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Lv 5
Adele asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 2 months ago

What did you say about this quote " Don't judge a book by its cover ? ?

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've never said anything about that "quote."  But I will now.

    It's not a quote.  It's an idiom.It likely originated from "You can never tell a book by its cover." (See source 1.)

    Even that idiom isn't gospel, as it were or literally, especially in this age when many books have illustrated covers.

    "Don't judge things superficially" is a better advisory statement that isn't obscure.  Even that is problematic, though.

    In the Christian book of John 7:23-24, Jesus says "23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly."

    That's a very specific use of "appearances."  It's saying, "don't assume based on what it looks like; find out if it is actually what it looks like."  That could even be an original source for later, similar quotes.

    The problem with that Jesus quote is that the issue is work being done on the sabbath, and Jesus is being hypocritical there.  If Jesus's father ("God") commanded no work should be done on the sabbath, but also demanded male children be circumcised regardless of the sabbath, then it's Jesus and his god who are in the wrong.

    Contrasting that are the musings of Oscar Wilde.

    "People say sometimes that Beauty is only superficial. That may be so. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought. To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible." Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    That's a lot to unpack and consider.  And that's that point of that "quote" you ask about.

  • 2 months ago

    I may have said something about it in the dim and distant past, but it's not something I think about much these days, being old enough to know that it's a pretty good guide to life in general.

    Don't judge things from their superficial outward appearance: dig deep to find the truth.

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I haven't said anything.  What makes you think that I did?

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