Bringing the Text to Life
“God helps those who help themselves.”
According to Barna Research, about 75 percent of 1,002 self-proclaimed Christians surveyed agreed that the Bible teaches this concept. Regardless of whether this is the case, what is certain is that this is not a quotation from the Bible.
Few recognize that it is actually an old bromide from Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack.
But how many times have we heard people not only ascribe this sentiment to the Bible, but think that this point of view is compatible with Scripture, when in fact it is counter-biblical, as Bill McKibben says, since it is so antithetical to the central message of the gospel with its radical call to love one’s neighbors.
And there are other Franklin quips that the scripturally less-literate have credited to the Bible. How about, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” It sounds like a proverb from Proverbs, but it’s Franklin ben Solomon, not...