It is not found in the Bible

Here are some things that are not in the Bible but people assume are.

The forbidden fruit Adam and Eve ate was an apple.  Gen. 3:6 merely calls it a “fruit”; “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” The Hebrew word used in that verse is “peri” and is a generic word used for fruit.  It does indicate which fruit it specifically is, so it is incorrect to assume it was an apple.

The three wise men.  Matt. 2:1-12 only says there were three gifts, not three wise men (magi).  While we are on the subject of the magi, remove them from your nativity scene, please.  They were never at the “manger.”  Instead, it was the three shepherds who visited the birthplace of Jesus.  The Magi are believed to have visited Jesus between 12 days and two years after his birth.

A “whale” swallowed Jonah.  While some translations (and Veggie Tales) use the word “whale,” the Bible only says God sent a “great fish.” (Jonah 1:17, “And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”) We are not told much beyond that, and that leaves some to speculate that God created a fish for the occasion, a large whale was specially prepared for the task, or a sea dinosaur of some kind was used.

Money is the root of all evil.”  Close, but no cigar.  I Tim. 6:10 actually states, “the LOVE of money is the root of all KINDS OF evil.”  And while we are discussing this, let’s put another myth to bed.  Mark 10:25, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”, is not saying that rich people will not go to heaven.  It says that rich people find it harder because they may allow their riches to become their god.

This too shall pass.”  No one knows precisely how this quote started, but it became mainstream in the States when the famed football coach, Mike Dikta, passed it off as a scriptural quote.  The closest the Bible comes to that quote is 2 Cor. 4:17-18, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”  Again, no one can be sure where that phrase started, but some credit it to John Wesley, who used it in a sermon. It is not found anywhere in the Bible.

God works in mysterious ways.”  Another common quote that is not found in God’s Word.  Isa. 55:8-9reminds us that God’s ways are not ours, but those words are not used.

Love the sinner, hate the sin.”  First quoted by Augustine in the 5th century, these exact words are found nowhere in the pages of the Bible, although the concept is similar to the words of Gal. 6:1-5.

Be in the world, but not of the world” is itself not in the Bible, but is very similar to the words of John 15:19 “…but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…”

God will not give you more than you can handle.”  This is often quoted to individuals going through challenging or even tragic times.  Unfortunately, those exact words do not exist in the Bible.  It is a summary of 1 Cor. 10:13

God helps those who help themselves.”  Another common saying that is not found in the Bible.  This one is often used to motivate people to get up and do something but is not something taught in the Bible.  Many even turn to Isa. 25:4 and Rom. 5:6 as proof of the opposite – God helps those who cannot help themselves.

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