Graphic Exploration of Cross-References in Each Book of the Bible

Movie of internal cross references in each chapter of the Bible, colour coded by position in each book and by its link to other chapters. taken from data provided by Christoph Römhild of North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church as part of his work with Chris Harrison of Carnegie Mellon University and into visualizing the bible, as illustrated in the 'rainbow' image below.


The images make it possible to compare the authorship styles of different works and to see how pervasive literary references are to other parts of the whole Bible literature. One of the difficulties with the current data is that the cross-references are bidirectional, so do not indicate which book referred to which, as can be seen from the links leading out from Genesis to the New Testament.

For example:

  1. Genesis, Isaiah and Psalms along with several other major books, stand out as key integrating tracts within the Bible, forming a kind of 'central nervous system'.
  2. It is possible to inspect individual books to look for diferences in editorial style (see below for Isaiah).
  3. Mark and John stand out from Luke and Matthew, as having a sparser set of references to the Old Testament suggesting they are closer to source sayings and that many of the 'prophetic' references in the latter two were devised retrospectively by redactive literary construction, and bringing together of other souce works such as the hypothetical 'Q'.
  4. There are some resemblances between John's Gospel and Revelation, consistent with common authorship.
  5. The letter to the Hebrews stands out from the other New Testament letters as much richer in its intimate use of Old Testament material.

Additional Quicktime Movies:

  1. Higher resolution version of the above sequence with the indivdual chapters expanded horizontally, internal cross-reference within a single book removed for clarity of the external references, and a visual transition from front to back through each network (24 Megs).
  2. Movie of the three supposed editors of Isaiah: Primero (1-38) Deutero (39-55) and Tritio (56 on) (400 kB)

Variations in cross-link density with the Pentateuch per verse for the 3 Isaiahs
Primero has a higher density then Deutero or Tritio to all five books, particularly Numbers.
Deutero has only minimal links to Leviticus. However it is not clear this is significant.

The original rainbow of the visible bible. For futher information and images in their work goto: