Magic Number 257


I know a lot of readers and writers read the bible as literature…the source for some of our most basic and ubiquitous plot lines. Break one of the commandments and you’ve got instant plot!

But it seems there’s another, non-spiritual reason to take a look at the bible: language. Here’s a BBC article about how the King James Bible is the root of some now common English phrases. Apparently, 257 phrases can be linked to the literally translated KJB.

Words and phrases that are so commonplace that you, well I, didn’t expect them to have biblical roots: battering ram, by the skin of one’s teeth, blind leading the blind.

I also found this sidebar quote from to be interesting:

Ironically, at the time, ‘you’ was a more formal way of addressing someone, and ‘thou’ was more familiar, but [King James Bible translators] decided not to use any special grammar for God. He was ‘thou’ just like everybody else.

And yet thou is formal and completely linked, in my mind, to the bible.

I just thought the article was an interesting read.


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