Imagiphrasing...a personal rendering.

It has never been an easy thing for me to study Scripture. It takes focus, energy, and work. Maybe that’s why the Scripture itself says, “Study to show yourself approved, a workman who isn’t ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” 2 Timithy 2:15 I don’t know if you noticed, but there are some words in there that prove this idea of reading the Bible isn’t for the faint of heart. Study. Workman. But the best things in life never come easy.

I’ve grown to love what I like to call Imagiphrasing. It’s a way to help you see beyond the words to the life God is trying to share with you. It makes the black and white become flesh and blood. I wanted to give you a couple examples and then I want you to try it. There is no wrong way to do this. If you want to translate into poetry, do it. If story fits you better, go for it. If just taking the phrase and rewriting it in your own words comes most naturally, great! The point is to interact with the Scriptures. So let’s give it a go using Psalm 35:1-3.



-where imagination meets revelation-

Psalm 35:1-3 - “Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me: fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’”


It’s time for the fight to begin,

My strength is wearing thin.

It’s you who has the power,

Come pierce this desperate hour.

I’ve no where else to go,

surrounded by my foe.

To long you’ve been ignored,

Please take up shield and sword.

Chase every fear away,

face my soul and say,

“I am your salvation.

Your battle has been won.”


“To long have I faced the dark lord alone. I feel his presence pressing in. I taste his breath in the air. I hear his mocking laughter taunting my faith in the Unseen One. I can wait no longer to call you out of hiding. Make your move, and swiftly. Recover Your weapons of war and make sport of this presence of evil that pesters and perverts. There is nothing I long to hear more than the words of the Warrior, “Your salvation is at hand.” My ears burn for your voice to pierce this silent night with awakening songs of freedom. Hasten to my defense…my strength is failing.”

Rewriting: (sort of like "The Message")

Trade punches with the Enemy blow for blow.

Defend me from the fierce attacks waged against me.

Arise and put salve on the wounds I have been dealt,

Make use of your weapons; show off your power.

When you have chased him down and brought him to justice

Pick me up as a child and whisper the words I’m dying to hear,

“I am your salvation-hero. Your soul can finally rest.”


It is vital that the Christian Community feels empowered to study and share the Word of God. These are just a few things that have helped me from slipping into formality and familiarity with the Sacred Scriptures. They are bursting with fresh life, but a lot of that life comes through the concerted and imaginative effort of the workman/artisan.

So now it’s your turn…let your imagination run wild…grab a text and give these little tactics a try. Or make up your own. It is then that you start to own the Word.


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