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. HolyRoller

    I'm having a hard time finding the biblical verse that says we should kill abortion doctors, cut aid to the poor and destroy the environment.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • Annette E


      June 5, 2011 at 7:09 am |
    • Mike

      Supporting Interpretation in 3,2,1...

      June 5, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  2. KatyaBG

    What has always made me the saddest are the self-proclaimed Christians who use the Words of Christ to bash people. It would be fairly obvious to even a rock that they have never actually read what Jesus taught. I would suggest you read Matthew 7:1-5 again...this time with your eyes open.
    IF you are Christian, the New Testament is your guide; these are the teachings of Jesus. Bible illiteracy is blatantly obvious by those, clergy included, who use the Old Testament to beat up on people they either do not approve of or to browbeat their own communities.
    The Old Testament consists of four different types of books, the Pentateuch, Historical, Poetic, and Prophetic. If you don't know what those are and the differences amongst them you really need to attend a Bible history class then keep silent, pick up your Bibles and READ the teachings of Jesus; this time with your eyes and hearts open.
    For our atheist friends, if you are secure in your beliefs why do you continue to abuse those of us who are secure in ours? And, the same goes for Christians, if you are truly secure and believe the teachings of Christ, then you need to never abuse someone else for their beliefs. Just MHO.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • AlexG

      Amen!! i fully agree with you.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:23 am |
    • aginghippy

      If atheists appear to "abuse" believers, it is out of frustration brought on by the judgmental behavior of those who would dictate the actions of others based on their religious beliefs. Speaking only for myself, I can honestly say that I don't care what you believe. It is only when fanatics try to influence lawmakers, or the lawmaker him/herself is determined to legislate morality, that I feel compelled to strike out against religion, and call it the nonsense that it is. It's not enough for many Christians to have the freedom to worship any way they choose. They want to declare that ours is a Christian nation, established on Christian values, by forefathers who were unanimously Christian. Those statements are absolutely not true, so you don't get to use such nonsense as an excuse to outlaw gay marriage, ban abortions, hinder scientific discovery, have prayer time in MY public school system, have a National Prayer Day led by the President of the United States, decorate public property with scripture or a pagan decorated tree or any other intrusive behavior advocated by the fundamentalist Christian.
      It is also an interesting concept that religion is the only arena that is expected to have a guaranteed protection form ridicule. In America, we are expected and encouraged to speak our minds on every subject EXCEPT Christianity. No matter how outrageous a claim may be made in the name of that religion, I am expected to stay mum, respecting the absurd statements made, as though they are sacred and to be revered at all costs. Yet Christians feel free to ridicule virtually every other religion, particularly Islam of late, as being evil and misguided, based on the actions of a few extremists. And, of course, as you pointed out, Christians have no love in their hearts for the atheist. Can you not see that atheists find all religions to be capable of doing great harm when the followers of any religion take it upon themselves to control, abuse or even murder those who don't believe as they do?

      June 5, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • Sean

      Great comments!

      June 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Cori

      Atheists tend to be selective and paint a very shallow picture of Christ that ignores about half of what he said and did and the iron clad connections to every portion of the Old Testament. Chirst was not "soft of sin"...He only demanded that we look at ourselves more than others when reconciling right and wrong. The implication is that you cannot even focus on yourself unless there is an absolute sense of right and wrong (otherwise we excuse our every behavior as acceptable). The nature of Sin and what is considered sin is never changed or eased up since Moses...only our response to that sin. i.e. We have the true Sacrifice of Christ to supplant the sacrifice of bulls, goats, and doves.

      July 18, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  3. Worthy

    Believer, yes, God works in mysterious ways. Where can I find this quote in the bible?

    June 5, 2011 at 6:45 am |
    • KatyaBG

      You can't. 😀 It is from a hymn "God Moves In Mysterious Ways" by William Cowper.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • remorse2

      A close aproximation is from Isaiah 55:8-9
      8 “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
      Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
      9 “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      So are My ways higher than your ways,
      And My thoughts than your thoughts.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • Mike

      "God Moves In Mysterious Ways"
      "She Moves In Mysterious Ways" U2- Mysterious Ways

      God is Female

      June 5, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  4. Monte Sonnenberg

    Acts 62, Verse 93: "And the Lord proclaimeth, verily, from the burning bush unto the drunken medieval scrivener sipping his mede & taking dictation therefrom: "Yea verily, I say unto thee, git r' done. Aye, git r' done, and be done with it, amen. So sayeth the Lord."

    June 5, 2011 at 6:42 am |
  5. James

    Proverbs 14:24 "He that spareth his rod hatheth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
    That is why people say "spare the rod spoil the child." it is rough meaning.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • James S

      But that is exactly the opposite and I think was the point in the article. What the quote is saying in today's wording is "Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them."

      June 5, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  6. Blargh

    Does anyone even know the definition of the word 'bible'?

    June 5, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • remorse2

      online dictionary, encyclopedia
      [from Old French, from Medieval Latin biblia books, from Greek, plural of biblion book, diminutive of biblos papyrus, from Bublos Phoenician port from which Greece obtained Egyptian papyrus]

      June 5, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Rick in Atlanta

      Bible means "book," I think. although the Bible wasn't actually a book until after the fourth century when the canon was closed.
      Someone said that Bible is "Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth."

      June 5, 2011 at 6:51 am |
    • Amy T.

      That's a good question! The word "Bible" is derived from the Greek word "biblia" which means little books. This in turn, is derived from the word "biblos" , a word describing the inner part of the papyrus plant from which, in ancient times, a "paper" for writing was produced.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:00 am |
    • mystic7

      Book. There, was that so hard. As for messing up scriptural quotations, how many "famous lines" from movies never existed? "Why don't you come up and see me sometime"? Mae West never said it that way. The real line doesn't quite flow as nicely. It's a human trait to do this. That's the same principle behind "Spare the rod, spoil the child" as James points out, above.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:00 am |
  7. Matt

    “God helps those that help themselves.” phrase Is not in the Bible.

    More accurately:

    God helps us by providing for our necessities, But we have to LOOK for the opportunities, resources, and take advantage of the help that is being made available to us. Only, then God will bless our actions.

    Proof text- Matthew 6:26 "Observe intently the birds of heaven, because they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses; still your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?

    Who helped whom? God provided food for the birds. God did not put the food in the birds mouth, The birds have to fly and search for the seed/food that is being made available by God. God helps the birds by making the food available to eat, the birds have to help themselves (search for, fly, jump, perch) to that seed/food.

    So it is for us today, we make use of the opportunities available to us, and God will bless us as we do God's Will- Matthew 6:33. Isn't it nice to know that God cares for you and will help you more than He does the birds of heaven?


    June 5, 2011 at 6:40 am |
    • Gilbert

      Matt, you made all that bullsh!t up.
      Yet your god hates liars.
      The disconnect between your brain and reality is vast.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:13 am |
  8. karla katz

    just more "social justice" drivel

    June 5, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  9. Mr M

    Yeah this is about the Bible, maybe is my persepption but now days what is this always trying to find falut in it? And sometimes things get chosen out of context,

    "Humanism in your world has been created by satan. You will bring back the adages of old of: Spare the rod, and you will spoil the child. Discipline must be returned to the homes." – St. Joachim, July 25, 1973

    "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)

    Spare the rod, is just a simplification, some one that knows the Book will know that.

    And what about the qur'an? Why no one ever picks on them? Oh, sorry we are always afraid of them? Will Christianity be treated with respect only after some acts of uncalled violence?

    June 5, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • Jon O

      This article is about the bible. Stop trying to pick a fight with another religion for no reason other than your own bigotry. And Joachim? Not in the bible. Hence the point. Paraphrasing a quote or not, when you take it out of the full context of what he said, the meaning entirely changes.

      He is saying not to spoil your children.

      The quote "Spare the rod and spoil the children" on its own implies that you should spoil your children as it comes across as a directive without the surrounding context.

      Too busy trying to be better than everyone, aren't you?

      June 5, 2011 at 6:40 am |
    • Reader

      Jon O: "The quote "Spare the rod and spoil the children" on its own implies that you should spoil your children as it comes across as a directive without the surrounding context."

      It is certainly a directive. The difference is that your schema places "spoil the child" as the desired result, and the rest of the readers read "spoil the child" as an undesirable result to be avoided. You have read it as a positive command ("Do this so you can get this!") and we have read it as a warning ("Be careful because if you do this, you'll end up with this."). The thing about inferencing is that not all people come to the same inference. It depends on prior experiences and knowledge.

      You're more likely to convince other people of your opinion if you state it clearly and let them mull rather than insult them. That's only serving to bind them tighter to their opinions.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  10. Jason

    So bible thumpers don't really know and probably haven't read the bible? I am shocked! Scandal!

    June 5, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • Jon O

      Read the comments below, they're proving it right now.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:36 am |
  11. Monte Sonnenberg

    Acts 63, verse 92: "Git'r done."

    June 5, 2011 at 6:34 am |
  12. Stewart

    It is true that many people miss quot or miss intrepert the bible. One thing that we forget is that, the relationship between ourselfs and God is personal. The bible is a starting point, it gives us something to go by. As long as the person or the people that following do not cause harm, what harm it doing to you? Leave the good people of this world alone and let them be.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:32 am |
    • Gilbert

      But they are causing harm. Great harm. People are suffering, dying. People are being tortured and treated cruelly.
      Any due to religion is proof of religion's harmful nature.
      Religious people are rarely known for leaving other people alone.
      And religious influences cause harm in and of themselves as well.
      Religion is the problem. Misquoting a few passages is just par for the course.
      Religion is harmful. It introduces severe neurosis and psychosis in vulnerable people.
      It is used to abuse children. It is used as justification for every crime known to humanity and history.
      Religion is evil, period. Any positive results are minuscule compared to the damage done.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:20 am |
  13. Moses

    Please read the bible again and re-write the article...Some of your findings are clearly wrong. Livelystone has expounded my point well

    June 5, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • Jon O

      And incorrectly. Once again, the bible never says the serpent is Jesus.

      And "spare the rod, spoil the child" says you should spare the rod whereas the bible says you shouldn't.

      Another person who is too busy trying to know everything and isn't actually reading the bible... isn't that kind of the point of the article?

      June 5, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • Jon O

      *serpent is Satan

      June 5, 2011 at 6:36 am |
    • IAMDAN

      Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

      This is the intro to the serpent. The sepent is described as a cunning life for created by God, not Satan. No where is Satan attributed to the serpent!

      June 5, 2011 at 7:01 am |
    • IAMDAN

      My apologies! I forgot the value of spell-check!

      June 5, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  14. Joey68711

    Really?? Well's "hunch" on the Ditka quote is that it comes from some obscure King James version? How about the more obvious possibility that Ditka just stated the popular proverb (thought to be of Persian fable origin) and incorrectly attributed it to the Bible. What an idiot...

    June 5, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • IAMDAN

      "Ditka just stated the popular proverb (thought to be of Persian fable origin) and incorrectly attributed it to the Bible. "
      First, that implies Ditka is intelligent enough to even know of Ancient Persian Proverbs. My sense you are being sarcastic and if so I love it!

      June 5, 2011 at 7:07 am |
  15. Jennifer

    It's Sunday morning and CNN is catering to the religious insanity that dominates much of the United States by posting a nice religious article that fanatics can read before going to church to worship their invisible man. How nice of you CNN.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:28 am |
    • Chris

      You obviously can't read.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • TheWiz71

      And nice way to simply dismiss the religious and spiritual experiences and ideas of millions of people and countless generations, including people much more learned and intelligent will ever be. Just nice.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  16. Keith

    If the masses actually READ the Bible, they would immediately see the disconnect between priestly sermons and what the text actually says (try Number 15:32-36; Deuteronomy 20:16-18; Leviticus 26:14-39;John 15:5-6; 2 Thessalonians: 1:6-10) and on and on...)

    June 5, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • IAMDAN

      Actually, if they did, they would find what a massive tome of errors and inconsistencies it was. I read it cover to cover, (I used to be a born again christian, president of my high school bible study (10+) years ago) and now find it to be filled with craziness.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:10 am |
    • TheWiz71

      So, you read the Bible in Hebrew and Greek do you? Good for you! If you read it in any other language besides those, then guess what you're interpreting what the actual original text says (gasp, the horror). Fundamentalists drive me nuts. Jesus came to take away our sins, not our minds.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  17. Azeem Anwer

    Read the latest edition of the holy book from God to get rid of all these confusions – Koran.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:24 am |
    • Bookofme

      I thought the book of Mormon was the last book of the bible.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • Gilbert

      What about the writings of David Koresh? He was just as holy as anyone can be. His followers believed and were willing to die for the cause. Isn't that what some of you think makes a belief true? Martyrs?
      And he is the latest I've heard of, but anyone can do it. I could be a prophet quite easily. All it takes is a bit of mystical double-speak and gullible victims upon which to practice.
      No god needed to be a prophet. That's why there's been so many of them.
      Gullible people are hardwired for gullibility. That's why religion is so prevalent throughout the world.
      It is a neurological weakness. Humanity's blind spot.
      How easy to believe a lie!
      And how hard it is to doubt if doubting is looked upon as evil.
      Do not question a lie and that lie can consume you and your life, your family, your money, everything.
      Lies have no proof because they are lies.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:32 am |
    • TheWiz71

      @Gilbert – so, let's see. Here's some "gullible" and "neurologically weak" people for you – Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Newton, Milton, Bach, Martin Luther (& King Jr.), Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Mendel, Florence Nightengale, Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ibn Ishaq al-Kindi, Tommy Douglas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, to name just a few. There have been, and are, people of faith (of all faiths) who are much more "neurologically strong", far more learned, and much less gullible than you or I will ever be. So cut it with the stupid generalizations you and your fellow radical atheists like to toss around so much.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  18. Livelystone

    Another Bible expert that does not know the Bible

    Satan did tempt Eve in the garden albeit there was not an apple involved

    Also the Bible does encourage parents not to spare the rod lest they spoil the child as seen in the following verses

    Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

    Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

    Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:24 am |
    • Jon O

      Once again, spare the rod and spoil the child implies you SHOULD spare the rod, whereas the bible says you SHOULDN'T. Reading comprehension and too-busy-trying-to-act-like-you-know-everything fail.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • John C. Muller

      You are absolutely correct. Also, Proverbs 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."

      June 5, 2011 at 6:28 am |
    • Jon O

      Oh, and the original texts of the bible do NOT specify that the serpent was Satan, just so you know. Not once.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • Jon O

      Wow, one wrong person supporting another. Impressive. I'm not sure how the two of you are getting this wrong.

      Spare the rod = don't hit your kid. Spoil the child = give them what they want.

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

      He that spareth his rod hateth his son = if you don't hit your kid, you're not doing your job

      But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes = but if you love him, you'll make sure he's disciplined.

      Absolutely polar opposite phrases that you two are claiming are the same. This is amazing.

      You need to stop worrying about proving the author of the article wrong and actually read the bible, I think.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • TheWiz71

      Where in Genesis does it say that Satan tempted Eve? It doesn't. It is a later extrapolation. All that is mentioned is a serpent.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  19. Geo

    Those who know, do not need to be told.
    Those who don't, seldom listen.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:23 am |
  20. Jon O

    So the gist of the article seems to be that most people don't know anything about the bible, certainly haven't read it, but still like to use it – or make things up about it – to support whatever it is they want to believe in?

    Ah, the laziness of faith.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:23 am |
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About this blog

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