Who Said That??

Ever heard someone, after a final exam, say they had passed, "by the skin of their teeth"? Did you ever wonder where that saying came from? Well, it came from the Bible. This is an amazing thing to consider. People all over the world and especially within western, English speaking culture and tradition have many sayings that most everyone agrees to - sayings that immediately help our understanding of what someone says in a conversation.

It can be demonstrated that the above quoted saying comes from the book of Job in the Old Testament of the Bible (Job 19:20). Now Job had been reduced to a pathetic shell of his former, personal self. Sick with a serious skin disease, bereft of all his possessions, left sitting in an ash heap scraping his wounds with a broken piece of pottery, Job also said that his breath was offensive to his wife and he was nothing but skin and bones. But we have all heard of "the patience of Job". This is a common saying in our usage that also finds it's roots in the Bible and western tradition. There are many more.

Now, most of us have heard someone call someone a "doubting Thomas". Haven't we? What do we mean and where did that come from? Well, Jesus had twelve disciples. One, Judas, betrayed Jesus and subsequently went out and hanged himself. Most of the other disciples forsook Jesus when he was arrested as they didn't understand what the Bible said would happen to their Lord. Jesus was crucified. He rose from the dead on the third according to the Bible and, as we might expect, the disciples were just a bit skeptical - especially Thomas. He was a 'show me' kind of guy. He would not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he had actually examined the nail scars in his hands (John 20:24-25).

Have you ever heard someone say, "the hand writing is on the wall". (Daniel 5:5) Well, as you guessed, this quote came from the Old Testament prophecy of Daniel. God spoke to a Babylonian king, while he was having a party, by writing words on the wall of the banquet hall. They were words of doom for the king. This Bible phrase has always made us aware of approaching difficulties. A warning really, that we need to be on our guard concerning the issues of life. We need to keep close to the plan and purpose of God in our lives.

Then there is that well-known caution about certain people who do not appear to be what they seem to be. Ever refer to someone as a "wolf in sheep's clothing"? Ever wonder who said that? Well it was Jesus Christ himself. (Matthew 7:15) This was a strong warning against being deceived by anyone really, but especially by people who come with convincing ideas to lead us away from the truth of the Bible. We can be easily deceived by false ideas that are packaged to make them look harmless. So, beware of wolves in sheep's clothing…

Perhaps one of the best known of all quotes from the Bible is, "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." If you guess Jesus said this, you are right. This quote can be found in Matthew 7:12. It's often referred to as the "Golden Rule". If everyone followed this bit of advice from Jesus - what a great world we would have to live in.

The most famous quote of them all is perhaps the one appearing in front of the United Nations building in New York, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares". This quote is found in Isaiah 2:4. It speaks of a time to come when the world will be at peace - but no thanks to the United Nations. The prophet Isaiah is foretelling of a future time when the Kingdom of God will be established on earth. This is the world's only hope for peace.

There are more. How about "And Eye for an Eye": "A Prophet is Without Honor in his own country": "The apple of my eye": "The love of money is the root of all evil": "A man reaps what he sows". Who said these?

Or, you may cringe when you hear someone say, "As slow as the second coming of Christ" after you have read the source in 2 Peter 3:4-9.

So, the Bible is full of quotations that help us understand life and also help us with our communications. It is always helpful, though, to go back to the source and really understand the wisdom by reading and understanding the context within which it was originally said.

"Knock and the door will open."

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