Posted by: Jim E | February 21, 2010

Creativity and Confidence…and the Bible…

When the Bible was translated into the common tongue of the English people, many Bible words, phrases, expressions and references quickly became assimilated into the English language and are still used today…many of them are used by people who have no idea where they came from…

Some examples: “the apple of my eye” Psalms 17:8…”the salt of the earth” Matthew 5:13…”a little bird told me” Ecclesiastes 10:20…”old wives’ tales” I Timothy 4:7…”to escape by the skin of your teeth” Job 19:19-20…”the writing’s on the wall” Daniel 5:5-6…and many, many more…Shakespeare is full of references and so are speeches all the way from Churchill to most of our presidents…

These few examples do not scratch the surface of how many words and parts of speech have been incorporated into our everyday language…I know our kids grew up memorizing scripture…and though we tried to let them know how important it was to know the Bible…they may not have thought about at the time how they would be able to recognize and use the Bible throughout the written and spoken language…

Creativity is so important in our lives…writers and artists of all kinds were weened on the Bible and Shakespeare…I have used this before in talking about Lincoln…”Knowing the Bible chapter and verse, the entire text, knowing Shakespeare, these sort of classic literary roots that are as fundamental to the way so many literary Americans were educated in the 19th Century…he had that language, this rapturous, religious, rhetorical set of images that he has at his fingertips.”…and you can look at authors trained in the 1800’s and into the 1900’s…all trained in this way…and I believe that it promotes creativity and confidence in living life itself…

Last fall our National Parks were spotlighted on PBS…and John Muir was covered extensively…he also came from the same background…growing up he memorized all or most of the New Testament…now whether that was good in all ways I am not here to say…but he was educated in much the same way as I described above…one of his quotes: “The mountains are fountains of men, as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains, mountain dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature’s workshops.”…creative language drawn from his education and background…

I always have encouraged creativity because it almost always develops confidence…music, reading, memorizing, love of art, color, nature…all these things help us to develop confidence…but always with creativity must come diligence…discipline of the mind so we can remember what we have read, seen and experienced…and I have found that Bible memory is an important part of that…knowing where it is and what it means and how it applies…is a large part of memorization…

But  in the end…creativity and confidence sprout from this kind of education…Susie in a story I just heard will illustrate my point: The teacher told the class, “I want you all to draw a picture.”…she went around and stopped at Susie’s desk…”What are you drawing?”, she asked. Susie replied, “I’m drawing a picture of God.”…”Susie,” the teacher said, “No body knows what God looks like.”…Susie said, “They will in a minute!”….

Now that is creativity and confidence…



  1. Keep writing Mr E!! Your thoughts and words are great!
    I think you should write a book!
    love ya…Pam

  2. Thanks!

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