The Bible: The Great, Cosmic Comedy

“When speaking of comedy as a type of story, literary critics do not mean a humorous story but rather one with a certain shape of plot. Comedy is the story of the happy ending. It is usually a U-shaped story that begins in prosperity, descends into tragedy, and rises again to end happily. The first phase of this pattern is often omitted, but the upward movement form misery to happiness is essential. . . It is a commonplace of literary criticism that comedy rather than tragedy is the dominant narrative form of the Bible and the Christian gospel. The Bible as a whole begins with a perfect world, descends into the misery of fallen history, and ends with a new world of total happiness and victory over evil.”

Leland Ryken, How to Read the Bible as Literature . . . and get more out of it (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), 82-83.


About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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