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Bible Quotes in Movies & Sales

Welcome to our “Bible Quotes” page. Of course, films on the Bible are self-evident. What this page discusses are mainstream media and film. What springs to mind, for you?  For many of us, it’s Pulp Fiction, where Ezekiel 25:17 becomes a central motif to the film itself, representing the transformation of the character Jules, who has chosen to speak the passage when he’s about to commit mayhem. He finally realizes which part of these words he really represents. He is “the tyranny of evil men” who wishes to be a shepherd.  Here are some of our favorites:

  • House, Episode “Damned if You Do” -1 Peter 1:7 “These trials only test your faith to see whether or not it is strong and pure. Your faith is being tested as fire tests gold when it purifies it, and your faith is far more precious to the Lord than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tested, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of His return.”  Dr. Chase reveals to his patient (a nun) that he was once in seminary, and offers First Peter, Chapter 1 and Verse Seven as his favorite verse, pointing out that whether or not we choose faith or fear affects our experience of our life and of our death.
  • Pulp Fiction  – Ezekiel 25:17 “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
  • The Closer –  Matt. 16-26 “What doth it profit a man if he gains the who world and loses his own soul? “
  • Dawn of the Dead – Revelation 6 “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts. And I looked and behold, a pale horse And his name that sat on him was death, And hell  followed with him.This is from a Johnny Cash song “The Man Comes Around” in which he quotes Revelation. The song was used in many other television and film projects.
  • Footloose – there are actually three verses: Psalm 149:3, 2 Samuel 6:14, and Ecclesiastes 3:1-4.
  • Shakedown – in this 1988 crime drama film, actor Roland Dalton uses Matthew 10:26-27 “…for there is nothing covered up that shall not be revealed, and nothing that is hidden that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, you must speak in the light: and whatever is whispered to you, you must shout…” as part of his summation.

Sometimes, it’s interesting to note where there’s no reference to the Bible at all, in a movie where it might logically be expected. Consider:

  • Legion, an apocalyptic film dissed by many critics, which has the Archangel Michael who has decided to go rogue and protect a new unborn Messiah, fighting ghouls after God has decided to wreak a final havoc on the planet. The twist of this movie is that the minds of the ghouls are overtaken by angels, not demons.  In a movie that features an archangel (albeit with a machine gun) on its front cover, one might expect at least a weak attempt to quote the bible, perhaps with a reference to plagues or smiting, or one of the victims praying a psalm before meeting a gruesome death.  Seeing an angel reason that he knows better than God what God actually needs makes this movie almost a guilty pleasure,  as long as the fast-forward button is close at hand.
  • Bruce, Almighty – In this film, Jim Carrey (Bruce) asks the universal question “why me?” and believes he can do better than God. Morgan Freeman (God) gives him a chance to try his hand. The results are hilarious and thought provoking.  Perhaps by not quoting any texts the filmmakers have succeeded in creating a film that can be heard universally.

Biblical references are also found overtly and covertly, in marketing.

  • John 3:16  – Various.  This quote,”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,”   is sometimes called the Gospel in a Nutshell. It is so well known that the numeric reference can evoke the entire phrase. Therefore,  it’s not surprising that it’s a pretty popular means of telegraphing faith.  Look for “John 3:16” on the inside of the bottom of In-N-Out Burger paper cups as well as the bottom of Forever-21 shopping bags.
  • Holy Spirit – Dove symbol & GE Symbol. The Andy Warhol ‘Last Supper’ made use of the corporate symbol Dove to refer to the Holy Spirit, and the GE symbol (GE ‘we bring good things to light’) to point out that they subtly represent the Divine Presence.

There you have it, some of our favorite biblical quotes (and surprising absences) in movies and sales. Our thanks and blessings to those of you who have written in with suggestions. Please, keep them coming!