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  #1  
Old Nov 13, '11, 2:28 am
blaskoman blaskoman is online now
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Default "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

I have often heard this claim and I dont have any idea from where it originated. I do not recall anything remotely referencing this in the New Testament. This would imply that God does not help those who do not help themselves. But we know that God helps everyone in every circumstance.
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  #2  
Old Nov 13, '11, 2:36 am
Bohm Bawerk Bohm Bawerk is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

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Originally Posted by blaskoman View Post
I have often heard this claim and I dont have any idea from where it originated. I do not recall anything remotely referencing this in the New Testament. This would imply that God does not help those who do not help themselves. But we know that God helps everyone in every circumstance.
It is in the Bible that "God helps those who help themselves", although the quote in its modern usage diverges slightly from how it is found in the Bible. For instance, Paul writes in an epistle that, "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Paul was also very critical of people who sat down praying consistently waiting for Jesus' return and did no work.
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Old Nov 13, '11, 4:04 am
Thankfulness Thankfulness is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

Answer: "God helps those who help themselves" is probably the most often quoted phrase that is not found in the Bible. This saying is usually attributed to Ben Franklin, quoted in Poor Richard's Almanac in 1757. In actuality, it originated from Algernon Sydney in 1698 in an article titled Discourses Concerning Government.

http://www.gotquestions.org/God-help-themselves.html
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Old Nov 13, '11, 4:13 am
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Nelka Nelka is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

Ancient Greece.
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Old Nov 13, '11, 4:35 am
LumenGent LumenGent is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

It sn't found in Scriptue. It is one of those quotes that was formulated a few centuries ago to give people an incentive to act in a particular manner. Yes, God helps all people without exception, but he does value and have a special appreciation for those that submit themselves to him through prayer and work.
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Old Nov 13, '11, 4:47 am
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NeedImprovement NeedImprovement is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankfulness View Post
Answer: "God helps those who help themselves" is probably the most often quoted phrase that is not found in the Bible. This saying is usually attributed to Ben Franklin, quoted in Poor Richard's Almanac in 1757. In actuality, it originated from Algernon Sydney in 1698 in an article titled Discourses Concerning Government.

http://www.gotquestions.org/God-help-themselves.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelka View Post
Ancient Greece.
I'd read about the Ben Franklin attribution previously, but never the ancient Greek one. You guys got me reading

Several sources, say both are right.

The ancient Greek version is attributed to Aesop and takes just a little bit of interpretation as this particular author notes :

"For perspective: Aesop was of the 550BC generation, around the time of Jeremiah, and Judah's exile to Babylon by Nebuchadnezar, " , and the expression then was apparently, " ' The gods help them that help themselves. ' "

The same article reminds us that , it is even more true that our Blessed Lord helps those who can't help themselves ; citing pertinent passages from

the Gospel of Mark [9:24] :

Then the boy's father cried out, "I do believe, help my unbelief!"


and from Psalm 18:17 :

"He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me.

And what a blessing for us, that " where sin abounded grace abounded all the more " [Romans 5:20] ; yet we're still expected to try and get up after we fall ... if we can . In a lot of cases , our faith becomes most genuinely tested (then strengthened) , in those moments where we aren't able to help ourselves.

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Last edited by NeedImprovement; Nov 13, '11 at 4:58 am.
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  #7  
Old Nov 13, '11, 6:07 am
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Heuchler Heuchler is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

It doesn't exist just like the verse "spare the rod, spoil the child"
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Old Nov 13, '11, 6:17 am
Bohm Bawerk Bohm Bawerk is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

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Originally Posted by Heuchler View Post
It doesn't exist just like the verse "spare the rod, spoil the child"
That isn't entirely unbiblical as well. I think some people are solely looking at the verse on the surface and neglecting the deeper meaning which has connections with the Bible. The Book of Proverbs remarks that "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him" (Proverbs 13:24). Paul, to use one of his epistles again, famously said, "[...]the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son" (Hebrews 12:6).
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  #9  
Old Nov 13, '11, 6:50 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

it is actually the moral from one of Aesop's fables, the gods help those who help themselves, when I find the fable I will post it.
http://aesop.pangyre.org/morals.html

this site lists some of the fables by moral

the one I am thinking is Hercules (a demigod) and the wagoner, rendered here as "self-help is the best help" but in other translations including my childhood book of fables "the gods help those who help themselves"

just for kicks, go down the morals and see which you can find in similar wording in the book of Proverbs or Sirach, some of which even quoted by Christ, showing that real wisdom is shared intuitively across the human race.
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  #10  
Old Nov 13, '11, 8:30 am
Mintaka Mintaka is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

The point isn't that "helpless people are worthless to God", or "God doesn't help the helpless." It's that "God expects us at least to try to help ourselves, not just twiddle our perfectly-capable-of helping-ourselves fingers and complain to Him."

As a Christian proverb, it draws from the idea that grace perfects nature and works through nature, but doesn't go against free will.
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  #11  
Old Nov 14, '11, 8:51 pm
Bobby Jim Bobby Jim is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

I first encountered this in Aesop's fables as a kid, although the formulation I remember was "The gods help those who help themselves." I seem to associate it with a story involving Hercules, although my memory is foggy. As a kid I thought that moral didn't quite jive with what I heard at church.

Edit: silly me, I see just a couple of posts back this information was already posted.
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  #12  
Old Nov 14, '11, 9:19 pm
cap76 cap76 is offline
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Default Re: "God helps those who help themselves" --any biblical reference to this claim?

Although the expression doesn't exist in the Bible, the principle certainly does even if by mere implication.

For instance, Matthew 7:8, 'For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.'
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