Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I recently found an article on Hebraic idioms.  What I didn't realize was that the KJV translators tried translating Hebraic idioms into English, and that's how we got some of our unique English idioms.   

A book on the subject is In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture, by Alister McGrath.  One reviewer of this book points out:
"[M]any of the odd turns of phrase we read in the KJV were just as odd to the English reading public introduced to the version in 1611. Shakespeare's England was arguably more perplexed by some of the KJV's phraseology than we may be, since many of the Hebraic idioms and other strict translations have become part of our language due to the KJV's cultural penetration over the centuries. We are used to expressions such as these coined by the KJV's attempts at literalness: 'fall flat on his face,' 'a man after his own heart,' 'to pour out one's heart,' 'the land of the living,' 'from time to time,' 'the skin of my teeth,' 'to put words in his mouth,' and 'like a lamb to the slaughter.'"

Here's a partial list of Biblical idioms (many from the KJV) that have passed into general usage.  

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

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