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.”
A lot of these are not direct quotes from the bible (KJV most commonly recognized). But they are very famous quotes of interpretation that are indeed sound to the actual scriptures and character of GOD. It is also true that very few people actually study their bible. The bible states in Timothy to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth". This scripture reenforces the scriptures in Isaiah 28:9-13, stating that there the bible's interpretations are sometimes given a little here and a little there for better understanding. In the same thought, there are also wrong ways to divid the Word of GOD. A Scripture must also verifiy a scripture and valid a precept from GODs biblical laws. This is SOUND doctrine.
The Truth is JESUS is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. All JESUS! JESUS is the "...the fullness of the Godhead Bodily". Not three...but one. Romans speaking about confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior was Paul talking about the Jews not accept JESUS as the Christ. Not the plan of Salvation. Paul and the Jews knew JESUS was claiming to be GOD (the Father and Son and Holy Spirit in ONE). Israel believes in ONE GOD (Isaiah 43:10-13)! They called Him many names in search of His saving name, JESUS. Acts 2:38 and all through Acts addresses the way of salvation for our dispensation of the Bible (mercy and truth).
In the King James Version, the Old Testament book of Jonah consistently uses the term "great fish." But when Matthew references the story (Matthew 12:40) he says whale. So if we're reading the King James, which many people still do, then the Bible does say Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Serpent/Satan: Gen 3:1 ==> Gen 3:14,15 ==> Rev 12:9 ==> Rev 12:17
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I care not if that devious collection of antiquity is misquoted...it should be globally banished! Along with the Koran. Believing in monsters and demons and angels past the age of 12 is a mental illness! Your welcome
Bro, yes I am selectively tnoarelt. I never tolerate the asinine. My problem with JD is that, like many Christians, he is too busy preparing for the next world to live productively in this one. So instead of campaigning against Obama, he is going to study the Bible. You're not like that, nor is your son (my favorite nephew), nor is your daughter. You can study the Bible and still be involved in politics.
, and it has a small concordance/dictionary at the back, words of Jesus in red ltreets, and in the center of each page are references to other verses. For instance, it might tell you the chapter and verse of a similar miracle of Jesus, or perhaps the same event in another of the synoptic Gospels.Not bad, I say. I wonder why it isn't more popular? Oh, and a word of warning. The type is pretty darn small. Even if you have perfect eye-sight it's not exactly 100% easy to read. You kind of have to strain just a tad bit. The paper is a bit think for my tastes, but gosh, it can't really be helped.Feel free to e-mail me any questions. I still happily recommend this.
love the way the Lord uses john piper. he hits the nail on the head in this area. i do wish people could see more crllaey the freedom, submitting to Christ brings. because that is what it really is submitting to our husbands as to Christ! my husband is far from perfect and we came close to divorce a couple years ago, but when i started seeing and responding to the Christ IN him and not the hardhearted man he was, it changed my life and eventually his. i didn't change him Christ in him did. blessings to you all btw we are expecting a daughter in 33 days and her name is Piper after john piper
Email Subject paelse hear my cry Comment paelse sir, i am christian who needs bibles ,gifts and t-shirts for myself who is 13 years,my younger brother who is also 7 years and the last one for my father's friend.please sir i am kindly requesting for this bibles,gifts and t-shirts because we want to more of GOD and his intention for mankind.i asked for this from other ministries and the have not yet granted my request,i know as a GOD fearing ministry,you will hear my cry. i look forward to hearing from you. this is my address below; Thy Grace, p.o.box 231, ashaiman-Ghana, west africa-0233. i hope my request is granted successfuly.THANK
The Bible is unambiguous about the role and status of GLBTQ folk in terms of marriage and coitus.
GLBTQ marriage and coitus are strictly prohibited.
There are repeated attempts here at "revisionist" interpretations of scripture...where you are led to believe that the Bible says nothing about the prohibition of GLBTQ relationships and the prospects for marriage.
Gay marriage is not approved in the Bible. In Matthew 19, Jesus defines marriage as the solemn union of one man and one woman. Jesus makes it clear that some people will remain celibate for the kingdom of heaven. This is the role for GLBTQ folk. If GLBTQ folk have no desire to marry in accordance with Jesus' one man-one woman directive, then the only alternative is celibacy, an honorable and blessed alternative.
Bless celibate GLBTQ brothers and sisters who are in step with Jesus' directions to them.
I support and encourage GLBTQ celibacy. Please consider forming a support group at your place of worship for GLBTQ celibates. They are under tremendous pressure to backslide into sinful conduct and act out the behaviors of a reprobate mind. With prayer, they will prevail as celibates, setting an example for GLBTQ and straight folk alike.
Thanks for your continuing support of our efforts to educate believers on the power of celibacy for GLBTQ Christians.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
mike ditka has way more knowledge than the prechers any way, just continue to read mike and you are just fine
"All things must pass" is a Buhddist quote.
“You are the community now. Be a lamp for yourselves. Be your own refuge. Seek for no other. All things must pass. Strive on diligently. Don’t give up.” Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha).
May want to check Matthew 12:40. Jesus identifies the big fish as a whale. Better fact checking is in order. And, as has been shown already, the passage in Revelation calls Satan the "old serpent," thereby tying him to the garden. Please do a better job of checking your facts next time.
Common sense is spiritual understanding
"Spare the ord, spoil the truth is a simplification of:
"He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14)
He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:2) along with "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Genesis 3:15) and the book of Job where *note* that Satan is an accuser of man. Martin Luther stated that "Let us therefore, establish in the first place that the serpent is a real serpent, but one that has been entered and taken over by Satan, . . . "
"Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden. " makes an awful big deal about one word – "apple" which artists have commonly used because the red apple shows up so well. The whole text is:
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ”2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me —she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
It is an allegory – the woman was tempted to make her own moral decisions apart from God or even in spite of God – and that was a mistake (sin). Afterward, the man was tempted to follow the reasoning of another (his wife in this case) rather than God and that was a mistake (sin).
As for "God helps those who help themselves" – that is from Poor Richard's Almanac by Ben Franklin. It sounds ibblical as a lot in there does, and that phrase probably sounds similar to 1 Timothy 5:8 which says, "But those who won't care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers" in reference to those who do not take care of relatives in need or in Thessalonians where Paul says, "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat" speaking of those who were quitting their daily responsibilities because they were anticipating "the end times." Paul was saying that they couldn't quit providing for themselves just because of this – and that idleness leads to problems within a community such as gossip and busybodies. Similar is Proverbs 19:15 "Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry."
Incidentally there is a colloquialism about this as well – "An idle mind is the devil's playground" or "idle hands are the devil's tools" – from Chaucer's tale of Melibee in the Canterbury Tales. :-)
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Thanks to this article i don't know what to believe
Actually, the new testament of the KVJ does say a whale swallowed Jonah. Could all be in the translation– as to what it actually was.
Uhm, no its a fish.
Matt 12:41 uses the Greek word for Fish. It was originally translated as "Great Fish". Some later versions did switch to whale, however the original greek text was just Fish.
Where did you read that Christ would hate Christmas? Which article among 34928 did you see it?Granted, I think He codlun't possibly like the Wal Mart being open 24 hours beforehand, but I would think He'd be warm to the Charlie Brown special on TV
I am extremely imeessrpd with your writing talents and also with the format on your blog. Is that this a paid subject or did you modify it your self? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it?s uncommon to peer a great weblog like this one nowadays..
MY personal testimony.
A thought to consider without an ego response
Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
The world denounces truth....
Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.
Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.
The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.
Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.
We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .
Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
See the truth...
do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..
Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .
Trancsend the temporal world.
Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .
Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.
Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.
Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....
Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.
You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.
Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.
I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .
Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?
Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.
once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it
You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved
While you are dumping bible bile on us by the copy-and-paste truckload, let's have a look at what's really in your Christian book of nasty:
17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”
Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.
Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.
And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.
So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.
Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
You quote OT verses, but then you incorrectly come out with NT conclusions. Where did Jesus say these OT verses apply to NT Christians? Jesus says he came to fulfill the law (Matt 5:17). John 1:18 says: The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Yes, God is harsh. He means business about punishing sin, including yours. Christ came to be the sacrifice for our sins to bear the punishment that you deserve (I John 2:2). Unless you confess that, you too will die in your sins, just like the unrepentant degenerate pagans in OT Canaan (John 8:24). If you don’t like the way God did it, then that’s not a rational argument but an emotional response. I find atheism to be mostly an emotional reaction that does not stand the test of reason, science, and evidence. Read the book: "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist."
Incidentally, I am not overstating the case when I call the ancient Canaanites degenerate. It’s a matter of history. Look it up. They deserved punishment. God’s patience ran out, and they got what they deserved and probably better than they deserved. God’s patience with America will have a point of no return as well.
Using a new handle makes it much more believable.
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