From NPR's coverage of the King James Version (KJV) anniversary, experts point out that you're not necessarily making a religious reference when you quote from this historic work:
The King James is woven into our lives. It was read in churches and family devotionals for centuries, and today its language laces hundreds of everyday phrases. Consider: "How the mighty are fallen" (Samuel 1:19), and "Can a leopard change its spot?" (Jeremiah 13:23), and "The writing is on the wall" (Daniel 5: 5/6), and "The blind leading the blind" (Matthew 15:14). "These phrases have become part and parcel then of the general usage in the English language," says [Baylor University's David Lyle] Jeffrey. "We do not recognize them any longer perhaps as biblical unless we have a pretty good memory for the language of the KJV."The NPR story includes a list of dozens of phrases that are likely to have first appeared in English in the KJV, from "in the twinkling of an eye" to "skin of your teeth." It also looks at some famous speeches, including Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and President Bill Clinton's remarks after the Oklahoma City bombing, which drew inspiring language from this elegant work. If you're not familiar with it, take the time to explore its phrasings.
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