A while back, I was in the kitchen listening to one of the speakers from the KJV 400 – Legacy and Impact conference . When the professor giving the talk read out the verse that contains the phrase “the powers that be”, my eyes must have gotten very round indeed. It had never occurred to me that I didn’t know the exact origin of that phrase.
And that was the impetus for this blog post. What I needed next were 10 random phrases, which is where the video below comes in.
So here’s the quiz: Relying only on your memory, how many of the following phrases can you place, if not by chapter and verse at least by context? (I have changed some of the lines in the poem to reflect the biblical wording)
- Sign of the times
- How the mighty are fallen
- Gird up thy loins
- They know not what they do
- It is written
- The sweat of your brow
- High heaven
- A thief in the night
- Suffer fools gladly
- Born again
My results weren’t impressive; I couldn’t give an exact reference for any . I got the context of four right, had no clue about four phrases and could have got 2 right if I’d thought a little longer (but didn’t). You can find the answers at The King’s English.
For all your effort, here’s a little reward:
 This conference, held at Union University last September, produced over 20 hours of audio covering a wide range of topics from the history of translation of the Bible in English (did you know portions were translated into Anglo-Saxon?) to the direct and indirect effects of the KJV on literature and poetry, politics, preaching, etc. My only complaint is that quite a few of the presenters simply read their papers 😦
 I consoled myself for not getting chapter and verse references right by reminding myself that they’re not in the original texts—the present chapter divisions in our Bible were added in 1205 by Stephen Langton. Robert Stephanus added verse divisions to the New Testament in 1551.