We’ve all got that neck-bearded elder person who despite spending their Sundays watching football binging on pizza and Pabst blue ribbon, likes to throw bible quotes around in an attempt to impersonate a person with intellectual depth and a perfectly calibrated moral compass. But next time you hear someone blurt out one of these phrases, let them know they’re full of shit and should probably bend the knee to someone other than Aaron Rodgers this Sunday.
“God helps those who help themselves.“
The earliest documented use of this phrase is actually from “Hercules and the Waggoner” by Aesop. A man’s wagon gets stuck in the mud, and he prays for Hercules’ help. Just as he asks, Hercules shows up. But instead of using his totally natty strength to uproot the wagon, he says “Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel.” So the moral of the story is actually that “The gods help them that help themselves.” As in the mythological Roman gods.
“Hate the sin, love the sinner.“
Although this notion coincides with a lot of biblical principles, it is not directly from the Bible. It’s actually a loosely translated rendition of a few different historical sentiments. In 1929 Ghandi wrote, “Hate the sin and not the sinner.” Augustine also wrote in AD 424: “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.”
“Money is the root of all evil.”
While 1 Timothy 6:10 states, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil…” Both biblical passages and conventional knowledge can tell that money in and of itself is an inanimate human constructed object, and cannot be good or evil. Nor is being rich a “sin”. Job was a very wealthy man and although he did suffer some serious adversity, was nonetheless described as “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:1). An emotional attachment to money, which in greek is known as “Avarice” is a whole different story. But money itself is not the root of all evil in any sense.
“This too shall pass.“
This famous quote is actually a mistranslation from a line of “The Lament of Doer,” an Old English poem. Each refrain ends with, “that passed away, so may this.”
“To thy own self be true”
This is said by Polonius is Shakepeare’s “Hamlet”. Not sure how or why anyone confuses this with Biblical text other than the old-timey language. But yeah, It’s Hamlet.