The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose

This page is about the saying "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose"

Possible meaning:
1) Bad people can appear to be good to achieve their objective. 2) Even good things can be twisted to achieve bad ends.

Origin: Spoken by Antonio in "The Merchant of Venice", written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616):

Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

devil (noun): (in Jewish and Christian belief, usually "the Devil") the chief evil spirit or Satan; an evil or cruel person; a trouble-maker or self-willed person
cite (verb): quote (words from a book etc) to support an argument
Scripture (noun - also scripture or Scriptures): the Bible; the holy writings of a religion
purpose (noun): requirements; objective

Quick Quiz

If "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose", why would he do that?

a. to show off

b. to curry favour with God

c. to disguise his intentions

Saying of the Day

Contributor: Josef Essberger