Money is the Root of all Evil – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did someone just tell you that money is the root of all evil? What do they mean? This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The expression “money is the root of all evil” means that the monetary system is responsible for all the evil in the world. It means that men and women are willing to do terrible things to each other for financial gain.

Example Usage

“Did you hear about how Kim’s father died in a hijacking? The crooks only stole his Rolex before running off into the night. Man, money is the root of all evil, for sure.”

“That industry titan just got indicted for fraud and embezzlement; now he’s facing 10-years in jail. Money is the root of all evil, and I bet he regrets his decisions right now.”

“The Ukraine war is all about gas and oil pipelines and who controls them. Money is the root of all evil, and it’s why they are at war.”

Money is the root of all evil. Just look at the wealth gap and how the poor people starve without anyone caring.”

Origin

The origin of the proverb “money is the root of all evil” comes from a similar saying, “the love of money is the root of all evil.” The original version of the expression has its origin in the Bible. It appears in the First Book of Timothy, verse 6:10

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

In the biblical saying, it’s arguable that Paul is saying that money is not the problem; it’s people’s love or lust for money that is the problem. It’s a continuing theme in the Bible that man worships false idols to his detriment.

In his lesson, Paul states that treating money as the reason for living will end up causing you to commit all types of evil.

Phrases Similar to Money is the Root of all Evil

  • The love of money is the root of all evil.
  • A man will do anything for the love of money.

Phrases Opposite to Money is the Root of all Evil

  • Money does so much good in the world.
  • Money is abundant and available.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Money is the root of all evil.
  • The love of money is the root of all evil.

Ways People May Say Money is the Root of all Evil Incorrectly

The phrase “money is the root of all evil” is actually the incorrect use of the expression. The correct proverb is “the love of money is the root of all evil.” The phrase “money is the root of all evil” refers to money being evil. However, money is an inanimate object and is incapable of displaying emotion. How man’s love of money and lust for accumulating it is the real evil caused by their actions and the lengths of misery they are willing to inflict to achieve it.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Money is the Root of all Evil

You can use the phrase “money is the root of all evil” when you’re describing actions or people or organizations that come with a financial incentive. Typically, the motivation is negative and has an adverse outcome. For instance, if a finance professional took an old woman’s savings in a Ponzi scheme, you could say that “money is the root of all evil” to describe the con artist’s love of money over another person’s well-being.

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