Captain America verses the Bible

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 30 2011 10:26 a.m. MDT

Chris Evans plays Captain America in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.

Jay Maidment, Marvel Studios

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NEW YORK — Captain America was outnumbered 10,000 to 1. Picking up his red, white and blue shield, he stared resolutely at the hordes closing in on him and his fellow fighters for justice. His jaw stiffened and fire was in his eyes as he said, "We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up."

Sounds like something Cap might say, right? But he didn't.

Or maybe it was Martin Luther King Jr. who said it as he marched for equal rights.

No.

Or maybe it was President George W. Bush, clad in a flight jacket, saying it to the troops in Iraq.

No.

A press release from American Bible Society tells where the quote came from (can you guess?). It is 2 Corinthians 4:8 in the Bible. But in a survey conducted in mid-August by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Bible Society — 63 percent of the people polled thought the quote came from Captain America, King or Bush.

Of course, if the survey had used the King James Version of the quote ("We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair") instead of the Contemporary English Version, people may have recognized it better as a Bible verse.

But, the press release was trying to promote a new edition of the Bible called the "The Freedom Bible," which uses the contemporary translation.

The quote was an example of 3,500 verses highlighted in "The Freedom Bible" to help people overcome trauma. The survey asked other questions about one of the greater traumas the nation experienced a decade ago.

The survey found only 9 percent of Americans feel safer today than they did before Sept. 11, 2001. It also found 82 percent of Americans don't rely on the Bible as a source to cope with trauma.

So this edition of the Bible aims to make it easier to find help in difficult situations by highlighting verses like the one from 2 Corinthians.

But don't expect to find verses like "This, too, shall pass." Why? Because, as n article on CNN's Belief Blog points out a, it is not in the Bible. Not even in the Contemporary English Version (What might the modern translation have been? "This won't last long"?).

"God helps those who help themselves." Also not in the Bible.

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness." Not there.

The list could go on and on. Like these from Yahoo's Associated Content:

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." No.

"Beggars can't be choosers." No.

"Honesty is the best policy." No.

"I know what freedom is. I know what it feels like to fight for it and I know what it costs to have it." No. That actually is a Captain America quote.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, who teaches at Middle Tennessee State University, told CNN, "Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book." And so, they would be unlikely to recognize a Bible quote.

But, on the other hand, most people probably haven't read a Captain America comic book either.

EMAIL: mdegroote@desnews.com

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/degroote

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