From Scripture to a Picture
The idea of this post is to work on generating ideas and images from a single Bible verse.
This can sometimes be a very straightforward process as there are lots of Bible verses which bring to mind an obvious image.
For example, the verse, “Unless the Lord builds the house the builders labour in vain,” (Psalm 127:1) immediately brings to mind a clear image of a house.
On the other hand, there are many verses which do not immediately link to a specific image, but can inspire a wide range of images to come to mind based upon the “mood” of the verse.
For example, a verse such as “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) does not have one obvious image, but a number of different possible images based upon the “mood” of the verse – i.e. calmness, stillness, quietness…
Exploring The Verse
We are going to take a verse that I have illustrated and I am going to show you the steps I went through to producing a picture based on it. I hope that this will inspire you and give you a framework to produce your own picture from a verse.
The verse we are going to look at is:
“How great is the love The Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God.” (1 John 3:1)
The first step I take when approaching a verse is to try and think about what the “mood” of the verse is and what it is saying.
This particular verse is the opening of a chapter, it is a big statement finishing with an exclamation mark!
It is talking about the extravagant love of God, which we don’t deserve, but how amazing His grace and love is that we are called His children.
It is joyful, upbeat, positive, enthusiastic… All of these words help us think of colour and celebration – this then helps bring to mind images that may be applicable.
Picking Out Key Words From the Verse
My next step is to write the verse down in the middle of a piece of paper.
You can then underline keywords in the verse:
These are some key words to think about in the verse.
The word that really stands out to me in this verse as encapsulating the overall meaning is the word “lavished”.
When I think of the word lavished I think of extravagance, richness, lush, beyond expectation, great quantity, abundance, splendour, underserved, treats, gifts..
Choosing Images For The Verse
We can now have a think about what images come to mind when we think of the above themes.
I automatically think about food as this is a way in which I give treats to my children. I think of rich food, ice creams in amazing cones with sprinkles, incredible cakes in layers, fine dining or a banquet table, a feast or a cream tea.
It could just as equally be jewellery or precious metals or stones, beautiful decor, etc..
You can then use these thoughts to begin to sketch ideas of the images that come to mind.
For example, a pile of presents, an ice cream sundae or maybe a beautiful necklace.
We can really allow our imaginations to come alive at this point with the creative ideas we may have.
Putting it all together
Below is the picture that I came up with called His Great Love based on the verse we are looking at:
Not surprisingly, it is a cake stand for an afternoon tea party with lots of exciting and extravagant cakes on it.
This is just one particular way that this verse could be illustrated – there are so many possible images that may come to mind and could work really well.
The idea of this task isn’t necessarily to come up with a completed picture (although you may get that far!), but it is to have a go at developing your ideas from the words of a verse to the images of a picture.
I have listed a few verses below which offer a wide possibility of images.
I hope these provide a helpful starting point for this exercise:
I really hope you find this task encouraging and enjoyable!