Thursday, July 13, 2006

Answers - T13 Bible Misquotes Edition

Okay, I know this is going to be a contested election, but here are the answers and the references to my Thursday 13 - Bible Misquotes Edition. We'll devote a short paragraph to each. Then I'll give linky recognition below to the winners. And distribute prizes :-)

Ready? The misquotes (not mosquitos) and non-biblical quotes that I had in mind are #s 2, 4, 5, 10, & 13. Here's why...

1. Quote. "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35, NIV, where the Apostle Paul is speaking to the elders in Ephesus.)

Interesting aside. This quote from Jesus is no where found in the Gospels and is therefore part of a tradition of teachings that the four Gospel writers either didn't use or know of.

2. Misquote. Well, it's a real quote but not from the Bible. It's actually from Aesop's Fable, Hercules and the Waggoner, and the saying is, "The gods help them that help themselves." Note the plural. And there is a bit of truth to this statement. That is, you'll never win the lottery if you never buy a ticket. Okay, bad example.

3. Quote. "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature[a]will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." (Galatians 6:7,8, NIV, the Apostle Paul writing to the Church in Galatia.)

4. Misquote: "Money is the root of all evil." I know, I know. I originally posted, "The love of money is the root of all evil" (which is what the KJV has), but I was thinking of the NIV's translation which isn't as absolute: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Timothy 6:10, the Apostle Paul writing to Timothy.)

5. Misquote: "All things work out for the best." The actual statement by the Apostle Paul to the Church in Rome 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." (Romans 8:28, NIV) But I like the Yak's explanation as well:
All things work out according to the will of God, but I don't remember seeing "for the best" (though if you take the position I do, which is that the will of God is for the best, the statement itself may reflect reality, if nonspecifically).
Good call. Still, since this is my game, I'll call it a mosquito.

6. Quote: In 1 Timothy 5:18 we read, "For the Scripture says, 'Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,' and 'The worker deserves his wages.'" (NIV)

Interesting to note that the Apostle Paul says both of these proverbs are from Scripture. The first one comes from Deuteronomy 25:4 (from the Torah, so definitely Scripture) and the second is (probably) a common saying utilized by Jesus but recorded by Paul's good friend Luke in his Gospel (Luke 10:7). What's neat is that the Gospels are just starting to circulate at this time and already hold the same authority as the Law and the Prophets (our Old Testament). In a similar manner, the Apostle Peter speaks of Paul's letters as Scripture (2 Peter 3:15,16)

7. Quote: "...with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26, NIV, Jesus speaking on the possibility of salvation. The first part of his saying is, "With man this is impossible...") Also in Mark 10:27.

8. Quote: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17, NIV)

9. Quote: Jesus said, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32, NIV)

Sounds sweet. Sounds inclusive. Sounds liberal. But notice the word then. The full quote reveals that Jesus made this caveat, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." This caused quite a stir at the original hearing since Jesus just tied the definition of truth to obedience to himself. To his audience it sounded harsh, exclusive, and narrow. Probably should sound that way today as well.

10. Misquote: "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." Well, again, an accurate quote but this time from Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanack.

11. Trick Quote: "Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry." Again from Random Yak:
This is in the gospel of Luke (Luke 12:19, NIV), but it doesn't mean what people generally think it means. This is the parable of the rich man - who takes this attitude only to be told "This very night your life is demanded of you."
The lesson? Jesus says to be on our guard against all kinds of greed, and instead, be rich toward God.

12. Quote: Gender neutral paraphrase of the Apostle Paul's admonition to the Church in Thessalonika, "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'If a man will not work, he shall not eat.'" (2 Thessalonians 3:10, NIV)

13. Misquote: Often called the Golden Rule (the one with the gold rules?), this saying of Jesus is not, "Do unto others before they do it unto you." That's Tony Soprano. The real quote is: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31, Matthew 7:12, NIV)

Another interesting note (I'm just full of interesting tid bits, aren't I?) is that, while other religions and cultures have variations on the Golden Rule, often called Silver Rules, Jesus had a unique take on this ethical ideal. He turned what was typically a negative or passive command (e.g. the Buddha said, "Hurt not others with that which pains yourself") into a positive and active ethic of love. Whew! Now it becomes hard! There are some days I would rather follow Tony than Jesus.

So that's it. Anyone want to contest the final answers? As for the winners, I'm too tired tonight to award prizes (they're coming, just . . . later). For now, go read the comments here and here and decide for yourself who won.

Notes:
NIV = New International Version
KJV = King James Version