Verse Mapping

There are many ways to dig more deeply into Scripture – organized Bible study, Scripture journaling, color coding, praying a verse or passage in color, and many, many more.

Recently I came across a method I had not seen before – Verse Mapping.  I absolutely love this method.  I came across it on the website #Transformed by Heather Bleier.

This method, like the others listed above, helps you become more familiar with a verse and really digest it. It allows the meaning of the verse to penetrate both heart and soul.

Verse Mapping can be done by anyone. I mean anyone – young or old; Spiritual Babe or Seasoned Saint; artistic or not so much. Because…there are no rules; there’s no set method! There are only suggested ideas for those of us who may need a nudge to get us started.

Here’s the gist for those who would like to give it a try:

Step 1
You will need something to write ON (an index card, a sheet of paper, a journal page)
You will need something to write WITH (a pen, pencil, color pencils, markers – you choose)
…And your Bible

Step 2
Choose your verse. Ask God to share a verse with you that He would like you to focus on.
Here are some ways to select your verse:

Bible Study: Use any verse from your current Bible study. (For those who are currently participating in the Nourish Your Soul: 30 Day Challenge on Facebook, you could choose the daily verse from the challenge.)
Bible Cracking: Allow your closed Bible to fall open to a random page. Then point to a verse.
Concordance: Use the one in the back of your Bible or use an online source such as Bible Gateway or Blue Letter Bible. Look up a specific word or topic that God is laying on your heart. From the Bible references pertaining to that word or topic, choose a verse.
Ask a Friend: Ask someone you know who is walking closely with God to recommend a verse.
Devotions: Perhaps in your morning devotions a verse jumps out at you, use it for your verse mapping.

Step 3
Write your chosen verse on your index card or paper of choice.

Step 4
Read your verse several times. Focus on different words or phrases. Really take it in. What does that word or phrase actually mean? What does it mean for you? What is God trying to share with you through this verse? (Use the Ideas and Suggestion for Step 4 – Mapping from below to guide you through this process.)

Some Ideas and Suggestion for Step 4 – Mapping:
 Personalize it…cross out words like “you,” “we,” “whoever,” “them” and write your name or a personal pronoun above it.
 Highlight parts that jump out at you.
 Read the verse in context – the whole chapter or passage.
 Read the verse in at least two other translations. Note on the card words or phrases from other translations that help you understand or apply the verse. A couple of good resources for accessing multiple translations are Bible Gateway, Blue Letter Bible, and YouVersion.
 Find cross references and note anything that brings new meaning. Cross references are verses that have similar words or phrases. Some Bibles list cross references in the center column; others in the bottom-page footnotes. Again, Bible Gateway, Blue Letter Bible, and YouVersion can also be a source for locating cross references.
 Circle a word or two and do a word study on it.
o Look up the word in your dictionary and see if the definition gives you any insight.
o Use a topical index and/or concordance in the back of your Bible to find other verses where the word appears.
o Look up synonyms (same meaning) and antonyms (opposite meaning) in a concordance or online Bible tools site to find other verses.

Step 5 – Follow-Up Ideas
 Carry your Verse Map with you, pull it out as you go through your day, and reread it.
 Come back to your Verse Map throughout the day and add to it.
 Meditate on what God is showing you through your Verse Map.
 Engage in ongoing dialogue with God about what you are learning as you study this verse or passage.
 Use your Verse Map to write out a prayer.

Let me know if you give it a try.  I would love to hear about your experience with Verse Mapping.

12 comments on “Verse Mapping

  1. I hadn’t heard of verse mapping before. Thank you for sharing this! This looks like a wonderful way to study scripture.
    Thank you for linking with Grace and Truth last week!

    • Dawn,

      I do hope you will give Verse Mapping a try. I love it! If you do, please be sure to let me know what you think.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Hi Deborah! I’ve been doing verse mapping for several months now, so I’m glad to see this since not everyone has heard about it. I heard about it from a Proverbs 31 on-line Bible study last year.

    Here is a post I recently wrote about it: “A Creative Way to Unlock More of the Bible) (I never include links in comments, but since this is so specific and there’s not that much out there about it, I’m including my link.) http://faithspillingover.com/2016/01/19/a-creative-way-to-unlock-more-of-the-bible/

    I like your idea of taking it with you! Another thing I like to do is do a little brainstorm on how I could apply it. I write down a thought or two underneath or next to my map.

    • Betsy, I’ve not quite been #VerseMapping for a year yet, but I love it. We are doing a Nourish Your Soul: 30 Day Challenge over on Facebook and this is one of the suggested options for digging deeper into those Scriptures. I wrote the post to help the challenge participants, many of whom had not yet heard about verse mapping. Thank you for including your link. The more we can learn about it, the better. And I like your idea of adding some thoughts about application.

  3. Hi Deborah, I first heard of #versemapping from my friend Betsy DeCruz at FaithSpillingOver. It’s such a great way to dig deep into God’s word and find new, fresh ways to have it speak to you. I like your suggestion to take my verse map with me as I go through my day. I can just imagine all the new insights that I’d have by the end of the day. Thanks so much for sharing this and encouraging us to dig deep! Wishing you blessings.

    • Marva, Since first discovering #VerseMapping through Heather Bleier, I, too, have run into it a few other places. I love when a great idea is shared so others can also benefit! Thank you stopping by with some encouraging words today.

  4. Wonderful! I love finding new Scripture study tips, as the Word is the passion of my life and my blog! Thanks for sharing, and I hope many take advantage of your ideas!

    • Lydia, I think Verse Mapping may be a Scripture study method you come back to again and again. You’ll have to let me know.

  5. Thank you for sharing #VerseMapping! There is also a free printable that may help as you get started with this method. You can find it here: http://heatherbleier.com/2015/11/20/versemapping/

    Enjoy!

    • Heather, I pray many will discover #VerseMapping and use it to allow Scripture to penetrate both heart and soul. Thank you for sharing the link to the printable!

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