N.B.”The Biblical Churchill” was the original Appendix IV in my book Churchill By Himself. It was deleted in the later edition, Churchill in His Own Words, to make room for an index of phrases.
Churchill’s Biblical storehouse
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” —St. John 14:2 
We have often said of our own British Empire: “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.” So in this far greater world structure, which we shall surely raise out of the ruins of desolating war, there will be room for all generous, free associations of a special character, so long as they are not disloyal to the world cause nor seek to bar the forward march of mankind. —WSC, House of Commons, 21 April 1944
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“Arm yourselves, and be valiant men, and see that ye be in readiness against the morning…For it is better for us to die in battle, than to behold the calamities of our people and our sanctuary. Nevertheless, as the will of God is in heaven, so let him do.” —I Maccabees 3:58-60 
Centuries ago words were written to be a call and a spur to the faithful servants of Truth and Justice: Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be. —WSC, Broadcast, 19 May 1940
Frequent Biblical allusions
“More than to any other book or group of books, Churchill alludes to the King James Bible,” wrote Darrell Holley in Churchill’s Literary Allusions:
It is for him the primary source of interesting illustrations, descriptive images, and stirring phrases. His knowledge of the Bible manifests itself in direct quotations, in paraphrased retellings of Biblical stories, and in his frequent, perhaps even unconscious, use of Biblical terms and phrases. The Tower of Babel, Belshazzar’s feast…the millstone around the neck, the “great gulf fixed” between Paradise and Hell [from Luke 16:26] the last great Battle of Armageddon—these occur often in Churchill’s writing.”
Yet Churchill was not a religious man. Having read the leading anti-religious tracts of the late 19th century, weighing them against the Anglican teachings of his boyhood, he held a pragmatic attitude toward spiritual questions:
I adopted quite early in life a system of believing what I wanted to believe, while at the same time leaving reason to pursue unfettered whatever paths she was capable of treading.Some of my cousins who had the great advantage of University education used to tease me with arguments to prove that nothing has any existence except what we think of it. The whole creation is but a dream; all phenomena are imaginary. You create your own universe as you go along.
What moved Churchill was the Biblical beauty of King James English, badly mutilated by “new revised” Bibles ostensibly designed to make them more “relevant.” He had an ear for the memorable phrase, and he never hesitated to deploy Biblical allusions both famous and obscure. One of each is sufficient to demonstrate his expertise.
Continued in Part 2.
1. Holy Bible, King James edition. The same verse in Basic English, which WSC championed as a lingua franca, is: “In my Father’s house are rooms enough; if it was not so, would I have said that I am going to make ready a place for you?”
2. From the Apocrypha, King James Bible: “A group of books not found in Jewish or Protestant versions of the Old Testament included in the Septuagint and in Roman Catholic editions of the Bible.” —Random House Webster’s College Dictionary
3. Darrell Holley, Churchill’s Literary Allusions (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1987), 7.
4. Winston S. Churchill, My Early Life (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1930), 131.