Weird History

Quotes From the Bible That Sound Made Up - But Aren’t

List Rules
Vote up the most divisive verses in the Bible.

Love thy neighbor, may he who is without sin cast the first stone, do not judge lest ye be judged yourself - the Bible certainly has some great advice for Christians and anyone trying to be their best self. There are, however, some verses that make us say, "Whaaa?"

Without context, many Bible stories seem to condone deplorable practices, including many acts prohibited in the 10 commandments. Of course, the context for many of these parables occurred thousands of years ago in a time and place far removed from the modern era - but that hasn't stopped people from trying to apply them in modern times.

So, what are the most contentious and controversial verses in the Bible? This list of startling - and sometimes confusing - quotations is offered without interpretation. We're no Biblical scholars. However, we have provided three different translations of each verse to show how these same sentences have been interpreted by various experts.

Vote up the Bible verses and quotes you think are the most controversial.

  • 1
    1,801 VOTES

    1 Timothy 2:12

    New Revised Standard Version: "Permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent."

    New International Version: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet."

    King James Version: "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."

  • 2
    1,282 VOTES

    Exodus 21:20-21

    New Revised Standard Version: "When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property."

    New International Version: "Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property."

    King James Version: “And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money."

  • 3
    737 VOTES

    Deuteronomy 23:2

    New Revised Standard Version: "Those born of an illicit union shall not be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord." 

    New International Version: "No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation." 

    King James Version: "A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord."

  • 4
    731 VOTES

    Deuteronomy 25:11-12

    New Revised Standard Version: "If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and seizing his genitals, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity."

    New International Version: "If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity." 

    King James Version: "When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her."