Sometimes; sitting down to read my Bible, just is not enough to truly absorb and mentally interpret truth. My thick head often needs the help of mapping out verses so that what God is pushing me to see in His Word, I can clearly understand. Do you have those moments in your quiet time where you wish you could go deeper but don’t know quite how to go about it? Many times, using these different methods of studying my brain cells click together for that Aha! moment of clarity. I absolutely love Verse Mapping, I have a little notebook that I use to journal in and I wouldn’t have it any other way…well okay, maybe I still scribble notes in the margins and lines of my Bible 😉
That is where the study methods of Mapping come in handy. There are many different variations from Character Mapping to Verse Mapping to Word Mapping. Over the next few blog posts we will unwrap these mapping study methods. Today introducing you to Verse Mapping is what we will focus on. It’s not the 101 version alone but the 201 version as I like to call it.
The idea of Verse Mapping is to break a verse or passage down to dig deeper and apply the Word in our lives. Below are several steps that you can use simply and effectively. I have even included some extra credit ! So get prepared to map out Proverbs 18:21! Go gather your bible, notebook, markers/pens, and Bible study tools like concordances, and commentaries. There is also online Bible study tools that you may find very useful. Be prepared! right down to opening up your quiet time with prayer asking God to reveal His Word to you with clarity and understanding. Now to begin:
Step 1 – Write the verse out with space between the words and between the lines – enough that you can write in between them and around them. I usually color code each step with a different color pen/marker, since I am a visual learner it helps me catch on a bit faster.
Step 2 – Replace the pronouns like He/she, I, etc with YOUR NAME I usually use a pink pen for this.
Step 3 – Highlight the key words, I use yellow for this, drawing a box around the word helps.
Step 4 – Dig out your dictionary or use dictionary.com and look up the definitions of each key word. If you would like to spend additional time – try looking up synonyms and antonyms with a thesaurus …. you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can discover with just this one step. Bible Gateway also has some great tools to use for keyword searches. Using a green marker go ahead and write it all out in the spaces next to those key words
The next few steps is what I call extra-curricular credit!
Step 5 – Look up the verse in other translations and list the differences between them. Do those differences make a difference? Here use a blue marker for these differences you find.
Step 6 – Look at the cross references in your Bible. Often these little notes have a huge impact on the context and meaning of the verse. Here use an Orange marker.
Step 7 – Footnotes… not foot loose 😛 those notations at the bottom of your bible are often thought provoking so don’t skip reading them. Utilize a purple marker.
Now back to our basic Verse Mapping….
Step 8 – Read the verse in the context that it was intended…look at the whole chapter and see how it relates to the verses before and after it. Sometimes, we read verses out of context and applying them can often be difficult or found to be not truly what the verse was about in the first place.
Step 9 – The important piece is to meditate on it and then write down how this relates to your life and what you can do to improve your walk of faith. I use red, for me it represents importance and power. Using big bold writing to get the message of the verse across is how my brain needs to see it.
Choose a verse here and there, work on it all at once or over several days. The Holy Spirit will work with you to delve head ling into it. Just enter into your time of study hungry for more of Him, he will not disappoint you.
Want to give it a try? I sure hope so! Now it’s your turn! Giving it a try or even multiple tries to find our if this Verse Mapping is for you. Either way you get the blessing of being with the Holy Spirit during your quiet time.
Come back next time for a new Mapping style called Character Mapping.