Concerning foundational truths.
It used to be that just about every English speaking person in Great Britain and the U.S. had a pretty good idea of what is in the Bible. Even if they lived their lives along totally different lines, they still had a general knowledge of Bible stories, commands, ethics and principles. So, when Wodehouse wrote, “I had been dreaming that some bounder was driving spikes through my head – not just ordinary spikes, as used by Jael the wife of Heber, but red-hot ones.” (Code of the Woosters) Or, that so and so was, “A bit like Balaam’s ass... If you recall, it too dug in its feet and refused to play ball.” (Much Obliged Jeeves) Or, when Mark Twain observed a comb which “...had come down from Esau and Samson, and had been accumulating hair ever since...” (Roughing It) it was a safe bet that everybody understood what they were getting at. It ain’t that way any more.