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The Bible has been the most influential text in all of Western culture. It's difficult to understand medieval or early modern or much of modern literature without knowing it...

Prof. Barbara Newman, Northwestern University
from 2006 Bible Literary project


It's not that it's impossible to read some writers without a Biblical background, but that you would miss a whole dimension to their work.

Prof. Steven Goldsmith, University of California at Berkeley
from 2006 Bible Literary Project


I can only say that if a student doesn't know any Bible literature, he or she will simply not understand whole elements of Shakespeare, Sidney, Spenser, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth

Prof. Robert Kiely, Harvard University
from 2006 Bible Literary Project


...there is truth in the remark. "without Tyndale[Bible translator], no Shakespeare"...

Prof. David Daniell, University College London
from The Bible in English


You can't really study Western literature intelligently or coherently without starting with the Bible.

Prof. Gerald L. Bruns, University of Notre Dame
from 2006 Bible Literary Project


...a familiar understanding of Christian doctrine in historical perspective thus contributes to a fuller appreciation of Shakespeare's art, but Shakespeare's art

Prof. Roland M. Frye
from Shakespeare and the Christian Doctrine


In English tradition and also for an American tradition begun by Puritan writers, a knowledge of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament is even more crucial than classical references.

Prof. Ulrich Knoefplmacher, Princeton University
from 2006 Bible Literary Project


There is no book more important for our culture than the Bible, and it is fundametal to the study of English literature and language.

Prof. David Jasper and Prof. Stephen Prickett
from the Bible and literature

Exodus (Exodus 12:31)

Picture description: The Israelites were free to leave.
Picture copyright: V. Gilbert and Arlisle F. Beers


An exodus now comes to mean an exit of a large group of people.

origin and application

The Israelites were put to hardship in the land of Egypt where they served as slaves. Concerned about their hardship, God struck the land of Egypt with plagues of different types in the hope that Pharoah would free the Israelites. But Pharoah’s heart was as hard as steel. As a last resort, God struck the firstborn of every Egyptian household during the Passover. In order to distinguish Israelite households from Egyptian, God asked them to put lamb’s blood on their doorframes so that their household would be spared from the plague. Seeing that all the firstborn in Egypt were struck down, Pharoah had no choice but to send the Israelites out of the country. The Israelites were finally free from the Egyptians, and left the country altogether.


An exodus of nurses will not compromise the hospital’s ability to cope with patients, says the health minister.


departure    exodus    leave   

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What's in a name?

Common names such as Joseph and Rachel have their origins in the Bible. Want to know their stories before picking the right name for yourself? Click here to find out.