English Phrases that Come from the Bible

I enjoy word etymology.  One thing that makes me smile is when someone uses a phrase that comes from the Bible.  We have lots of these sayings in English, and people who aren’t Christian use them all the time.   Of particular interest (at least to me) is that many of these sayings come from the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt 5-7).

Here are a few of these saying. If you can think of others, please reply, and I’ll add them to the list.

to go the extra mile:  Matt 5:41

until kingdom come:   Matt 6:10

You reap what you sow. Gal 6:7

the apple of my eye: Deut 32:10

a shining city on a hill: Matt 5:14

Don’t throw pearls before swine: Matt 7:6

A wolf in sheep’s clothing:  Matt 7:15

Turn the tables on someone:  John 2:15

The powers that be: Romans 13:1

to get away by the skin of your teeth: Job 19:20

a drop in the bucket: Isaiah 40:15

A leopard can’t change its spots.  Jer 13:23

The writing is on the wall. Daniel 5:5

to give up the ghost. Gen 25:8

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6 Comments

Filed under General Interest

6 responses to “English Phrases that Come from the Bible

  1. Great compilation. I have people tell me that “the Lord helps those who help themselves” is in the Bible. I did find it in Hezekiah 3:2.

  2. Hezekiah is my favorite! :)

  3. Gary B

    That’s one thing I like about “It’s a Wonderful Life” – the quantity of Biblical allusions in it. Despite its unorthodox theology, the movie clearly shows the influence of the Bible. Some off the top of my head:

    “Your Potter’s field, Mr. Potter, is becoming just that”
    “And are the local yokels making with the David and Goliath wisecracks”
    “Mom’s preparing the fatted calf”

  4. Have you seen the video “The King’s English: 100 Phrases in 3 Minutes”? It crafts a narrative from 100 English phrases/sayings that originated in the KJV. I think it’s quite brilliant; I hope you enjoy it!

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