CNN’s Beliefnet blog looks at some of the misconceptions people have about what is in the Bible:
The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it’s also one of the most misquoted. Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches – all types of people – quote passages that actually have no place in the Bible, religious scholars say.
These phantom passages include:
“God helps those who help themselves.”
“Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
And there is this often-cited paraphrase: Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden.
None of those passages appear in the Bible, and one is actually anti-biblical, scholars say.
But people rarely challenge them because biblical ignorance is so pervasive that it even reaches groups of people who should know better, says Steve Bouma-Prediger, a religion professor at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
“In my college religion classes, I sometimes quote 2 Hesitations 4:3 (‘There are no internal combustion engines in heaven’),” Bouma-Prediger says. “I wait to see if anyone realizes that there is no such book in the Bible and therefore no such verse.
“Only a few catch on.”
My pastor tried that trick one time, preaching a sermon out of the book of “Habakkuk.” I looked around at the faces in the congregation and the entire crowd acted like that was actually a book that was in the Bible! I was embarrassed for them.
However, the worse offenders—and I hate to say this—are Catholics. Occasionally you’ll hear them refer to books like Tobias, Judith, and the Wisdom of Solomon. I’m not sure why people think those are in the Bible but I’ve checked the index to my copy of the NIV (twice) and can assure you that those books are definitely not in there.