This exercise can be used to explore individual verses in greater depth. However, it is used to best advantage for personal or devotional use. And Verse Mapping gives you the opportunity to be more creative in your Bible Study without the need for artistic ability! Just a sheet of paper and a handful of coloured pens or pencils
(Don’t confuse Verse Mapping with Verse Charting which you can read about HERE)
The ‘How-to’ of Verse Mapping
PRAY – Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to help you choose a verse, to understand what is written, to give you insight into the verse, and to guide you as you process it.
Note:-The verse may come from your daily reading, a verse you have come across in a devotional book or simply be part of another study but you want to take a closer look at it
READ – Your chosen verse in a number of Bible versions – online if necessary
WRITE – Use a sheet of blank paper (Try it the first time you do this as landscape ie with the long side at the bottom). Using the Bible version you are most at home with, to write your chosen verse in the centre of the page. Then draw a box around it
BE A BIBLE DETECTIVE – Try some or all of these ideas:-
- Use the 5W’s and an H questions:- Who, What, Where, When, Why and How to examine the text. Draw boxes large enough for your answers to each question in the area around your ‘verse box’. Note your answers in the boxes, then draw a line from each box linking it to the central one. Highlight, mark, or circle words that strike you as significant. You can use different colours for each ‘box’ outline and its connection to the verse box.
- Underline words that need defining, and check out the meaning in a Bible Dictionary. After that write the definition in the same colour to one side of your verse
PERSONALIZE – Either read the verse(s) out loud replacing the pronouns with your name or I/me/ them/we/us (but NOT those that refer to God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit) OR write the verse(s) out – use a different colour from the one you used to write out the original portion from your Bible.
For example in John’s Gospel we read:-
“For God so loved the World that He gave His only Begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3 v 16)
This would then read:-
“For God so loved [insert your name here] that He gave His only begotten Son that [insert your name] believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”
CROSS REFERENCE – Look up the references for your verse as listed in your Bible or use the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge if you have access to a copy. Write the verses out or just the references of those that you find particularly helpful in understanding your chosen verse.
Or try using an online resource such as the Blue Letter Bible for cross-references
PRAY – Thank your Heavenly Father for revealing truths within the verse you have been studying. Also for help to apply the knowledge you have gained from this Bible Verse Mapping study
TRY THESE IDEAS FOR OTHER STYLES OF VERSE MAPS
- Using a sheet of Paper portrait (ie shortest edge at the bottom). Draw a curved line across the top left hand corner, leaving a space big enough to write your verse in. Then draw lines radiating out from it, like Sun rays. This will give you sections in which to write out everything you find out about the verse. Use different colours for each section
- Write out your paraphrase of what the verse means. (Don’t forget to keep it within the context of the Chapter)
- Use different coloured ‘speech bubbles’ to write in. Draw lines to connect to the part of your verse you are referring to
- Use a ‘Mind-map’ style to link your thoughts to your verse on paper