Is it the Bible or is it Shakespeare?

For this newsletter we will play a new game – Is it the Bible or is it Shakespeare? All bible quotes will be in the King James translation. As you probably, know the King James bible was published during Shakespeare’s lifetime. To be specific, it was completed in 1611 and Shakespeare died in 1616.

Some even suspect that Shakespeare may have helped in the translation. Personally, I’m not much into conspiracy theories, but look up “Shakespeare, Psalm 46” and you’ll see the argument in favor of the theory.

The quiz is simple. I list 20 quotes. You guess whether the source is the bible or Shakespeare. The answers are at the end.


Image source: Grunge


  1. To thine own self be true.
  2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength…
  3. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?
  4. Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we may die.
  5. Men of few words are the best men.
  6. … and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
  7. Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing...
  8. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out
  9. Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
  10. Neither a borrower nor a lender be
  11. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine
  12. Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth
  13. All that glisters is not gold (Yes, this is the original spelling!)
  14. The better part of valor is discretion
  15. Lord, what fools these mortals be!
  16. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
  17. Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears
  18. A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
  19. The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.
  20. The time of life is short! / To spend that shortness basely were too long
Literary Hub

Image source: Literary Hub


  1. Shakespeare – Hamlet, act 1, scene 3
  2. Bible – Psalm 8:2
  3. Shakespeare – Measure for Measure, act 2, scene 2
  4. Bible – Various places including Isaiah 22:13, Ecclesiastes 8:15, 1 Corinthians 15:32, and Luke 12:19.
  5. Shakespeare – King Henry V, act 3, scene 2
  6. Bible – Job 19:20
  7. Bible – Proverbs 18:22
  8. Bible – I Timothy 6:7
  9. Bible – Job 5:7
  10. Shakespeare – Hamlet, act 1, scene 3
  11. Bible – Proverbs 17:22
  12. Bible – Matthew 6:3
  13. Shakespeare – The Merchant of Venice, act 2, scene 7
  14. Shakespeare – Henry IV, part 1, act 5, scene 4
  15. Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, act 3, scene 2
  16. Bible – James 4:14
  17. Bible – Jeremiah 9:1
  18. Bible – Song of Solomon 1:13
  19. Shakespeare – King Lear, act 3, scene 4
  20. Shakespeare – King Henry IV, part 1, act 5, scene 2

Source of most questions: