Help remember a bible verse.
September 22, 2010 4:14 PM   Subscribe

It went something like this, "How can you claim to know God's love when you don't understand Man's love, and Man's love is just a fraction of the Fathers.".

I've looked high and low to no avail. For all I know it might not be a bible verse at all!
posted by datacaliber to Religion & Philosophy (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The closest verse I can think of to that sentiment is Matthew 7:9-11:
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! [cite]
posted by mayhap at 4:27 PM on September 22, 2010

There is a Sufi quote attributed to Jami, which reads:
"You may try a hundred things, but love alone will release you from yourself. So never flee from love - not even from love in an earthly guise - for it is a preperation for the supreme Truth. How will you read the Koran without first learning the alphabet?"
posted by Chrysalis at 4:31 PM on September 22, 2010

It reminds me a little bit of John 4:20: If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
posted by phoenixy at 4:41 PM on September 22, 2010

First John 4:20

If someone says," I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:45 PM on September 22, 2010

Datacaliber, the verse phoenixy and I posted (my version was New American Standard) comes about as close to what you are looking for as Scripture contains. There's nothing exactly like what you post in there, that I know of. But hopefully the verse we found will ring a bell for you.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:47 PM on September 22, 2010

This sounds very familiar to me, but not as a Bible verse -- rather I think in the 'religious essay for popular reading' -- someone like CS Lewis but I think not him. I'm sorry I can't be more specific, but I'm fairly certain I've seen that idea in a piece of religious commentary, not the Bible itself.
posted by frobozz at 5:00 PM on September 22, 2010

This sounds really familiar to me as well, but I hear the words coming from the pastors from my youth, not seeing them in the Bible.

Along the same lines as the verses mentioned above though, 1 Corinthians 1:25

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
posted by Roger Dodger at 5:06 PM on September 22, 2010

A friend just quoted this to me at lunch the other day! I don't recall the exact quote, but it was very, very similar to this. She said it was from Genesis.
posted by rhiannonstone at 5:31 PM on September 22, 2010

Response by poster: Just wanted to pop in and say thanks for the attempts. It's been driving me crazy for a while. I think it was spoken while someone was scolding the Pharisees.
posted by datacaliber at 5:37 PM on September 22, 2010

There's a Shaker hymn called "More Love" whose verse is:
"If ye love not each other in daily communion, how can ye love God, whom ye have not seen?"

I don't think it's taken directly from scripture, but fits nicely with the verses quoted above, and gets quoted a lot.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:49 PM on September 22, 2010

I think you are mixing up one of the recurring themes of Jesus' interaction with the Pharisees and Jews. Jesus did rebuke them for not knowing God, but it was clear because they did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

"I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; ..."

John 5:41-43

It is not about man's love at all; it was rebuke for the Pharisees not accepting that Jesus came from God. (John 5:36-40) Feel free to msg me if you need more clarification.
posted by pinksoftsoap at 7:51 PM on September 22, 2010

Could it be something related to 2 Peter 3:8?

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

Here's the rest of the passage for context.

It's also possible that your quote is referencing a more "contemporary" translation than most people are familiar with, such as "The Message" or the "New Living Translation" (vs. King James or American Standard, for example) which could explain why you're having such difficulty finding it. The site at the link above includes a search function that lets you look up verses by keyword, subject, translation, even different languages.
posted by petitemom at 9:08 PM on September 22, 2010

...Or, perhaps you're thinking of another translation of this passage (from 1 John 4, NIV translation):

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

More here.

posted by petitemom at 9:25 PM on September 22, 2010

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