One of the most misquoted statements in the Bible is the saying, “Money is the root of all evil.” Our minds take off immediately without realizing the error.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (King James Bible First Timothy 6:10).
Here we see the error of leaving off the phrase “for the love of money.” Even if this first part is quoted properly, most folks aren’t looking beyond to the matter of coveting, of the faithful straying, and the piercing which in the original is like the word used to describe piercing a piece of meat to put over the fire to rotate and roast. This verse is summing up what Paul was writing before it, so the meaning is to be found mainly by reference to what went before.
In a more modern rendering, what Paul says right before is:
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:9 NASB)
So there’s a larger discussion of what some people are trapped into doing by the attitudes going along with wanting to get rich that includes “many foolish and harmful desires,” “a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes” (verse 4), thinking to use religion as a means to gain (verse 5), and being in a state the opposite of contentment (verse 8).
These behaviors and attitudes are all of the sort that a person coveting what others have and trying to get rich to have those things as well can easily fall into as part of “The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil” (NASB translation).
Scripture can be used to say all sorts of things never intended, especially when a section or verse is taken out of context. We are fortunate indeed to live in a time when a search to find the actual wording of verses, or the context, or commentaries are right at our fingertips online. But it is still up to you and to me to actually dig deeper for the true meaning to apply God’s word to our lives.