To read the Western Canon one must know at least the vocabulary of The Tyndal Bible which starts with The Christian “Old Testament”, which is The Hebrew Bible.
The Tyndale Bible (Coverdale, ed.) was the Bible of Shakespeare and Elizabethan period; not superseded until revised as The King James Version in 1611.
We use Tyndale’s words today: “scapegoat,”“let there be light,” “the powers that be,” “my brother’s keeper,” “filthy lucre,” “fight the good fight,” “sick unto death,” “flowing with milk and honey,” “the apple of his eye,” “a man after his own heart,” “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” “signs of the times,” “ye of little faith,” “eat, drink and be merry,” “broken-hearted,”“clear-eyed.” And hundreds more: “fisherman,”“landlady,”“sea-shore,”“stumbling-block,”“taskmaster,”“two-edged,”“viper,”“zealous” and even “Jehovah” and “Passover” come into English through Tyndale. “Beautiful,” a word that had meant only human beauty, was considerably widened by Tyndale, as were many others.(3) Other words that find their genesis in Tyndale’s linguistic skills include: fig leaves, birthright, ingathering, sin offering, morning watch, handbreadth, spoiler, swaddling clothes, slaughter, and ministering. In addition, there are numerous words that find their first usage in Tyndale’s New Testament (1526– 34), including apostleship, brotherly, busybody, castaway, chasten, dividing, fisherman, godly, holy place, intercession, Jehovah, justifier, live, log, mercy seat, Passover, scapegoat, taskmaster, unbeliever, Viper, and zealous. Biographer David Teems quotes Stephen Greenblatt as saying, “Without Tyndale’s New Testament … it ‘s hard to imagine William Shakespeare, the playwright.”(4) Even Shakespeare must concede that he is an heir to this grand translator of the Scriptures. Repeatedly, Shakespeare uses words and phrases that he has obviously adopted from Tyndale’s New Testament. For example, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare writes:
“The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was.”
Tyndale’s translation of 1 Corinthians 2: 9 in the 1526 edition of his New Testament reads,:
“The eye hath not seen, and the ear hath not heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
When Shakespeare was learning to read and write at the community school at Stratford on Avon, Latin was the essential language, but he learned his English from Tyndale’s Bible. (Shakespeare’s probable schooling dates 1569-1579. He wrote from 1590-1611. The KJV was not initiated until 1607 and not published until 1611) (1)
The Canon of Western Civilization
Miguel de Cervantes
Michel de Montaigne
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Jorge Luis Borges
The Torah maintains that the righteous Gentiles of all nations (those observing the Seven Laws of Noah, listed below) have a place in the World to Come. But not all religious Gentiles earn eternal life by virtue of observing their religion:
While it is recognized that Moslems worship the same God that we do (though calling him Allah, He is the same God of Israel), even those who follow the tenets of their religion cannot be considered righteous in the eyes of God, because they do not accept that the Written Torah in the hands of the Jews today is the original Torah given by God, and they do not accept the Seven Laws of Noah as binding on them.
While the Christians do generally accept the Hebrew Bible as truly from God, many of them (those who accept the so-called divinity of Jesus) are idolaters according to the Torah, punishable by death, and certainly will not enjoy the World to Come. But it is not just a member of a denomination in which the majority are believers in the Trinity that is idolatry, but personal idolatrous practice, whatever the individual’s affiliation.
Contrary to popular belief, the Torah does not maintain that Jews are necessarily better than other people simply because they are Jews. Although we are God’s chosen people, we do not believe that God chose the Jews because of any inherent superiority. According to a story in the Talmud, God offered the Torah to all the nations of the earth, and the Jews were the only ones who accepted it. According to another story, the Jews were offered the Torah last and received it only because God held a mountain over their heads! Another traditional story suggests that God chose the Jews because they were the lowliest of nations, and their success would be attributed to God’s might rather than their ability. Clearly, these are not the ideas of people who think they are inherently better than other nations.
Because of our acceptance of Torah, Jews have a special status in the eyes of God, but we lose that special status when we abandon Torah. Furthermore, the blessings that we received from God by accepting the Torah come with a high price: Jews have a greater responsibility than non-Jews. While non-Jews are only obligated to obey the seven commandments given to Noah, Jews are responsible for fulfilling the 613 mitzvot in the Torah, thus God will punish Jews for doing many things that would not be a sin for non-Jews.
(1) Bragg, Melvin, Adventures in English
(3) Rogers, CC, http://therogerspost.com/2015/05/28/english-language/