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To Coin a Phrase

How familiar are you with the Bible's influence on expressions we still use everyday?

People quote the Bible even when they don't realize it. A popular song a few years back repeated the line "Please forgive me, I know not what I do." Was the singer or songwriter aware of Jesus' words on the cross, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do," words that would have been familiar in a more Bible-literate age? Our language is practically saturated with phrases and names from the Bible, specifically from the King James Version, crafted by scholars who definitely had a way with words. Find out just how familiar you are with the Book and its effects on expressions we still use every day.

  1. The phrase "fire and brimstone," used several times in the Bible, appears first in the story of what wicked place?
  2. "My brother's keeper" was first used by what notorious man?
  3. The phrase "a house divided against itself cannot stand" is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but was first spoken by whom?
  4. The phrase "holier than thou" is from the book of a prophet who often called God "the Holy One." Which prophet?
  5. What man recommended "a little wine for the stomach" to one of his proté;gé;s?
  6. The name Armageddon, referring to a vast, decisive conflict or confrontation, is found in which New Testament book?
  7. "Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" is from which Old Testament book?  (Hint: Moses)
  8. "Sweating blood" is from the story of Jesus agonizing in what location?
  9. Found in the Book of Daniel, "feet of clay" is based on a dream of what famous Babylonian king?
  10. Which New Testament book says that "money is the root of all evil"?

Bonus Puzzler

  1. "A drop in the bucket" is from Isaiah 40:15. Complete the verse: "The _______ are as a drop in a bucket."

Click here for answers.

J. Stephen Lang is the author of 20 books about the Bible, including the recent The Bible on the Big Screen (Baker) and The Big Book of Bible Bloopers (Harvest House).

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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