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Growing in faith and discipleship

February
4
2011

I wonder if you can tell where in the Bible each of these quotations comes from? In fact none of them comes from the Bible - at least in the form given above. St Paul wrote that ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’ (1 Timothy 6.10) - which is very different from attributing all evil to money. ‘Gentle Jesus, meek and mild …’ is the beginning of a hymn by Charles Wesley, the first verse of which became a popular prayer for children. Incidentally, it is wrong to associate meekness with weakness, at least in the Biblical meaning of the word; meekness means, rather, the ability to suffer with patience, and to keep one’s strength under control. ‘Charity begins at home’ sounds as if it could come from the Bible, but in fact is first found in the writings of the Roman author Terence, in the 2nd century A.D. Dickens wrote ‘Charity begins at home, but justice begins next door’ (in ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’). When the second part of this proverb is omitted, the phrase becomes a very tempting excuse for limiting our generosity to those who are close to us, which is not Biblical at all.

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