Good writers have a way of communicating ideas in a variety of creative ways. This makes reading them exciting, right? No one wants to read the same thing over and over and over again. If you have to repeat the same idea, do it in a way that is creative and communicates that idea in a fresh way. At least that was something I was told when I took creative writing classes in college.
For some of us, that’s a lot more difficult than we’d like, right? But it’s certainly helpful if we want to write things that people will actually read.
One of the reasons why I love reading OT poetry (e.g., Psalms) is because Hebrew parallelism is beautiful. The way that the psalmists communicate the same ideas without sounding repetitive really blesses me. I mean, how many ways can you say “I’m frustrated,” right? In Psalm 69, David finds quite a few ways to express that feeling (e.g., David writes that the waters have come up to his neck, he’s sinking in deep mire with no foothold, and that the flood waters are sweeping over him).
As you’re probably aware, the OT authors are not the only biblical writers that communicate ideas in creative ways. The NT is full of examples where Paul, Peter, or John use a variety of words to communicate essentially the same concept. But not everyone reads Scripture aware of this truth, which leads them to embrace what Osborne calls the word fallacy. He writes, [Read more…]