Why Money Actually Isn't the 'Root of All Evil'

Common warning is actually a misquote: Trent Hamm
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2011 8:31 AM CDT
This, in and of itself, is not the root of all evil.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – “Money is the root of all evil,” a concerned friend recently wrote to Christian Science Monitor financial blogger Trent Hamm, wondering why Hamm would devote his blog to helping people accumulate wealth. But that phrase, which you’ve probably heard or even said yourself, is actually a misquote, Hamm explains. Timothy 6:10, the Bible verse the friend is attempting to reference, actually says that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Money itself, on the other hand, “is neither good nor evil,” Hamm argues. “It’s simply a medium of exchange.”

How you spend that money, however, is indeed “a reflection of who you are and what you value,” Hamm continues. The scripture is simply pointing out that the accumulation of money should not become your life’s highest purpose, above all other virtues and the welfare of others. “When you see other people as merely things that can be exploited to improve your wealth accumulation, that is evil, in my opinion,” Hamm concludes. “Having money isn’t evil. Earning money isn’t evil. Exploiting people to acquire that money is, however.”

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