15 Common Sayings Incorrectly Attributed to Jesus


Regarding the teachings of Jesus Christ, numerous sayings and phrases have become ingrained in popular culture and collective memory. However, upon closer examination of historical texts and religious scriptures, it becomes evident that some of these commonly attributed quotes need to be clarified. In this enlightening gallery, we debunk 15 widely held beliefs about what Jesus said, shedding light on the truth behind his teachings.

Money is the root of all evil

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Contrary to popular belief, Jesus never said in his words that money itself is evil. The correct quote in the Bible is, “For the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus emphasised the dangers of placing material wealth above spiritual values, but he did not condemn money outright.

God helps those who help themselves


 Despite its widespread acceptance, this phrase is nowhere to be found in the teachings of Jesus. While self-reliance is valuable, Jesus also taught about the need of humility and dependence on God’s grace. True faith involves surrendering to divine guidance rather than relying solely on one’s efforts.

Cleanliness is next to godliness


Hygiene is important, but Jesus never directly linked cleanliness to godliness. This famous saying originated in a sermon by John Wesley in the 18th century, but it is not found in the teachings of Jesus recorded in the Bible.

God won’t give you more than you can handle


Although intended to offer comfort, this quote is not attributed to Jesus in the Bible. While God does promise to provide strength in times of trial, he also allows us to experience challenges that may seem overwhelming. Trusting in God’s sovereignty means acknowledging our limitations and relying on his power to sustain us.

God works in mysterious ways


God works mysteriously, a notion not directly attributed to Jesus. The sentiment echoes biblical themes of God’s sovereignty and unfathomable wisdom, but it is a paraphrase rather than a specific statement made by Jesus. Trusting God’s mysterious ways requires faith and humility, even when we don’t fully understand his plans.

Love the sinner, hate the sin

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This phrase reflects Christian teachings on compassion and forgiveness; it is not a direct quote from the Bible. While the scripture portray the essence of loving others and extending  by grace, it also calls for repentance and turning away from sin. True love involves confronting sin with truth and offering redemption through Christ’s sacrifice.

God helps those who pray

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While prayer is essential for spiritual growth, Jesus also stated the importance of action and obedience. Simply praying for assistance is not enough; one must also align their actions with God’s will and actively seek to do good in the world. True faith involves trusting in God’s guidance and obeying his leadership.

Win the Lost at Any Cost


Evangelism is central to Christianity, but Jesus didn’t advocate for winning souls regardless of the means. His teachings highlighted integrity, empathy, and respect. Disciples are called to share the Gospel with love and authenticity, honouring individuals’ dignity and autonomy and embodying Christ’s sacrificial love.

Turn the other cheek


Jesus’ teaching on turning the other cheek, found in Matthew 5:39, was part of his broader message on non-retaliation and love for enemies. However, this instruction is not a call for acceptance of abuse. Instead, it challenges individuals to respond to injustice with dignity, non-violence, and a commitment to reconciliation.

This Too Shall Pass


While the sentiment of perseverance in difficult times is indeed timeless, the phrase “this too shall pass” does not originate from the teachings of Jesus. This saying is traced back to ancient sources, including Persian poetry and Jewish folklore. Notwithstanding, its wisdom aligns with Jesus’ message of enduring faith and resilience in adversity.

Faith Can Move Mountains


Jesus spoke about the power of faith, although the exact phrase “faith can move mountains” is not found in his teachings. But, he used the metaphor to illustrate the transformative potential of unwavering faith in God. Jesus preached the importance of faith grounded in trust and reliance on God’s power.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

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Often attributed to biblical teachings, this phrase is not found in Jesus’ words. While discipline is said to be essential, Jesus prioritised love, gentleness, and understanding in nurturing children. His teachings on forgiveness and compassion extend to parenting, advocating for discipline rooted in love and guidance.

The Kingdom of God Belongs Only to the Righteous


Although Jesus preached about the kingdom of God, he didn’t imply exclusivity based solely on righteousness. Instead, he welcomed sinners and outcasts, emphasizing repentance and transformation for all. Jesus’ teachings challenged notions of self-righteousness, inviting all to seek God’s kingdom with humility and sincerity.

Judge not, lest ye be judged


This famous saying is derived from Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness and mercy, but it is often misinterpreted as a blanket prohibition against making judgments. In context, Jesus warned against hypocritical and self-righteous judgment, not discerning right from wrong.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you


Commonly known as the Golden Rule, this principle is often associated with Jesus’ teachings. While Jesus expressed similar sentiments in his teachings, the exact wording of this phrase is not in the Gospels but in the writings of other philosophers and religious leaders.


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