Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Like a Symphony


Big Idea: The Bible’s many stories weave common patterns together similar to a grand symphony with different sections but the same repeted melodies.

Like a Symphony

Symphonies, though they can refer to an orchestra, can represent a single body of work, such Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Most symphonies have four movements each with a distinct style (lively, slow, robust etc). Usually there are melodious patterns that emerge that show, in spite of variations, that they all belong together.

Movements in a Biblical Scroll Useful

The BibleProject likens the Bible to the movements and patterns of a symphony and that resonates with me. The book of Genesis heard in the original Hebrew has four distinct movements. The Bible as ancient literature in a non-literate society was intended to be listened to in community. Memorization was encouraged so it was written with recognizable word patterns to aid memory. There were no chapter and verse markings at that time. Those were inserted later to help those of us reading it to find our way back to a section.

Beautifully Crafted Patterns and Links

I can’t read the original Hebrew but I have learned a lot about God from reading my Bible in English. However it is intriguing to learn about the original intent of the Biblical authors. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, it has been beautifully crafted with movements and patterns. That is true for the individual books, but it is also true when you examine all 66 books of the Bible. The patterns emerge and are unified, culminating in the Life of Jesus Christ. These patterns then continue in the New Testament church. 

Patterns are also called Themes

Another word describing patterns is themes. Examples are, blessing, eternal life, Sabbath, etc. When we learn how to trace key words throughout a book of the Bible, and even the entire Bible, we discover key themes God wants us to know. Like putting together a puzzle, it is amazing to tie several sections of the Bible together and see a unified theme.

Sample of Bible Project Themes
I am excited to explore this concept of movements and patterns further with you in the next couple of weeks. As always, if you go to you will find a lot of excellent information.

You might find this video from BibleProject on Design Patterns in Biblical Narrative to be useful.

This is second in a series, The Bible in Sync for the month of September 2022

Up next : Like a Mosaic - Movements
Previous post: One Story, One Spirit


1.Have you ever played an instrument in a group playing a piece with multiple movements? What do you recall about the continuity of the piece? Perhaps you have been to a classical concert with that sort of structure. Did you notice any similarities between the various parts of one piece?

2. Have you ever noticed or had a pastor or Bible study leader tie together various parts of the Bible? How did that impact you?

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