ENGLISH PHRASES AND SAYINGS THAT HAVE THEIR ORIGIN IN THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE
Let me start by saying that I am not “King James Only” but THIS is the Bible that I love and use and memorize from! This is also the Bible that all my mentors used for the past 400 years. So please do not bother to educate me that there’s a ‘better one’! If you’ve found a ‘better’ version then good; just use THAT and go to Heaven.
I am not interested in debates and arguments on Bible versions. If you post any comment below against THIS Bible or try to advise me of another then I will be compelled to delete that comment and if you persist even block you!
All the divines I learned from used THIS version and I intend to continue doing so. Thank you and God bless you!
“Other translations may engage the mind, but the King James Version is the Bible of the heart.” – David Norton
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.
What raises THIS 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 included are still commonplace. The Bible has influenced and transformed many lives, leaving a mark forever on the lives of millions. The cultural influence of the Bible impacted even the English language, specifically with the King James Version.
The King James Version of the Bible has a special history because it was a common English version that was popular for many centuries, spanning from when it was first printed in 1611 to still being used extensively up through the 20th Century.
The following common English phrases find their origins in Scripture, mostly from the King James Version.
AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER? “And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” [Genesis 4:9]
BITE THE DUST from Psalms 72:9, “They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.”
THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND Matthew 15:13-14, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
BY THE SKIN OF YOUR TEETH from Job 19:20. The Geneva Bible translated the Hebrew Literally which read, “I have escaped with the skin of my teeth.”
BROKEN HEART from Psalms 34:18, ” The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit”.
CAN A LEOPARD CHANGE HIS SPOTS? from Jeremiah 13:23, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”
CAST THE FIRST STONE from John 8:7, “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
DROP IN A BUCKET from Isaiah 40:15 declaring God’s sovereignty and power over the nations, “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance”.
EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY from Ecclesiastes 8:15, “because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.”
EYE FOR EYE, TOOTH FOR TOOTH from Matthew 5:38, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”
FALL FROM GRACE from Galatians 5:4, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
FLY IN THE OINTMENT from Ecclesiastes 10:1, “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.””
FOR EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON from Ecclesiastes 3. Ecclesiastes 3 is also the motivation for the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by the Byrds.
FORBIDDEN FRUIT from Genesis 3:3 when Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
GO THE EXTRA MILE from Matthew 5:41 that says, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain”.
GOOD SAMARITAN from Luke 10:30-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
HE WHO LIVES BY THE SWORD, DIES BY THE SWORD from Matthew 26:52, “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN from 1 Samuel 1:19, “The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!”
LET THERE BE LIGHT from Genesis 1’s creation account.
THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL from 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. .”
NOTHING BUT SKIN AND BONES from Job 19:19-20, “All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. I am nothing but skin and bones.”
THE POWERS THAT BE from Romans 13:11, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
PRIDE COMES BEFORE A FALL from Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
PUT WORDS IN ONE’S MOUTH from 2 Samuel 14:3, “And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.”
RISE AND SHINE is from Isaiah 60:1, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.”
THE ROOT OF THE MATTER from Job 19:28 , “But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the Root of the matter is found in me?”
SCAPEGOAT from the Old Testament Law (Leviticus 16:9-10 specifically) where a goat is chosen by lot to be sent into the desert to make atonement for sin.
SEE EYE TO EYE from Isaiah 52:8 , “Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.”
SIGN OF THE TIMES from Matthew 16:3, “And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”
STRAIGHT AND NARROW from Matthew 7:14, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
TWINKLING OF AN EYE from 1 Corinthians 15:52, “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.”
THERE’S NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN from the book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “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.”
WASH YOUR HANDS OF THE MATTER from Matthew 27:24, “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.”
WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE from Job 31:6, “Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.”
WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER LET NO MAN PUT ASUNDER from Matthew 19:6 ”Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”
WIT’S END from Psalm 107:27, “They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.”
WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING from Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
WRITING ON THE WALL from Daniel 5. “The writing is on the wall” is now a popular idiom for “something bad is about to happen”.
There are many more, such as . . .
Reap what you sow
Woe is me
White as snow
The straight and narrow
The powers that be
No rest for the wicked
Apple of his eye
Spare the rod and spoil the child
Set your teeth on edge
Physician heal thyself
Pearls before swine
Out of the mouth of babes
My cup runneth over
My heart’s desire
Living off the fat of the land
Let not the sun go down on your wrath
Strength to strength
Charity begins at home
Coat of many colours
As white as snow
As old as Methuselah
As old as the hills
Ashes to ashes dust to dust . . . . etc
Can YOU think of any?