Simplify Your Map

 Jesus Map Too Much InformationJesus Map No Labels TMIJesus Map Super Simple

The maps found in Bible atlases are wonderful sources of information. Most of the time, it is actually too much information. In order to make a simple map, the first thing that needs to be done is to reduce the amount of information on the map.

Above, in the first figure, there is a traditional map of “Bible Lands.” There are hundreds of cities and scores of rivers, mountains, regions and bodies of water.

In the second map all of the labels and city markers have been removed. Still, though there is too much information, topographical and geographical. It is too much to draw.

In the third map all is removed except for a few simple identifiable things. There is the Mediterranean Sea, the Lake of Galilee, the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea. These can be easily drawn.

Learn to draw Bible Maps by heart.

Combining a Bible Map with Scripture Narrative

Base Map: Abraham

Cities to Plot: Ur, Haran, Shechem

Background: One of Noah's descendants through his son Shem was named Terah. The Bible tells us that he lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. During this time, it was common for men to marry wives from within their own tribes, often step-sisters or step-cousins.

Scripture: Genesis 11:27 - 12:7 

This is the account of Terah and his descendents:

Terah himself fathered three sons. Their names were Abram, Nahor and Haran. His son Haran also had a son named Lot. They were all living in Ur of the Chaldeans. That was their home. Haran died there while Terah was still alive.

Abram's wife was called Sarai. She was unable to have children. Nahor's wife was called Milcah. She was one of Haran’s daughters, along with Iscah.

Terah took Abram and his wife Sarai, along with his own grandson Lot, who was Haran’s son, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. When they came as far as Haran, they settled there, not continuing on to Canaan. Terah lived to be 205 years old and died there in Haran.
The LORD spoke to Abram and said, "Leave this land where you are living, leave your relatives, and your father's home. Go to the land that I will show you. There, I will make you a great nation, I will bless you. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse. Through you every family on earth will be blessed."

So Abram left, just as the LORD had told him to do. Lot went with him. This happened when Abram was 75 years old.  That is when he left Haran. Abram set out for Canaan. He took his wife Sarai with him, along with his nephew Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the servants they had acquired in Haran.
When arrived in Canaan, Abram traveled through the land to the oak tree belonging to Moreh at Shechem.  The Canaanites lived there in the land at that time.

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your descendants." So Abram built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him. 

Set the speed at 4 or 8 and press replay to watch me draw the map. You can draw simple Bible maps too!

Learning Base Maps

There are a few base maps that must be learned before you can begin to map stories. You do not need to learn all the base maps at once. Most base maps will have some similarities with the others. They will either be a portion of another map amplified, or included a similar location.

The base maps should be learned as you go, in chronological order. I have named each one after a major Bible character it is associated with. Here is a list of the base maps we will learn.

  1. Abraham
  2. Moses
  3. Joshua
  4. David
  5. Solomon
  6. Daniel
  7. Jesus
  8. Paul
The Abraham map is the first one, because we really don't know what the world was like or where certain places were before the flood. So our mapping starts in Genesis 11.
Posted on by Stephen M. Young II in


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