Favorite Bible verses that really are in the Bible

Satan didn’t tempt Eve in the Garden of Eden and there is no record of how many wise men paid a visit to the baby Jesus.

Those facts aren’t in the Bible. It was a serpent, not Satan, and the astronomers who visited Jesus gave him three gifts, but we don’t know how many men there were. I learned this in an interesting story on CNN today: “Actually, that’s not in the Bible.” A number of common phrases that sound scriptural are in fact not. One of the reasons people might think they are? Because they don’t read the Bible so like a bad game of telephone, things get confused.

Even people who are not very religious may appreciate the Bible for its description of a moral code that has stood the  test of time and its amazing literary value. But let’s be honest: Even book lovers haven’t read all of the classics.

I have a wise friend who is very good at quoting Bible verses with their location; I admire her excellent memory. This morning’s CNN story got me thinking: What is my favorite Bible verse? And is it really in the Bible?

Here are a few of my favorites:

“God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am.’ … this is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” — Exodus 3: 14a, 15b RSV

I love this passage for its use of language. It illustrates how to describe an indescribable God. God is described as the Alpha and Omega several times in Revelation, but that description seems to say God has a beginning and an end, whereas “I Am” with its simple presence tense verb illustrates God’s timelessness. It’s so simple and so perfect.

“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  — Matthew 7:7 RSV

This was my confirmation verse, and it, like the Exodus verse, helps describe God for me — it shows Him to be so powerful and have dominion over all creation and that if we just ask, he has the power to give it. But this verse also speaks to faith; first, you must take action — you must ask, and by asking you must trust the being you are asking would have the power to give.

There’s another verse that describes the nature of God and also prescribes a way of living, and I love it. I know this verse set to music so it’s another one of these poetic verses that is as beautiful as its sentiment.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” — 1 John 4:7-8 KJV

What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

13 responses to “Favorite Bible verses that really are in the Bible

  1. And of course we are reading a bible that has gone through numerous translations. Imagine what it says in the original.

    • minnesotatransplant

      Indeed! Not long ago I heard a news story about the creation of the King James Version — it was essentially written/translated by committee. Which is amazing, because in my experience, anything written by committee is dumbed down, lowest-common-denominator stuff. Yet, that version is lovely and has stood the test of time. So they must have started out with excellent material in Greek or Arabic or whatever the original.

  2. More than one verse…”Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? …If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Even the dark is not too dark to thee, the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with thee.” Psalm 139:7-12

  3. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

    I find this verse to serve as a compass. I like to share it with junior high and up youth. I encourage them to use it to evaluate what to watch, read, and discuss. We can put any image or text into our memories so easily. We can not so easily remove them…

    • minnesotatransplant

      Ah, yes, good for junior high students but good for adults, too! I have thought of this verse many times recently as I ponder the actions of some people close to me. Rather than focusing on the craziness, meditating on the good in them helps keep me from being frustrated. Thanks for commenting, Heather!

  4. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him, shall not perish…but have everlasting life. John 3:16
    I have so many reasons why I love this one. It’s so to the point, how can anyone not get it??? But the main reason for me is…this is the first verse I ever memorized, and my Grandpa taught it to me in his yellow car when I was 9 years old, on our way to his house from my house. That is a memory I will never forget!!

  5. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

    He’s got it all under control and His plan is perfect!

  6. pastor Gleason

    First of all, your confirmation verse isn’t “was” it still is. And perhaps one day your pastor will use it to preach your funeral sermon. I’ve used confirmation verses many times.

    Secondly, John 3:16 is a wonderful verse. Adding verse 17 makes it even more wonderful. My favorite is John 8:12. “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

    • minnesotatransplant

      I hope you won’t have to officiate at my funeral, but in the remote chance that you would, you now have a basis for the sermon!

      Your favorite verse, like mine, shed light (pun intended) on the essence of God. Love it!

  7. Pingback: Pastor’s finish line | Minnesota Transplant

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