Biblical idioms in English
Reading Discussion Homework
Do you understand the following quotes? “敏而好学，不耻下问。” “不耻下问” —《论语 · 公治长》 “见义不为，无勇也。”
—《论语 · 为政》
“The punishment is to be a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand and a foot for a foot.”
–“OLD TESTAMENT ”
<<圣经 · 旧约>>
The Bible is often described as “the greatest book ever written.” This is because of its unending significance and influence on people throughout the ages. No other book in history has impacted peoples and cultures like the Bible.
Many basic concepts and principles of Western culture have come down from the Bible. Many common English phrases and expressions have their origin in the Bible well.
Even though it was written more than 2,000 years ago, the Bible continues to influence people today. Let?s enjoy a story in it.
The Obstacle In Our Path
In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.
Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road.
After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.
The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one?s condition. 返回首页
Read the article quickly and answer the following questions.
1. What is an idiom?
An idiom is a group of words or an expression whose meaning is not straightforward, because it often can not be understood by looking at the meanings of its separate words.
2. What languages was the Bible first written in? Hebrew and Greek.
3. What idiom is often used to describe children? ?The apple of somebody?s eye?.
How well do you understand the article? Read the article again and answer the following questions.
1. Why does the Bible have a lot of idioms?
Because the Bible was first written in Hebrew and Greek, and many idioms are used in both of them. 2. What did ?by and by? mean in the Bible? Immediately.
3. What does ?feet of clay? mean?
There is a hidden weakness in somebody whom we admire or respect. 4. What does ?see the handwriting on the wall? mean? It means to see signs that disaster is coming.
5. What animal is used in an idiom in the article? Calf. 6. Which idiom in the article is related to agricultural life? ?You reap what you show.?
7. What food is included in an idiom in the article? Apple. 8. How is studying idioms useful in language learning? You can improve our comprehension and develop a high level of competence in communication skills.
Read the text carefully and choose the best answer to each question.
1. How many idioms are mentioned in this text? A. 4. B. 5. C. 6. D. 7.
2. Which of the following idioms means to have a large celebration? A. Feet of clay. B. Kill the fatted calf. C. The apple of somebody?s eye. D. You reap what you sow.
3. From the passage, we know that ________. A. an idiom can be understood easily by looking at the meaning of its separate words B. biblical idioms originally have vague meanings C. “by and by” means immediately at present D. there are many idioms in Hebrew and Greek
Do you understand the idioms in the article? Choose the correct idiom from the article to complete each sentence below. 1. Debbie?s father always warns her to be nice to people around her, you reap what you sow because ____________________.
2. Sarah?s mother adores her; Sarah is the apple of her grandmother?s eye ______________________________. 3. Wilson was disappointed when he feet of clay learnt that the coach had ___________. 4. She knew it might take a long time for her teammates to change their minds, but she believed that the new plan and by would work by _________.
5. When my brother came back home from his trip to Europe, we ___________________ killed the fatted calf for him. 6. After his company suffered millions of dollars in loss, Joe ____________________________ saw the handwriting on the wall and left the company.
Some Biblical idioms in English
an eye for an eye 以眼还眼 as one man 一致地 The teaching staff speak as one man on this issue. 在这个问题上全体教员意见一致。
clean hands 廉洁、清白 He retired from office with clean hands. 他退休时两袖清风。
doubting Thomas 指那些不肯轻易相信别人的人 He?s a real doubting Thomas he simply wouldn?t believe I?d won the car until he s aw it with his own eyes. 他是一个真正的怀疑主义者--在没有亲眼 看到之前他就是不相信我赢得了那辆车。
Reading strategy: understanding analogies You make an analogy when you picture something in your mind and then compare it to something that is similar. The meaning of an analogy can sometimes be very hard to guess.
You should first look at the idiom and create a picture in your mind. Then look at the context to find out the message.
Usage of reading strategy
What do the phrases in red mean? 1. I took my mother?s car without asking for permission. She is angry at me. I am in hot water now! (in trouble) 2. Don?t tell anyone else that I am looking for a new job. Please keep it under your hat. (not tell anybody the secret)
3. We were not expecting to see Joan. When she suddenly arrived out of the blue, we were all surprised. (suddenly; unexpected)
Complete Parts D and E
Answers: D: 1 b 2 a 3 d 4 e 5h 6c 7g 8f E: 1. Bible 2. agricultural 3. handwriting 4. fatted calf 5. sow 6. straightforward
What do you think about English idioms that come from the Bible? Have a discussion with a partner about idioms.
1. Do you know any other English idioms and their origins? What are they? 2. Do you know the origins of any Chinese idioms? What are they? 3. Do you think understanding idioms is an important part of language learning? Why or why not?
1. Read the article again.
2. Note the important knowledge in the text. 3. Do Part A1 and A2 on page 125 in Workbook.