Verse Mapping the Bible – have you heard this term? Verse mapping is a way of studying the Bible. Rather than just simply reading a verse or Scripture passage, verse mapping uses Bible study tools to dig deeper and research what you’ve read. With verse mapping, you learn about what God is saying and how you can apply his Word to your life. This unique study technique includes exploring Hebrew and Greek word studies, finding connections in Scripture, comparing Bible translations, and learning as much as you can from your time in God’s Word.
It may seem a bit intimidating at first, but the following steps for verse mapping the Bible will help break it down for you into bite-size pieces.
Verse mapping the Bible involves five basic steps:
Choose a Verse
Choose the verse you wish to study and write it out. How you go about choosing is up to you. You can choose your own life verse, a favorite passage, or simply one that jumps off the page at you while reading the Bible. I’m currently working with the verse I chose to guide me in 2021 – Micah 6:8 (NIV):
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
It’s also up to you where you write it out. You can use a journal, a piece of paper, or a special Bible I’m going to share about in just a bit.
Once you’ve chosen your verse and written it down, find the same verse in several other translations. Two or three other Bible translations is fine. Take note of key words that are the same or different between these translations. You may find a different translation gives clearer meaning for you or has a slightly different focus. For example, take a look at Micah 6:8, using the NASB Bible:
He has told you, mortal one, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
The first think I noticed was the use of the word “mercy” in the NIV and “kindness” in the NASB. This is something I’ll want to dig into a little deeper.
Research Key Words
You may have read articles I’ve written in the past about Word Study. This step is similar to that method of studying words. You’ll want to look up the Hebrew or Greek meaning for the underlined words and record that. I also use the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language to look up the words, because I trust its use of biblical context for word definition. This is the same method I use for word study, and it works well for this step of verse mapping the Bible as well.
Consider the Context
Ask questions of the verse. What is the main idea of the verse? Who is writing it? Why was it written? Read the verses surrounding this verse, or the whole chapter, explore the historical context, and use other study tools to dig even deeper, if you prefer. This is where a good Bible concordance, Greek or Hebrew lexicon, and other Bible study tools will come in handy. Try to place yourself in the setting and imagine what it would be like to have experienced what’s happening.
Apply the Verse to Your Own Life
How is God speaking to you? What is He trying to teach or tell you? How does this verse relate to your own life? What did you learn?
NIV Verse Mapping Bible
If you are like me, learning a new way to study the Bible can seem daunting at first. Which is why I was so excited to learn about the NIV Verse Mapping Bible. The NIV Verse Mapping Bible includes 350 partially completed verse maps to get you started. In it, author Kristy Cambron shows you how to compare Bible translations, pick out meaningful words, and delve into the true meaning of each verse using starter verse maps and prompts.
Using the NIV Verse Mapping Bible Verse will help ease you into the study the historical context, transliteration, translation, connotation, and theological framework of a verse.