13 Things that Aren’t In The Bible (Even though You Think They Are!)

July 18, 2012

Earlier this week I asked people to share their favorite Bible verse. I’ve been enjoying the responsesso far, and have been amazed at the variety of Scriptures that people have found meaningful.

There are, however, a number of famous quotations that are not in the Bible, even though many people think they are. Here’s a short list of sayings you will not find in any version of the Holy Bible.
  • “Moderation in all things.”
  • “To thine own self be true” (that’s Shakespeare, actually).
  • “Money is the root of all evil.” (Read closely then compare to 1 Timothy 6:10.)
  • “Once saved, always saved.”
  • “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
  • “This, too, shall pass.”
  • “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
  • “God helps those who help themselves.”

While we’re at it, popular versions of the Christmas story contain some details that never appear in either Matthew 1-2 or Luke 2.

  • Mary riding on a donkey (doesn’t say how they got to Bethlehem).
  • Three wise men (no number of Magi is given).
  • Jesus born in a stable (says only that he was laid in a manger).
  • Angels singing (text says only what they were saying).
  • The little drummer boy.

This is a reminder that we should take good care in quoting the Bible so that our own ideas don’t get mixed up with God’s.

What saying do you wish was in the Bible (but isn’t)?


Lawrence W. Wilson

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I'm lead pastor at Fall Creek Wesleyan Church and the author of a few books including A Different Kind of Crazy and Why Me? Straight Talk about Suffering. When I have ideas that might help you transform your life and community, I post them here.