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Divine Titles

I'm always on the lookout for writing topics and ways to lend support to my writing. For example, I look for material, such as illustrations, examples, statistics, and quotations, that I can incorporate into my work to support my points. I'm also on the lookout for possible titles for the things I write. Although I might find them almost anywhere, one good place to find them is in the Bible.


For example, I've used several phrases from Bible verses for articles, blog posts, and even books that I've published, including many that are not even about religious subjects. Here are some of them:

  • "The Womb of the Morning" (blog, February 16, 2018, https://dennislpeterson.com/post/the-womb-of-the-morning, Psa. 110:3)

  • Look Unto the Hills: Stories of Growing Up in Rural East Tennessee (2017, Psa. 121:1)

  • "The Ready Writer" (Spirit-Led Writer, March 2004, Psa. 45:1)

  • "Consider the Ant" (Junior Trails, June 5, 1994, Pro. 6:6)

  • "Gaining by Losing" (Confident Living, September 1991, Matt. 16:25)

  • "From the Mouths of Babes" (The Freeman, May 1983, Psa. 8:2)

  • Evil Angels among Them (unpublished novel manuscript, Psa. 78:49)


Lest you think I'm a little strange in this regard, I'm not the only writer who does (or has done) this. In fact, I'm in some good company following this practice. Several famous writers have used Scripture phrases as their titles. Consider, for example, the following familiar names and the titles of their works:

  • The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway, Eccles. 1:5)

  • The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton, Eccles. 7:4)

  • East of Eden (John Steinbeck, Gen. 2:8)

  • Absalom, Absalom! (William Faulkner, 2 Sam. 18:33)

  • Go Down Moses (William Faulkner, Exo. 32:7)

  • The Violent Bear It Away (Flannery O'Connor, Matt. 11:12)

  • Go Set a Watchman (Harper Lee, Isa. 21:6)


And these are only a few.


Years ago, I began keeping a list of such phrases that I might one day use as possible titles for some of my articles or books. I ran across them during my regular daily Bible-reading time. (If I don't write down such things, I inevitably forget them when they would be most opportune!) Some of them might come in handy one day. What do you think of these?

  • "There Was a Garden There" (John 18:1)

  • "The Secret Place of Thunder" (Psa. 81:7)

  • "Consider the Days of Old" (Psa. 77:5)

  • "And the Locusts Came" (Psa. 105:34)

  • "Songs in the House of My Pilgrimage" (Psa. 119:54)

  • "Yet Trouble Came" (Job 3:26)

  • "In the Day of Battle" (Psa. 140:7)

  • "A Good Degree" (1 Tim. 3:13)

  • "A Vessel Unto Honor" (2 Tim. 2:21)

  • "Proven with Mirth" (Eccles. 2:1)

  • "Wisdom, Madness, and Folly" (Eccles. 2:12)

  • "The Sacrifice of Fools" (Eccles. 5:1)

  • "This One Thing" (Phil. 3:13)

  • "Three Years in the Desert" (Gal. 1:17)

  • "I Declare!" (Psa. 66:16)

  • "One More Night with the Frogs" (Exo. 8:9-10)


As you no doubt have noticed, many of these came from the Psalms. David, Asaph, and Moses were certainly skilled wordsmiths!


Since titles cannot be copyrighted, some of the Scripture phrases I've listed might spark some thoughts for your own writing. Better yet, why not read through the Bible yourself and see what possible titles leap out at you from its pages? Maybe the exercise will "prime the pump" when you've reached a dry, barren desert along your own writing journey. (You might find some valuable "soul food" there, too!)



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