I started listing well known sayings that people tend to think are in the Bible but actually aren’t. As the list got longer I began to realize they could all basically be grouped in three categories. This also helps to understand some of the confusion.
Misquotes – In this case the often quoted statement is similar to actual Bible verses, perhaps abbreviated.
The best example is “Money is the root of all evil.” What 1 Timothy 6:10 actually says is “The love (or lust) of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” While the wording is similar, the meaning is quite different. Money is neutral and the evil comes from our attitudes concerning it.
“Pride goes before the fall.” How many times have you heard that? Proverbs 16:18 actually says “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Sayings by others confused with the Bible – The statements could be Shakespeare, proverbial sounding, or quoted by others as scripture.
“God helps those who help themselves.” It’s about God, so it must be in the Bible right? From what I can tell, this was Benjamin Franklin. It’s sounds wise (and he was) and many people think it’s in there.
The seven deadly sins; pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, avarice and sloth. Solomon lists seven things God hates (Prov 6:16-19) but the lists are hardly similar. The “traditional” seven sins date back to the fourth century, and are not quite as old as the Bible.
“This too shall pass.” While folklore attributes the saying to Solomon, it’s more likely Persian Sufi. Often quoted, seldom cited correctly, definitely not in the Bible.
People applying their interpretations to scripture – There are some people so adamant about their theology, doctrines or prejudices they teach their interpretation of scripture as scripture. I could get in trouble here, but I’m talking strictly about what is and is not in the biblical text.
“Jesus drank wine.” This argument is used to justify drinking alcohol. Does the Bible say that Jesus drank? No. Did he turn water to wine? Yes. Did his disciples drink wine? Yes. If Jesus never drank wine, that would have been noteworthy. The Bible simply does not say verbatim he did or didn’t.
“Satan tempted Eve with an apple.” There are two issues here. Eve was tempted with forbidden fruit, and we owe the apple tradition to medieval art. The Genesis account does not say Satan was in the garden either. Was it Satan? That’s a matter of interpretation. I wrote a whole post on this subject earlier this year.
The Trinity. God manifests himself in three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The word trinity is not found in scripture. The teaching of the trinity is a matter of doctrine, and not every church holds to it. The word rapture is not in the Bible either; discuss amongst yourselves.
These are just a few examples I compiled, perhaps you are aware of others. If nothing else, perhaps this is good material for the water cooler discussion.