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Everyday Biblical Literacy


1 in stock (can be backordered)


What do we mean when we call a woman a Jezebel? Where did “go the extra mile” originate? What exactly was a scapegoat? Why was a fast-and-furious driver called Jehu? Where did the phrase hocus pocus come from?

In a different age, most people knew the source of these and hundreds of other names, phrases, and images. The Bible was common knowledge, and everyday language was saturated with references to the Bible. Today, some meanings are lost, some impact is diminished by the lack of knowledge people have about the historical aspects of the Bible.

This book is a comprehensive compilation of the most important phrases, people and places mentioned in the Bible. Author J. Stephen Lang has written a book that contains not only concise explanations of important terms, but how that person or thing has been presented culturally–common phrases in art, literature, and song. You’ll get a guided tour of biblical history, but also a renewed appreciation for all the cultural significance the Bible has lent to modern society.

Lang explains, “Understanding the Bible can help you appreciate movies, literature, art, and music more. You can understand Christmas (and composer George Frideric Handel) better if you know just what the word Messiah means. You can appreciate a movie like Raiders of the Lost Ark better if you know a little more about the real ark in the Bible…. You can even understand the mindset of Saddam Hussein if you know a little about the ancient Babylonian empire (something Saddam hoped to re-create).”

Additional information



Publication Date



Fall River Press


J. Stephen Lang