The Writing on the Wall: Everyday Phrases from the King James Bible – Richard Noble

“The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn’t be any of this.” ― Markus Zusak


Clichés, expressions, and idioms, they can be the apple of your eye, or a thorn in your flesh – but do you know where these seemingly meaningless phrases originate? If not, this is the perfect book to guide you off to the land of nod.

In The Writing on the Wall: Everyday Phrases from the King James Bible, Richard Noble provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of 65 phrases and expressions, now firmly ingrained in everyday speech, which have their roots in the King James Bible. While it may not be for everyone, this book will whet the appetites of anyone with an interest in language, theology, or Christian history.

For each book of the King James Bible, Noble isolates a single well-known phrase, presenting the reader with a brief explanation of the original context of the words, before tracing their usage throughout history to their relevance in language today. If you are interested in everyday English speech, and intrigued by the origins of phrases such as ‘the blind leading the blind’ or ‘by the skin of one’s teeth’ this book is sure to delight your curiosity.

Those unfamiliar with the King James Bible need not be put off, as Noble’s analysis assumes no familiarity with the scriptures on the part of the reader. This said, the more devote among you are sure to appreciate Noble’s summary of the composition of the Old Testament, the relevance of the  silent Intertestamental Period and the fascinating revelations of the New Testament.

Noble has created an ideal bookshelf addition for Christians, non -Christians, historians, linguists, wordsmiths, and those who are simply fascinated by phrases. The Writing on the Wall is the perfect book to expand your understanding of the English language – a truly inestimable treasure.

The Writing on the Wall is available to buy direct from the publisher, Sacristy PressI was given a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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