Do you struggle to meditate on God’s Word? Sometimes in the busyness of the day, we find difficulty slowing down and savoring our Savior. Thankfully, there are many tools that can help us slow down and better understand Scripture. Verse mapping is one of those tools. Verse mapping is a hands-on tool that helps us digest the fullness of God’s Word. You may have seen verse maps on The Daily Grace Co. Instagram feed but been unsure of how you can do it yourself. So today, let’s learn how to incorporate this into your daily Bible study!
Before we begin, remember that there are many ways to read God’s Word. Some prefer reading multiple chapters at once or meditating on a few verses at a time. Verse mapping is simply an option, not THE option. In fact, this should be a supplement to your regular Bible study routine—not the only way you engage with Scripture.
What Is Verse Mapping?
Verse mapping involves picking one or two verses and honing in on the meaning, context, and importance to the story of Scripture. In a culture where we value efficiency and often skim through our Bible reading, verse mapping invites us to slow down and savor Scripture.
Often, so much that it is etched into our hearts and memorized. By verse mapping, we are reminded of the treasure of God’s Word—that every verse is God-breathed and intentional. Just as a baker carefully crafts her cake—exacting measurements and bake times—God’s Word was crafted intentionally. It was not written with spontaneity or by accident. It is inerrant—or without flaw. In the process of verse mapping, we can better observe the beauty and consistency found in Scripture.
Where to Start with Verse Mapping
So this begs the question: “where do I start?” Follow the steps below to help you get started. Keep in mind that this process may take a while. Don’t be afraid to pause and pick up again where you left off. The point is not perfection, it is developing the skill of interacting with and interpreting God’s Word. Give yourself grace as you begin!
Also, remember that The Daily Grace Co ® has an incredible team of designers that bring our verse mapping to life each week. If your verse mapping does not look pretty or organized, do not lose heart. The point is not to make an aesthetically pleasing, wall-worthy print. It is to deepen your appreciation for Scripture! Verse mapping should lead you to gratitude, not grumbling.
Let’s Start Verse Mapping!
With these things in mind, here is a step-by-step guide to begin verse mapping!
- Pray for understanding.
- Grab your tools!
We suggest grabbing a few pieces of blank or lined paper and writing utensils. You may want a highlighter, markers, pens, or pencils—or any combination of these.
3. Pick your verse.
There is no wrong verse to verse map, but it may be helpful to pick out a verse that you know but would love to study deeper. Or try one that is currently challenging or confusing for you. Verse mapping is a great way to reach understanding!
4. Read the verse multiple times and in multiple translations.
Note any differences you find in translations. You can easily find other translations on the internet (blueletterbible.org or biblegateway.com) or on a Bible app on your smartphone.
5. Choose a translation and write the verse on a sheet of blank or lined paper.
Leave space between the sentences and in the margins of the page. This will allow you ample room for notes.
6. Now begin verse mapping!
To do this, you are going to pick words or phrases and begin diving deeper into the verse by following the below steps.
7. Utilize any Study Bible or commentary you have for your verse.
Use resources to gain a deeper understanding of the passage. If you don’t have either or these tools, you can find commentary at blueletterbible.org. Study the author of the passage, the original audience, the historical context of the book, etc. Notate any clarity you find next to the verse.
8. Read passages surrounding the verse.
Write down anything context clues next to the verse.
Consider the verse’s importance in the context of the passage as a whole.
9. Look at the grammatical structure of the verses.
Do you see any conjunctions? Any repeated words or phrases? Any significant commas or transition words in the text? Circle any of these examples that you find. What do these reveal about the meaning of the text? Write your findings and draw an arrow to the things you circled.
10. Look for any references to the Old Testament or to other areas in Scripture. Underline or bracket these cross-references and write the reference next to the area you underlined or bracketed.
11. Find words that confuse you.
Look up the meaning and notate the definition in the margin.
12. Tie up any loose ends.
What is the overall meaning of the verse? What does it communicate about man? About God? What does it say about redemption or our coming hope? Remember to consider this meaning in context with the overall book of the Bible and the verses surrounding it. Write your findings next to the verse.
13. Congratulations! You just mapped your first verse!
As God provided manna in the wilderness for the Israelites to eat, He provides His Word to satisfy us daily. Our hunger for truth, for provision, for understanding, and for fulfillment is satiated in God’s Word. If you are in a season of thirst right now, we pray that verse mapping is the tool that fills you. We pray that it whets your appetite for Scripture and leads you into a season of plenty. If you are thriving in God’s Word in this season, we pray that verse mapping challenges you to try something outside of your comfort zone. Wherever you are in your journey, we know that more of God’s Word is always the answer.
We would love to see your verse maps! If you try out this helpful tool, tag us on Instagram at @thedailygraceco!
Additional Resources for Deeper Bible Study: