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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. Jay

    Why does anyone still believe in any kind of religion? I believe this whole "God" thing was brought about to help control the public through fear of the unknown. Just think how terrible this world would be if people didn't have a fear of a deity watching and logging everything they do so they could be judged in the afterlife. The only thing keeping everyone in check would be the laws of the state (or dictator.......whichever the case may be). So, somewhere on the old timeline, someone had an epiphany and said "Fear for your eternal soul because God is watching!" And then we come to the present.......Evangelists stealing money from old and young people alike, Catholic Priests (aren't they supposed to have the "inside scoop" on God and religion?) molesting and raping small children, this denomination saying their "version" of religion is better than that denomination. Oh, and now, because of the plethora of pictures and video broadcast on the world wide web, the Vatican NOW says it is ok to believe in U.F.O.'s and aliens. What? At first they dismiss it because to believe in science and other life in space is akin to saying religion is false. Hmm......sounds like someone is jumping on the proverbial bandwagon here. Kind of like the old saying, "if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em". Oh, and one more thing before I go..........could any of you religious folk explain the images seen in the ancient paintings depicting Jesus, Mary, or any of the other "holy" scenes of the biblical world? I'm referring to the images with some kind of "craft" (usually cigar-shaped, or round) surrounded by what appears to be light or fire and upon closer examination, humanoid figures can be seen peering out of obvious windows. In some of the paintings, there are people pointing up toward the craft in question. Were these crafts and the people inside angels and chariots of fire? If so, is our religion based on extraterrestrial visits long ago? Do some simple research and you WILL find these images on the internet. Well, " that's all I have to say about that ".

    June 5, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • profart

      Your ignorance of religion and its role in creating a sense of community is disturbing. It was not intended originally to control, but to unite. A simple study of early religious practices would serve you well.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Vignesh

      Everybody believes in something Jay. You do too. Everybody believes in something that can not be proven by science. For example science does not tell you that monogamous relationships are moral at all. Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics as always in most cases of morality have "no comment". Biology would say that having an affair increases your reproductive chances, so Arnold was doing the right thing. Many other beliefs that many atheists have can not be proven either. For example nobody can prove that its bad to get high every day and not contribute anything to society as you just sit around using your parents money.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • h2i

      a simple study of religious practices since then would reveal otherwise

      June 5, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • PlayfulDreamer

      You should read more than one book to get your opinion...

      June 5, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Marc

      Profart, did you ever consider that yo might be the ignorant one? Im not sure how a book about an angry, vindictive God killing for the Jewish people actually ws meant to create a sense of community across the world.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • profart

      Hmmm. Let's see, Marc. I have several degrees on the subject. I have actually studied early Semitic culture and history, as well as other religions of the world. Form your post, I would say you have watched the Discovery Channel or read some "pop" culture books at best.

      But its always lovely to have fun with these boards. Though I must say, the ignorance towards our history and culture is depressing.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • YBP

      The first thing any religion does is separate the "them" from the "us," while pretending to do just the opposite. It is the primary cause of all strife in the world, and always has been. All this just to explain illness, death and the weather. Absolute stupidity.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  2. Jobe-less

    "Spectator I: I think it was "Blessed are the cheesemakers.
    Mrs. Gregory: Aha, what's so special about the cheesemakers?
    Gregory: Well, obviously it's not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products."

    June 5, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  3. Audrey

    If you're going to point out that a big fish swallowed Jonah as opposed to a whale, why not point out that it was an unidentified 'fruit' which was eaten, not an apple? Just seems a bit inconsistent to make a story about minute details being incorrect, and then include your own 'not in the Bible' detail! ;)

    June 5, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • profart

      Actually, the word is "ketos", which is a sea monster, kind of like a snake. BUt I thought the fruit/apple thing was funny, too. The apple idea is actually pre-Christian, based on the Apples of the Hesperides, which pervades Greek culture (connecting it to the Trojan War, actually, and the mythic cycle of Heracles!)

      June 5, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Jack

      Or that Leviticus refers to bats as "birds," that the Old Testament makes it clear that the sky is a liquid firmament and that the world is flat, that Joshua makes it clear that the sun and moon revolve around the Earth...the list goes on.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Cheryl

      Indeed! Not only was the apple comment incorrect but also the one regarding the serpent. Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 clearly identify Satan the Devil as the 'original' serpent which cross references right back to Genesis 3:1. I think Mr. Blake should have checked the Bible for himself before printing falsehoods. How embarrassing.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  4. TG

    This quote from scripture is 100% accurate: DA BEARS!

    June 5, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Jay

      Hahahahahaha! you sir, are a scholar and a gentleman. Da Bears!

      June 5, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Play Nice

      Quite right yes.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • pa jesseson

      sorry, dude. you got it almost right, 99%, but your spelling is off and therefore your meaning. It is DA BEERS – oh, well. As it says in the Bible, Ignoramous 2:15: "to each her own".

      June 5, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  5. Vignesh

    People who blame religion for violence and wars are really quite wrong. In the cases where religion was used to incite war, I would argue that its not religion, but people using religion and twisting it in order to get people to fight on their side. In fact it is the religious part of the brain, the part of the brain willing to accept something without questioning it that is really to blame for those conflicts. The most destructive conflict of the early 20th century was caused not by religion, but by those who completely abandoned all religion: the Nazis. But they too built a belief system where questioning was tantamount to death and/or heresy. The real meaning of this passage for all those who believe in religion is that while your religion may/or may not be true, the human interpretation of it always has the possibility of being wrong, so you should always question what another human tells you. Don't place what somebody else tells you in the part of your brain that you refuse to question. As far as religious actually causing anything as always it is the person and not the gun who pulls the trigger.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • svann

      In fact almost all wars in the last 200 years have been secular not religious.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • LottaZeal

      Very well said!

      June 5, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Jack

      All wars in the last two hundred years were secular, not religious? Really? And Hitler's hatred for the Jews had no basis in the anti-Semitic theology of Lutheranism? And I suppose Bin Laden's private little war against Israel and the United States was an entirely secular enterprise? There has been a religious basis or justification for every war since the dawn of humanity. Even if the root cause was secular in nature, the people were whipped into a frothing frenzy by the preachers, not their teachers.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • pa jesseson

      sorry vignesh, jack has this round bang on the button. let me suggest that you, and everyone, read Constantine's Sword. for starters. It'll blow your little mind and cause you to, oh no! anything but that!

      think a little more clearly with some actual facts as the basis. Or, you can go back to your usual way, as evidenced by your posting.

      way to go Jack, as in "good job" and "keep trying, buddy, but you got "a long way to go" if you expect to convince all the self-justifiers they are self-justifiers.

      but i'm with you.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Vignesh

      Hmm, well I would disagree. Many historians have written about how Nazism was fundamentally an anti-Christian movement as well, and how there were many cultish and religious aspects to Hitler trying to establish a New Reich. Cults can be thought to think of the same way as religion, people believe in something without questioning it.

      Bin Laden's war against America isn't necessarily religious. Its probably more of a power struggle, where religion is used as a tool to get supporters to die for him. Religion is once again not the only tool you can use for this. While the people in the conflicts often may have a religious basis the original originator of the conflicts are much less likely to use religious justification. The crusades could be seen as a power play between the Kings and Queens of Europe and the Arabs where religion was used to convince the foot soldiers to die for them.

      @Pa Jesson, there are very few arguments in your post, but a lot of insults, and insults as always are a logical fallacy.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  6. Marc

    If people actually read the bible, they probably wouldn't be Christians. I stopped after reading it when I was 12. Its completely crazy and unbelievable.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • profart

      Did you think you were supposed to take it literally?

      June 5, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Justthefacts

      Anything and everything is going to sound crazy and not make sense, when you're a 12 yr old. Heck, at 12, I bet reading a chocolate chip cookie recipe would confuse you. Show me an intelligent 12 yr old, and I'll show you an unintelligent person, that's trying to point an intelligent a 12 yr old, out to me.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • annie s

      profart, Evangelicals tell us we are supposed to take it literally. That's why many of us think they are a little whacky.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • humberto

      The little ones spoken of, were prophets and righteous men, not scorpions.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Lea

      So you allowed your child self with the inability to decipher, make a life long decision for you?

      June 5, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • bagel

      dude totaly i was raised christian and in college took a sort of a bible study class and when i actually got my copy of the king james bible i was amazed because it didnt have half the stuff that i thought it had or that i was told it has. Also the entire convention of the bible is illogical for one reason, God is an athesist, think about it if religion is the faith and belif in god/gods but because god knows he exsists he dosent need to have faith or belief in himself and he dosent belive in any higher power becuase he IS the higher power so therefore god is an athesist. He must find all of this quite, amusing then.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • YBP

      It's true, Marc. That's why most of us unbelievers know more about the bibe and religion than the so-called faithful. We are the ones that investigated it. Because even as children, a lot of it didn't make sense to us. We had doubts. We did some research and found that it's just ancient nonsense from a far less enlightened age. The fact that the Ten Plagues didn't include stomach cramps, diabetes, acid reflux disease, EDS and IBS is proof that the bible ws invented by people of that era, and only goes as far as those people's very limited knowledge and imagination.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  7. Bob

    Nice article that should cause many to think about what they "think" they know about the bible!! Not only phases are misquoted, whole concepts are quoted that are not really in the bible!
    One point I'd like to correct is the one about Satan in the Garden of Eden: yes in Genesis it states that a serpent tempted Eve and , if only relying on that one verse, I would agree with the author, but further down in the bible in 2Cor it verifies it was a serpent.( 2Cor:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.) Even further down in the bible in Revelation 12 it states that Satan is a serpent (Rev 12: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.
    Granted it doesn't say that Satan the serpent was in the garden but putting scripture together should lead one to that conclusion. I mean why woukld a common snake tempt anyone???

    June 5, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • True Believer

      Does it matter? There was NO Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were allegories and the book of Genesis is a fairy tale.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Zoo Keeper

      @ True Believer
      Precisely. It's like arguing about what the names of the munchkins really were in the Wizard of Oz. It's mythology. They totally miss the point.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  8. John

    Although I am agnostic, I never cease to be amused by how little a 'true Christian' even knows his own bible. Ask them if Jesus came to bring peace, ask them if God created evil, and ask them if the laws of the old testament are still in place. Etc etc. Listen to the variety of answers. Most of them will have no idea the answers to these questions are in their very bible they profess to know so much about. Many of them are shocked when I point out the verses. Nowadays it's very common for someone to call themselves a Christian, but not own it in any way, shape, or form. It's just like insurance to them. "Well, mom and dad we're Christians, so I guess I'm Christian too and I'll be ok if I die.". It's just a label now. Having said that, I'll take these modern, dumbed-down versions of Christians over the old, bloodhungry fanatics anyday. Glad we live in times and a place where we can question this without being killed and tortured like it was for hundreds of years.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • True Believer

      That's because Christians are too busy dedicating their lives to following the Pope in the hope that one day, hopefully before they die, God will forgive them for being born. Christians, Catholics especially, still cling to this concept of Original Sin. They might as well grab their magic wands and head off to Hogwart's. lololol.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  9. Yep

    My grandmother once attributed the "give a man a fish" thing to Jesus. When she was out of earshot, my dad said " I think Benjamin Franklin said that." It's actually a Chinese proverb.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Ahab

      My grandmother once said, "If the King James Version of the Bible was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!"

      She was a wonderful grandmother, but not much of a theologian.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  10. Jack

    So what's your point John Blake? If you're point is that poeple often misquote the Bible in ignorance, I think that's already been done. I thought most peole knew that. However, if you're trying to undermine the authority and validity of the Bible, you'll find yourself fighting God Himself.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • True Believer

      And if you continue to insist that the Bible is the word of God when it's nothing more than a collection of stories written by Men, you too will face God and find yourself in an uncomfortable position. Would you like it if I wrote a book and put whatever I wanted in it and told everyone it was your words?

      June 5, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • sealman

      the bible was written by HUMANS.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Zoo Keeper

      @ True Believer
      When you write that, PLEASE, when you get to the Real Estate Contract chapter, give me some lots in Beverly Hills and Rancho Santa Fe. You can also give yourself whatever you like also. (Doesn't matter if they already belong to other people already or not).

      June 5, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Faux Paws

      Exactly. But bids will only be accepted at the top of Mount Nebo, next Friday from 10A to 2 PM.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  11. True Believer

    The Bible is a book, a good book but nothing more. If you want to know God, open your heart. If you want to learn how primitive people who knew little and understood less perceived God, open the Bible. Stop taking it so literal and using your religion as a crutch. Abandon your dependence on earthly religion and open up to God to have a one on one relationship. I have heard God in my heart and he is very disappointed with the way we've developed. Very.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  12. humberto

    and whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a desciple, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward. -

    June 5, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  13. Sharon Yeates

    If you do not read the bible yourself, and rely only on what is told you (whether by realtive or a minister) you cannot know the truth. I was recently told by someone that Christians who say "don't judge" don't know anything about God, and that all those "fools" talking about "loving everyone" are just twisting the bible.. I said, "Excuse, me, do you ever read God's word? Go home, read Matthew 5. Then we'll talk."

    June 5, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • True Believer

      Hey Sharon...Pssst. The Bible isn't the word of God. It's written by Men. What would you say if I told you God spoke to me? You'd say I was crazy. Why? Why would you say I am crazy but the cavemen who originated the stories in the bible were speaking the true and mighty words of our creator? LOL.

      God has spoken to me and given me a mission. To destroy religion and show people that God is not only disappointed in the concept of religion, but is contemplating our fate at this very moment. Are we worth keeping around or should we be wiped out in favor of another form of life. It's not looking good.

      Yes, God spoke to me. So think I'm crazy but if you do, but still beleive the Bible, you're a hypocrite. Like most Christians. Tsk tsk.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  14. Brian

    Meh, if you want to get technical, any English quote of the bible is a misquote – the bible was not written in English.

    Therefore "spare the rod, spoil the child" is a perfectly fine paraphrasing of Proverbs 13:24: "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them"

    I feel like this blog is more trying to discredit the religious community as being ignorant or uneducated.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  15. Susaninsilk

    when Mike Ditka was speaking and said “Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” then one would have to know verses in the bible to understand what he meant. the bible tells us , Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. This is found in 1 Corinthians 13 in the
    New International Version. I think in Ditka's case that he was just trying to make a point that things do cease, they are stilled, they do pass and the way he was feeling at that moment will also pass. Nothing at all wrong in what he said.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  16. philedifier

    Eating fruit, beating children, talking snakes, fictonal stories is that all, seems like most people see it that way because its they arent feeling it and thats cool but were is the open mind. People believe things strongly enough to sound like a fool to some but yet sound right to others. We have that right. And thats cool nothing wrong with that. I choose to be happy with out so much anger towards other people for there thoughts. i might be one of the younger people on this at 32 so dont listen. Wow. Wow to much effort in a pointless debate

    June 5, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  17. Ahab

    Many people, like myself, found Christianity to be the most traumatic experience of childhood. As a boy, my most frequent nightmare was about Judgment Day, where Jesus looked at me with monstrous, hate-filled eyes and cast me into Hell forever, which is when I usually woke up. Jesus was terrifying to me. In Revelation, it says that there will be exactly 144,000 saved souls in Heaven. Even as a kid, my fifth grade knowledge of arithmetic told me that I had almost zero chance of making it to Heaven. I knew that even if I made it to Heaven, odds were that everyone I loved would be sent to Hell.

    It was horrible. What a relief it was when I became an atheist. For the first time, my spirit was at peace.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Sharon Yeates

      I am so sorry that you were taught so many incorrect things about Christianity.
      Christianity is about following the example and teaching of Jesus Christ. Christ taught people to even love those who hate them, He taught that we should worry more about our own faults than point out the faults of others, He taught we should not judge others "lest we be judged." He taught that an eye for an eye is wrong. That we should even love our enemies. His message was not a message of hate. He was on a rescue mission, not a bounty hunt.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • clown-abolisher

      I can't believe what your excuse is to be an atheist. Nightmares? What other dreams freaks you out and what else changed? LOL

      June 5, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • David

      I like to know where you get your information that Jesus is hateful. Religion has its time in history, good and bad. Jesus was opposed to religion, He desired a personal relationship! The reason I said Jesus is instead of was: He is still alive and He desires a relationship with all of us, it is our choice not to and the consequences will be unbearable. To the non-Christian, Revelation can be a difficult book to grasp, but to the believer it is hope, victory, the end of old things, "sin" and a new beginning. Lay aside your feelings, your hurts, and find the truth. If you don't seek out the truth you will ........... It is amazing how many of us miss quote the Bible, take text out of place, and don't read it themselves to find out what the Word of God has to say to us! If the enemy can get you not to read the Bible, "The Word of God" Your choice.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  18. Rich

    when one sheep starts the bleat, the rest follow.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Sean

      The non-bleating sheep are feared and reviled more than the wolf, evidently.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  19. kevin

    I've never seen a more dishonest piece on CNN. Proverbs blatantly stresses the importance of physical discipline. try proverbs 22:15 "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him"

    just blatant lies.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • John

      Yes, since physically beating children and making them suffer pain is the most intelligent way to reinforce good behavior, teach them about compassion, love, and respect for each other.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • HZD

      Read the article, mate. It specifically quotes the verse in Proverbs that is even closer to the unbiblical saying, and elsewhere says that this oft-quoted "verse" is consistent with other parts of Scripture, unlike some of the adages of Ben Franklin, for example.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • DaLe

      "rod of correction"

      Sounds as it would be some item in a rpg.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  20. Tom

    חוֹשֵׂךְ שִׁבְטוֹ – שׂוֹנֵא בְּנוֹ – Spare the rod, spoil the child
    This is certainly in the bible. Not that is is right but it's there. Book is משלי יג, כד

    June 5, 2011 at 9:47 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.