Have you ever heard someone quoting the Bible – or saying they were – and yet you weren’t really sure if the Bible really said that or not? If we love God, and his word, we need to know what it says – and what it doesn’t say.
There are a few common sayings that we culturally attribute to the Bible, but really, the Bible doesn’t say these things at all:
“God helps those who help themselves”.
Not only is this not found in the Bible, it is not a biblical thought – God helps the weak – Psalm 146 This saying actually originates from one of Aesop’s Fables.
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.
Not in the Bible. Though many of the rules given to the Israelites involved keeping clean, the Bible actually says we can do nothing to make ourselves clean enough for God. We need Jesus.
“Money is the root of all evil”.
This is a misquote – the Bible says “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Tim 6:10. The correct quote would be – the love of money…
“Love the sinner – Hate the sin”
This quip may well be a biblical sentiment, but it isn’t actually written in the Bible – it was said by Mahatma Gandhi.
We need to know our Bible.
Have you ever heard someone quoting the Bible – or saying they were – and yet you weren’t really sure of their claim? If we love God,
The Bible has influenced the western world: our understanding of the individual and of government, of law and education has come from our understanding of the teachings in the Bible. The Bible has influenced much of our great art and is woven into the stories we are familiar with. And though I’ve listed a few misquotes there are plenty of every day sayings that are taken from the Bible:
- Writing on the wall – Daniel 5:5
- Blind leading the blind – Matthew 15:14
- My brother’s keeper – Genesis 4:9
- Out of the mouth of babes – Psalm 8:2
These are just the ones that come to my mind, and yet Ruth Beechick quotes in her book, A Biblical Home Education, that “Researcher E.D. Hirsch, Jr. wrote, ‘No one in the English speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible’ “ He came to this conclusion because of the huge number of phrases and words woven into our everyday language taken from the Bible.
The problem is that because we don’t know our Bibles, we are accepting misquotes as much as we are accepting the quotes – as a society we can’t tell the difference!
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When my children hear such a quote I want each of them to be able to discern whether it is correctly quoted and correctly interpreted or applied. I want my kids to be able to discuss with people why they hold certain beliefs, why they live a certain way. They don’t need to be persuasive, they just need to be clear and articulate in what they believe.
1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Teaching these things to our kids can be a scary thing because we as parents may not feel we understand God’s word that well ourselves. To be honest, none of us ever will. But if you have a desire to grow in your understanding of what God says, then you can take your children with you as you discover God’s Word. Learn together. Don’t let your ignorance, be the foundation for your children’s ignorance.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7: These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Are you reading God’s word?
Are you talking about God’s word?
Are you looking at life through the lens of God’s word?
Are you teaching your children what God’s word says, and what it means?
As our children grow up in a house that refers to the Word of God throughout the day they learn to discern the things that they hear and line it up against the Bible for themselves.
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