Are These Quotes From the Bible or Shakespeare?


By: Sameena Mughal

6 Min Quiz

Image: PaulCalbar/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The Bible is enlightening no matter what religion you follow. William Shakespeare's words have endured throughout the centuries and have not only entertained but inspired people. Across space and time, everyone knows of the Bible and William Shakespeare.

Beyond being a book for religious study, the Bible is unique on its own. It was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. At one point in history, Greek was the most widely spoken language. At about 611,000 words long in the original languages, it is a lengthy read. More than 40 authors contributed to the books of the Bible. Those authors came from diverse walks of life. Some parts were written by kings, but others were written by farmers, fishermen, pastors, and many more. With so many authors contributing more than 611,000 words, it's no wonder the Bible is so quotable.

Considered by many to be the world's greatest playwright, William Shakespeare captured the hearts of readers in his own time and continues to do so until this day. The Bard penned 38 plays and 154 sonnets. His Old English may be confusing with phrases like. "wherefore art thou," but there is always something for everyone. 

You don't have to move mountains. Just take a few minutes, answer our questions, and see if you can achieve greatness with your Bard and Bible knowledge!

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Where will we see these words?

We have all been told that patience is a virtue, but this verse from Ephesians expands on that and more. Not only does it say to be humble and gentle but to take actions with love.


“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” What is its source?

On a night of shenanigans to which contributes, a troublemaker and fairy by the name of Puck comments on the human beings running around his forest. These words were true in the 17th century. They're true now.


“Do everything in love.” In which classic canon can you find that?

"And the greatest of these is love." You can find this quote in chapter 16, verse 13 of 1 Corinthians. Love is a theme throughout this book of the Bible. What’s better than love to talk about?


Believe! That's what these words say: “Now, faith is confidence in what we hope for and confidence in what we do not see.” Where are they from?

Here is another explanation of the true meaning of faith from Hebrews 11:1. Believing in what we don't see just for the sake of it is the idea here. It's not always easy, but the Bible says it.


"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” Wise words. Where do they come from?

Essentially, that means love everybody, but watch your back. In the play, "All's Well That Ends Well," the mother is giving advice to the son before she sends him away to handle family matters.


"Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides: Who cover faults, at last shame them derides." These cautionary words are from where?

Cordelia's words from "King Lear" ring true. When the time is right, whatever is hidden comes out. In this play, it may not have been the best timing, which is what made it tragic.


In which great work can we find: "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”?​

Ulysses is telling the warrior, Achilles, in "Troilus and Cressida" that all humans have one trait in common that connects us all. That one trait is that we only remember things at​ the moment.


Where do these pearls of wisdom come from? “Set your mind on things above, not earthly things.”

Paul states this caveat in Colossians, Chapter 3, Verse 2. It is a reminder to the people of Colossae to focus on the spiritual and not the physical. “Do what’s best, as above, so below.”


In which literary work can we find, “The better part of valor is discretion”?

The wordy and conceited Falstaff in "Henry IV, Part 1," uses these words as justification for his cowardly ways. In his mind, it's better to keep one's self safe from harm than engage in courageous acts.


Where does this quote come from? “Nothing will come of nothing.”

At the beginning of "King Lear," the king has just been given elaborate speeches of love by two of his daughters. He's disappointed when one of them does not give him one. He tells her she will get nothing if she gives nothing.


“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Where can you find this explanation of love?

This verse from the Book of John, Chapter 15, verse, 13 talks about genuine love. Focusing on the needs of others is part of it. Here it means to lay down your own needs and being selfless.


Where is this quote from? “The thief comes only to kill and steal and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

This quote from the Book of John directly references Jesus and how he is different from the corrupt leaders of the time. He compares them to thieves, highlighting how he is the opposite of them.


"Our faith can move mountains." Where can we find these words?

In the Book of Matthew, the apostle is discussing how strong faith really is. This book of the Bible has upwards of 130 quotes and allusions to the Old Testament. This book also introduces Jesus as a messiah.


Can you tell us where “The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief” comes from?

In the beginning of the tragedy, "Othello," the Duke says this line to Brabantio to calm him after his daughter has eloped with Othello. If you can't change something, why be upset about it?


Do you know where, “Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting" comes from”?

Like Justin Bieber said, "You should go and love yourself." Of course, the Bard said it centuries before in "King Henry V" through the character of Dauphin who was trying to get his king to stand his ground.


“All that glitters is not gold.” Disappointing, yes, but where can we find these words?

These words were so great Prince played off of them in his song, "Gold." In the play, a man opens a casket to finds a picture of a skull with crossbones and a scroll with that quote.


"Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt." Where can you find this quote?

The inner voice of doubt will always make us falter and nothing is gained when we don't even try. These are Lucio's words to Isabella in "Measure for Measure."


"Things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Do you know where this is from?

This quote comes from 2 Corinthians, Chapter 5, verse 17, and it refers to those who have found Jesus Christ. In a way, they are reborn, renewed. What they were and knew before is gone.


We have all heard the phrase, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” but do we know where it came from?

Whether it comes from Aesop or the Bible, the Golden Rule always applies. This verse is from Luke 6:31, but this principle is found in many religions and cultures. Whatever you send out always comes back.


“Speak low if you speak love.” Can you speak low and tell us where this quote is from?

Sometimes, conflicts really are "Much Ado About Nothing." In this scene, Don Pedro is wooing Hero for his friend Claudio while they are dancing, just telling her to speak quietly if they are talking love.


Think about​ this: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Now, where does it come from?

In the play that bears his name, Hamlet says this to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. It's thinking that makes anything good or bad and Hamlet thinks of Denmark as a prison. Cheerful fellow, he was.


"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Where can we find these words?

This verse from the Book of Matthew has a few meanings. It refers to Jesus offering support to those who are tired and toiling. It goes beyond physical toil and extends to mental, emotional and physical.


Are you sharp enough to know where this quote comes from? "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another?”

You can find these words in Proverbs, Chapter 27, verse 17. The analogy of iron improving with the right interaction is being extended to people. The right people make you better, ultimately.


Where can we find these kind words? “I would not wish any companion in the world but you."

In the play, "The Tempest," Miranda is the young daughter of Prospero who has fallen in love with Ferdinand. She says these words to him to highlight how deeply committed she is to her love.


"Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools." Is this the Bard or the Bible?

More words of wisdom that come from the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 7, verse 9. Try not to anger easily and be quick-tempered because that makes you a fool. Only a fool is quick to anger.


Was it the Bard or the Bible who said, “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better”?

Shakespeare wrote many plays and sonnets about the "crazy little thing called love." In "Twelfth Night" Olivia is saying seeking love is good but it is even better when it is given freely.


Are you one of the people who can say where this quote is from? "For I am with you and no one will lay a hand on you, because I have many people in this city."

This quote of comfort can be found in Acts 18:10. It is mystical in nature as it came from a vision that Paul had of God speaking to him. The words gave him courage because he stayed in Corinth for a year and a half.


“My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed.” Where can we find this quote?

Parents have given advice to their children across space and time. Biblical times are no different. The Bible speaks of obedient children giving joy to their parents in many verses.


"Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.” Where do these somber words come from?

In the play, "Measure for Measure," the new ruler of Vienna, Angelo, has started enforcing laws harshly. His advisor issues a warning in an aside about the dangers of his behavior. Heavy words for a heavy situation.


"This is comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life." Do you know where these words of comfort come from?

This verse from Psalms 119:50 highlights the power of the right words at the right time. The words in these verses and beyond intend to provide comfort in trying times and give new and everlasting life.


"Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.” Where did this piece of advice come from?

Polonius offers much counsel to Laertes at the beginning of "Hamlet." He rattles off a lot, but in this quote, he is telling his son to listen well but speak little. You learn more that way.


Do you know the origin of this quote? “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.”

This observation of life originates from Proverbs. The advice from the wise king Solomon is not to go full speed ahead without some guidance. Success comes when plans are thought out.


Where can you find this fact of death? “A man can die but once.”

Francis Feeble, a simple tailor in "Henry IV Part 2," makes this casual statement. He was drafted into the army but is not running from battle. His attitude is, if he dies, it's what he's supposed to do anyway.


Where can we find this lovely piece of advice? "Love yesterday, today and forever.​

In this line that is perfect for a wedding card, the meaning is clear. Love is timeless and goes on and on. This short and simple quote comes from The Book of Jeremiah.


Do you know where the quote: “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity” comes from?

This bit of wisdom comes from The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 17, verse 17. This quote is saying that it is true that a friend always loves, but a brother will stand by you at all times -- or a sister for that matter.


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