14 Scriptures From The Bible Most People Get Wrong

In the Bible, some passages are frequently misunderstood or misquoted. Recently, Christian users on social media discussed these misconceptions, providing new perspectives on commonly misunderstood scriptures. Let’s explore their insights and uncover the true meanings behind these often misquoted verses. Join us as we delve into the depth and richness of scripture to gain a deeper understanding of its teachings.

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#1 Genesis 2:17 – The Tree of Knowledge

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“I was floored to learn the apple was not from the tree of knowledge, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of course you can live in bliss if you don’t know about good and evil. Once you know good and evil, you now gain responsibility for acting good.”

Contrary to popular belief, the fruit in the Garden of Eden was not from the tree of knowledge but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Users highlight the significance of this distinction, emphasizing the moral responsibility that comes with awareness. It’s a reminder that enlightenment brings accountability, shaping the course of human history.

#2 John 8:7 – Casting Stones

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John Chapter Eight verse Seven. In it, Jesus tells a group of Pharisees who caught a woman in the act of sin (and insisted that she be stoned to death as Mosaic law dictates) that the one without sin should cast the first stone at her. The chapter goes on to say that each man walks away having realized that they weren’t sinless either and perhaps they shouldn’t have been so eager to stone the woman to death in light of that.

I have seen people use this verse to justify their sin. They’ll say something like “You can’t tell me what I do is wrong. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” but what they don’t realize is what happens next. Jesus asks the woman if any of the men condemned her. She answers that none of them did. He says that he doesn’t either. Lastly, he gives her an instruction: “Go and sin no more.”

John 8:7, often cited to deter judgment, carries a deeper message about forgiveness and redemption. Users unpack the narrative surrounding Jesus’ encounter with the adulterous woman, emphasizing the call to repentance and transformation. It serves as a caution against selective interpretation, reminding believers of the importance of context in understanding scripture.

#3 Philippians 4:13 – Strength in Adversity

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“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“People use this for graduation, sports, exams, etc. The author is talking about suffering at the hands of intense persecution, like getting fed to lions.”

While Philippians 4:13 is a source of inspiration for many, its true context sheds light on the enduring faith of the apostle Paul amidst persecution. Users highlight the resilience required to endure suffering for the sake of Christ, contrasting the verse’s original intent with modern applications. It’s a call to embrace hardship with faith rather than seeking personal glory or success.

#4 Ephesians 5:22-33 – Mutual Submission in Marriage

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“When people say that a wife is supposed to honor and obey her husband, they conveniently leave out the part where the husband is supposed to honor and protect his wife. If I had a dime for every sh***y–and even abusive–husband who’s used the “honor thy husband” s***, I’d have enough money to buy a train to nowhere for all of them to ride.”

Ephesians 5:22-33, often cited to enforce traditional gender roles, actually emphasizes mutual respect and sacrificial love within marriage. Users challenge the selective application of verses, advocating for a holistic understanding of biblical teachings on marriage. It’s a reminder that love and partnership should define marital relationships, rather than hierarchy or control.

#5 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Your Body as a Temple

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“Often misquoted portion is the line “Your body is a temple” which never occurs in the New Testament.

It’s a mistranslation of a bit in 1st Corinthians where Paul says “y’all, the body of the Church, are your own temple”. It’s confounded for a couple of reasons. English doesn’t have a natural plural you, whereas Greek does. Moreover, Paul’s point is in addressing new Christians who were previously Jewish. These people have long-standing traditions and feel weird about worshipping in a space that’s not “the temple”. Paul is saying that the building means nothing. While the Jews believed God took physical space in the Temple, Paul is saying that God is physically manifest in these people as they themselves form a Church together, and as such, a temple.

Often it’s quoted as “don’t smoke or get tattoos or do things to damage your body, because it is a Temple,” which almost certainly wasn’t Paul’s intention with the original verse.”

The popular phrase “your body is a temple” finds its roots in a mistranslation of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Users clarify Paul’s metaphorical usage, highlighting the collective nature of the Church as God’s dwelling place. It’s a reminder that true worship transcends physical structures, emphasizing the spiritual significance of community and fellowship.

#6 Exodus 20:7 – Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain

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“‘Take not the Lord’s name in vain’ is often misunderstood and taken to mean don’t say “God,” but the Hebrew and Latin versions have something closer to: ‘Don’t invoke the Lord’s name in vain,’ which probably means don’t use God to justify sinful actions. This traditional interpretation makes the Commandment one of the more important ones, I think.”

Exodus 20:7, often reduced to a prohibition against cursing, actually addresses the misuse of God’s name for selfish or sinful purposes. Users emphasize the broader implications of this commandment, urging believers to honor God in both word and deed. It’s a reminder of the reverence due to the divine, extending beyond mere linguistic etiquette.

#7 Isaiah 14:12 – Lucifer’s Fall

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“Chapter 14 of the Book of Isaiah, which gave us the name “Lucifer,” was referring to the King of Babylon, not Satan, metaphorically referring to him as “fallen from Heaven,” because he had fallen from grace, not literally fallen from the Heavenly plane.

Later English translations removed the term “Lucifer” from Isaiah because at this point Christians had already conflated the name “Lucifer” with Satan, since Satan is referred to as having fallen from Heaven in the book of Revelation. So all that modern media we have giving Satan the name of Lucifer, is based on a misunderstanding of the original Biblical text, and all the later apocryphal work that came after that misunderstanding.”

Isaiah 14:12, commonly associated with Lucifer’s rebellion, actually refers to the downfall of the King of Babylon. Users highlight the historical context of this passage, challenging popular misconceptions surrounding Satan’s identity. It’s a caution against conflating biblical imagery with later theological interpretations, underscoring the importance of scholarly inquiry in biblical studies.

#8 Exodus 21:23-25 – Eye for an Eye

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“Eye for an eye. It isn’t about revenge but to limit punishment.”

The principle of “an eye for an eye” is often misconstrued as a call for revenge rather than a limitation on punishment. Users elucidate its legal context within ancient Israelite society, emphasizing the principle of proportional justice. It’s a reminder of the biblical emphasis on fairness and equity, guiding the application of laws in a just society.

#9 Jeremiah 29:11 – Plans for Prosperity

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“Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

Ya, this was written about an extremely specific group of people- the Israelites who were presently exiled. Not every single person who reads the Bible and thinks God has special plans for just their lives.”

Jeremiah 29:11, often quoted for its promise of prosperity and hope, finds its original context in God’s plans for the exiled Israelites. Users emphasize the importance of historical and textual analysis in interpreting scripture accurately. It serves as a reminder that God’s plans extend beyond individual prosperity to encompass collective restoration and redemption.

#10 Matthew 18:20 – Gathering in Christ’s Name

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“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them” ~ Matthew 18:20 It’s a verse about church discipline, specifically that when two or three other Christians tell you that you are sinning, God is trying to tell you you are sinning. It’s not about your poorly attended prayer meeting.”

Matthew 18:20, frequently invoked to emphasize the power of communal prayer, actually pertains to church discipline and reconciliation. It underscores the communal responsibility of believers to hold one another accountable and seek reconciliation in Christ’s name.

#11 Genesis 1:1-31 – Creation Story

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“The Creation story, particularly the idea that 7 “days” meant 7x 24 hour periods. It’s simply an allegory describing what someone thought the general order of the creation of the universe was. In that light, it’s surprisingly accurate.

This misunderstanding leads to the fallacy that the earth is 6000 years old. Also, any literal interpretation of Adam & Eve. This allegory describes evolution quite well, in my opinion.”

Genesis 1:1-31, the Creation story, is often misinterpreted by some people who take it literally as a scientific account of how the universe and Earth were created in six 24-hour days. This literal interpretation leads to the belief in a young Earth, approximately 6000 years old, which contradicts scientific evidence showing the Earth to be much older. Additionally, some misunderstandings arise from taking every detail of the narrative as literal truth rather than recognizing the poetic and symbolic elements within the passage. This can lead to conflicts between religious beliefs and scientific understanding.

#12 Leviticus 18:22 – Condemnation of Homosexuality

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Leviticus 18:22 is often misinterpreted as a blanket condemnation of homosexuality. The verse states, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Some people interpret this passage as a universal condemnation of same-sex relationships. However, this interpretation overlooks the historical and cultural context of the verse within the Old Testament law codes. Additionally, it fails to consider the broader message of love, compassion, and inclusion found throughout the Bible. Many scholars argue that Leviticus 18:22 should be understood within its ancient cultural context rather than as a timeless moral decree.

#13 Luke 10:25-37 – The Good Samaritan

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“The story of the Good Samaritan. Often told to children about being nice to people who are hurt, based on certain allegorical interpretations, but it’s actually much deeper and would have had a more literal meaning to 1st century Jews.

Jews and Samaritans hated one another at the time. It was essentially racism and led to confrontations and even the destruction of a Samaritan temple. The bible makes reference to the hatred between each other on more than one occasion. The path between Jericho and Jerusalem was treacherous and became known as “way of blood” because it was known for robbers.

So in telling the story where a man is beaten by robbers and left for dead, then left by both a priest and Levite, but eventually helped by a Samaritan, it’s basically saying that we as humans have an obligation to one another regardless of our race. It’s been used to show how the bible is anti-racist/slavery.”

The parable of the Good Samaritan, often simplified as a lesson in kindness, carries deeper implications about social justice and human solidarity. Users highlight the historical and cultural context of Jewish-Samaritan animosity, underscoring the radical nature of Jesus’ teachings. It’s a reminder that compassion transcends social barriers and calls for active engagement in addressing systemic injustice.

#14 1 Timothy 6:10 – Love of Money

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“‘Money is the root of all evil’ is a misquote. LOVE of money is the root of all evil is correct.”

The phrase “money is the root of all evil,” often misquoted, actually emphasizes the love of money as the root of evil. Users clarify the distinction, highlighting the dangers of materialism and greed. It’s a reminder that wealth, when pursued at the expense of integrity and compassion, can lead to moral decay and spiritual impoverishment.

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