Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sayings Not Found in Scripture

Sayings Not Found in Scripture

Many sayings have developed throughout the years by a variety of means. Scripture supports the "purposes" of some of these sayings while contradicting others. Here is a list that I will start off with. I will continue to add to it as I do a little research to locate others. If you think of any please feel free to leave me a comment and I will be glad to add them if they are relevant to what we are trying to accomplish here. Here is what I have so far:

To thine ownself be true:

This saying originates in the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet.

The Bible tells us the opposite in
Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Moderation in all things:

This saying originates from Aristotle's Doctrine of the Mean

God helps those who help themselves:

This saying originates from Benjamin Franklin. Again we are told the opposite from scripture.

Romans 5:6, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

Proverbs 28:26, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."

Jeremiah 17:5, Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."

Money is the root of all evil:

The actual passage reads 1 Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

It mentions the "love" of money not money itself.

This too shall pass:

Is not found anywhere in Scripture.

God works in mysterious ways:

This saying might have originated from William Cowper's hymn "God Moves in a Mysterious Way".

The eye is the window to the soul:

The Bible does not speak of the eye being a window to the soul, but rather is the light of the body.

Matthew 6:22, "
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."

Luke 11:34, "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness." 

The lion shall lay down with the lamb:

Isaiah 11:6, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."

The wolf is paired with the Lamb and the lion is paired with the fatling (calf) 

Isaiah 65:25, "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."

The wolf is paired with the Lamb and the lion is paired with the bullock (ox) 

Pride comes before the fall:

Proverbs 16:18
reads, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Pride is paired with destruction and not with a fall

The Three Wisemen:

There is no place in scripture where we are told that there were three wisemen.  Here is the story as if unfolds in the Bible.

Matthew 2:1-11:

(1) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 
(2) Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
(3) When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
(4) And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
(5) And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
(6) And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
(7) Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
(8) And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
(9) When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
(10) When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
(11) And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Wisemen visited Jesus in the manager:

Also the wisemen did not visit Jesus when in was in the manger. But rather they found Him as a young child in a house not a stable (Matthew 2:11)

You can be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good:

This is not found anywhere in Scripture. However Jesus was more Heavenly minded that anyone who ever lived.  He also did the most earthly good.

Charity begins at home:

Is not found anywhere in Scripture.

Spare the rod, spoil the child:

Despite popular opinion, the famous saying, "Spare the rod, spoil the child," cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. The saying, however, should not be considered invalid as there are verses that promote a similar concept.

Proverbs 13:24, "He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently."

Proverbs 22:15, "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him."

Proverbs 23:13-14, "Do not hold back discipline from the child, Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul from Sheol."

Proverbs 29:15, "The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother."

It is better to cast your seed...

A commonly referenced proverb to highlight the evils of masturbation frequently mistaken as a biblical admonition is typically phrased as, "It is better to cast your seed in the belly of a whore than to spill it on the ground." The fact is, though, this is NOT found anywhere in the pages of Scripture. This one is a popular saying, and many have asked about it, but there has been no luck in tracking down the origin of the saying. While not certain of the phrase's exact origin, it does seem to be a false extrapolation of Genesis 38 and the story of Onan, Tamar, and Judah.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you:

The biblical parallel to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is found in the following verse: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matthew 7:12). The phrase, "love thy neighbor as thyself," also bears a close relation to the saying and is found throughout Scripture (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8; Luke 10:27). James even refers to "love thy neighbor as thyself" as being "the royal law" because it is the embodiment of all the laws dealing with human relationships. 

Cleanliness is next to godliness:

The book of Leviticus frequently deals with the issue of cleanliness and impurity so that the Children of Israel would be clean as a sign of separation from the surrounding nations. Yet in the New Testament, cleanliness finds mention in relation to the cleansing of the believer's life.

1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

John 15:3, "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you."

2 Corinthians 7:1, "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

James 4:8, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

Ephesians 5:26-27, "So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless."

The Sinner's Prayer:

Though not quite a saying in itself, we hear tell of the Sinner's Prayer enough that it's easy to see why some may have come to believe it of canonical origin—and why they want to know the exact wording as found in Scripture for the lauded prayer.

The fact is, there is neither any specific formula found in Scripture for a Sinner's Prayer nor is there any biblical example of such a prayer being recommended in the salvation experience.The modern usage of the Sinner's Prayer originates in the 19th Century and was popularized by the experience-oriented evangelistic style of Charles Finney. As Scripture presents it, men should repent, believe, and be baptized. There is no mention of altar calls or sinner's prayers or requesting for Christ to enter one's heart.

That said, we shouldn't go as far as some and claim the Sinner's Prayer to be a bad thing. So long as it is accompanied first by belief and repentance (and then being obedient to the call to be baptized, not as a requirement for salvation, but as an outward expression of an inward change), we should consider the Sinner's Prayer as simply an initial instance that honest and vital, confessional aspect of a new believer's growing relationship with the Lord he now serves (cf. Romans 10:9-10).

Though, as has been stated, there is no biblical formula for the Sinner's Prayer, here is a typical example of such a prayer:
Dear Jesus: Thank You for the sacrifice You made for me. Please forgive me for all of my past sins. I repent of these actions, and with Your help, I will change and not repeat them again. I know I am not worthy; but, I willingly accept You as my Lord and my Savior, and I thank You for Your blessings over my family and me.

Wedding Vows:

Wedding vows are not actually anything ever presented in Scripture, but the vows typical to Christian weddings are derived from the roles and responsibilities that Scripture places upon the husband and his wife.

Typically, the man's vows will reflect his responsibility as the head and covering over the woman—his responsibility to love her unflinchingly to the degree that Christ loves his own bride, the church. Also emphasized is his responsibility to protect, provide for, care for, and tend to his wife and her needs (physical, emotional, and spiritual). Further, there is generally focus on his responsibility to lead her and his family in the path and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Accordingly, the woman's vows will reflect her responsibility as her husband's helper—her responsibility to respond to her husband's lead with love, charity, and strength of character. Also emphasized is her responsibility to meet her husbands needs according to her abilities, willingly helping him to fulfill his role in God's creation. As well, there is often focus on her responsibility to nurture her husband's faith, even as he nurtures her own.

The majority of these principles can be gleaned from Paul's treatment of the married couple's responsibilities toward each other under Christ in Ephesians 5:22ff. For actual wedding vows, one may refer to one's denominational Book of Church Order—as these often have examples of wedding ceremonies (including vows).

The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins, came under scrutiny at the hands of the 1995 film, Se7en:


They are, though certainly sins that Scripture condemns, not to be found in Scripture in any such grouping. The seven sins originated in the writings of medieval theologues and have been remarked upon by such noted personages as Pope Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Geoffery Chaucer, and John Milton.

Also of interest is a Scriptural list that bears at least some similarity to the historical list of seven. Proverbs 6:16-19 reveals:

These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

Now while these are clearly sins despised by the Lord, none of these are able to keep one from salvation if he will only repent and believe.
For many years, out of ignorance of God's Word, I too repeated some of these sayings thinking they were from the "Good Book". Over the years some of these sayings had been told to me by well meaning people who had heard these from their parents, grandparents, friends, and relatives just like I did. It's amazing how something that isn't true, if told enough times, can become our gospel truth. Satan is real slick, isn't he. I wonder how many times he has laughed at us for adding to God's Word, and oh, how it must have pierced the heart of God to hear how unfamiliar we were with His letter of love to us.

It was only after I started studying the Word of God and searching for "His" truth that I realized I had unwittingly repeated things that were not true and attributed them to the Creator. For that I asked God for forgiveness and I promised Him that I would be more careful of what I tell others about His precious Word in the future. That was many years ago and I have been faithful to what I have promised. 

Anyway, I hope you find this list helpful, that it will clear up any misconceptions you may have had, and that it encourages you to make sure what you say concerning God and His Word IS the gospel truth. =)

So with that, may God bless you today over and above what you are able to receive! 

For His Glory, 

The Princess Warrior

Copyright Information
Copyright © 2009 The Princess Warrior Ministries. All articles are copyrighted on the date they are posted, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. Permission granted for not-for-sale reproduction in exact form including copyright and web address. Other uses require written permission. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from the King James Bible.

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