swept away utterly by terrors

The now commonly-used German idiom ein Ende mit Schrecken nehmen, today often used in the phrasing “lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken nehmen als ein Schrecken ohne Ende” (meaning that it’s preferable to end an unsatisfying state of affairs painfully to having a painful experience without ever experiencing an end to that) was first coined in 1534 in the German Bible translation by Martin Luther. (Source: Günther 2017, p. 60)

For other idioms or terms in German that were coined by Bible translation, see here.

weeping and gnashing of teeth

The now commonly-used German idiom Heulen und Zähneklappern (originally: Heulen und Zähneklappen), which today is used to express anger and outrage, often in a humorous context (literally “weeping and chattering of teeth”), was first coined in 1522 in the German New Testament translation by Martin Luther. (Source: Günther 2017, p. 79)

For other idioms or terms in German that were coined by Bible translation, see here.

speak in the tongues of angels

The now commonly-used German idiom mit Engelszungen reden for “sliver-tongued” or “speaking with persuasion and/charm” was first coined in 1522 in the German New Testament translation by Martin Luther. (Source: Günther 2017, p. 61)

For other idioms or terms in German that were coined by Bible translation, see here.

a haughty spirit goes before a fall

The now commonly-used German idiom Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall, which means that too much prideful behavior often ends in ruin (literally “arrogance goes before the fall”), was made popular in 1534 in the German Bible translation by Martin Luther. (Source: Günther 2017, p. 80)

For other idioms or terms in German that were coined by Bible translation, see here.

snare

The now commonly-used German expression Fallstrick for “snare,” but today only used in German in the sense to cause someone to stumble (“jemandem einen Fallstick legen”), was first coined in 1534 in the German Bible translation by Martin Luther. (Source: Günther 2017, p. 65)

For other idioms or terms in German that were coined by Bible translation, see here.

light dawning

The now commonly-used German idiom ein Licht aufgehen, which means that someone has suddenly understood something (literally “a light is dawning”), was made popular in 1534 in the German Bible translation by Martin Luther. (Source: Günther 2017, p. 83)

For other idioms or terms in German that were coined by Bible translation, see here.

fury of fire

The now commonly-used German expression Feuereifer, which today is used for a strong engagement for something, especially a cause of some kind, was first coined in 1522 in the German New Testament translation by Martin Luther. Since the meaning of that expression has now changed into something positive, the current edition of Luther’s translation (publ. 2017) uses wütendes Feuer — “raging fire.” Source: Günther 2017, p. 67)

For other idioms or terms in German that were coined by Bible translation, see here.

put a lamp under a bushel basket

The now commonly-used German idiom ein Licht unter den Scheffel, which means to be excessively humble (literally “put a light under the bushel”), was made popular in 1522 in the German New Testament translation by Martin Luther. (Source: Günther 2017, p. 85)

Since the German term Scheffel (“bushel”) is outdated and not widely known anymore, it was replaced in a 1975 revision of the Luther New Testament with Eimer (“bucket”). In the public reception this was seen as such an egregious error of judgment that that whole version was referred to mockingly as the Eimertestament (“bucket testament”) and withdrawn two years after its release. This choice of wording was not the only reason why that particular revision did not succeed. The revision was done mostly by linguists rather than theologians and aimed to have a highly communicative and modern style, which resulted in a loss of the specific style of the Luther Bible, something that the German church and public were not willing to accept. A more conservative revision followed in 1984 and the last revision was published in 2017. The 2017 edition actually restored some of Luther’s phrasing and terminology that had been replaced by earlier versions as long as they still reflected the meaning of the original Greek or Hebrew text.

For other idioms or terms in German that were coined by Bible translation, see here.