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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

Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35)

Picture description: Good Samaritan
Picture copyright: V. Gilbert and Arlisle F. Beers

bible verse

”But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” (Luke 10:25)


A good Samaritan is someone who offers help to those in need.

origin and application

Where is Samaria? It is a district in Palestine north of Jerusalem. The Jews despised the Samaritans who were not of pure Jewish blood. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus told a story of a Jew who, after being robbed by thieves, received genuine help from a good Samaritan rather than from those Jews who should have cared for him, amongst them a priest and a Levite, from the well respected tribe of Levi.
A good Samaritan is someone who offers help to those in need. A namesake charity body, the Samaritan Be frienders Hong Kong, was set up in 1960 to offer hotline services to those who are distressed. Many countries have “Good Samaritan Acts” which allow doctors to treat people outside hospital in an emergency situation (e.g. in an aeroplane) without running the risk of being sued for mistakes.



doctor    good    help    need    wound   

Related Information

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Search idiom or name

A lot of phrases, such as "two-edged sword" and " an eye for an eye", are taken from the English Bible. Learning the stories behind these idioms is fun, and can help boost your vocabulary. Click here to find out now!

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.