This easy guide to Bible Verse Charting can be used for individual, ‘stand-alone’ studies or applied repeatedly as you work through a chapter or book of the Bible. Every passage studied ‘builds’ towards a fuller understanding of the chapter and book studied, and ultimately the Bible. However, it is not a ‘once-and-done’ tool. You can revisit the studied passage again as your overall knowledge of the Bible grows. By doing this you will discover new insights, fresh revelation and links to other passages you perhaps hadn’t seen before.
Where to begin?
If you want to try out this method to see if it is helpful to you why not use one of the following passages for a Bible Verse Charting? Try Psalm 23 or John 10 v1-5 or Luke 11 v5-13.
The ‘How-to’ of Bible Verse Charting
PRAY – For open eyes and heart, fresh insight and deeper understanding of the passage before you.
SELECT THE PASSAGE TO STUDY– Choose a passage that is 5 – 10 verses long, or a paragraph if that makes more sense. It is important not to take the passage out of context. This may mean it extends a bit further than the suggested range and will take longer to complete.
PREP YOUR NOTE TAKING – Regardless of whether you do this on your PC or in a Notebook etc you will need to draw up a document/sheet of paper as a landscape and divide it into three columns (see the image below for Verse Charting Psalm 23):-
Alternatively, you can download the Bible Verse Charting worksheet from the Honey Resource Library
WRITE – Using the Bible Version you normally use for your study time (not a paraphrase) write/type out the passage in the left-hand column.
PARAPHRASE – In the next column write/type your own paraphrase of the passage as you understand it, try to keep it concise, condensed if possible. You may wish to repeat this step at the end of your study.
|1) The Lord is my
Shepherd I shall not
|I have a shepherd who provides everything I need
|Good Shepherd –
John 10 v14
My needs met –
Phil 4 v19
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS – On a separate sheet of paper or document create a list of questions that come to you as you write out your paraphrase. These could be words or terms you are not familiar with, characters you need to research, etc. You can either search for the answers as you go or at the end of this step.
CROSS-REFERENCE – Using a Bible with Cross-References look up at least one verse, this may lead you to a greater understanding of the passage. List the cross-references in the third column or write out one verse if you have room. (As shown the example above)
Now this step can get very involved if you check out every reference listed by the chapter in your Bible. So be selective, unless you want to go really deep. DO keep a note of the references you look up, as you read them, so that you can find them again. Sometimes you will find yourself looking at references on the verses that were references. And then you will be off down a ‘rabbit-trail’. (This can be interesting but not necessarily useful for the passage you are studying!)
If your Bible doesn’t have Cross-references you can use the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Otherwise try using an online resource such as the Blue Letter Bible website.
A word of explanation about Cross references as they usually fall into one of three categories:-
- Parallel – in other words almost a copy of the verse it is linked to
- Illustrative – a similar verse that throws light onto the verse you are studying
- Contrasting – a verse which gives an alternative view
HIGHLIGHT – (Optional step) – Highlight in your Bible or on your Bible Verse Charting worksheet any cross-references that unlock the meaning of the passage for you.
MEDITATE (THINK ABOUT) – Mull over what you have read, written and found out whilst working through the steps. Remember to consider context then:-
(a) Ask yourself what you have learnt about God, about Mankind, about the Christian Faith, etc
(b) How you can apply that knowledge, what you need to do or not do
Record your thoughts and responses in the section below the chart you have made.
FINAL STEP – Re-read and if necessary rewrite your paraphrase where you feel you have a better understanding of the passage.
PRAY – Give God the glory and praise Him that through the work of His Holy Spirit you have received a better understanding of the passage that you have worked with in this Bible Verse Charting. Thank Your Heavenly Father for all you have learnt. And if there is anything that you feel you should apply to your own life, ask Him to help you.
Take your Bible Study to the next level – try these ideas:-
- Use the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and work your way through all the references for the passage you are studying. Note the ones that clarify your understanding
- Use a Concordance and/or Dictionary to look up the significant words in the passage, explore the cross references for further insight
TRY THESE IDEAS TO HELP YOU BUILD OTHER STUDIES:-
- The Bible Verse Charting can be used to explore whole chapters and books of the Bible – just be sure to apply it only to 5-10 verses at any one time
- Use the Bible Verse Charting study method as you work your way through a Bible Topic
You can find blank worksheets for this Bible Study method in the Honey Resource Library. Request your FREE Password via the button shown below