ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Most Misquoted Bible Verse Ever

Updated on March 5, 2013
Evil money.  'Nuff said.
Evil money. 'Nuff said. | Source

Among a few thousand other cliches is the ubiquitous claim that “money is the root of all evil” which, unlike most cliches, also claims the authority of being found in the Bible. But fortunately for a lot of well-to-do evangelists, it isn't true. What the King James Version of 1 Timothy 6:10 actually says is that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (emphasis added).

That makes a lot more sense to me. Money isn't like, say, pornography, which is only evil. It's more like the Internet, which is only as good or evil as the person using it to disseminate content. Money may not be the purpose of life, but it's a necessary part for most of us, because the best things in life are free only if you don't count food, clothes, shelter, medical care, etcetera as being among them. Money is also necessary for charity, humanitarian aid, lifesaving research, and building houses of worship. So it isn't money per se that leads to evil; it's the attitude and purposes for which people use it.

More to the point, other translations render this verse as “all kinds of evil”, which lends additional clarity. Even a love of money isn't the root of all evil. Genocide and rape, for instance, are generally motivated by other factors. Yet all kinds of evil certainly do stem from greed. When people disregard their families, or their colleagues, or the environment, or what have you in their quest for wealth, they become arrogant and selfish at best, and thieves or murderers at worst. I'm an unabashed capitalist, but economics shouldn't be the focus of anyone's life.

Of course – and I apologize for getting political here, but I feel this illustration transcends partisanship – it doesn't just apply to big bad rich people or corporations. Remember the American “Occupy” movement? The Occupiers (or at least, those few of them who actually knew what they were protesting about) had some legitimate gripes, and a constitutional right to express themselves in any case. But what it boiled down to, in my opinion, was that most of them were jealous of those who had more money than them. They coveted it and felt entitled to a share, even if they were already blessed enough to own iPhones while millions of people in the world can't even get enough to eat.

We certainly saw all kinds of evil stem from their movement – assaults, rape, theft, destruction of property, anti-Americanism. And if cleanliness is next to godliness, then they were somewhere on the opposite side of the spectrum. (That's not actually in the Bible, though. I bring it up as a joke. Ha ha.)

But, taking the verse as it currently reads in the King James Version, I still get something out of it even if it isn't translated quite the way Paul intended it. “Money”, in this instance, can be taken as a metaphor for things of the world, non-spiritual things. “Money” can represent power, or sex, or any other form of self-gratification that takes priority over the well-being of others. Any of these things can be inserted into the verse and make sense in light of the next one: “But thou,oh man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”

Is there anything wrong with having money? No, it's more or less necessary to survive in most parts of the world. Is there anything wrong with having a lot of money? No, it's not a sin to be successful, although God will hold you accountable for what you do with it (which I think is the idea behind Matthew 19:24; “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God”). Money in the hands of a righteous, godly, faithful, loving, patient, and meek person is bound to be money well used. It's not at the root of any evil.

Oh, except for the portion of it that the person renders unto Caesar, who sometimes uses it to fund immoral organizations or unjust laws. But that's Caesar's problem.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 

      5 years ago from Western Australia

      Interesting hub, congrat on your nomination:)...B

    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 

      5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      I enjoyed this hub and agree with what you are saying - even the comments about the Occupy movement ;-). This is an issue many of us wonder about and struggle with - you have provided a level headed view on this matter - well done.

    • profile image

      Emile R 

      5 years ago

      Your article started well, but your diatribe on the Occupy movement quickly derailed the attempt to share the thought. You should know a subject before you condemn it. Yes, some issues were personal for some people. But, the greater issue was more than jealousy. It's about compassion and fair play. It's about the evil greed perpetuates in our world. The reasons that drew many of us to the movement were outlined in your hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)