Call it phantom scripture. It sounds like it should be in the Bible–and maybe someone you respect told you it was, but it’s not.
The top five phantom Bible passages:
1. “God helps those who help themselves.”
Origin: Benjamin Franklin in “Poor Richard’s Almanac”
2. “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
Origin: It’s almost in the Bible. This is similar to, but not the same as, Proverbs 13:24: “The one who withholds [or spares] the rod is one who hates his son.”
3. “God works in mysterious ways.”
Origin: A paraphrase of a 19th century hymn by the English poet William Cowper. “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.”
4. “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
Origin: Coined by John Wesley, the 18th century evangelist who founded Methodism.
5. “Pride goes before a fall.”
Origin: It’s close to Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Have you ever used any of these? Pretty interesting right?
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