In the Bible or not?

rogersgeorge on January 7th, 2010

Lots of people like to quote the Bible. Unfortunately, lots of people like to quote some old saw and say it’s from the Bible. Now you certainly have permission to repeat old saws, but don’t betray your illiteracy by making the wrong attribution.

Here are a few aphorisms (fancy word for old saw) that lots of people get wrong:

  • Money is the root of all evil—Sorry, it’s LOVE of money etc. Go look at I Timothy 6:10
  • God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform—part of a hymn by William Cowper. Closest similar thought in the Bible would be Hebrews 1:1, maybe Isaiah 55:8f  (f is an abbreviation in verse references and elsewhere for “single (verse) following.” ff means “more than one (verse) following.”
  • God helps those who help themselves—Poor Richard’s Almanack.
  • Cleanliness is next to godliness—Ben Franklin again. Cleanliness is part of godliness. See Leviticus 10:10 and lots of other places.
  • Do unto others what you would have others do unto you—Right idea, but stated backwards. Matthew 17:12 says. “… all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…”
  • To thine own self be true—Hamlet. His dad is giving him advice as Hamlet heads off to college. It’s a good list of advice.
  • All things come to him that waits—Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn, first story (the student’s tale)

I could go on. What are your favorite Bible misquotes? Tell us in the comments, and be sure to give the correct citation. Today’s topic was stimulated by today’s Dilbert.

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One Response to “In the Bible or not?”

  1. “God helps those that help themselves” may be from Poor Richard’s Almanack, but he derived it from good old Aesop, who wrote: “The gods help them that help themselves.”

    (remembered from my school days, but verified here.

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