Misquoted Verses Posts

Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Mt. 18:20)

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

Today’s post is something you often hear from the stage in a church service. I’ve heard many worship leaders (the main culprit of this one) paraphrase this verse:

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20

It’s usually said to rally the congregation gathered together that God is in our midst so get crazy! But consider, when used this way, what this also implies. If only one person showed up for church that week he or she would be very disappointed to realize that God wasn’t there. If only you had one or two more to motivate God to show up!

More damaging would be the false conclusion some might draw that God isn’t present with us when we are alone. We might infer that despite God’s omnipresence, He reserves Himself to groups only. While this might be laughable depending on your Biblical understanding, I’m saddened to think a person might genuinely conclude this.

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Misquoted Verses of the Bible (1 Cor. 10:13)

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

In Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth we see a discussion on temptation. Paul encourages the early Christians this way:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

What he’s teaching them is that they don’t have to give in to sin’s demands. Even in the moment when it seems that doing the right thing is impossible, it isn’t. But this verse of spiritual encouragement is quoted by many believers today in a much different form. You’ve likely heard this verse used in this way:

God won’t give you more than you can handle.

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Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Jer. 29:11)

Bumper-sticker Christianity quickly falls apart. By that I mean those verses and quotes that pass around the rear end of a car or fit nicely atop someone’s Facebook wall. We say them, they make us feel good, and everyone is the better for it, right?

Some may argue that this is harmless.

If I’m honest, this has always bothered me. I love the Bible. I love studying it and I love watching God come alive all around me as I understand Him more each day. I’m not sure if it’s that, or my contrarian personality, which causes me to cringe when I watch well-intentioned Christians quote Scripture out of context. I’m confident this isn’t done with any ill intent. But it happens often. Let me give you one of the big ones that gets used.

“‘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.'” Jeremiah 29:11

Who wouldn’t love that verse? The only problem is that we use that verse as a blanket description of God’s intent for our lives today. So why is that a problem? Because God said it to a specific group of Israelites at a very specific time in history. We know this because chapter twenty-nine begins with this setup:

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