Note: (page updated 24.08.2023)

All proceeds from The Writing on the Wall are donated to St Mary's, Buckden: The A1 Church by the author and, together with those from its forerunner, a shorter version, now exceed £2,500.

To comment on any of the following news items please write to Richard Noble by clicking on the address below to open your email client (such as Outlook Express, Mail, Thunderbird etc).

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24 August 2023

"This book is an essential guidebook to the King James Bible and eplores the idioms within it that have entered modern-day usage." This is the latest summary on Amazon's UK web site.



2 April 2023

St Mary's, Buckden receive another payment of royalties earned from sales of The Writing on the Wall and the Churwarden writes "Thank you, for your generosity in passing on the royalties, and how fabulous that your book is selling and informing new people about the history of these phrases" and of course they are learning more about the Bible itself!


18 December 2021

Sacristy Press choose The Writing on the Wall as their blog for the week before Christmas, selecting tantalising extracts from the pages about Zechariah and Job, topical to Christmas and the pandemic.



5 October 2021

On Tuesday 28 September the author met with a brother and sister who told him they had found The Writing on the Wall so helpful they had bought copies for each their grandchildren, numbering seven and five respectively and making a total of twelve new copies!


14 February 2021

Sacristy Press publisher of The Writing on the Wall again features this book, this time to mark the season of Lent. Their news Blog reveals how the Bible phrases chosen for the forty Old Testament chapters can be used for a different look at the forty days of Lent.


7 February 2021

Autographed copies of The Writing on the Wall become available on ebay.


1 December 2020 

Five years after its publication The Writing on the Wall features in Publisher Sacristy Press Advent Blog revealing how the New Testament chapters can be used as an Advent calender with an Everyday saying for each day to prompt reflection.



11 November 2020

With its 25 brief New Testament chapters providing a phrase for each day of Advent, The Writing on the Wall is recommended as an excellent idea for an early Christmas present.


1 January 2020

Bible 2020 launches with the first reading of the year in Maori at Gisborne New Zealand. Christian organisations across the world have joined in a movement that includes more than 100 nations.


August 2019

The Writing on the Wall receives its 9th 5 Star review on goodreads:  "Mighty Book" – a veritable accolade.



June 2019

Richard, author of The Writing on the Wall, asks "Was Jesus really a carpenter?" In a new article just published in Faith in Business Quarterly (FiBQ). Richard Noble raises some fascinating thoughts about the occupation of Jesus in the years before his Gospel Ministry. A subscription to FiBQ can provide a resource for real encouragement and support to Christians engaged in business and contains useful up-to-date material. Richard's article is available to read free of charge on the Faith in Business website.




22 March 2019

Historian, Sarah Pruitt,explains why the King James Bible of 1611 Remains the Most Popular Translation in History: "Not only was it the first 'people's Bible,' but its poetic cadences and vivid imagery have had an enduring influence on Western culture... Its majestic cadences would inspire generations of artists, poets, musicians and political leaders, while many of its specific phrases worked their way into the fabric of the language itself. Even now, more than four centuriesafter its publication, the King James Bible remains the most famous Bible translation in history—and one of the most printed books ever." Richard comments: "The Writing On the Wall is full of such examples and Sarah's article amply endorses the contents".


15 October 2018

Richard writes in his Guest Blog for Sacristy Press: 'Getting this writing “onto the wall” was fun... I have thoroughly enjoyed publishing this book, and hope that you enjoy reading it just as much.'


1 October 2018

Sacristy Press chooses The Writing on the Wall as their October Book of the Month with the recommendation: "At this time of year Richard’s book would be a rewarding read in the season of Advent and an ideal choice for a Christmas present."


16 April 2018

£2500 – The total of proceeds going to St Mary's, Buckden: The A1 Church from The Writing on the Wall and from its locally printed prepublication version, by the skin of its teeth. Richard writes in the book’s preface “to help keep this modern facility open to journeyers at the point where the A1 passes through Cambridgeshire, providing rest and refreshment as sustenance for both body and soul”.


20 March 2018

The annual report of King’s College Cambridge is distributed to members and the Dean’s Chapel Report mentions various sermons including Richard Noble’s. The readings that morning, from the King James Bible, included 13 phrases that have become embedded in the English language. These formed the basis of Richard’s address to a congregation of around 250 on the theme of his book, The Writing on the Wall: Everyday Phrases from the King James Bible. The full text has been posted on line by the college here.



16 March 2018

The 101 year old Hollywood legend, Olivia de Havilland, uses a phrase from the King James Bible in her lawsuit against an American filmmaker, that the TV show:  Feud “put false words in my mouth”. You can find out about the original phrase on page 18 of The Writing on the Wall. All over the world, wherever English is spoken, people are using such phrases that have their origins in the King James Bible.


6 February 2018

Sacristy Press, promote The Writing on the Wall as one of 6 inspiring books to give you a helping hand in Lent, explaining in the words of a reviewer:
“… an eminently suitable resource for a Bible Study group! … a gift that keeps on giving … a book to … use as a springboard for Bible exploration and to return to for reference. … a good way to break into understanding the Bible. … a few big surprises.

Buy your copy here.


24 January 2018

Another book is published about the King James Bible, Authorized – The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible. Its author, Mark Ward recommends readers to check out other translations to avoid being led astray by some of the out-of-date words and meanings. This echos advice in the Preface to The Writing on the Wall: “Readers are encouraged to explore the Bible further, using an up to date translation.” Both share similar rating on Goodreads (click the titles above).

Have you bought your copy of The Writing on the Wall yet? If not, buy one now.


11 November 2017

The number of tweets of phrases derived from the King James Bible grows to 1,800. These are taken at random from a collection that has grown to over 560. The total list, inclusive of variations from the same scriptural text currently stands at 695. These daily tweets can be followed by clicking the image below.

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4 October 2017

The Guardian asks:

“Melvyn Bragg says kids should read the King James Bible. But is it too graphic?”

The writer and broadcaster thinks the 1611 Authorised Version should be taught in schools… that the language … is beautiful …the stories are told much better in the older translations …The old language has a stark strangeness that conveys something of the moral horror of the story. (Andrew Brown, The Guardian) melvyn-brag-king-james-bible


8 May 2017

   Richard Noble's address given at the service of Matins in King's College Chapel, Cambridge on 7th May was based on the theme of 'understanding' and referred to thirteen typical phrases that have entered the English language from the King James Bible. Topics covered included the growth of populism and secularism, science and religion, and new understanding, as the figurative language and meaningful stories of the Bible are interpreted anew in each generation. The text of the address/sermon can be read on-line on the King's College website by clicking the image below from the chapel service booklet (see pages 2 & 9)



May 2017

   On 7 May Richard Noble, Author of The Writing on the Wall, will be speaking at the service of Matins in King's College Chapel, Cambridge, on a theme relating to his book. After lunch he will be presenting an illustrated talk in College: The Shape of the Bible and its impact on language and culture.

WALL flierP


 To request a talk please send an email to:

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By clicking on the address above, a new message window will be opened in your email client (such as Outlook Express, Mail, Thunderbird etc)


8th April 2017

   £2415   The gross sum raised to date for St Mary’s Church, Buckden, Cambridgeshire, comprised of Book Launch sponsorship and sales on the PCC printing of an earlier version, author sales of the Writing on the Wall and royalties. In his preface to The Writing on The Wall, the author wrote:



April 2017

   On 6 April Richard gave an augmented version of his illustrated talk to a large meeting of the Aughton and Ormskirk U3A in Lancashire. “It is my pleasure to say 'thank you' to you both for entertaining us to our monthly lecture.  I have already got a waiting list to read your book.” (SW, Aughton & Ormskirk U3A)




The author (centre) with Andrew Beeston and Bill Evans of Aughton and Ormskirk U3A


March 2017

   On 29 March Richard re-visted Woodbridge in Suffolk, bringing back happy memories of sailing and painting trips. That evening he gave another of his illustrated talks about his book, The Writing on the Wall, and the impact of the Bible on literature and culture.


February 2017

   “Still searching for that Lenten read? When it comes to matters of faith, there is a daunting amount of material out there.” In their pre-Lent Blog, Sacristy Press asks “But where to start?” and suggests: “if like many others you need a simple book for Lent as an introduction to the Bible, look no further than The Writing on the Wall.” “There is probably no more succinct an introduction.” “On completion, you will have a good idea of both the shape of the Bible, as a whole, and the impact of The King James (or Authorised) version on our language and culture.”


January 2017

   On 23 January a new website went on line with the hundreds of well-known phrases identified by author, Richard Noble (plus idiomatic nouns and several variations of phrases currently totalling 559). These all have their origins in the King James Version (sometimes called the “Authorised Version”) of the Bible, first published in 1611. This new resource provides a mine of useful information for sermon writers, language students, linguists, bible scholars and anyone interested in the influence of the Bible on language and culture. Please click the image below to find it.



October 2016

    On 12 October, at Ticehurst Church, East Sussex, Richard gave the last of his 2016 series of talks about The Writing on the Wall.

His feedback included: "… this morning… everyone was … saying how much they enjoyed your Talk, and also the enthusiastic and relaxed way in which you presented it" .… "the evening raised £200 at the Door" … "we must have had a full house" …. "I don't think we've ever ever had so many!" … 




11th September 2016

Richard returned to his former Parish in Liverpool, St Michael’s Church, Huyton to give an illustrated address to the congregation during the sermon slot about The Writing on the Wall, a possible basis for future talks about his book.


21st April 2016

The number of Everyday bible phrases being tweeted @KJVsayings is increased to 558. This is probably by far the largest collection of such phrases, sayings and idioms to be found anywhere.


April 2016

Richard Noble will be giving a talk about his book, The Writing on the Wall, at Chalfont St Giles Parish Church, Hertfordshire, on Sunday 22 May at the 6.30pm Choral Evensong service.



November 2015

Daily tweets of Everyday phrases, sayings and idioms that you never realised came from the King James Bible begin to appear on Twitter. Please click the image below to see some of them @KJVsayings.


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October 2015

Richard (second from left below) took part in the Durham Book Festival on Monday 12 October 2015. Click the Durham University Read logo below and the photograph of the participants to read all about it and the surprising story behind the title of the new James Bond theme song.



14th Octber 2015

The New York Times announces the discovery by an American scholar of the earliest known draft, and the only one definitively written in the hand of one of the roughly four dozen translators of the King James Bible. It is an unassuming notebook held in an archive at the University of Cambridge dating from 1604 to 1608 and is possibly the most significant archival find in decades relating to the King James Bible (published 1611). The notebook contains a complete draft of 1 Esdras, one of the books of the Apocrypha, which is included in the King James Bible but not in most modern versions.


9 October 2015

Richard Noble, author of The Writing on the Wall, receives a Thomas Telford award from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) for his paper, recording the 'Construction of Buckden's Living Stones Rooms', The Municipal  Engineer, 23 January 2014. The Writing on the Wall was written in support of this building project, providing extra facilities for St Mary's Church, Buckden. ICE publish the paper on line 'in perpetuity';
                                                                       Buckden's Living Stones Rooms


August 2015

New pages for the Writing on the Wall

In response to popular request the author has written a few new pages and there might well be more to follow.


1st January 2015

Sacristy Press publish the paperback edition of The Writing on the Wall – Everyday Phrases from The King James Bible, by Richard Noble.



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