• Login

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


Picture description: The Apostle Saint James the Greater Freeing the Magician Hermogenes, tempera and gold on panel by Fra Angelico (Fra Giovanni da Fiesole), c. 1426–29, Kimbell Art Museum
Picture copyright: Kimbell Art Museum

bible verse

Matthew 4:21


It was derived from the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya’aqov). It was believed to have come from the same origin as Jacob which carries the meaning of “supplanter”. (For details, see Jacob) In the New Testament, James was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus and also a brother of John the Apostle. He, John and Peter were the only three apostles selected by Jesus to bear witness to His transfiguration. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus named them Boanerges which means Sons of Thunder. Paul regarded the three as the pillars of the church in the Book of Galatians.
Jesus had a brother who was also called James in the New Testament.





apostle    brother    disciple    Galatians    James    Jesus    John    pillar    sons of thunder   

Related Information

NIV official site
Chinese Bible (???)

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.