The bread of life


What's the meaning of the phrase 'The bread of life'?

A name used by Christians to denote Jesus Christ.

There is a simple literal interpretation of this phrase, which is – the food that we require for physical sustenance. It is rarely used in that way though and is most often use figuratively to mean the spiritual food needed for a full life. It is specifically used in that way by the Christian church to refer to Jesus Christ.

What's the origin of the phrase 'The bread of life'?

From the Bible, John 6:35 (King James Version)

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Apart from the Bible, the earliest reference to the phrase in literature is by Philip Stubbes in his The anatomie of abuses, 1583:

“To breeke the bread of life to their charges.”

Trend of the bread of life in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.