Day 45 (American Idiom)

[Reaction to One Year Bible’s May 16-18 readings]

Today’s readings included a couple of phrases that have become American idioms. From the second half of John 8:32, “the truth will set you free” and from the second half of John 9:25, “I was blind but now I see!”

A search a couple of idiom sites reveals that perhaps these are better characterized as expressions or often quoted scriptures. (Nonetheless, I am not ashamed to reveal my love of pop music with American Idiom and Passion Nugget as post titles.) To put them in slightly more context the full verses are: (8:32) “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” and (9:25) “[The blind man] replied, ‘Whether [Jesus] is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!'”

I think the latter is used in everyday conversation pretty true to its source. That is, to express sudden understanding, or a dramatic transformation. The former, on the other hand, not so much. I most associate it with urging someone to tell the truth so that the person will be unburdened, whereas, in context it means knowing the truth will free you. Although, perhaps it is used that way, too. Full context: truth, sight.

Has anyone else heard people use these phrases in conversation?

2 replies on “Day 45 (American Idiom)”

I've heard, "The truth shall set you free" a lot. It is almost always in the context of telling someone that coming clean and *telling* the truth will make things better.

I've never heard "I was blind but now I see" in any context other than as sung in Amazing Grace.


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