Monday, November 24, 2014

The borrorers. . .

Scripture has infiltrated the vocabulary and expressions of the English language like none other.  We use figures of speech and turns of a phrase that we assume have a history but, unfortunately, have forgotten that this history leads to the Bible.  This reflects a day when our speech and the prose and poetry of God's Word were thoroughly intertwined.  I wonder when the day will come when we will be asked to exile from our manner of speaking those phrases and expressions that come to us from the Bible.  While some bemoan the cause of doctrine and complain about churches that, in their view, resemble purity cults, we live in an age in which secular life and speech are undergoing their own cleansing by the purity cult intent on separating all things religious (but mostly Christian) from who we are, the lives we live, and our culture.

Read it all here... or below is a preview for those impatient. . . 

13 examples of everyday expressions that came from the King James Version of the Bible, or at least were popularized by it:

1) “At their wits’ end”

Psalms 107.27, KJV: “They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.”

2) “A two-edged sword”

Proverbs 5.4, KJV: “But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

3) “A drop in the bucket”

Isaiah 40.15, KJV: “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.”

4) “A house divided against itself cannot stand”

Matthew 12.25, KJV: “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

5) “A labor of love”

Hebrews 6.10, KJV: “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

6) “A man after my own heart”

Samuel 13.14, KJV: “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.”

7) “Nothing new under the sun”

Ecclesiastes 1.9, KJV: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

8) “Fire and brimstone”

Genesis 19.24-26, KJV: “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.”

9) “Fight the good fight”

Timothy 6.12, KJV: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

10) “Beat swords into ploughshares”

Isaiah 2.4, KJV: “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

11) “It’s better to give than to receive”

Acts 20.35, KJV: “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

12) “In the twinkling of an eye”

1 Corinthians 15:52, KJV: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

13) “The ends of the earth”

Zechariah 9.10, KJV: “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”


Carl Vehse said...

A couple more common phrases with Biblical origins:

"By the skin of my teeth" (Job 19:20)

"Scapegoat" (Leviticus 16:8)

Janis Williams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janis Williams said...

"Half baked" comes to my mind, which is what Ephraim and those who want to do away with the King's English would be.

This is one of the problems with modern translations. It results in someone like Rick Warren picking multiple translations and paraphrases so the words suit his purpose (no pun intended). It makes things difficult when everyone in a Bible study group has a different version. This simply adds to the problem of subjective study, and the "this is what the verse means to ME" routine.

I could actually long for the day when there were no verses (as in my Tyndale NT). Having the Scripture in your native language is one thing; having it in 31 flavors of your native tongue is another. If we have to learn a foreign language to read our cereal boxes, isn't it more important to learn a defunxt dialect of our own language to read Holy Scripture?

Kirk Skeptic said...

Sort of makes one wonder why the AV was abandoned for translations as lyrical as the National Enquirer.

Carl Vehse said...


Here's three clues: