Skip to comments.English phrases and sayings that derive from the Bible
Posted on 11/20/2011 6:30:16 PM PST by Jim Robinson
The King James Version of the Bible has been enormously influential in the development of the English language. It ranks with the complete works of Shakespeare and the Oxford English Dictionary as one of the cornerstones of the recorded language. After Shakespeare, the King James, or Authorized, Version of the Bible is the most common source of phrases in English. The King James in question was James I of England and James VI of Scotland. He didn't write the text of course, he merely authorized it, hence the name that the book is best known in the UK (King James Version, or KJV, being more commonly used in the USA).
The King James Version was translated by 47 biblical scholars, working in six committees. It was first printed in 1611 and was by no means the earliest English translation of the Bible. It was pre-dated by several other partial or complete translations, notably John Wyclif's translation in 1382 and William Tyndale's in 1528 - the latter forming the basis of a large proportion of the KJV.
What raises that version above other versions of the Bible in terms of its linguistic impact is the fact that the language used has persisted into the present-day. Many of the phrases includeded are still commonplace. Here are some of the many phrases that originated in the Bible (most, but not all from the King James Version):
A list of 122 everyday phrases that have a biblical origin:
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
A broken heart
A cross to bear
A fly in the ointment
A graven image
A labour of love
A law unto themselves
A man after his own heart
A multitude of sins
A nest of vipers
A peace offering
A sign of the times
(Excerpt) Read more at phrases.org.uk ...
How could they leave out “Doubting Thomas?”
In my opinion, no English speaking person, especially Americans and British, can be said to be truly literate, unless they have read the KJV Bible (Old and New Testaments) and Shakespeare. Or at least large percentages of the more common parts. Otherwise, a good percentage of the interesting phrases in the language will go sailing right past and not make any sense.
As I get older, I’ve become fond of, “His eyes grew dim with age.”
The Bible (as the Word of God) was likewise enormously influential in the development of our American republic. The liberty we enjoy is directly from Our Creator. Our Founding Fathers realized that and I fervently pray that we'll keep this mind in November 2012 at the ballot box as we restore Our Blessed Country.
... not to mention that they’ll also miss a huge number of excellent jokes based on puns on common Biblical and Shakespearean phrases!
I’m certainly no scholar.
The KJV was, last I heard, the most popular/published book on this planet. Seems fitting.... few can claim they weren’t exposed or that the Gospel was not available to them.
Beyond that, the KJV is so quaint and poetic. Some claim other translations are more “accurate”, but the pure ancient phrasing of the Authorized Version is beauty and God revealed!
God Bless Free Republic and the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures!
I can still hear her saying, "Son, this is something every educated person should know."
A cross to bear has always been a personal favorite.
There are a lot of people who are completely unfamiliar with the KJV, who still attempt to use phrases from it, albeit badly. “Escape goat” is my favorite. I guess they could be described as being “on the lamb.”
I'll second that!!!
The KJV is what I was raised with, it's what is sitting in my living room, it's what I read when I want to read Scripture.
Modern translations just don't sound right to me, even if they are easier for most folks to understand.
The Word of God is worth a little WORK to try to understand it!! :)
But given what I had drilled into my head, we may have had the same Mother!! :)
*GROAN* But you are quite correct, misuse of the phrases is so-o-o hard on the ears...
” Modern translations just don’t sound right to me, even if they are easier for most folks to understand. “
Scripture SHOULD stand out from daily dialect. Archaic, perhaps, but it has the ring of Truth throught the ages.
I’ll look at other translations occasionally to try to root out a difficult passage, but my trusty Schofield in KJV has never let me down.
Look’s like the writing’s on the wall.
A bird in hand is worth a penny earned? LOL
KJV is a Masterpiece of art. This Bible and the body of Shakespeare’s work comprise the base and flower for modern English literature, imho.
While I find it helpful to read some of the updated translations, I look to the KJV as the root stock for Bible understanding in the English language.
Thanks for posting the list.
LOL! Good one!
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