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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

Fall from grace (Genesis 3 / Galatians 5:4)

Picture description: Adam and Eve
Picture copyright: Cranach d. Ä., Lucas/ public domain

bible verse

“You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (Galatians 5:4)


The phrase is now used to describe a person of a high standing who suddenly lost his or her position.

origin and application

Fall from grace, or the Fall, is associated with the incident when both Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. From then onwards, men had to work hard for a living and women to suffer from the pain of childbirth.
But the exact phrase originates from the New Testament where Paul the apostle reminds new Christian converts in Galatia (i.e. present-day Turkey) that if they seek to justify themselves by observing the law, they have fallen away from the grace of God. (Galatians 5:4). In Christianity, grace is not to be earned by our works, but is freely given by God. To “earn” grace by observing the law simply means neglecting God’s grace upon us.


The senior officer at our company fell from grace when he was found having disclosed trade secrets to competitors.


fall    forbidden    grace    law    Paul   

Related Information

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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.