How to Use the Bible to Practice Descriptive Writing

canva-tea,-drink-tea,-tea-glass,-cup,-bible,-faith,-open-macvrw_rvbuIf you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I freelance for Christian publishing companies. My work often sends me digging deep into the bible, thinking about its words, trying to imagine myself in its scenes. One thing I’ve noticed is the bible holds excellent examples of descriptive writing.  Many of its ancient authors revealed specific details using vivid and carefully selected words. They wove their words together not only for the purpose of reporting but also to entice readers to imagine while using all of their senses.

Read these examples from The Book of Isaiah.

“The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.” (Isaiah 3:16 NIV)

“I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” (Isaiah 18:4 NIV)

“I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”’At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” (Isaiah 6:1-4 NIV)

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12 NIV)

canva-man-in-a-blue-dress-shirt-and-bucket-hat-madgyearhwgA tried-and-true technique for practicing descriptive writing is to read and model well-written sentences and paragraphs. Have you ever tried using the bible as a model?

Below are two sentence starters. Add your own words to build a descriptive paragraph for each. Then look up the scriptures following the sentences to see what Isaiah wrote.

The Lord will take away all the women’s fine clothing and accessories . . .

(Isaiah 3:18-23)

The blacksmith takes a tool . . .

Isaiah 44:12)

This week, meditate on one of your favorite stories or scenes from the bible. Imagine yourself being the first to tell the story. What details would you include? What words and phrases could you use to catch readers’ attention and draw them into the scene.


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Filed under Bible, descriptive writing, Uncategorized

2 responses to “How to Use the Bible to Practice Descriptive Writing

  1. Hi Jean – Excellent post. I shared it on Google+ and will be sharing it on a future post on my blog.


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