The Bible“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Now that’s a great first line.
When it comes to writing there are quite a few authors worth emulating–worth studying and learning from. Among the very best, of course, is the author of creation. He has some fantastic lines and ways of using language. Here are a few that standout for me:
From Luke chapter two – “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
I will ALWAYS volunteer to read this scripture at Christmas. And please let it be in the King James. There’s a rhythm to it–a building of suspense that releases with “Christ the Lord.” It’s a ta-da scripture.
Then there’s the 23rd Psalm–another bit I prefer in the poetry of King James. It has lovely imagery, a dark moment, redemption and a happy ending. All in six short verses. Commit it to memory–it’s a great bit of scripture to carry in your heart.
And how about the love chapter from I Corinthians–chapter 13? “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” This passage is so logical and linear while still keeping the cadence of poetry. We should all write so well.
And don’t forget the whole first chapter of Genesis. Not only is it an amazing story told well, it has style. I particularly like the way it repeats “And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” Then a bit more story, “And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.” And so on right up until the last verse, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”
An excellent way to end a chapter–since we KNOW there are seven days. I mean, you’ve got to read on and find out what happens on day seven–in chapter two!
And the really great thing about looking to the Bible for literary inspiration is that it pretty well covers all genres. Romance? How about Queen Esther or the Song of Solomon? Drama? Try the building of the ark and the destruction of the world. Mystery? Well, there’s always Revelation.
But it’s not just great stories–it’s great stories told well. And that, after all, is what all authors are after. Perhaps even the author of . . . everything.