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Monday, March 3, 2008

Where'd that come from?

Ever wonder where some phrases or word terms originated? Here are a few biblical ones from chapter 10 in "The Catholic Source Book" by Harcourt Religion Publishers (newly revised).

"Adam's apple": The remenant of Adam's sin, a piece of the forbidden fruit stuck in his throat.

"All things to all people": Indispensable; the effort to relate to all; what Saint Paul said of himself. 1 Cor. 9:22

"Blind leading the blind": ("blind guides the blind") Allusion to Matthew 15:14, Jesus confronting the Pharisees.

"Doubting Thomas": A skeptic; Thomas doubted when told of the Resurrected Christ. John 20:24-29

"Eat, drink and be merry": ("...eat, and drink, and enjoy...") In Ecc. 8:15 it is pessimistically recommended to enjoy life while we have it, since this is the best we can do in the world. In Isaiah 22:13, in another context, there is a similar phrase, with the added "for tomorrow we die".

"Fly in the ointment": ("...one bungler destroys much good.") A little thing that spoils everything, or at least detracts from its attractiveness (Ecc. 9:18).

"Kiss of Judas": Pretended affection; betrayal; an obvious reference to Judas and Jesus. Matt. 26:49

"Lip service": Just talk; from Jesus' discussions with some Pharisees.
Matt. 15:8 and Isaiah 29:13

"Love of money is the root of all evil": According to Paul, 1 Tim.6:10

"No rest for the wicked": Isaiah's observation (Latin: Nemo malus felix, No bad man is happy).

"Straight and narrow": Path of virtue; probably alluding to Matt. 7:14 where Jesus describes the path to eternal life.

"In the twinkling of an eye": Quickly; this is how Saint Paul describes how quickly the bodies of believers who are alive at the end of the world will be changed. 1 Cor. 15:52

"The wages of sin is death": Sin results in death; so Paul teaches. Romans 6:23

"Wars and rumors of wars": Bad new; Jesus cautions that these are not signs of an imminent end. Matt. 24:6

"Wise as serpents, gentle as doves": Quoting Jesus in his mission to the Twelve; a modern translation renders this as "clever" and "innocent", pointing to two virtues that are not mutually exclusive. Matt. 10:16

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