This, too, shall pass: Bible quotes that aren't in the Bible

By: Maria Trimarchi
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

It can be difficult to tell what's God's word and what's just good advice for getting through life. Although these sure sound like Scripture, you won't find these biblical quotes in the Bible -- God's honest truth.

Apostle Paul wrote in a letter to a pastor, Timothy, that what is the root of all evil?

According to the passage in 1 Timothy 6:10, it's "the love of money" that's the root of all evil, not money itself.

Although "spare the rod, spoil the child," isn't found in the Bible, which similar idea is?

It's sort of in the Bible, at least the idea, in Proverbs 13:24: "The one who spares his rod hates his child, but the one who loves his child is diligent in disciplining him."

What does Job actually say when he escapes by the "skin of his teeth"?

Describing his torments, Job says he's so emaciated that “my bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.”

The popular saying, "pride goeth before a fall" is incomplete. What's the complete saying?

The verse, found in Proverbs 16:18, is, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

While it's true that Jesus teaches it's not our place to judge in Matthew 7:1, Proverbs says you can if it's based on what?

If you judge based on the facts, according to Proverbs 19:5, it's allowed.

Cleanliness, the saying goes, is next to what?

The proverb is that cleaniless is next to godliness, but it's not actually a saying from the Bible. The phrase is attributed to the founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley, who wrote, "Slovenliness is no part of religion. Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness."

In which book of the Bible is it written, "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform, He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm"?

The saying "God moves in a mysterious way," isn't from the Bible. It was written by poet William Cowper.

The idea of "all things work together for good" sounds good, but who is it good for?

The full passage, in Romans 8:28, is, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Where are we told to "be Jesus to people"?

This good advice isn't actually in the Bible. The closest is found in 1 John 4:19, "we love because he first loved us."

"Scripture tells you that all things shall pass," NFL legend Mike Ditka said after being fired from the Chicago Bears. Not to pick on a man when he's down, but what does the Bible say?

Although some argue it's a misquote of the King James Bible, you won't find "all things shall pass" (and its variants, like this, too, shall pass) in biblical verse.

Where does "wash your hands of" something come from?

This does come from scripture, Matthew 27:24, but not as we recognize it in our daily conversation: When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Often attributed to the Bible, which of the following isn't actually in it?

Although mistakenly attributed to scripture, none of these three sayings appear in the Bible.

What does Paul mean when he says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?"

Apostle Paul says this in Philippians 4:13, but we miss the proper context -- finding comfort and support in Jesus, rather than achieving or prospering -- because we never quote the entire quote: I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

One of Jesus' claims is that his followers are "in the world, but not of the world." But the actual saying was what?

One of Jesus' claims is that his followers are "in the world, but not of the world," but the actual saying was, "As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world."

"Another one bites the dust," is not just a lyric to a Queen song. It's also a misquote from which Bible passage?

"Bites the dust" comes from Psalms 72:9: They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.

Which verse is the closest to, "The devil makes work for idle hands to do," which isn't actually found in the Bible?

Proverbs 19:15 says that "laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry." Not the same, but a similar idea about laziness.

Who first says, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do"?

While Paul says something similar in 1 Corinthians 9:22, "I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some," it may be attributable to (Saint) Aurelius Ambrose, who was one of the four original teachers of the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century.

In which book of the Bible will you find, "A fool and his money are soon parted"?

Although it's often attributed as a Bible verse, this was written in the 16th century by Thomas Tusser in his poem, "Five hundred pointes of good husbandrie."

Who is the saying, "Hate the sin but love the sinner," correctly attributed to?

It wasn't an apostle or anyone else in the Bible who said, "Hate the sin but love the sinner." It was Gandhi, based off of St. Augustine's writing, "with love for mankind and hatred of sins."

Which is a line from the King James' Sinner's Prayer?

According to Scripture, one should repent, believe and be baptized. But there is no mention of the Sinner's Prayer, unless you look to the Father of Modern Revivalism, Charles Finney, and the evangelicals.

It's not that "God won't give you more than you can handle," it's that He will give you what?

The verse, from Matthew 11:28, is, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

According to the Bible, the eye is the what of the body?

The eye, according to Matthew 6:22, is the lamp of the body: "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light."

It sounds like a biblical phrase, but "God helps those who help themselves" was really said by which Founding Father?

The idea was originally illustrated in two of Aesop's Fables, but it was actually Benjamin Franklin who made the quote popular when he used it in his Poor Richard's Almanack in 1736.

Which animal, according to the Bible passage, "lays down with the lamb"?

While the common saying is the lion shall lay down with the lamb, in the Bible it's actually a little different: 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.

Which is the correct way of saying, “Repent and sin no more”?

While not in the Bible using that wording, the idea is in John 8:11: “Go, and from now on, sin no more."

Which adage comes from Shakespeare's "Hamlet," not Proverbs?

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be," is spoken by Polonius in Hamlet. "The borrower is the servant of the lender," is the quote from the Bible.

How is the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," delivered in (the King James version of) the Bible?

Although in modern translation, you may find the Golden Rule looking and sounding pretty much like that, it's actually written in Matthew and Luke as, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

Who said, "Moderation in all things"?

While the idea is something that could be in the Bible, the first pass of this proverb dates back to an Ancient Greek poet named Hesiod who wrote, "observe due measure; moderation is best in all things." The closest to our own saying, though, comes from the Roman playwright Plautus, who wrote "moderation in all things is the best policy."

Who tells us, "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose"?

This comes not from the Bible, but from Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice." The full quote is, “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek, a goodly apple rotten at the heart. O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”

From where do we get the saying, "a wolf in sheep's clothing"?

This idiom is from Matthew 7:15, but reads, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

What is the quote we're misquoting when we say, "Love on people"?

The full quote, from 1 Corinthians 13, is: Loving people is living out God’s love for us. That love is patient and kind, it keeps no record of wrongs, and it never fails.

"A fly in the ointment" is the modern version of what passage from the Bible?

The full context, from Ecclesiastes 10:1, is, ”Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor."

Which Bible passage is the saying, "how the mighty have fallen" misquoted from?

This comes from 2 Samuel 1:19, “The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!"

Where does the saying, "the heart of the matter" come from?

This comes from Job 19:28, as “But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?”

Was, "Because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry...," the origin of our modern saying, "Eat, drink, and be merry," coined in the Bible or by Shakespeare?

Eat, drink and be merry is a shortened version of Ecclesiastes 8:15, “because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.”

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