18 Widespread Myths About the Bible DEBUNKED

SharePinEmailThe Bible is a wonderful collection of sacred scriptures. These Biblical texts are integral to Christianity and guide how Christians should live their lives. But the Bible is not immune to fake news. Over the centuries, misconceptions about the Bible have become common beliefs and we are going to expose those falsehoods. Here are 19…

The Bible is a wonderful collection of sacred scriptures. These Biblical texts are integral to Christianity and guide how Christians should live their lives. But the Bible is not immune to fake news. Over the centuries, misconceptions about the Bible have become common beliefs and we are going to expose those falsehoods. Here are 19 Bible misconceptions to debunk.

The Apple in the Garden of Eden

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It is a popular belief that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden is an apple, but there is no description of the fruit anywhere in the Bible. The forbidden fruit is stated as the “fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” in Genesis 2:17 and could be any type of fruit.

“God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle”

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When facing difficult challenges, you may hear this phrase from a member of your Church community. The idea is God knows you are strong and can come through this difficult situation. He has your back and you can get through this! But this phrase never features in the Bible. It is thought the phrase is inspired by 1 Corinthians 10:13:

“He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”

“Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner”

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As soon as the word “sin” is mentioned, people understandably think the phrase must be Biblical. But this phrase was said by Mahatma Gandhi, reflecting the teachings of Jesus Christ about loving and forgiving sinners, no matter what they have done.

“Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness”

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This is a popular phrase when it is time to commit to a full Spring clean of your home. But this phrase never features in any part of the Bible. It is actually a phrase from the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, when giving a sermon about moral cleanliness.

“Money Is the Root of All Evil”

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Although this phrase does not feature in the Bible, it is a common phrase that cautions us about the pursuit of money. This misquote is inspired by a quote from 1 Timothy 6:10, however, stating, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Here, we are warned about greed as opposed to solely possessing money.

“Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child”

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This phrase is often used to support harsh discipline towards a child, but it is not a quote from the Bible. This phrase is attributed to the 17th-century poet Samuel Butler instead. The Bible does discuss discipline at length but emphasizes the need to discipline with love and guidance.

“This Too Shall Pass”

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Another phrase that doesn’t feature in the Bible. It is often used to provide comfort and strength during a challenging situation. The sentiment behind this phrase is influenced by 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, however, where the apostle Paul explains that life challenges are temporary problems whereas faith gives us eternal hope and salvation.

“God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”

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A common misconception, this phrase is not found anywhere in the Bible. It was actually included in the “Poor Richard’s Almanack” by Benjamin Franklin in 1736 and encourages self-reliance and motivation.

“Money Won’t Buy Happiness”

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This is not a Biblical quote and is more of a cultural phrase that encourages people to look beyond wealth and see what is important in life. The Bible does reflect this sentiment, however, warning that pursuing money can lead to spiritual harm.

1 Timothy 6:10: “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Three Wise Men Visited Jesus in the Manger

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Nowhere in the Bible is there mention of three wise men visiting Jesus Christ in the manger on the night of His birth. Instead, the Bible says that three wise men visited Jesus in his house, possibly up to two years after His birth.

Matthew 2:11: “And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.” 

“To Thine Own Self Be True”

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This is not a Biblical quote about being self-aware and authentic, but a Shakespearean quote. Found in the works of Hamlet, Polonius uses this phrase when talking with his son Laertes about being honest and acting with integrity.

“The Lion Shall Lie Down With the Lamb”

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This quote invokes imagery of peace and tranquility between enemies. But there is no mention of a lion and a lamb in the Bible. Instead, Isaiah 11:6 discusses a similar verse concerning a wolf and a lamb, offering a misinterpretation.

“God Works in Mysterious Ways”

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Perhaps one of the most popular phrases, this quote is used to explain things we can’t begin to understand on a daily basis. But this phrase was never included verbatim in the Bible. The sentiment features in Isaiah 55:8-9:

“As the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

“Pride Comes Before a Fall”

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A variation of this phrase features in the Old Testament, so this is more of a misquote. It describes the risks of pride and the need to be humble in life. Proverbs 16:18, from the Book of Proverbs, states:

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

“The Eyes Are the Windows to the Soul”

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This phrase is poetic and explores how we are more than just flesh, each with a unique soul. But this is not a quote from the Bible. Some experts attribute the quote to Shakespeare although there is no concrete evidence of this.

Religion and Science Are Incompatible

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It is a common misconception that religion and science are incompatible when they can actually complement one another and exist side-by-side. There are instances in the Bible where scientific knowledge is referred to, such as cloud formation.

Job 36:27, 28: “He draws the drops of water; they condense into rain from his mist; then the clouds pour it down; they shower down upon mankind.”

Christianity Is Sexist

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Cultural norms over the centuries certainly portrayed sexist attitudes, requiring women to submit to their husbands. Today, some Christian denominations do not allow women to be priests. However, Jesus Christ treated women with equality and respect in the New Testament, challenging societal norms at the time and allowing women to be involved in his public ministry. Whilst female priests are not mentioned explicitly, women are referred to in contributing to the early church.

Jesus Despised Homosexuality

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Despite many people thinking that homosexuality is a sin, Jesus Christ never actually said that. In fact, He never talked about homosexuality at all so no one knows his true opinion on the subject. Although, homosexuality is condemned in the Old Testament, such as in Leviticus 18:22.

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