Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

25 June, 2011

Biblical expressions are timeless

My last post (below) carried what may seem to be a rather odd heading.  "Seeing through a glass, darkly" referred to the fact that I had engaged in a close look at myself and was taking measures to correct what I saw.

In the real biblical sense, to "see through a glass (mirror-like), darkly," is to have an obscure or imperfect view of reality.  The expression comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul where he explains that we do not now see clearly, but at the end of time, we will do so.  Sadly, to my way of thinking, Paul's contention will come too little too late to do our worldly selves any good, but I digress.

The "through a glass" heading got me thinking about other age old expressions that remain in common usage today.  "No man can serve two masters". "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". "The last shall be first, and the first last". "Man shall not live by bread alone". "Turn the other cheek". "Well done, thou good and faithful servant".  What do these familiar expressions have in common? The answer is of course that they all derive from the King James Bible. In fact, they can be traced to a single one of the 66 books that make up the Old and New Testaments: St Matthew's Gospel.

Even in an age when Christian faith is faltering, the language of the 1611 King James Bible is an important strand running through everyday English. Whether consciously or not, we reproduce its elegant phrasing when we say something is a thorn in our flesh or refer to an event having turned the world upside down. From Matthew alone we draw the expressions "den of thieves", "thirty pieces of silver", "O ye of little faith" and "the salt of the earth".

"Get thee behind me, Satan" is another Biblical expression frequently called on by yours truly.  Sometimes he does...Sometimes he doesn't, but once again I digress.

No comments: