The authors of Coined by Shakespeare examine 150 terms that entered the language from the first English translation of the complete Bible (1382) by William Wycliffe and his followers, through several editions in the 1500s, and the six committees responsible for the King James version in 1611. No matter what your faith, this volume will spark a lively appreciation for the marvels of language and the richness of the Scriptures. Here are the biblical stories that generated the words ambitious, liberty, glory, daytime, shibboleth, and uproar. Here, too, are delightful insights into some fascinating phrases such as salt of the earth, quick and the dead, under the sun, city set on a hill, and reap the whirlwind.
For example, Tyndale's 1526 translation has Stephen use the term "stiff-necked" to deride nonbelievers in Acts 7:51. Malless and McQuain note: "Today stiff-necked, as a synonym for haughtiness, is found in dozens of passages throughout the Bible but rarely encountered in popular usage. The closest we get to that original meaning is by association when we refer to someone who turns his or her nose up in self-righteous indignation. Nevertheless, we're all equal when it comes to physical pain, and a 'stiff-neck' (coined in 1893) can humble even the most obnoxiously self-important heretic."