Displaying posts tagged with


By their fruits ye shall know them

Jesus has told us “Beware” of wolves in sheep’s clothing.  They look like Christians, they speak in Christ’s name but they are false prophets.  And their false teaching devastates the flock. But how can we defend ourselves against this secret threat?  After all, these wolves look – at least from a distance – like sheep. […]

Wolf in sheep's clothing

In the sermon on the mount, there is a progression in Christ’s teaching about the scribes and Pharisees. They begin as standard-bearers for outward righteousness.  If anyone is to enter the kingdom, they must have a righteousness that exceeds the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20).  Of course that means that these do-gooders are not themselves in […]

Pearls before swine

The most precious of jewels and the filthiest of animals are combined into a single memorable phrase: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”  (Matthew 7:6) There are people who, at some point, […]

Verily, verily I say unto thee

It’s a phrase that sounds quintessentially “King James” – quintessentially 17th century.  But as with so many “King James” phrases, it originates with Tyndale in the 16th century. “Verily” (meaning truly) translates the word “Amen” which is a Hebrew word left untranslated in the Greek New Testament.  So, most literally, Jesus says “Amen, Amen I […]

Shining light

What adjective could be more redundant than “shining” when attached to the word “light”?  What else does a light do?  What else can it do except shine? Surely there’s no such thing as a light that doesn’t shine.  Well you’d think so, wouldn’t you.  But Jesus, as we’ll soon see, speaks of people who “put […]

Sackcloth and ashes

Could Jonah be the most successful evangelist in the Bible?  In Hebrew the report of his sermon consists of 5 words.  And yet, in response, the 120 000 residents of Nineveh cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes and turn to the LORD. Sackcloth was the clothing of mourning.  Ashes were also a reminder of mortality.  […]

Thus saith the LORD

“Says who?” Children learn that phrase very quickly.  A sibling tells them to set the table.  What happens next depends entirely on the source of the command.  If the reply comes: “Thus saith mum!” things might just get moving. Hundreds of times the bible contains this phrase:  “Thus saith the LORD.”  Even when it’s the […]

Of making many books there is no end

In the wake of new forms of electronic media, traditional publishers will be relieved at this verse: “of making many books there is no end” And students can particularly identify with the second half: “and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”  (Ecclesiastes 12:12) Even wise king Solomon sees the weariness of books and […]

A little bird told me

When we use the phrase it’s usually with a wry smile…  “Now what’s this I hear about you and a new lady love…” we tease.  What lady?  “Oh a little bird told me you were out with so-and-so.” It’s all a bit of fun in our modern usage.  It’s a playful way of concealing our […]

King's English – the poem

108 Biblical Phrases with references.  (Video here). God forbid the powers that be Forgetting the begetting of the KJV It’s put words in our mouth for 400 years, Turned the world upside down , so here’s my three cheers. As a sign of the times , I’ll sing its praises, Shout from the rooftops one […]