3 Essentials You Learn in 4 Words

The first lines of great books matter. They matter a lot, in fact. Consider a few examples:

  • In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
    — F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby(1925)
  • “There are dragons in the twins’ vegetable garden.”
    — Madeleine L’Engle, A Wind in the Door(1973)
  • Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity—Good.
    — Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia(1977)

Of course, the first few words of a book don’t tell you everything. They don’t even tell you most of the things. There are settings, details, and plot points yet to unfold. But these first lines do unmistakably tell you something. Though they might do so in a variety of ways, the first few words of any book set the table for what is to come. They do so through communicating the tone of the book, and even if it’s just a sense of what’s to come, they help you begin to feel what type of book you are entering into.

That’s also true with the Bible. Consider the first four words of Scripture, perhaps the most famous first words of any book ever written or read…

“In the beginning, God…”

Only four words. And yet those four words communicate some essential details that will carry you all the way through the remainder of the text. Here are three such essentials we learn from the four, short words:

The post originally appeared at thomasnelsonbibles.com. Read the rest here.

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