Skip to main content

Discerning “Old Wives’ Fables”

How do you tell if something is witchcraft, or just what the King James Version calls “old wives’ fables”? 1 Ti. 4:7

This old Madgeburg Letter at the left is a sample of what gullible people can fall for. It was supposedly written by God Himself in golden letters and dropped at Madgeburg, Germany in 1783.

The admonitions it gives are for the most part very biblical: against materialism, sensualilty, and vain dress, and promoting helping the poor and honoring one’s parents. However, it concludes with these words: “And that man who carries this letter with him, and keeps it in his house, no thunder will do him any harm, and he will be safe from fire and water ...” But woe to him who does not believe the letter, because “he shall die and be punished in hell.”

Its real origins? No one really knows. It may have come from a false prophet. It may have been a sincere attempt at moral reform. It may have been some traveling huckster smiling to himself while he printed them up and sold them framed for a nice profit. It may have originated from someone involved in sorcery.

So are Madgeburg Letters sorcery, or old wives’ fables? We really do not need to know. Both are to be totally rejected. But since we do know—by the clause suggesting protection from floods, thunders, and fires ... and the damnation for not believing it—that it is not of God, we unapologizingly reject them. Whenever something invokes supernatural protection, destruction, or healing, the spiritual realm is entered. And thus what may have started as a simple huckster’s scheme turns into a spiritual issue. In this same manner, alternative medical systems and many herbal cures lead people into compromising their spiritual integrity. What is actually a fable is passed off as truth.

Are you believing or promoting any fables? ~

  • Hits: 1346