Worth Knowing: 10 Biblical Allusions

All credit to Matthew Pinkett, who has written expansively about the value of allusions in creative writing – it’s pretty much because of his post that I’ve written this one.  Hope it’s useful –

  •  King Solomon

A wealthy and powerful king of Israel.  Useful for emphasising the wisdom of a particular judgement: The new Head displayed the judgement of Solomon by choosing not to cut the tea and coffee budget.

  • Job’s Comforters

Job’s friends tried to comfort him amidst his plunging misfortune, but only made him feel worse.  Useful for conveying misplaced (possibly malicious) attempts to provide comfort: The Job’s comforters on the SLT told the Head to look a bit more chipper because the overall Ofsted grade three that was awarded could well have been a four.

  • Apostle (Doubting) Thomas

Apostle Thomas, commonly referred to as Doubting Thomas, refused to believe that Jesus had been resurrected.  Useful for indicating stubborn scepticism: The KS4 history co-ordinator was accused of being a Doubting Thomas by his line-manager when he refused to believe that achieving the freshly published departmental targets was possible.

  • Sodom

A large city whose residents had a notorious reputation for indulging in sinful acts.  Useful for drawing attention to ribald and lascivious behaviour: The main hall at the school transformed into a modern-day Sodom as soon as the end of term party began.

  • King David and Bathsheba

 King David had an illicit affair with Bathsheba and was punished for doing so by God.  Useful for illustrating where an act of great immorality has been committed: Even King David and Bathsheba would’ve blushed at the some of the antics that took place late into the night at the end of term party.

  • Lazarus of Bethany

Lazarus was brought back from the dead by Jesus.  Useful for highlighting extraordinary reappearances or recoveries: After a period of prolonged absence following the scrutiny meeting, the head of maths emerged, Lazarus-like, to teach her GCSE class.

  • The Lake of Fire

The Lake of Fire is a place of eternal torment.  Useful for demonstrating the severity of a punishment: the NQTs were reported to the Head and thrown into the Lake of Fire by the head of department for failing to submit fully typed lesson plans the week before their observations.

  • Pontius Pilate

Pontius Pilate presided over the trial of Jesus and, under pressure, gave the order for his crucifixion.  Useful for helping to classify weak or unjust leaders: The timetabler demonstrated his credentials as a modern-day Pontius Pilot by ensuring that he was always in meetings whenever bottom-set English classes were scheduled to be taught.

  • Alpha and Omega

Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, used symbolically in the Book of Revelations to emphasise that Jesus is the creator of all life.  Useful for indicating where a decision or action is intended to be wholly comprehensive: The director of inclusion decreed that the new detention policy was the alpha and omega of school sanctioning.

  • Cana Wedding

Jesus turned water into wine at a marriage ceremony in Cana.  Useful for highlighting the occurrence of a noteworthy and highly improbable event: In a series of transformations as unlikely as those witnessed by the disciples at Cana, the maths department’s ALPS ratings went from blue to red within the space of a term.

Thanks for reading –


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