The “This Too Shall Pass” Bible Verse & Other Non-Bible-Verses
There are a good number of common phrases and sayings in use today that people mistakenly attribute to the Bible. I will discuss four of the major ones, including the “this too shall pass Bible verse”.
Table of Contents
This Too Shall Pass “Bible Verse”
I was quite surprised when I found out that many, many people apparently think that the saying, “this too shall pass”, is a Bible verse. It certainly does not come from the Bible. It seems to come from the Sufis: Muslim mystics. It is understandable that people would think that this saying is in the Bible, though, as it certainly does express a great deal of wisdom. It reminds me of the great insights of Heraclitus, who said that “all is flux”. It is also reminiscent of the Buddha, who taught the wonderful concept of anicca (impermanence).
- Why I Believe Hell Does not Last Forever
Upon close examination, the scriptures do not seem to teach that hell lasts for eternity.
God Helps Those Who Help Themselves "Bible Verse"
This saying came from Algernon Sydney, and was later used by Benjamin Franklin. It is not in the Bible. According to the Bible, God helps all living beings, regardless of anything they may or may not have done to help themselves.
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness "Bible Verse"
Forms of this idea can be found in some ancient Jewish writings (not the Bible), Francis Bacon, and John Wesley. But there is no bible verse even remotely similar to this phrase. Furthermore, scientific studies have repeatedly failed to demonstrate any statistically significant correlation between cleanliness and godliness.
Money is the Root of All Evil "Bible Verse"
This quote, unlike the others in this article, is a misquotation of an actual bible verse. 1 Timothy 6:10 reads, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” There is a great deal of difference between money itself causing evil, and the love of money causing evil. The first formulation makes the Bible’s ethics sound absurdly simplistic. Money, being an inert thing, can not cause evil any more than rocks can cause evil. The real culprit, as the actual Bible verse makes clear, is the excessive desire for wealth. And even this unbalanced craving is not a cause of “all evil”, but of “all kinds of evil”. This makes more sense as well. There are kinds of evil that are clearly not caused by greed, but there are also all kinds of evil that are caused by greed.
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I’ll leave my inquiry with only those four sayings, because they are widely used, very often mistaken for Bible quotes, and fall wide of anything actually said by the Bible. Thus, they significantly distort the popular conception of the Bible.