Friday 12 October 2018

How Well does the Bible use the Five Senses?

By Cindy Williams | @nutritionchic 

How well does the Bible use the five senses? Being written by God, it should do pretty well, and from the very first chapters, it does!!


Genesis 1 is full of seeing. Six times ‘God saw that it was good.' Actually, on the final day he ‘saw all he had made, and it was very good.’ Most authors write the seeing sense without effort. Often we use this sense exclusively and it makes our writing one dimensional – just as life would be if you could only see and not hear, smell, taste and touch.


Genesis 3 gives us touch and taste. Eve tells the serpent that God had said they must not touch the tree in the middle of the garden or they would die. Great tension – will they touch the tree? We know the answer!


Eve sees the fruit is pleasing to the eye and she eats it. We can imagine how delicious it tasted – no cold room storage, no pollution, no pesticides! There’s a lot of talk about eating the apple, and then a line when God tells the serpent that from now on he will eat dust. Not quite such a good taste!


Adam and Eve hear God walking in the garden. I wonder what that sounded like? God calls to Adam and he answers that he heard him in the garden and he was afraid. Why? If you don’t know you will have to read it for yourself but here’s a hint: it sends every kindergarten scripture class into fits of giggling.


In Genesis 2 God breathes into Adam’s nostrils but it’s not until God smells the pleasing aroma of Noah’s burnt offerings that we get the first reference to smell. For the rest of the Old Testament it’s pretty obvious that burnt offerings are God’s favourite smell. (Not for the same reason as we slaver over the BBQ!)

What about the New Testament? What is God’s favourite smell here? We are! To God we are ‘the aroma of Christ’ and through us ‘he spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus.’ 2 Cor 2:14-15. Have you ever thought of your writing as a beautiful fragrance?

The Winner

And now for the winner of funniest smell reference in the Bible: Jesus tells them to roll the stone away from the tomb where Lazarus has lain dead for four days. Martha, in her anxious, practical way, says, ‘By this time, he stinketh.’ (Jn. 11:39 KJV). Love it!

What's your Favourite?

Throughout the Bible there are calls to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’, to hear his voice, to touch his hands and feet. There are flashes of lightening, rumblings and peals of thunder’; there are golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints’; there is honey sweet to the taste

God made us with five senses and He has made sure to use them all in His amazing book. Do you have a favourite ‘sense’ Bible verse?

 About Cindy Williams 

With degrees in Nutrition, Public Health and Communication Cindy worked for many years as a dietitian for sports teams, food industry, media, and as a nutrition writer and speaker.

Her first novel, The Pounamu Prophecy, was short listed for the 2016 Caleb Prize. She writes stories of health, history, food and faraway places at

 Cindy lives in Sydney with her husband and son, writing stories of flawed women who battle injustice... and sometimes find romance.

1 comment:

  1. Yes - that's a great verse, Josephine-Anne. Thank you for your comment xx


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