The Most Misused Verses in the Bible, Surprising Ways God’s Word Is Misunderstood

The Most Misused Verses in the Bible, Surprising Ways God’s Word Is Misunderstood

Are you sure you know what your favorite Bible verses mean?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”–Philippians 4:13
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”–Jeremiah 29:11
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.”–Romans 8:28

These and a surprising number of well-known Scripture passages are commonly misused or misunderstood. Even well-intentioned Christians take important verses out of context, and pastor Eric J. Bargerhuff has seen the effects: confusion, poor decisions, and a distorted view of God’s Word.

In this concise yet thorough book, Bargerhuff helps all of us understand what these verses meant when they were written so we can apply them accurately today. Providing fascinating historical and scriptural insights, he shows how to read God’s promises and instructions in context and appreciate even more the Bible’s eternal message.

Free Kindle book for a limited time.

Haven’t read the book myself but it sounds interesting.



11 thoughts on “The Most Misused Verses in the Bible, Surprising Ways God’s Word Is Misunderstood

  1. Pingback: The Most Misused Verses in the Bible, Surprising Ways God’s Word Is Misunderstood (Berean Wife) « The Master's Slave

  2. Thanks so much. It’s always difficult to know which of the free Kindle book authors I can trust. I am aware of Phil 4:13 misuse. I’m intrested in seeing what else the book has to say.


    Berean Wife Reply:


    One thing that our elders and the other Bible teachers in our church stress is “context”. Even the Bible study last night started with an illustration of context and misinterpretation for our children so they could see what is meant by it.

    My most remembered issue of context is when a preprinted bulletin cover had a particular verse on it.

    “… this day have I payed my vows.” Proverbs 7:14

    Great verse about tithing, right?

    Nope! That verse is referring to a harlot leading astray a young man.

    Hope if nothing else, the book will encourage others to check context.

    Berean Wife


  3. I downloaded this and began to read. I would caution that I immediately noticed that the author doesn’t use the King James Version. I was a long time believer that version did not matter but after much research, I have found that the different versions are created for no other reason than to twist God’s words and cause confusion. The author kind of discredits his whole book by overlooking this point.


    Berean Wife Reply:


    I would respectfully ask why you feel all other translations are created to twist God’s Word?

    Research concerning translations is only as accurate as the research materials. My husband has taught courses on our English Bible and translation issues and difficulties. So I’m not speaking just from opinion but from much study. We also have quite a collection of Bibles even very early originals to actually look at and read.

    While the KJV is a very beautiful translation and has served the English speaking countries well for 400 years, it is not a re-inspired Bible and it is not better than all other Bibles. Missionaries should not be forced to translate other language Bibles from the KJV but should be allowed to use the original languages. 

    James White has written a book that my husband enjoys The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations?

    There are some very flawed paraphrases (The Message) but they aren’t translations.

    We today do not speak Olde English nor does anyone actually use an original 1611 KJV – they couldn’t read it. The KJV of today is a 1769 translation and not only that but there are two versions the Oxford and the Cambridge. Most people do not realize that.

    There is no reason to limit people in this day to reading an Olde English translation when there are English translations that can much more readily be read and understood.

    I would be glad to try to answer your questions concerning translations or seek the answer for you.

    Berean Wife


    Carla Reply:

    Mainly because it causes confusion. People don’t understand that the message is a paraphrase. They take it to be the actual truth as inspired by God. The message is actually ver New Age inspired and contain many occult sayings. The NIV bible is the one I read all my life. Because of some faulty translations, especially the fact that Lucifer and Jesus both are called the bright morning star caused me to be in confusion for years and years. Reading the KJV allowed me to see that Jesus is the bright morning star and Lucifer is not. There are many forces against Christ in the world today trying to convince otherwise well-meaning Christians that Lucifer is in fact the Christ or they are both equal. I believe the introduction of these different versions are meant to cause confusion, therefore keep Christians at odds over the truth, therefore making them ineffective at fighting the good fight for the glory of God.
    My favorite analogy is the one of a clock. If you are in a room with one clock that you know to be trusty and reliable, you will always know what time it is. Now imagine you are in a room with 50 clocks, all displaying slightly different times. Some match, some don’t — what time is it now? You will never know for sure. I don’t disagree with translations into other languages obviously. But when you have an entire generation of men who have become so confused and twisted in their thinking that they have allowed all this nonsense into our own churches, I would fear their ability to understand who God is and to translate correctly. You seem to understand very well the danger of the rock “Christian” music. You are one of the few I have found who seems to understand that is not correct. I respect your position that all translations are okay, because I argued the same thing for years (against my own husband even!). I know you said you have researched this extensively, I would respectfully ask you to research into it some more. And if you come out still believing that all translations are okay, then I would trust your godly character that you have really searched out the truth. But I think you may be surprised.


    Berean Wife Reply:


    I agree The Message is really bad and that there are some faulty translations. But then none of us really understands the Scripture without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Holy Spirit is fully able to direct us in our understanding of Scripture, even if we start with a faulty translation.

    1 Cor 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Try researching the verse in Isaiah 14:12 utilizing multiple sources and not just KJV only sources.

    Isaiah 14:12 (KJV) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    I prefer the ESV for it’s literalness and readability. It does not use archaic terms yet is more literal than the KJV.

    Isaiah 14:12 (ESV) “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!

    You say that Lucifer is the accurate translation. Based on what? Would it actually damage your faith if I told you that “Lucifer” is the word used by Jerome in his Latin Vulgate translation of the Hebrew OT? Nowhere in the original languages is the word Lucifer to be found. Lucifer is actually the Latin term for “morning star or Venus”. The KJV translators brought the word Lucifer in from the Latin Vulgate. Our original 1625 KJV has a foot note that says “or, O day starre”.

    Context is important also. The context of Isaiah 14 is Israel taunting her captors after the Lord has given them rest. In Isaiah 14:4 it says you will taunt the king of Babylon. Then what follows is a list of the taunts against the king of Babylon.

    ~ the Lord has broken the scepter
    ~ the trees are rejoicing in your being made low
    ~ Sheol will meet you
    ~ you are weak as we
    ~ you are fallen from Heaven
    ~ you are cut down
    ~ etc

    Then in Isaiah 14:22 the Lord again refers to Babylon. So we can say with certainty that this passage is referring to a king of Babylon. Now granted the king of Babylon is often an allegory for Satan. But we can only suppose that this king of Babylon is a type of Satan. Does that make sense?

    There is another term that refers both to Jesus Christ and Satan – lion.

    Jesus is the Lion of Judah.

    Revelation 5:5 (ESV) And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

    Satan is a roaring lion.

    1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

    Exact same word. So what do we do if we must judge that as too confusing for believers?

    Our job as believers is to translate the Bible in the absolute best and most accurate way in which we can. If there is a point of seeming confusion we aren’t to tamper with God’s Word in order to make it less confusing.

    Quote from James White “… but you do not translate the Bible based upon your fear that someone might misinterpret it or misuse it.

    In the case of the Catholic Church they didn’t want us to have the Bible in our own language because we might misinterpret it. They needed to interpret it for us. But thankfully men died so we can have a Bible to read in our own language. We can’t begrudge others that same gift, a Bible in their own language. Old English is not the language of today’s English speaking people. Why force people to translate obsolete words from Old English to modern English? Have you ever studied the obsolete words in the KJV? They make no sense to the average non-believer only someone who has been raised in the church or who loves to read old English readily understands the KJV.

    Your clock analogy works just fine only if you have a perfect clock. But any clock first has it’s time set by a clock that preceded it.

    I have researched this issue tremendously. KJV onlyism is very rampant in this area. I have been in many KJV only churches. Even heard a sermon on Jesus said “Ye”. Imagine that Jesus, an Israelite, speaking Old English before England existed.

    This is why I said it is important to be sure your research is based on accurate information.

    Berean Wife

    Carla Reply:

    Also, I think that if we are to argue that there are problems with all English translations, then can we even really trust the Bible at all? We either have to accept that God was able to preserve His word in the earliest translation, or admit that we follow a flawed Bible. I think men who came along to “fix” the English translation probably didn’t consider that God’s Holy Word doesn’t NEED fixing. That’s just something else to think about. I’m not angry or adamant. I just want you to understand what I think.


    Berean Wife Reply:


    Bible Translation Chart

    I think that might be helpful for you to see the different manners of translating the Bible. I personally prefer the literal translations because they are more accurately based on the original languages. The Amplified is a favorite but it isn’t a reading version, it is an expanded version giving a fuller translation. But I also use an Interlinear for real Bible study. Our early church preachers never solely used one translation of the Bible when others were available. They studied every one they could get a hold of even if they had to learn other languages.

    The Lord God is fully Sovereign and in control over all the World. There would not be a translation made if He did not allow it. Just as a ruler or leader such as Obama is not in that place except by the will of God. God has fully preserved His Word in the manner in which He has chosen. We are responsible for doing our best to handle God’s Word rightly, but God is in full control and His Word is not dependent on man nor his translation abilities.

    The differences between most sound English translations are miniscule, typically they are not doctrinal issues, compared to the rest of the text similarities. There is more evidence for the original language Bibles than for any other book of similar age. There are thousands more NT text than of any other writing including Plato and Homer. The copies of the NT are within 100 years of the source while of the Iliad the closest copy to the source is 500 years. There are more copies of the Bible than any other book, it was the first book printed by a printing press and it has out sold any other book. The Bible has been translated into more languages than any other book. The Bible has also been burned, banned and attacked more than any other book yet it still thrives.

    God has preserved His Word well.

    There is a difference between translating a Bible and writing inspired Scripture. The KJV translators knew they were translating and not re-inspired. They used other translations to translate the KJV.

    “”The original there being from heaven, not from the earth, the author’s being God, not man, the editor, the Holy Spirit, not the wit of the apostles.”

    It is very important that we speak the truth in all things and not fall for those who twist God’s Word to prove points which many KJV only preachers do. I can show you several ways that they twist things to prove points that are not valid – that is just as damaging as any “bad” translation.

    Berean Wife

  4. I have no doubt that KJV only preachers distort the truth. I wouldn’t want you to use your time to prove that point to me, because I’ve seen so many preachers — KJV only or not do so. I think your research and your argument are impressive. It does make a little sad in my heart to think that we can’t have a “perfect” word of God. If God’s Word isn’t perfect in some form, then I can’t trust it — in my estimation. You come to a different conclusion, which I respect.

    I just think that the versions, translations, what have you are less clear and understandable to the common man who hasn’t done any research to the lengths you have.

    I think that from a understanding of New Age thinking, there is a prevailing and very pressing desire to make God’s word say what the world wants it to say. And little changes here and there may not be the problem, but when you have so many other translations that Mr. Peterson feels free to interpret however he wishes, then there is a dire problem. It’s the idea of baby steps to reach the end goal.
    Like I said, I’m not angry or adamant about it. I just feel comfort and security in the knowledge that I can have one point of truth — and I chose the KJV to be that because the NIV had led me astray and confused my thinking for years.
    I think of the commercial on tv today where a couple of guys are taunting another man. He says he’s 99.9% sure about something — and they say “so you don’t know”.
    That’s how I feel about other translations. I can’t say whether Lucifer is the correct translation. But I can say that calling Jesus and Lucifer by the same name is very confusing.

    As to the Lion reference. I’ve done a little study into that as well. This is because of the “Christian” song by The David Crowder Band — “Like a lion”. I kept feeling uneasy in my spirit whenever I heard that song, and eventually went to read the lyrics which contain things like “my faith is dead”. That’s what started my deeper study into this blasphemous music which is clearly devoted to satan. And oddly enough, led me to your website.
    I won’t argue this point with you, because it doesn’t affect my salvation or yours. I just worry about all the other lost out there that go to these churches, hear these satanic songs and then hear the preacher read from the Message as if it were the Word of God. And yes, I LEFT my last church when I heard with my own ears the speaker (I won’t even give him the title of preacher or pastor) quote from the Message and the Message only.
    That to me is the real danger in all these translations. Because if it’s come to the Message — then what is next?
    I also talked for many years with a girl online whom I trusted and respected her character at the time of our correspondence. When presented with the Message’s version of the Lord’s Prayer she was frantic with disbelief. She had said that very same prayer, according to her, in her earlier days when she was a wiccan. She of course was reformed, but what a shock to hear some one say that about something found is a book that is touted to millions as a Holy Bible.
    Thanks for all the good info. I will re-read and take your advice into the studying. I just hope you take my story to heart knowing that I’m not trying to twist, distort or mislead anyone. I wish for all to come to the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, the only son of the One True God. That alone is my hope and prayer for others.


    Berean Wife Reply:


    I think we often have a different concept of perfect than God does. Just like what we call a blessing and what the Lord calls a blessing aren’t necessarily the same.

    We as believer’s have the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. He will clarify God’s Word to us.

    John 14:26 (ESV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

    My experience is that those who struggle with the Scripture and it’s purity are actually struggling more with their need for salvation and using “straw men” tactics to avoid the true Gospel. We could have the literal word for word text written by the finger of God and preserved perfectly; yet no one would believe the gospel unless and until the Lord reveals the Truth to them. The Bible and it’s translations are only stumbling blocks to those wanting to stumble. At some point even those who maybe truly saved through the use of a paraphrase like The Message are going to grow and desire the real meat of the more literal texts. Just as those who seriously study desire to read the Greek and Hebrew texts.

    As for The David Crowder Band I don’t take anything seriously from someone who desires to look like a druggie. The song “Like a Lion” is rather nonsensical and not something I would desire to sing. Songs should be decent and in order and edify or encourage the believers while glorifying the Lord. I don’t see that song accomplishing that.

    God will allow some to fall for a delusion because they refuse to love the Truth and be saved.

    2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (ESV)
    9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
    10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
    11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
    12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    Logic, reasoning and a perfect text will not bring others to salvation. Only the Lord calling them through His Word will bring others to salvation.

    We as believers are to share the Gospel and to adorn the gospel of the Lord (Titus 2:10) the Lord will do the saving.

    Study the issue thoroughly and I think you will only be encouraged in understanding how we today can hold a Bible in our own language from text that were written thousands of years ago and despite variants (mostly spelling) no doctrine is affected and most good Bible translations will foot note the variant readings.

    Berean Wife


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