That list of biblical references running down the gutter of each page the ESV Study Bible is a compilation of thousands of cross-references that point to other thematically related parts of Scripture. All told the ESVSB has 80,000 of those cross-references.
There’s a history to who actually made those connections. The references found in the ESVSB were compiled by a team of Bible scholars from Oxford and Cambridge Universities over 100 years ago. Their work was first used in the English Revised Version (RV), a version that appeared in 1881.
A few years back Lutheran pastor Christoph Römhild wondered if an infographic could capture cross-references like these for the purpose of visualizing the tapestry of Scripture. He contacted Chris Harrison, who said yes, and together they created this:
Each bar along the bottom represents a chapter from Genesis (left) to Revelation (right). The length of the bar correspond to the length of the chapter (Psalm 119 is easy to find in the middle). The cross-references are arched and colored by arch length. In all this graphic represents 63,779 colorful cross-references (I’m unsure how they arrived at this number, cross-referencing being something of an art — the Thompson’s Chain-Reference Bible has over 100,000, for example).
Beautiful graphic, isn’t it? This is a wonderful visual reminder of the thematic unity of Scripture, and it serves as a great personal reminder to read every verse in light of the bigger biblical storyline.
You can find a large version of the graphic and more information here.
6 thoughts on “The Tapestry of Scripture”
I love this. To me it reinforces that truth in the natural world and truth in the spiritual world ought to bethought of as the same truth on a continuum. Not as opposites, but two sides of the same truth. What a beautiful visualization of how “the heavens declare” (Ps. 50:6)
[…] all these cross-references in mind, Tony Reinke, in a recent blog, writes: A few years back Lutheran pastor Christoph Römhild wondered if an infographic could […]
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Scripture is like a cell. It is alive, it’s complex and it’s multi-related. Scripture is the second most beautiful work of the Holy Spirit (His most beautiful work is regeneration)
[…] get on with it. Below is the full text of his post, one which struck me visually. Here is the link to that post. That list of biblical references running down the gutter of each page the ESV Study […]