Design Patterns and the Bible
by Rachel Marron
Picture a still puddle on the ground on a dark night. A distant rumble pierces the silence and the puddle ripples. Another rumble, another ripple. Twenty-first century Americans understand what follows. Because the image is iconic, we know it’s dark outside; the mood is tense; and people are about to die (at least the lawyer).
Patterns allow audiences to place context, meaning, and even project future events with minimal ease. American culture is largely united by visual patterns from film, which require less energy to detect than literary patterns. As a result, our visually-based society that values instant-gratification over meaningful contemplation has trouble recognizing design patterns, especially in literature. This poses a particular challenge to American Christians who believe that their creator is revealed and understood through the written word.
Identifying biblical patterns is key to comprehending what the biblical authors claim about humanity and God himself. Many of the misconceptions over the God of the Bible can be clarified by learning to recognize key literary patterns. Here is one example…