Ann Nunnally

The Bible is one of the most misquoted and misinterpreted books ever written. I think these mistakes are often “handed-down misrepresentations “ instead of a malicious attack on the word of God.  I would like to convey several of these misquotes but first let me share one of my favorite stories on the subject.

An older preacher told the story of a young minister interviewing for his first pastorate. The Pulpit Committee had invited him to come over to their church for the interview. The committee chairman asked, “Son, do you know the Bible pretty good?”

The young minister said, “Yes, pretty good.” The chairman asked, “Which part do you know best?” He responded saying, “I know the New Testament best.” “Which part of the New Testament do you know best,” asked the chairman. The young minister said, “Several parts.” The chairman said, “Well, why don’t you tell us the story of the Prodigal Son.” The young man said, “Fine.”

“There was a man of the Pharisees name Nicodemus, who went down to Jericho by night, and he fell upon stony ground and the thorns choked him half to death.

“The next morning Solomon and his wife, Gomorrah, came by, and carried him down to the ark for Moses to take care of. But, as he was going through the Eastern Gate into the Ark, he caught his hair in a limb, and he hung there forty days and forty nights and he afterwards did hunger. And the ravens came and fed him.

“The next day, the three wise men came and carried him down to the boat dock and he caught a ship to Nineveh. And when he got there he found Delilah sitting on the wall. He said, “Chunk her down, boys, chunk her down.” And, they said, “How many times shall we chunk her down, till seven time seven?” And he said, “Nay, but seventy times seven.” And they chucked her down four hundred and ninety times.

“And she burst asunder in their midst. And they picked up twelve baskets of the leftovers. And, in the resurrection whose wife shall she be?”

The Committee chairman suddenly interrupted the young minister and said to the remainder of the committee, “Fellows, I think we ought to ask the church to call him as our minister.

He is awfully young, but he sure does know his Bible.”

I laugh every time I read this story and muse. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!”  The following is a quick look at the nine most misquoted Bible concepts. Please consider deleting them from your repertoire of Bible wisdom. 

The following is a quick look at the nine most misquoted Bible concepts. Please consider deleting them from your repertoire of Bible wisdom. 

Bible Misquote No. 1 — God helps those who help themselves. This phrase is based more out of prideful ambition than it is from the Bible.

Bible Misquote No. 2 — God will never give you more than you can handle.  God wants you to trust Him and rely on His strength not your ability to handle anything!

Bible Misquote No. 3 — If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.  You could kind of say that this is a loose paraphrase of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them to do you” Luke 6:31

Bible Misquote No. 4 — This, too, shall pass. This exact phrase isn’t in the Bible. In the book of Ecclesiastes, the Bible talks about how there are seasons for everything, including the present-day troubles you are facing.

Bible Misquote No. 5 — To thine own self be true. This is actually Shakespeare and the opposite of the Biblical message. The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Hard to be true to a lying heart.

Bible Misquote No. 6 — Love the sinner, hate the sin.  Jesus spoke with the worst of the worst sinners and told them to go and sin no more. Repentance is a foundational truth in the gospel. 

Bible Misquote No. 7 — Gaining your angel’s wings. I used to think that when I died, I would essentially become an angel. Heaven is going to be a place where we have physical resurrection bodies, not angel bodies. Angels are a totally different creation. 

Bible Misquote No. 8 — Money is the root of all evil. There isn’t anything wrong with money. Being rich isn’t a sin. In fact, there were lots of rich people in the Bible who were considered godly, Solomon, David the Centurion, Lydia the Purple merchant and more. What’s wrong is the love of money. 

Bible Misquote No. 9 — Cleanliness is next to godliness. Because someone is physically dirty doesn’t mean that they are ungodly. God doesn’t care about your outer cleanliness nearly as much as your inner cleanliness. He even spoke to the Pharisees about this specifically. Check it out at Matthew 23:25-28.

After considering this writing, “How well do you know the Bible?”

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