The Bible’s Gift to Language

I’m not a Bible scholar. The review of Old and New Testaments taught by Bro. Lemoine Lewis at ACC in 1956-57 is the extent of my formal Bible study. The following information is taken from a December 2011 article in National Geographic and is authored by members of the National Geographic staff. I feel it’s worth sharing for those who missed reading their article about the “Roots of the King James Bible.”

A Bible’s Gift to Language by John Baxter and Amanda Hobbs

The King James translation introduced 18 classic phrases into the English language and made famous some 240 more from earlier English translations. Google searched 2.4 million of its digitized English-language books with its Ngram Viewer for the 18 original phrases and a selection of the others. The larger each phrase appears on these pages the more popular it has been over the past 200 years. “From time to time” is the leader, coming up nearly 4.6 million times in the survey.

The following lists the most used King James phrases by authors works covered by this Google search:

A still small voice (I Kings 19:12)
Let us now praise famous men (Ecclesiastes 44:1)
Turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6)
The Root of the Matter (Job 19:28)
To every thing there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Know for a certainty (Joshua 23:13)
Unto the pure, all things are pure (Titus 1:15)
As a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7)
Beat their swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4)
A man after his own heart (I Samuel 13:14)
Now are the mighty fallen (2 Samuel 1:19)
No small stir (Acts 12:18)
Suffer little children (Luke 18:16)
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20)
Fell flat on his face (Numbers 22:31)
Set thine house in order (Isaiah 38:1)
A thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7)
East of Eden (Genesis 4:16)
Much study is a weariness of the flesh (Ecclesiastes 12:12)
Pour out your heart (Psalms 62:8)
Get thee behind me (Luke 4:8)
Put words in his mouth (Exodus 4:15)
A thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7)
Be horribly afraid (Jeremiah 2:12)
From time to time (Ezekiel 4:10)

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