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Misquoted Bible Verses

Updated on April 2, 2008

Popular Misquoted Verses From the Bible

There are several quotes that are incorrectly attributed to the Bible. Either these verses don't exist in the Bible at all or they have been paraphrased. Here are some of the most commonly misquoted verses from the Bible.

Commonly Misquoted Bible Verses

"Money is the root of all evil."

Actually, the Bible verse 1 Timothy 6: 7-10 states, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil".

What is the difference, you ask? Well, actually there is a huge difference. Money itself is not inherently evil. Money in the hands of the right person could be used to do all sorts of good. It is the 'love of money' that is the problem. A love of money causes a person to be greedy, power seeking, and negligent of other areas of his or her life.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

This verse is not in the Bible. Very similar Bible verses are found in the Bible, however. One of the Bible verses most similar to this quote is as follows-

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." -Matthew 7:12

"The lion shall lie down with the lamb".

This is one of the most misquoted scriptures from the Bible. There are a couple of Bible verses similar to this quote. Here is the Bible verse that is probably being referenced:

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

"Spare the rod, spoil the child."

Actually, this exact Bible verse is nowhere in the Bible. But it is a close paraphrase. There are many similar Bible verses which say essentially the same thing.

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

"God helps those who help themselves."

Many people incorrectly reference this popular saying as a verse in the Bible. But the Bible verse doesn't exist. This saying comes to us by way of Benjamin Franklin.

Misquoted Bible Verses Comments

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Um. Luke 6:31 REFERENCES Mat 7:12.

      How about every. single. translation.. of Luke 6:31 here:

    • profile image

      Tim Hyder 

      8 years ago

      "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them - Matt 7-12

      Luke 6:31

      Wrong again

      Money is the root of all evil

      Wrong again

      King James Cambridge edition

      For the love of money is the root of all evil

      King James 2000

      For the love of money is the root of all evil

      American King James

      For the love of money is the root of all evil


      For the love of money is the root of all evil

      Do your research.

    • profile image

      T M 

      9 years ago

      Interesting to see I'm not the only one interested on this topic! Its sad how lapses of time evolves our understanding of the Word.

      Author, 10 Misquotes & Misconception from the Bible:

    • profile image

      John Smith 

      9 years ago

      You are wrong about at least one. Have you ever read Luke 6:31? Apparently you haven't. Try having an actual argument before you write an article...otherwise it makes you look like an idiot.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This quote is in scripture Luke 6:31 makes me wonder about the rest of your info

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      10 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Excellent hub, I often have fallen into the misquoting trap, but if we just go back to the Bible and re-check it, then we know for sure before telling someone else how it is. A great side benefit is that we don't end up looking foolish, but more importantly, we don't misrepresent God to others and ourselves.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      there are hundreds of interpretations of biblical quotes ranging from the king james version to your modern day "bible for dummies" version... thank you for pointing out the ben franklin quote as many do not know that was not from the bible. why are there so many bibles?, and these quotes you have stated do exist in one version or another... it's up to the reader and/or religion to make the best moral sense out of what the true meaning is. for example... do we really know what jesus looked like? no, and not even science can be prevalent on that one. here's a quote to ponder... "if every religion has a righteous and true god than which one gets to go to heaven"?

      i think the division of faith is satan's best work... and yes money IS the root of all evil... did you read the part about the golden calf??? what was that story referring to?

      p.s. growing up a christian (not anymore, cause it caused too much hatred) i was taught that native americans went to hell when they died because they didn't believe in jesus... really? turns out they didn't know about jesus until it was forced upon them. they did believe in a god though.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hinduism ? Read Exodus ch.32 GOD cannot be worshipped through Pagan means. If the nos. of planets, suns, galaxies etc can be taken, 900 million is a nothing. Nos is in man's politics, not with GOD.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      10 years ago from United States

      What a great hub. God helps those who help themselves has always been a needle in my flesh. It justifies the idea of self-sufficiency.

      I have always loved the verse about the Bereans: "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." They examined the scriptures themselves to confirm what Paul was saying was true. We should all take heed.

      Really great hub.

    • profile image

      Marliza Gunter 

      10 years ago

      Yes..misquoting can be dangerous...I've seen in the past that when God needs to show me a revelation and He needs the exact wording of the scripture for me to be able to put 2 and 2 together...I've also heard a saying that black people will be water barriers...people say it is in the bible..huh..I've searched all the bible even with a pc program and can find no such scripture to substantiate their point..but they believe it...very dangerous to change God's Words..Revelation forewarned us of that...that such a person's name will be removed from the book of life...I don't think God is taking this as a joke if He says He will remove you from the book of life..

      Wonderful hub...please add to the list from time to time as you hear of more misguided scriptures...

    • RevCRSanchez profile image


      10 years ago

      Many of these misquotes were truths derived from the scripture they represented. Many times the truths of scripture are easier to remember than to remember the acutual text. Herein is the statement: Words that are truly stated are not necessarily the factual truth. Each of the misquotes are truly stated, but when examined against the Word of God respectively, in each case, we find that saying is not how it is completely truly written in that manner. We must study to show ourselves approved of God and study what the Bible actually says and refrain from using catch phrases as Biblical expressions of God's word. Here is one that has kept me from receiving salvation for years; There is a Fatherhood of God and a brotherhood of man. Why did this saying keep me from salvation? Because if God is the father of all mankind then we are all are brothers and sisters. If we are all brothers and sisters under the fatherhood of God what need of the cross of Christ? All I had to do is please God and be a good person and I will be accepted into heaven on my own merits. The truth is that saying is no where in the Bible. God is the father of all who believe in His Son Jesus. He is not the father of all mankind.

    • profile image

      Stratton Smith 

      10 years ago

      I Found in Matthew 7:12 this verse,

      "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets."

      Now It sounds the same to me. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

      I See no difference in the two,but if there is a difference could you explain it to me?

      Also can you explain what this verse means...

      "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them."

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Your facts need to be straight. Do not post unless you have studied the Bible in thoroughness. The only one you are correct on is the Ben Franklin quote and the one of money. The others are in the Bible in different translation than I am sure you have looked at.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      10 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Though they seem as misquotes, the esscence of each quote is factually quoted in the bible it is the interpretation of the quote by man that is wrong.

    • HolyBibleTrivia profile image


      10 years ago

      1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. NIV

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      does any body know where to find " God will not allow us to have more burdens than you can bear"?

    • Kharisma1980 profile image


      10 years ago from Toronto

      Thank you for pointing out that "God helps those who help themselves is not Biblical." There has been more damage done in society from this one quote having Biblically derived authority than almost any other single statement I can think of.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Angela you should check Luke 6:31. It says in the NIV, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is Jesus speaking. This is not misquoted. Jesus is letting us know how we are to deal with our enemies. We are to love them.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Well done, Dana--I was surprised to see the "do unto others" quote included with the others that are commonly misquoted.

    • akandug profile image


      11 years ago

      Nice work.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      TJBaruch: Yup. We too often quote the Bible as if we must do something to save ourselves. How quaint and egotistical! Your points are well taken. The intention of Lk 19:10 is to let ALL people know that Jesus already found and saved/redeemed/restored/healed/reconciled/...etc ALL persons--even the cosmos. Yes it is a big deal and a done deal without any effort or accomplishment from ANY person. That's how God is. We can't do it--so God did! That's what grace means. Amazing, huh?! Peace

    • TJBaruch profile image


      11 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      Here's another mis-quote to add to your collection: You will often hear, "for the Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost."

      The quote in Luke 19:10 (KJV) is actually, "for the Son of Man has come to seek and save THAT WHICH WAS lost." The meaning is totally different and poses the question..."What was lost?" Because whatever was lost...that is what Jesus came to seek and save.

      The first thing that was lost was man's relationship with God. Our churches are good at addressing that.

      The second thing that was lost was man's relationship with his fellow man... Witness how Cain killed Able... look at all the wars in history.

      The third thing that was lost was man's relationship with the earth. He was kicked out of the Garden of Eden. From now on he would have to work the land by his sweat and hard labor. There is a whole lot more to this last point...more than enough for a hub.... Thanks for the idea!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Mariaya and GNworks other friends: Good observations. I suggest that anyone who quotes a certain translation of any Bible first read the introduction which usually spells out in some detail the standards by which that group of translators decided to use which words or phrases and reject others from the hundreds of manuscripts used to comprise today's Bible. Think of the task that is. Manuscripts which were first written down by hand a generation or more after Jesus was dead and by listening to someone dictating was tedious and prone to mistakes. Yet after all that we have considerable correlation. Yes, right now I'm just considering the newer testament although much of this applies to the older testament too. This should invite us all to read more inquiringly and compare translations. It can be very enjoyable and inspiring especially when done in collaboration with gracious friends. It's not easily cut and dried.

      Let me leave you with a statement from a youthful female Rabbi during a Christian-Jewish dialogue. She said that we must remember that the Bible was never intended to beat up on people or to beat them down. I think that pretty much sums up the intention of both testaments. They are meant to care for all people as well as the whole earth and cosmos. Let's not use the Bible to beat up on people or to beat them down. Now. Isn't that a novel idea?


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      hey is there any bibe passages that could connect somehow with the book romeo and juliet??

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      11 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      All of this comes back to one basic principle: Study and learn God's Word. Doing so shall break out the difference as to who said what and to whom. Secondly, while there may be misquotes that are spewed forth by parrots who heard it from someone else who swear they heard it in church becomes the basis for deceit which the enemy can use to his advantage. It is the mind of Christ in you that he is after, so if he can do anything to distort and redirect what is already been presented to you erroneously, guess who becomes a casualty? All of the above can be shut down simply by reading your Bible yourself and going to God for wisdom and understanding.

      As has been said in courtrooms throughout the country, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse." Who is ultimately responsible for your salvation?

      This Hub was much needed. Thank you for presenting it.

    • Elijah Returns profile image

      Elijah Returns 

      11 years ago from United Kingdom

      Tell me about it, I was a JW for 15 years, I know all about it, my family are still in and I am separated from them because I am now demonized for speaking out....Yeah, Satan really is an Angel of Light alright, no doubt about that verse, and JWS should stop pointing the finger and look at all their misquoted verses and see if it applies to them.

      Bible was written in a few languages, even Aramaic (Daniel), but it has one clear message, Gods Kingdom, but those seeking power so as to use and abuse have tried to keep its message hidden. What very poor, sad and weak these persons are and how dark is that light inside them....pity for them when the end comes, as christ will tell them he doesn't know them one iota.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      i like this page. thank you that there are still people like you.

    • Nan Mynatt profile image

      Nan Mynatt 

      11 years ago from Illinois

      There are a lot of misquotes verses. The Greeks and Hebrews wrote the Bible, and the English version has misquoted them. Good Article.

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      11 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      It is absolutely correct. It is your salvation. Your relationship with God. Your responsibility to make sure that what you are told is in fact true. In as much as any district attorney will tell you ignorance of a given law is the lamest defense in the book, be advised that just because someone is standing in the pulpit it does not mean what you are being told is "The Gospel Truth." If that were universally true, Jeremiah 23 would never have been written. Ergo, misquoted scripture coming from the pulpit is perhaps the most dangerous as the implications are far worse. Consider what Paul was dealing with in Corinth.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Yes! I like this. That's why I think it's important to read that entire bible for yourself. It also helps to put things in the right perspective and the right context. I just wrote a hub similar to this one. Keep up the good work.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      i believe in the Bible and the scriptures and understandings made by people. it was not them who made words like that, they were told by God.. Even though I'm still 15, i know and i believe each beliefs and teachings. more especially the seventh day adventists teachings.. please listen to God's word and be ready for Christ's soon

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Glad that you have written this article. That's why we must becareful with Bibles that have changed words and meanings to help people understand the scriptures. One word changed could change the whole meaning of a sentence. I stick with the old and best version Bible which is King James. If we need to understand something, we should simply get a book that explains the Bible along with the King James version. I see a big difference in the new Bibles compared to the old.

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      11 years ago from Texas

      This is a great idea for a hub. I'll be a little more careful in my references in the future.

    • Maraiya Storm profile image

      Maraiya Storm 

      11 years ago from Prescott, Arizona

      Very interesting hub. I think that sometimes certain dark people with evil intentions will twist something said in the Bible by rewording it and giving it a different meaning, just to cause Christians problems.

      I also think there is a bit of a problem having all of these more recent versions of the Bible published. Even though they can be helpful in terms of making scriptures more easily understandable, they can also mistakenly distort the original Bible passages by giving them new wordings.

      I was not aware that some of these quotes that you mentioned were thought to have come from the Bible, but actually came from other texts such as Shakespeare and the like. Again, I suspect that the dark forces may have been making people think that these passages came from the Bible, for some sort of ulterior motive. They want to distort the Bible and make us not believe in the Bible.

    • Zenani profile image


      11 years ago

      Great Hub Angela. I love Scripture for the lessons taught and therefore it is a tragedy when it gets mixed up with literature. A blessing for those writers who have placed the same lessons in literature. Thanks for differentiating the two.

    • Bibleseo profile image


      11 years ago

      Interesting observation. I always thought that there was a verse about 'lion and the lamb'!

    • MAYRAPINK profile image


      11 years ago from texas

      "God helps those..." wow.. i did not know that. interesting.. i really like your hubs!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      This was already posted, but I thought I'd offer a little more clarification. The "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." IS nearly word for word out of the Bible, but it's in the NIV, which might be why it's erroneously listed on this site as being misquoted.

      The actual verse is both in Matthew 7:12 where Jesus speaks of asking, seeking, and knocking:

      "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

      AND in Luke 6:31 where Jesus talks about showing love for enemies:

      "Do to others as you would have them do to you."

      There is even a note on this in the NIV Study Bible for verse Matthew 7:12 which states:

      "The so-called Golden Rule is found in negative form in rabbinic Judaism and also in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It occurred in various forms in Greek and Roman ethical teaching. Jesus stated it in positive form."

      The others are all correct, and I am glad that you brought these to light! Thanks!

    • Allan McGregor profile image

      Allan McGregor 

      11 years ago from South Lanarkshire

      A valid subject validly presented.

      And RGraf, I got that very Shakespeare quote thrown at me at church many years ago: 'neither a borrower nor a lender be', cited as a Bible quotation. I had to gently correct my brother, pointing out that it comes from Hamlet; in fact, it originates from the same passage as the one given by Angela, which occurs in Act I, Scene III, towards the end of a lecture by the courtier Polonius' to his son Laertes, who is preparing to go off and sow his wild oats in Paris:

      'Neither a borrower nor a lender be;

      For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

      And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

      This above all: to thine ownself be true,

      And it must follow, as the night the day,

      Thou canst not then be false to any man.'

      Another famous misquote that owes more to mistranslation or translational bias is Luke 1:37, after the angel informs Mary she will conceive a son while yet a virgin; when she asks how this can be the angel replies: "For with God nothing shall be impossible."

      What the Greek actually says is that with God no rhema shall be impossible to him. In other words, there is nothing which God utters as rhema that cannot be performed by him; which is something quite different.

    • Vizey profile image


      11 years ago

      There are many version of Bible and these verses might have been quoted from them.

    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 

      11 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

      thank you for sharing this its great.

    • jxb7076 profile image

      James Brown 

      11 years ago from United States of America

      YOu should collect all these misquoted verses and publish a short book. There are quite a few that biblethumpers slam on others. When I start a new Bible study class I have to correct so many people who have repeated these quotes not knowing that they're not biblical.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Another misquoted verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13 a lot of people say God would not put on you More than you can bare! But it actually says No Temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

    • fishmox profile image


      11 years ago from where my laptop sits, that be where I am

      Great hub. How about starting one for Bible verses most commonly taken and preached out of context ?

    • metaphysician profile image


      11 years ago

      Now the truth is revealed! People have been believing to the wrong facts and their belief system act as though they are the truth.

      Now Money is Love!

    • spiderpam profile image


      11 years ago from USA

      I like this hub. Thank you

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

      Matthew 7:12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets

    • cces profile image


      11 years ago from New Jersey

      Great list of verses/quotes. "God helps thos who help themselves" is one you hear all the time. It's actually quite annoying to hear people quoting something that they assume to be biblical.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      11 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great! Another one from Shakespeare that many say is in the Bible is "Neither a borrower nor a lender be."

    • profile image

      Steven Ahlborn 

      11 years ago

      I don't know who thinks these are quotes from the Bible, but from my understanding, limited as it may be, they are quotes that were taken from people's understanding of the Bible and modified to fit the language of today. Not all of them however.

      "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I would have to disagree that there is not a scripture verse that says pretty much the same thiing in different wording. Matthew 22:39 says, "Love your neighbor as yourself" is the second greatest commandment!

      I also believe that some of the quotes you have pulled out are nice sounding paraphrases for what people found the Bible to say. For example, "spare the rod, spoil the child" is presenting that not showing 'discipline' shows that you do not 'love' him or her.

      I would agree that people quote the passage about 'money as the root of all evil' incorrectly. As you showed, the passage states, "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil." Good job on that one.

      I also agree with you in "the lion and the lamb" which is actually "the wolf and the lamb. That one I did not even realize and thought I had heard it as scripture, was looking it up in an online Bible and couldn't find those together anywhere. Thanks. God Bless.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Do unto others: Matthew 7:12.

    • BDazzler profile image


      12 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      And let's not forget all the Shakespear that's mis-quoted as scripture, "This above all to thine own self be true."

      Great hub!

    • Tyhill27 profile image


      12 years ago from Red Deer, Alberta

      Yes I would have to agree this is so much mis-understanding, that's why I think it's so key that everyone should read the bible and never just a word from someone as it is truth. After you have read and studied the bible you will have wisdom to discern what is from the bible and what is not. You did quote a couple scriptures though and even the bible text themselves sometimes take much study and prayer before we understand them. In first Timothy 6:7-10 You it as though you did not even agree with the scripture. It's never a good thing to do this but seek understanding to what it means. Your right! Money is not evil, but it's the "Love" of money that is the root of all kinds of evil. You can have a lots of money and still be in right standing beforeGod, Solomon did!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Another commonly misquoted scripture is; Today is the day of salvation. Actually scripture is; 2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) This is referencing a scripture from Isaiah 49:8 So says Jehovah: In a favorable time I have answered You, and in a day of salvation I have helped You. And I will preserve You, and give You for a covenant of the people; to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolated inheritances;

      Of course there are many more that are misquoted and paraphrased. I didn't know the quote God helps those who help themselves was by Ben Franklin.

      Great job and presented excellently.

    • ohohdon profile image


      12 years ago from Yakima

      Many times, I will read or hear a wise saying that sounds as if it comes from the bible, but actually does not. What's most important about the bible is the truth that comes from it, not the specific words, but the entire contextual truth. Some quotations, though not directly from the the bible, are very scriptural.

    • Wbisbill profile image


      12 years ago from Tennessee USA

      Interesting and thanks!

    • Angela Harris profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Harris 

      13 years ago from Around the USA

      Totally agreed, Leif. I don't think anyone should have someone else tell them what the Bible says or means. It should be a personal experience and people should interpret what the Bible "says" to them personally. Just my opinion, though.

    • Leif profile image


      13 years ago from East Coast USA

      Indeed... And there are bunches more. Funny how there it is in black and white, and sometimes RED, but yet will still re-quote with commentaries that are completely out of context. Even to the point the that whole bible is misrepresented. Live and learn though, and we're all growing, but it goes to show how important it is to just read it yourself, and take commentaries with a grain of salt;)




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