Friday, March 4, 2011

Thank You King James’s Version of the Bible

The following are extracts from the King James Version of St. Matthew’s Gospel from which some of our most beloved expressions have derived:

Man shall not live by bread alone. (4:4)
The salt of the earth (5:13)
The light of the world (5:14)
Turn the other cheek. (5:39)
No man can serve two masters. (6:24)
O ye of little faith (6:30)
Seek and ye shall find. (7:7)
Straight and narrow (7:14)*
Wolves in sheep’s clothing (7:15)
Built his house upon the sand. (7:27)
New wine into old bottles (9:17)
Lost sheep (10:6)

*In the 1960s, there was a rehab center for alcoholics located at the corner of Straight and Narrow Streets in Paterson, NJ.

Scholars may argue about the accuracy of the translation of the King James's Version, but it would be hard to find a more beautiful one.


  1. It's amazing how many everyday expression come from the Bible. I guess that the Bible is the sort of book one has to know at least a bit, whether one is religious or not.

  2. What we all have to remember and perhaps realise is that the King James Bible, like all interpretations of the Bible is just that, an interpretation. Scriptures are writtn by men. We can say, inspired by God, but the bottom line is that ordinary human beings wrote the Bible or any of the religions holy books.
    Religion boils down to ,"Faith."

    Faith in God can be empowering and it can be a force for incredible good. But, it can also debilitate and crush. Religions are not perfect. Finding the right balance and the right way through scripture and belief can be a tortuous and terrible course.

  3. i certainly find comfort that some of our best catch phrases have been around so long. They really stand up to time, don't they!

  4. As a Catholic (born in the 1950s), I was not allowed to read the KJV of the Bible. It was only in college when some of the text was assigned reading that I came to appreciate what an incredibly beautiful translation this was. The language was already dated by the time it was published, but like Shakespeare, it rings out its sonorous words throughout the ages.