Biblical Allusion Project

Who? You with a group, and you on your own.

What? A project that is intended to boost your familiarity with well-known and oft-referenced stories from the Bible, one of the
cores of our culture and cultures across the world.

When? The due dates are staggered. Please make sure you check the calendar and know when your group is responsible for their

Where? Here. Duh.

Why? You will encounter allusions to famous Biblical characters and stories and lessons everywhere you go. Understanding these
allusions can add an extra layer of meaning to a piece of writing or art, or just make a film or TV show a little more enjoyable.
Everyone likes to be “in” on things, and this project will help you do that. Whether the Bible is a core part of your upbringing/religion
is not relevant to this project—the fact is that the Bible contains many of the original stories that dictate art and literature.

How? Like this:

 Step 1: Your group will be given a section of the Bible for which you will be held responsible.
o It is your responsibility to access a Bible, either a physical version or an online version.
o Your group can all read the whole section, or you can split it up and report back to each other.
o If you are given an entire book (or several), you can focus on the allusions themselves, but make SURE you are
getting the full picture. Use your judgment.
 Step 2: As a group, you will split up the required allusion presentations (detailed on the back of this paper). It may seem
easier to just look up the allusion rather than reading for real, but there is immense value in a) reading it in the language
which was intended, and b) understanding the context of what happens before, after, and as a result of your
 Step 3: On the assigned date, you will present your section of the bible and your allusions to the class using the format
detailed on the back of this page.

Genesis 1 Genesis 2 Exodus and Samuel
Creation Noah Absalom
Adam and Eve Ark Bathsheba
Cain and Abel Esau and Jacob David
Garden of Eden Lot and Lot’s Wife Exodus
Mary Methuselah Manna
The Three Magi Sodom and Gomorrah Moses
Parting of the Red Sea
Burning Bush
Ten Plagues
Matthew, Luke, and Job Mixed Bag General Knowledge
Twelve Apostles Elijah Council of Nicea
Good Samaritan Isaiah Four Horsemen
Herod Jezebel Gabriel
Job Jonah Jacob’s Ladder
John the Baptist Samson and Delilah Joseph of Arimathea
Judas/Kiss of Death/Thirty Pieces of Paul Last Supper
Silver Valley of the Shadow of Death Sermon on the Mount
Lazarus Lucifer Swineherd
Mary Magdalene Prodigal Son Ascension
Peter Tower of Babel Crucifixion
Pontius Pilate Solomon Resurrection

Presentation Format

1. Read the passage(s) associated with your allusion(s).
2. On one side of a notecard, condense those passage(s) into a manageable summary (5-7 sentences), being sure to
include any well-known phrases.
3. Write an original sentence using your allusion in an authentic way and making sure you demonstrate your
understanding of its implications. Need help? Consider the “big idea” of your conclusion—is it rebirth?
Forgiveness? Betrayal? Use those big ideas to determine how to use your allusion.
 Example of an authentic allusion: “May the force be with you,” the physics teacher told her
students, making a pun about the experiment with mass and velocity. OR, Ms. Honore’s Achilles’
heel is her tendency to procrastinate—it always gets her in the end.
 Non-example of an authentic allusion: Jose alluded to the Bible by saying, “You are a Judas.”
OR, She was a Jezebel.
4. On the other side of the notecard, draw a simple picture that represents your allusion.

Day of Presentation

1. You will go to the front of the classroom and present your allusion(s) summary and sentence. As you present,
your classmates will take notes on what you say on their own notecards.
2. Then you will draw your picture on the whiteboard for your classmates to copy onto their notecards.
3. Then you will take a bow and take a seat. 

Presentation Dates

Genesis 1 Genesis 2 E and S M, L, and J Mixed Bag General