EXPLORING THE STORY OF 'THE RESCUE OF TIMMY TRIAL'
Do you ever use a Thesaurus? I find it helpful in writing – because it’s painfully easy to fall into the trap of using the same words over and over (and over) when you could mix things up, add interest and drama and colour, by using very similar words that essentially mean the same thing. In fact, I think it’s actually more likely that I use the same words again and again (and again) when I’m writing, because they’re already fresh in my mind as they’ve just been used! Anyway, my handy Thesaurus offers far more choice of similar words than I could ever dream up, and it’s one of the most used books I have to assist me in writing.
I am, of course, referring to the use of synonyms. The ‘Longman Compact English Dictionary’, states a synonym is…
‘any of 2 or more words or expressions…
that are used with (nearly) the same meaning’
I’m afraid I’m no linguist, and am sadly ignorant of how English compares to other languages, but I was intrigued to learn (through a quick search of Google) that,
‘Modern English has an unusually large number of synonyms or near-synonyms, mainly because of the influence of very different language groups: Germanic, Romance languages (Latin, French), and Greek.’
But, although several words in English can be used interchangeably, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t subtle differences in general meaning. One word can reflect a shade of truth or emphasis that is lacking in another. This is recognised by Jane Austen when, writing in Pride and Prejudice, she asserts,
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
I used to think that the different words the Bible uses to describe the message of God's salvation all meant the same thing: that words such as redemption, forgiveness, justification, substitution, born again, salvation, sanctification, propitiation ...... were essentially synonyms and that, if you had a Biblical Thesaurus, you could simply substitute one for the other. Perhaps that is possible in some instances. But there are distinct and wonderful differences behind these Biblical words – and they are intended to describe different aspects of Bible Truth. In other words, there is so much meaning in the work of Jesus Christ on behalf of the human race, that there are many different words and pictures needed to portray all its incredible depths of truth.
The differing aspects of the work of the Lord Jesus was what first set me on the path to write adventure stories which would delve into essential features of Bible Truth. Each book has a different theme. As you may have noticed in the previous blog, the first book in the Aletheia Adventure Series looks at Redemption: being set free from the slavery of sin, bought and paid for by a different Master.
‘Redemption is being purchased by God instead of being owned by sin; being set free from sin to belong to God instead…’
In the words of Romans 6:14,
‘Sin shall no longer be your master…’
There is a passage towards the beginning of the story of the rescue of Timmy Trial when he first comes to the cross in the centre of Aletheia. Christian Rescuer, Harold Wallop, tries to explain a little of the truth of Redemption.
“It’s because of the chains,” Harold explained the glinting steps. “People leave the chains of sin behind them when they trust in the Lord Jesus. He breaks the chains and sets them free! That’s part of the truth of Redemption.”
There were so many, many links of chain that formed the smooth steps that led upwards to the cross in the centre of the square. Countless cruel chains that now lay broken and shattered in pieces because the Lord Jesus had paid the awful price of the punishment of sin so that people who trusted in Him didn’t have to pay it themselves…’
Timmy doesn’t understand the significance of the cross, and certainly not the value of Redemption. First he must change his entire perspective. And that is the subject our next blog A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE.