“Sometimes you will come across something on the internet falsely attributed to a famous person. Attribute it to them anyway.” – Mother Teresa
Actually, the above is just my own sarcastic reworking of the phraseology that is characteristic of this purported quote from Mother Teresa:
Someone who came across it, and who has learned to be skeptical of attributions of quotes on Facebook, asked me to help check whether Mother Theresa actually said it. A quick Google search on the last phrase led me to a page devoted entirely to spurious and paraphrased words attributed to Mother Teresa.Click through to take a look at it. Then ask yourself whether the case of the historical figure of Jesus is any different.
Famous people always have things they never said attributed to them, and things they actually said paraphrased, expanded, and altered.
This shouldn't surprise anyone. And yet many conservatives still try to claim that we have Jesus' precise words with no additions or changes. And when mythicists claim that Jesus didn't exist, they point to uncertainty about many sayings attributed to him as though it supported their claim.
Some people have a desire to live in a world where everything is black and white, rather than the real world, with its shades of grey and pink ratings (to use the color coding system of the Jesus Seminar).