Is That in the Bible?

People often quote a saying or axiom and give it as being a Biblical truism or in Scripture. You may respond by asking, “Where is that in the Bible?”

More often than not, they can’t tell you. It seems that sayings have been handed down and passed on and we just assume they are in the Bible.

TT- Tonight I want us to take a humorous view, yet informative view at some of the popular sayings that pass for Scripture. Remember, it doesn’t mean they might not be true, but just not in inspired Scripture.

My resources for this study are the Scriptures, Google, and Bible websites.

1. “God helps those who help themselves.”

This is not found anywhere in Scripture. In fact, we read that God helps those who can’t help themselves.

This is a saying from Aesop’s [620 to 564 BC] fable “Hercules and the Waggoner.” A man’s wagon got stuck in a muddy road, and he prayed for Hercules to help get the wagon out. Hercules responded, “Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel.”

We can’t do anything to help when it comes to salvation; salvation is through Christ alone. In sanctification we play a part, but the Spirit is ultimately is the one who makes us like Christ.

The phrase is never used in the Scriptures in regard to working and God helping us.

God helps the helpless. Romans 5:6, 8; Jeremiah 17:5.

2. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

This phrase is not in the Bible. The Israelites were given rules for uncleanness as a metaphor for sinfulness.

This began as an ancient Babylonian and Hebrew proverb and became very popular by John Wesley.

Jesus warns us to worry more about the sin in our hearts than the dirt on our hands [Matt. 7:18-23]. Godliness begins inside in transformation and works out in righteous deeds and behavior.

3. “In the last days, you will not be able to know the seasons except by the changing of the leaves.” or “You will not be able to tell the seasons.”

Matt. 24:32-33 uses the budding of leaves heralding the coming of summer as a metaphor for the signs that Christ’s coming is near.

No where in the Bible does it say the seasons will be altered as a sign for Christ’s return.

1 Thess. 5:1; Acts 1:7 speaks of times [extended period of time] and seasons [definite period of time].

4. “Money is the root of all evil.”

Let’s turn to 1 Tim. 6:10. “For the love of money” Money is amoral, neither good nor bad, and being wealthy is not a sin.

Job. 1:1 Job was wealthy and yet blameless, upright, and feared God.

5. “This too shall pass.”

This actually is a line from an Old English poem.

Our earthly sorrows are temporary; yet we’re called to rejoice in our trials, knowing they lead to endurance and sanctification [James 1:2-4].

7. “The lion shall lay down with the lamb.”

Isa. 11:6 says it is a wolf and not a lamb.

Isa. 65:25 – The hunter and the prey will live in peace in the kingdom.

8. “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

Proverbs 13:34; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15

9. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”

Gen. 3:19 – The phrase is used in the 1662 edition of the Book of Prayer of The Episcopal Church.

A search of the Bible reveals that “ashes to ashes” is used 0 times in the Bible; “dust to dust” is used 0 times in the Bible; and “dust and ashes” is used 3 times in the Bible- Gen. 18:27; Job 30:19; 42:6.

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