Hey, friends. Several of you have asked for a post on verse mapping so I thought I would dig into that today.
What is Verse Mapping?
I found several definitions online, but I think this one is great –
Verse Mapping is a method of studying the Bible in a way that unpacks the scriptures using word origins, historical context, definitions, maps and prayer to help you find deeper meaning in God’s Word and apply it to your life. It’s similar to a mind map but helps you to dig deeper into the verse.
My definition is pretty basic. I think of verse mapping as a way to interact with scripture in order to gain new and deeper understanding of God’s word.
With just one Pinterest search on verse mapping you’ll find that there are tons of methods out there. But the truth is that there is no one right way to verse map. My methods vary based on which verse I am studying and what God is pointing me to on any given day. So before we get into the how-to of verse mapping, please know that this is a personal exercise between you and God. Your map doesn’t need to look like mine or anyone else’s. You do you!
Materials to Consider:
- paper or a notebook. I use either my Bible Journals or Scripture Writing Journals, but you can use whatever notebook or paper you have.
- pens, pencils, highlighters. 100% does not matter what you use, but I know y’all will ask, so here are my favorites –
- your Bible or a Bible app
- a dictionary
- a concordance – your Bible may have one (most Journaling Bibles don’t) or you can use an online versions. I like biblegateway.com, biblehub.com, biblestudytools.com, or blueletterbible.org.
- A variety of Bible translations – I like to do parallel searches on bible gateway.com to compare translations.
How to Get Started:
- PRAY. Always begin and end your study time with prayer. Ask God to be with you and open your eyes, ears and heart to receive what He has for you. Ask Him to reveal new truth to you as you study.
- Choose a verse. If you are in a Bible study you may want to pick a verse from what you are studying. If you are just starting out, I recommend choosing a Psalm. If you are struggling with a particular issue, you may want to choose a verse that focuses on that topic.
- Read the verse 2 or 3 times, preferably aloud.
- Write the verse. I like to leave space between lines for boxes, arrows, circles, etc.
- What to note: (You may not have room or time for all of these suggestions. Just go with what works for you.)
- I like to start with a who, what, when, where, why and how list. I may not be able to answer all of these at the beginning, but it helps focus my study and I usually add to them as I go.
- Read the verse again and note what words stand out to you. Also note the relationship between words. For example – in the phrase, “Salvation belongs to the Lord,” I would draw an arrow between salvation and Lord.
- After you have marked any key words, you may want to start making lists of meanings and applications of those words or topics. I like to take a word and see what word is used in different translations. You may also want to look up a definition to bring new light into the meaning.
- Make note of any commands given by God.
- Make note of any characteristics of God you see in the verse.
- What from this verse do you need to apply to your life?
- Make note of any questions you have.
The most important thing to do is just START. Don’t be concerned with what it looks like or following any rules, just dig in. As you continue mapping you will become more comfortable and eventually your very own system will emerge. Just start and He will meet you there.
Do you have a method you would like to share? Or questions about verse mapping? Drop a comment below and let us know!
Blessings to you,