More Bible Malapropisms

We continue our list from yesterday with five more phrases that sound Biblical, but are not necessarily from the Bible.ABCD0014

  1. What goes around comes around. This is more associated with the Hinduism/Buddhism idea of Karma than it is the Bible.  In our desire for what we consider to be fair, we want others to experience what they dish out.  If anything this is completely opposite of what Jesus teaches about loving you enemies and doing good to those who mistreat you.
  2. Being nice to your enemies will burn them. This thought is a misunderstanding of ” . . . if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:20). Here Paul is quoting from Proverbs 25:21-22.  Paul’s teaching is that by being nice to your enemy you may change their attitude toward you.  They will see that you are repaying them with kindness and their conscience may be pricked.
  3. Treat others right so you will be treated right. This is selfish action. Jesus did not teach this. He said, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them,  . . . (Matthew 7:12). Jesus says to treat others the way you want to be treated and never promises that they will return the favor. Some may and some may not, but we should always treat people with loving kindness.
  4. Cleanliness is next to godliness. According to The Free Dictionary, this phrase first appeared in a sermon preached by John Wesley circa 1778, but is an old Hebrew and Babylonian proverb. There is no Bible verse that says this.  The Hebrews did have to be ceremonially clean to enter worship and the thought may come from that, but physical cleanliness has nothing to do with our relationship to God, however, spiritual cleanliness does.
  5. God appointed the day of your death. Can God know the day of your death and not have predetermined it?  Yes. Death is a part of our existence and God being above (outside) of time as we know it cand and does know when you and I will die, but that is not the same as His causing our death, calling us home, or killing us off. Hebrews 9:27 does say, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,” but that is simply a reminder that we will all die.  An appointment does not necessarily mean such is written down and unchangeable (Consider Hezekiah in Isaiah 38, God said Hezekiah was about to die, but after Hezekiah pleaded with God he lived 15 more years.)

More tomorrow.

– Scott

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