The Meaning of One, Two, Three

21st June, 2010 - Posted by Claire Larsen - 3 Comments

As a writer I like to read books on writing techniques, and the most recent book I’m reading is entitled Writing Tools (50 Essential Strategies For Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark.  Tool 20 is this: Choose the number of elements with a purpose in mind. One, two, three, or four– each sends a secret message to the reader. According to Mr. Clark a writer should use  the Language of One to indicate power, the Language of Two to show comparison or contrast, and the Language of Three to communicate wholeness and completeness. He provides many examples of this principle. Interestingly, I saw a spiritual connection.

How does the language of one, two three apply to Scripture?

The Language of One is power.  We worship one God, and Jesus Christ is the only way. There is one name under heaven by which a person can be saved. One God (Elohim — the mighty, strong, and majestic One) created the heaven and earth, and in the beginning was the one Word (Jesus). The power of Scripture is that the One God has provided one plan of salvation.

The Language of Two is comparison and contrast. Genesis 3 says that all mankind will be part of the Seed of the Woman or the Seed of the Serpent. Every person is either spiritually dead or spiritually alive, a child of God or a child of Satan. That which is of the earth is mortal and that which is of heaven is immortal.

The Language of Three is wholeness and completeness. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — the complete holy trinity. Jesus is the Prophet, Priest, and King — the fulfillment of the Old Testament roles. The story of the Bible can be summarized in three words: creation, sin, and redemption. Through the use of three God is telling us that He is complete in Himself and when a person is in relationship with God, man’s well-being is assured.

There are probably other examples of one, two, and three in Scripture, but these are a few that I was able to quickly identify.  This simple writing principle that makes any type of writing more effective brings new understanding to Scripture as well.



July 1st, 2010 at 2:23 am    

Hi Claire!

I wanted to say that I am really looking forward to using God’s Great Covenant with my 7 year old this fall. What a blessing this is for somebody like me, looking for a truly covenantal curriculum, who is still learning quite a bit about the Bible as well! I was wondering though, about the progression of the books. Will the four books be written in increasingly complex form, to be used over 4 years, or are they interchangeable in difficulty level? In other words, could one begin with the New Testament books? (We immersed ourselves pretty heavily in the OT this past year!). Thank you Claire!


Claire Larsen

July 1st, 2010 at 3:06 am    

Natalie, I’m glad you enjoyed the OT books so much. Thanks for your question. To answer your question … New Testament 1 (The Gospels) is written at the same level as Old Testament 2. We thought that some families may want to start in the New Testament. New Testament 2 (Acts through Revelation) will be at a slightly higher level the Old Testament 2 and New Testament 1. New Testament 1 is written and the editor has begun working on it. So, it won’t be long now. I’m eager to see the finished book. Claire


July 1st, 2010 at 3:24 pm    

Thanks for the clarification, Claire. We are eager to see the New Testament book as well – I’m sure it will be great!

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