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Is Money the Root of All Evil?

The Bible’s answer

No. The Bible does not say that money is evil, nor does it identify money as the underlying cause of all bad things. The common expression “money is the root of all evil” is an incomplete and misleading Bible quotation. The Bible actually says that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” *1 Timothy 6:10, King James Version, emphasis ours.

 What does the Bible say about money?

The Bible acknowledges that money, when used wisely, can be useful, even serving as “a protection.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12) Additionally, the Bible commends those who show generosity toward others, which may include monetary gifts.—Proverbs 11:25.

At the same time, the Bible cautions against making money the focus of life. It says: “Let your way of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things.” (Hebrews 13:5) The lesson is to keep money in its place and not pursue wealth. Instead, we should aim to be content with the things we really need, such as food, clothing, and shelter.—1 Timothy 6:8.

 Why does the Bible warn about the love of money?

Greedy people will not gain everlasting life. (Ephesians 5:5) For one thing, greed is a form of idolatry, or false worship. (Colossians 3:5) For another, in their effort to get what they desire, the greedy often abandon good principles. Those “hastening to get rich will not remain innocent,” says Proverbs 28:20. They might even be tempted to commit crimes, such as blackmail, extortion, fraud, kidnapping, or murder.

Even if the love of money does not lead to bad behavior, it can have other negative consequences. The Bible says that “those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires.”—1 Timothy 6:9.

 How can we benefit from the Bible’s advice on money?

If we do not compromise moral and spiritual values for the sake of money, we will have self-respect along with God’s favor and support. To those who sincerely try to please him, God promises: “I will never leave you, and I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5, 6) He also assures us that “a faithful man will receive many blessings.”—Proverbs 28:20.

^ par. 3 The verse has also been rendered: “The love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things.”