"All scripture is given by inspiration of God…" 2 Timothy 3:16
"Say it ain't so Joe," is a famous quote, but where did it originate? I heard it all of my life so that should make it true. This quote popped into my head once again the other day when I was reading something improbable and not what I think should happen. I surprised myself by saying the quote out loud.a
Later I wondered how different quotes and sayings lay dormant in my brain until they pop out on their own. I decided to Google this quote and was sadly disappointed to learn it wasn't so. The statement was allegedly said on September 28, 1920 when "Shoeless Joe" Jackson was leaving the court house during the famous Black Sox scandal.
Supposedly a young boy came up to Joe pleading, "It ain't so Joe, is it." Later it was written that Joe replied, Yes kid, I'm afraid it is." No one else reported hearing this exchange and Joe Jackson claimed the encounter never happened. He always maintained he was innocent and was eventually cleared of all charges.
How could something that never happened continue to find new life with each subsequent generation?
If misquotes can continue to circulate, what should we believe and why? There are numerous misquotes believed to be in the Bible. A couple of well-known ones include "God helps those who help themselves" and "cleanliness is next to godliness". They may sound good but they appear nowhere in the Bible. They continue to circulate through each generation and mislead many.
To know what is in the Bible and what is not, you have to study the genuine article from cover to cover. It is sad that some people take portions of the Bible out of context to fit their point of view. I was always taught to read not only the verse, but what came before and after.
In writing this column I am limited in the amount of Scripture I use. Take for example this week's passage. Yes, "all scripture is given by inspiration of God". However the remainder of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 goes on to say, "and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works".
Studying Scripture trains all to be the man or woman God intended.
Each time I take the time to really study a passage I am rewarded with a wealth of understanding and knowledge. I recently began a study on the Last Supper and was surprised at how little I actually knew about it.
Often we seem to skim over the events of the Last Supper and concentrate on the crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus. I shared with my class that the more I studied and learned, the more I wanted to study. It is similar to throwing a dog a bone. Once he has tasted and devoured it he can't wait for the next one.
One exciting thing about Bible study is the new knowledge you gain. These tidbits feed your soul and encourage you to learn. We can't always rely on facts we thought were in the Bible. We need to find the truth for ourselves.
Don't be like an imaginary waif crying, "say it ain't so" and giving into a seemingly desperate situation. Study and find the truth. Like a fictional starship captain always said, "make it so."