Whether you’re Christian or not, religious quotes have become a regular part of many cultures. But with all the verses thrown around people fail to realize that many of their wise words have no basis in holy scripture at all. These are eleven such examples.
You might mean well, but if you use these incorrect quotes you’re doing more harm than good.
11It is better to cast your seed in the belly of a wh**e than to spill it on the ground.
In the story of Onan, the titular character is struck down by God for refusing to impregnate his deceased brother’s wife to continue his family line. This quote, however, isn’t part of the story and seemingly misinterprets it.
10God helps those who help themselves.
Though a nice piece of motivational wisdom, this isn’t actually Biblical. In fact, much of the Old Testament is about God helping those who are seemingly helpless. The line actually comes from one of Aesop’s fables, noted for not-at-all being related to Christianity.
9The Devil can cite scripture for his own purposes.
It’s seemingly meant to illustrate the importance of trusting God over man, but this line is actually lifted from The Merchant of Venice. Strangely enough, many lines from Shakespeare get wedged into the Bible.
8Hate the sin, love the sinner.
Though a good maxim to live by these words don’t appear in scripture (though you can easily argue that some teachings of Christ boil down to this). Sometimes attributed to Gandhi, the line originates in St. Augustine’s letters.
7Money is the root of all evil.
This one gets thrown around a lot, though it’s close to an actual verse (“The love of money is the root of all evil”). But anyone with a passing knowledge of scripture should know that neither line makes a lot of sense since original sin took place before any monetary system was in place.
6The Seven Deadly Sins
Not a quote so much as a concept, the idea of the Seven Deadly Sins is medieval, not Biblical. There are a group of seven sins listed in Proverbs but they don’t directly correlate to the usual Seven.
5God (or The Lord) Works in Mysterious Ways
Though true in a theological sense—how can we say that we understand the true nature of God?—neither this line nor anything like it appears in Biblical text. It’s likely appropriated from a hymn, the original line saying that “God moves in mysterious ways.”
4Ask And it Woll be Given to You
This is Luke 11:9 taken entirely out of context. Christ explained that if you asked for forgiveness then it would be given. Sadly some people, including church leaders, use the line to justify high expectations.
3God Will Not Give You More Than You Can Handle
This gem (paraphrased from 1st Corinthians) is used a lot in rehab and therapy programs. Unfortunately, its full context may make it invalid for that purpose: it originally states that God will always offer a way out of temptation but it’s still on you to take it.
2Those Whom God Wishes to Destroy, he First Makes Angry
You could argue that there are instances of this being true in Biblical stories, but it isn’t explicitly stated in the Good Book. It’s wrongly attributed to Euripides when in reality it’s a take-off of many, many old proverbs
1Patience is a Virtue
The line itself comes from a 1300s poem. However, the poem is rooted in theology: the book of Galatians makes reference to the “fruit of God’s spirit.” One of the said fruits is “longsuffering,” sometimes translated as patience, so this one is the closest to being accurate.