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Stumbling block?

Posted by ESC on November 09, 1999

In Reply to: Stumbling block posted by Ken Bonine on November 07, 1999

: Does anyone know the origins of "stumbling block"?
: I would like to know its original meaning.

I don't know what a stumbling block is, but I believe it's from the Bible. Romans 9:32-33. "Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."

The Oxford "A Dictionary of American Proverbs" by Wolfgang Mieder, Stewart A. Kingsbury & Kelsie B. Harder, lists three proverbs relating to the expression "stumbling block": Don't be stumbling blocks but stepping-stones. Rec. dist: Miss.; Make your stumbling blocks stepping-stones. Rec. dist.: N.Y., S.C.; and The only difference between a stumbling block and a stepping-stone is the way you use them, Rec. dist: Ont., Wis.