Verse Mapping for Beginners: How to Unlock the Scriptures

Today I’d like to share what verse mapping is and how verse mapping can help you nourish your soul with God’s word. Verse mapping is not only fun, it’s a creative way to deep dive into a short passage of Scripture!

I recently returned home from participating in a three-day filming event for bloggers. It was a tremendous honor to be invited yet as the event grew near, I started to feel insecure.

Knowing the other bloggers who would be there, I felt super inferior. I wasn’t on par with these other bloggers. They were articulate, classy, and put together. Not to mention, many of them were very wealthy.

I was awkward and rough around the edges. I worried about how I’d handle being on camera, if I’d say something stupid or be a big let down to the host. The anxiety and insecurity I felt began to overwhelm me.

I’ve lived long enough to know these sorts of feelings and angst become self-fulfilling prophecies so I knew I had to do something… and fast!

At the core of this issue is a preoccupation with self so the answer isn’t in focusing more on my good attributes but rather focusing on something (Someone) different altogether. So I found a few scriptures that took the pressure and focus off ME and put my focus on the Lord and His promises to me.

 

Do you know how to do verse mapping? Learn how to unlock the Scriptures with this Bible study method - perfect for beginners.

One of those scriptures was Psalm 34:5 so today I thought to briefly share how to do verse mapping to suit up with Truth.

Hopefully this may help you know how to marinate in scripture as well, especially for those times you need the extra support.

But before we dive in, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE BIBLE STUDY SHEETS below!

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What is verse mapping?

Verse mapping is a way of using a diagram or chart- much like a mind-map- to study a passage. It’s one of the methods I cover in Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days course here.

This practical Bible study method helps Christians of all levels understand and clarify God’s Word. By using this system, you’ll dissect verses and passages of Scripture, and learn how to unlock the Scriptures.  In return, you’ll experience deeper understanding of the character and heart of God.  Let’s get started!

Learn how to unlock the Scriptures with verse mapping. Use Bible verse mapping to study verses about going deeper with God.

How to start verse mapping

Gather Supplies

Look around your home for supplies you already have on hand and keep them in one place for easy access.

You’ll need:

  • A Bible (if you have more than one version, get that one, too). I personally love this one!
  • Paper or journal
  • Colored pencils, pens and/or highlighters
  • A computer or device
  • A Dictionary or Thesaurus


Choose a verse to verse map

Before hunting for the perfect verse to map; pray!  Ask the Lord to reveal what He wants you to learn and to guide you to the verse you need to grow in faith.  Pray that your eyes and heart will be opened as you listen for His voice during this devotional time.

Then, consider the following guidelines for choosing a verse:

  • Favorite verse or verses you repeat often
  • A topic you are interested in (hope, peace, strength, etc…)
  • A verse in your current Bible study that has personal meaning
  • Verses about going deeper with God
  • A verse that confuses you and you need help deciphering
  • A verse you’d like to learn more about
  • Easy to learn Bible verses – memorize and study the verse!

Bible verse mapping is a way to learn how to unlock the Scriptures. Try this Bible study method with easy to learn Bible verses: memorize & study your Bible.

Write and say the verse

On a blank, unlined page, write the verse you chose.  You can either write it at the top of the page for easy reference or in the middle of the page to keep it a central focus.  Once it’s written, read it aloud to yourself by emphasizing different words.  Also insert your name into the verse to make it more personal.

For a decorative touch, add a border or frame using colored pencils or pens.  Just as in Bible journaling, don’t get too caught up in making it fancy or perfect. Focus on the Scripture taking root in your heart and listening to the Lord, instead.

Verse mapping is a simple way to dig deep into God

Highlight or circle words you want to clarify

Once your verse is written, circle or highlight a word(s) in the verse that you want to research more.  When I have time, I like to go through the verse word by word. Ask, “Why is this word significant?” and “What does this word mean?”

Analyzing each and every word in this way will lead to surprising discoveries!

If you are short on time, just stick with identifying the keywords and use your dictionary or Dictionary.com, look up the words you circled.  This will help you clarify and understand the meaning of the researched words.  Look up synonyms and antonyms on Thesaurus.com and watch the verse take on a new meaning. Record your findings on your mapping page.

How to do a verse map

Look at the verses in the context

Read and record the verses before and after your verse to help you grow in knowledge. Those verses may reveal new insight into Scripture or greater understanding of the character of God. This will help you not take the verse at “face value” or out of context in a way that God never intended.

Look at another version

While it’s easy to get attached to our own Bible and the version we know, it’s beautiful to look up the verses in another version, too. The use of different words and phrases can enrich our understanding of God’s message and add new insight to our Bible study.

If you don’t have another version, use BibleGateway.com to look up the verse and note the similarities and differences between the two on your mapping.

Personalize the verse and ask how you can apply it to your life

As you studied, did you see this Scripture with fresh eyes and in ways you never understood before?  Ask yourself what God is trying to teach you and how you can apply the meaning to your life. Record your lessons around the original verse as stones of remembrance for the future.

The Bible study method of verse mapping is a beautiful way to deepen your walk with the Lord and unpack His promises.  It’s also a practical way to record the lessons and insights God gave you through the His precious word. Through this method, you will gain an enriched view of the character of God and a deeper foundation of faith!

For me, my map took about an hour to do and with great return: I was ready for those three days! There is no “right” way to verse map but below is a photo of my end result, just to give you an idea of what it looked like.

 

Verse Mapping for Beginners: How to Dive Deep Into God

 

How about you? Do you want to dig deeper into God’s Word? Do you want a purpose and structure to your quiet time; even as a Bible study novice?

Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be intimating! Bible verse mapping can make the Scriptures come alive and deepen your relationship with God.

 

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42 Comments

  1. This is great Arabah Joy! I do a variation of this, but I love how organized your is. Thank you for sharing your heart and practical tips with us each week. You are truly a blessing! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  2. What a great idea! I know Bible journaling is really popular right now, but I’m just not artistic. This is a lot more up my alley. I have a handful of favorite verses and I think there’s a lot I could do with them with this method.

  3. This is just the structure I needed to apply to a prayer I’ve had for some time. I can’t wait until my Beautiful Bible and colored pencils and gel pens come in. Its’ my Christmas Gift to myself which pales in comparison to the gift God gave me/us. Thanks Arabah Joy and God Bless you and yours this Christmas season…

  4. I love breaking Scripture down like this, have been doing it for a while, I’ve always called it Scripture diagramming, regardless of what you call it, it is a great way to understand God’s Word and grow in His Word!

  5. Since Betsy’s post last year, Verse Mapping has become a favorite way for me to dig into Scripture. As a previous “Precepts” leader, this is a great fit for me … I’ll be adding your post to my stash of them for easy reference … and sharing as well. Blessings to you, Arabah!

  6. I love this! I see photos of this on Instagram all the time and I’ve been wondering what exactly I’ve been doing, what more I could do than just highlighting and making small notes in my Bible. I’m saving this post for sure! Thank you :)

  7. Arabah, I love how you’ve explained so simply and easily how to make scripture study creative. I love it!!!! I’m going to start doing that too and share this with friends. I love studying the Word and this new way will add a creative flair. It’s good to shake things up in all of our relationships to keep them fresh :) Praying you have a blessed Christmas.
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

  8. Thank you Arabah Joy for showing me how to Verse Map. Your example page is great!!!
    I am greatly appreciating all of your guidance to get closer and have a great relationship with God.
    Thank you again. Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  9. I am thoroughly enjoying your emails. I enjoy your genuine spirit and sharing your practices on builing a more intimate relationship with God (beyond the service level). The same feelings that you skated in this example (feeling inadequate among your peers) is where I am today and adding fear of failure, fear of trying, etc. I have/am hindering the growth and sucess of my business. Ah ha moment…I will search scriptures on overcoming fear to begin my verse mapping practice!

  10. I am thoroughly enjoying your emails. I enjoy your genuine spirit and sharing your practices on builing a more intimate relationship with God (beyond the surface level). The same feelings that you shared in this example (feeling inadequate among your peers) is where I am today and adding fear of failure, fear of trying, etc. I have/am hindering the growth and sucess of my business. Ah ha moment…I will search scriptures on overcoming fear to begin my verse mapping practice!

  11. This Bible verse mapping sounds like something I could really use right now, as I start the New Year to strengthen my walk. I need to as a possible really dumb question, but one the worries my ADHD (I want to follow the directions correctly to get started). What is it necessary to use unlined paper?
    Thank you,
    Carolyn

    1. Hi Carolyn, so glad you want to try verse mapping! You can use any paper you prefer. I use unlined because I like to go landscape and the lines mess with me, lol. But you can use whatever works for you! {{Hugs}} AJ

  12. Awesome, I will most definitely be using this method from now on. As a Sunday school teacher to adults this will be a very helpful tool. Thank you for sharing and God bless you for your generosity.

  13. Thank you for introducing me to Verse Mapping! I don’t know when you first posted this blog, but for a reason, God has had me see it now! March 26, 2017, in what is hopefully the end of a LONG, HARD 3-1/2 years! Lost two parents, one to suicide; lost our home to flood w/no flood insurance; experiencing downturn in economy and crisis at work… I NEED TO UNDERSTAND GOD’S WORD!

  14. This is a great idea and I will be doing this. Going to use page next to it for verses that apply and make a study out of it. Thanks.

  15. Thank you very much for this blog. It gave me a new way of studying the Word of God. God bless you and your family.

  16. Oh my goodness!! I am so excited to do my verse mapping too!! I’m gonna buy ya Bible Study Course as soon as I can!! Thank you Arabah!! God bless you!!

  17. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve already tried it in combination with Bible journaling for Joshua 1:9, with great success. It really is an excellent study tool!

  18. Found this post on Pinterest. I will be using this method for my next bible study. I am fairly new at this but am really grateful God showed me your post. Thank you and Gand God Bless

  19. I have done this a few times but it has not been a regular practice. Your post challenges me to try it again. I especially love the part about praying to let God show you where you need to dive deeper. I love mind mapping, so this verse mapping seems like a natural fit for really digging into the Scripture. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Thanks Arabah Joy. This is interesting. I’ve never thought of this method though. I will try to work on it.
    May God continue to increase you in wisdom.

  21. I am just beginning to learn about verse mapping . its intriguing to me ! thank you for making these study sheets available to help me. it is bringing me great new insights into God’s word.

  22. I love this idea but I would love to get what I see in the advertisement. How or where can I get the binder or the hard copy of this plan?

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