read bible matt 12-40 said it was a whale

    August 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  17. Jacqui

    YOU ARE WRONG!!!
    "Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them — Proverbs 13:24"

    August 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Nikki

      Did you read the whole article? Because he gives the exact verse you just did.

      August 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  18. Tim

    This guy is wrong about the story of the garden. Read Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2 both state that the serpent was Satan himself.

    August 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Denise

      You're right. The account in Genesis may not say it, but Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2 do say that Satan was the serpent, much like how a man uses a ventriloquist dummy. Still, people do misquote a lot of other things about the Bible.

      August 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Rahzmahm

      "Revelation 12: 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, . . ."
      Tim, I could not agree with you more! One should read the ENTIRE Bible before making an an inaccurate statement on top of an inaccurate statement! Thanks for noticing.

      August 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Molly P.

      He said GENESIS does not call the serpent Satan, not REVELATION. Leave it to the bible beaters to twist words around. This article is poorly interpreted. Just like the Bible.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • B

      it was not an apple
      it says the fruit of the tree no where it says apple

      August 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Thank you B

      Glad someone knows the obvious... that apple was never stated. Here's another big shocker... Jesus didn't speak English and was Arabic. Pick up your jaws America.

      August 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Angela

      Revelation was written well after Genesis. Do you think it's possible that the author of Revelation said that the serpent was Satan because that's what he wanted? Or maybe he wanted more credibility...

      August 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  19. Andrew

    This article is really poorly written – just FYI.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  20. James C.

    And the story of Sodom and Gomorrah never specifies what sins it was destroyed for. Over the centuries, it has been used to demonize a whole range of things. I remember when it was used to denounce masturbation.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:09 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.