Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

August 31, 2009 | no comments

As we all know, what this verse from Proverbs really means is that we teach our children the scriptures. Rod = Iron Rod = Word of God = Scriptures. Spare the scriptures, spoil the child.

I’m having my doubts. Looking into scripture passages on children for another purpose, Idiscovered two things.

One, there is no such verse in Proverbs or anywhere else.

Two, the verses that are in Proverbs are not talking about the scriptures.

Proverbs 22:15

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Proverbs 13:24

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 29:15

The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

Proverbs 23:13-14

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

I think when we’re talking about beating, we’re probably not talking about reading the scriptures to your kid anymore.

So how did we get to the point where a ridiculous exegesis of a fake scripture is so widespread in the church? I can only find one reference to it in a church publication, but I’ve heard it dozens of times over the pulpit, in seminary, in conversation, etc.

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