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phrases

God Save the King

This blog highlights the impact of the King James Bible on English.  Yet this phrase shows that many times the influence went the other way.  It was the culture that shaped the translation of this verse. It comes in 1 Samuel after the people had asked for a king (1 Samuel 8:5-9).  There had been […]

Messiah

Here’s two quick questions for a Monday morning: What’s the meaning of life?  And what’s the message of the bible? You might think that those are impossibly difficult questions.  Surely they can’t be answered with any final clarity or certainty.  Not in a blog post anyway. Well I think they can be answered, not just […]

Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God

After the brutality of Judges, Ruth is often seen as a nice little love story.  A rom com to take our minds off all the raping and genocide! But if we think like that perhaps we need to rehabilitate our view of romantic comedy.  The story of Scripture is most certainly a romance – the […]

Doing what is right in your own eyes

George Carlin once observed a universal rule of the road: every driver slower than you is an idiot.  And every driver faster is a maniac. You on the other hand…  You are the golden mean.  And you are, because you say you are.  And who would dare contradict. We all naturally “do what is right […]

Samson

Ever since Adam, humanity has craved a good king to set the world to rights.  Adam was set over creation to rule but dragged it down to death and curse.  But from the beginning the Messiah was promised – in Greek it’s the word “Christ.”  It just means Spirit-filled King.  He would raise this world […]

Shibboleth

Yesterday we saw the way God had opened up for the people to cross the Jordan river.  In a Red-Sea-like miracle, the new Israel “passed over” with Joshua (meaning “Jesus”) at their head.  This event proclaimed the way sinners can enter God’s rest.  Only through His initiative, only through a Passover-like salvation, only with Jesus […]

Jordan

The story is told of a wealthy man’s funeral at which “Guide me O thou great Jehovah” was the opening hymn.  It may have been a typo or it may have been requested as the deceased’s last laugh, but the final verse read as follows: “When I tread the verge of Jordan Bid my anxious […]

Our hearts did melt

Think of “heart melting” today and you think of something from a pop-tastic love song.  But just as “going weak at the knees” can denote love or fear so it is with this phrase. Here’s the context.  The Israelites are about to go in and take possession of the land.  Once again they send out […]

Kiss of death

We can’t credit the Authorized Version with this one.  But it is from the bible. And it goes back a lot further than people think.  Its origins don’t lie with Mafia bosses, nor even with Judas but with Moses.  Here’s how it happened… Moses has finished the last of his Deuteronomy sermons to the Israelites.  […]

The apple of his eye

It’s one of those sayings that trip off the tongue.  It’s said by a doting father to his son; a protective husband to his wife; perhaps even a musician to their favourite instrument: “You’re the apple of my eye.”  We know that it means “my beloved”.  But for most of us, we’re not really sure […]