That's not in the Bible.

I love it when we can correct poor theology and increase Biblical literacy.  Although I didn't write it, the following is, I think, a good way of talking about what is most certainly NOT in the Bible, despite our belief that it is.

Some of it you may disagree with (like whether the serpent in the Garden of Eden is Satan or not) but I'd ask you not get defensive and instead ask what attitudes we hide behind with pithy sayings that don't add to the truth of the matter, at all.  We only stand to gain from determining what is in the Bible and what's not, especially since some Christians love quoting it all the time.

Oh, the article is here.

Bonus questions: Where in the Bible do you find the word, "Trinity" in either Greek or Hebrew?  Where in the Bible does it say that marriage is only between one man and one woman?  (Extra credit if you can tell me why Solomon having all those wives and concubines was wrong in the eyes of God.)  Last one: According to Paul, which is better for a Christian... singleness or marriage?

Yay!  I love theology!


  1. I'll preface my answers by saying that I'm an Orthodox catachumen and don't believe in sola scriptura (scripture alone).

    --Where in the Bible do you find the word, "Trinity" in either Greek or Hebrew? --

    Nowhere. The Trinity is a doctrine formulated by looking at many Scriptures, not just a single one.

    --Where in the Bible does it say that marriage is only between one man and one woman? (Extra credit if you can tell me why Solomon having all those wives and concubines was wrong in the eyes of God.)--

    1 Timothy 3 is a good start where it says overseers and deacons must have only one wife. If men serving in the church are supposed to have only one spouse, shouldn't the laity also have only one spouse? In 1 Corinthians 7:2-4 St. Paul uses singular language in referring to each person in marriage. (He doesn't say, "each man should have his own wives"). I think it can be well assumed that polygamy was unquestionably wrong in the early church because of passages like these.

    Also, the Bible doesn't say that it was wrong for Solomon to have all of those wives and concubines. What it also doesn't do is condone his actions for having those wives. In the story of Solomon's life, it's telling a story, not giving a homily on how to live one's life. The audience would already have the idea that he was doing wrong by marrying all of those women.

    --Last one: According to Paul, which is better for a Christian... singleness or marriage?--

    Singleness. However, Paul also says those who can't control themselves should marry.

  2. OK, I'll bite:

    Trinity is doctrine, not scripture. Many things in church speak are this way. It's just a way we describe the revelations of scripture. We could address a car as individual parts, but for the sake of shorthand we just call it a car. Same goes for the concept of the Trinity... we can talk about the entities and their characteristics separately if we need to, but sometimes it's more appropriate to refer to them all together as God or the Trinity.

    Genesis 2:24 sorta clearly addresses that marriage is between a man and a woman, and as they are "one flesh" that implies that it's a one-on-one relationship. Also, as the earlier comment pointed out in the qualifications for church leadership one wife is indicated. (I take that to mean one wife at a time)

    I've often wondered about the polygamy issue in the Old Testament versus the seeming prohibition in the New Testament. Perhaps it was permitted to greater populate the earth? David obviously had wives (plural) and was still a man after God's own heart. That may have been despite his marriage relationships rather than because of them, though.

    Either way, I suppose it's plausible that polygamy isn't out of bounds from a sin perspective, but it disqualifies you as a church leader. (You can imagine all those wives and kids would keep you pretty busy and not focused on the work of the church, after all)

    I'm no Biblical scholar, can't read a word of Hebrew or Greek. I do the best I can to read and understand, try to sit under good teaching and do life with other believers. I think we have a lot of "Aunt Sadie" theology in our churches (Well, Aunt Sadie always said that "God helps those who help themselves".. so that MUST be in the bible!). I've found that a LOT of what I thought was in the bible growing up just isn't there, or doesn't say what I thought. That bad teaching is usually well-meaning, but it also usually amounts to hedge law... keeping you far enough away from sin to make sure you don't "actually" sin.

  3. Jack,
    This is one of your great posts. I always enjoy reading your posts and wish I had the chance to see you preach once in a while.

    It is true that what people interject into scripture tells a lot about them, but I think at the most basic level people want to feel validated about their beliefs. I've had to work hard over the years to come to not only accept, but respect differing views in all facets of life. It seems like when I find myself getting all worked up about someone's dissenting opinion, I have to ask myself what does it say about me getting worked up or so staunchly defending my point of view?

    I like what the author says about the availability of scripture to the masses and how it leaves open the likelihood of misinterpretation. That is certainly a danger with anything in mass publication, but I hope the slip ups are outweighed by people's direct access to God. I struggle to find the peace of God with the aggressive behavior that all groups in society seem to display toward differing views. I wish with any ~faith~ based discussion people would generally be more open to other possibilities since we are dealing with faith, not science. I never cease to be disappointed with how many influential Christian leaders seem to have abandoned Jesus' commandment and now market fear and hate.

    Hope all is well at BSC.

  4. My wife's favorite biblical misquote is "God will never give you more than you can handle", based on 1 Corinthians 10:13.
    Paul seems to be speaking specifically about temptation in this passage, and not about misfortune.

  5. All good things come from the hand of God (that, is in the Bible) - bad things don't. If in truth, God sends misfortune, then it isn't really misfortune anymore, is it?

    Who am I say to say what good or bad? I only know our God is good and shares abundant grace with us. In my best moments that is all I need.


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