Bible Expressions

It is better to give than to receive

Acts. 20:35

35* “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

The apostle Paul quotes from Jesus this famous statement that is not found in the gospels.


1 Kings 16, Rev. 2:20

“She’s a Jezebel.”  The original Jezebel was a queen in Israel who introduced idolatry to Israel.

Job’s comforters

In the book of Job, as he suffers immeasurable, his friends come to “comfort” him.  We use this expression to talk about people who seemingly offer comfort or encouragement, but actually make us feel worse.

Judas (or “kiss of Judas)

Luke  22:47

While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him.

The disciple of Jesus who betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver.  Used today to talk about someone who is a betrayer or traitor.

Judge not that you be judged

Matt. 7:1

1* ¶ “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.

We use the expression to mean that one should not judge another harshly, or in any manner, Jesus was indicating the kind of judgment that would censor another.

Last shall be first      

Matt. 19:30

30* “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.

Those who prosper now through wicked means will on the day of judgment receive their recompense while those who suffer for living righteously will receive their reward.

A leopard cannot change its spots

Jer. 13:23

23* “Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.

Can a human being change his basic nature?

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone

John 8:7

7* But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

No one has the right to judge another.

Let the dead bury their dead

Matt. 8:21-22

21* Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.”

22* But Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

We use this express when given a frivolous excuse.

The Letter kills, but the spirit gives life

2 Cor. 3:6

6* ¶ who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

We use this expression to talk about enforcement of the law in a way that overlooks the original principle.

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