Have you heard of Verse Mapping or are you scratching your head wondering what I am referring to with this blog post title? Well, honestly, I am completely new to the concept…at least as a structured, specific Bible study method. It’s been trending for a bit, however, I’m sort of a last one on the bandwagon kinda girl. But when BibleGateway in collaboration with FaithGateway offered a chance to take a closer look by reviewing some new Verse Mapping products, I thought it might be a good diversion and opportunity to get some hands on exploration and experience.
In this post I am going to share what I’ve learned about Verse Mapping, and then I will introduce you to three products available to help implement the practice of Verse Mapping.
So what is it? Well, as someone brand spanking new to it, I’d define it as a practical method of studying the Bible to assist in going deeper, instead of dabbling in devotions or skimming the surface of scripture and coming away feeling spiritually hungry for more. Though “Bible Journaling” is a popular activity and I am all for that, I think this approach to scripture study may be a great small group opportunity for young girls. It would be a great tool for women of all ages, of course, but especially useful to encourage to those who may be new to Bible Study and unsure of how or where to begin. As a former Sunday School Teacher and Church Teen Mentor I think putting Scripture in the hands of the the young is one thing but helping them connect with it and engage with God through personal study with tools that bridge help the gap is hugely valuable. I also appreciate and see great vaue in the applying the skills of research and more in depth study in my own personal prayer and reflective times. However, from the Verse Mapping website I grabbed this definition below…and you better sit down for it!
DEFINITION: VERSE-MAPPING IS A METHOD OF STUDYING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, TRANSLITERATION, TRANSLATION, CONNOTATION, AND THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK OF A VERSE IN THE BIBLE.
On the bright side, take heart:
WHAT ARE THE RULES? There’s no structural right or wrong way to verse mapping—working from right to left (a documentation page on the right, notes page on the left), and top of the page to bottom is how this study is structured. But once you’ve gathered the tools and mastered the confidence to apply what you’ve learned, it’s up to you how your journal will look… how in-depth you study… and how long you’ll spend time with God each day.
I enjoyed hearing the method’s originator, award-winning author, and women’s ministry leader and speaker, Kristy Cambron’s two minute explanation of Map Versing (and a sneak peek into The NIV Verse Mapping Bibles) in the below YouTube video.
If you like exploring, research and appreciate tools to help you in your digging then this might be worth a try! Let me also attempt to explain the process.
Verse Mapping is composed of 5 steps each one a focal point of its own in this exploratory style of study. You can try out the method in a notebook to get a feel for it. Go ahead, get your journal or notebook. I’ll wait. Here are the steps:
1. Verse– Write out the scripture verse you want to focus on in the translation you choose.
2. Design– Next check out various translations you enjoy reading or studying or just want to compare. Choose two or three additional verses to write out. Next observe and note the key words or phrases that stand out.
3. Develop– This is the next fun step, if you are an explorer type, and honestly, I love each of the steps, BUT looking up word definitions, synonyms, connections and roots in Hebrew/Greek can be exhilerating. Focus on key words and phrases.
4. Action– Can you put yourself in the place of the event as it is happening? Can you imagine the action that is happening from various perspectives? Ask, what is happening? What leads to the events in the passage? What follows? This is the news reporting section: What, where, when, who.
5. Outcomes: Finally, this is where we summarize and apply what God is revealing to us. What is our take home? How do we need to change in light of what we have learned? This is the goal of our digging, to know the God who knows us and longs to be known by us…as He is revealed in Holy Scripture.
Give it a try for yoursel with a verse you are familiar with. Or one you come across in your reading today. Meanwhile, check out these new products which feature Verse Mapping.
I received the following Bible Products for review:
- NIV Verse Mapping Bible: Find Connections in Scripture Using a Unique 5-Step Process
- NIV Verse Mapping Bible for Girls : Gathering the Goodness of God’s Word
- Verse Mapping Bible Study Journal : Deepen Your Bible Reading and Unpack the Meaning of Scripture
NIV Verse Mapping Bible
NIV Verse Mapping Bible: Find Connections in Scripture Using a Unique 5-Step Process
The beautiful gray linen hardcover (cloth over board) Bible is in a lovely 8X61/2 easy to carry size with a very readable font. There are other cover styles available, this linen look is classic and lovely to look at it, inside and out, thanks to the Exclusive Easy To Read Comfort Print Typeface and 8 -point font (reasonable though I prefer a tad larger when possible). I have a couple of Bibles with the Comfort Print and it really makes a difference when looking at the pages. Aside of the full New International (NIV) text, there are Verse Mapping instructions and tips for those new to it. With 350 partially completed verse maps using pre-selected verses, supplying excellent visual examples to keep the overwhelm at bay and set the stage for success in a new study habit. There is a gold satin ribbon to mark your place. It includes access to a custom -built reverse interlinear feature on BibleGateway.com to research the Greek and Hebrew translations for the 350 Verse maps. There are 70 blank verse maps for your own inductive Bible study. A topical index and 66 Book introductions are also included. There are three lined Notes pages in the back of the Bible.
NIV Verse Mapping Bible for Girls
NIV Verse Mapping Bible for Girls : Gathering the Goodness of God’s Word
The NIV Verse Mapping for Girls Bible is meant for the “Tween and Teen” girls who are ready to build their own Bible Study habits. The cover shown is a hardcover, with an attractive blue and purple contemporary pattern. It features the Exclusive Easy To Read Comfort Print Typeface and 8 -point font with the full text of the New International (NIV) just like the NIV Verse Mapping Bible. Most of the same features are found in both style Bibles. A subtle difference in the blue color on the pages is one subtle difference I see. A bit more vibrant in the girls version and muted in the adult. Nothing game changing. There is no ribbon bookmark. There are 350 partially completed verse maps using pre-selected verses, and 70 blank verse maps which match the adults to encourage/allow for family Bible study.
Verse Mapping Bible Study Journal
Verse Mapping Bible Study Journal : Deepen Your Bible Reading and Unpack the Meaning of Scripture
If you are looking to try the Verse Mapping method, the Journal may be a great starting place. If you already have your favorite Bible, love the idea of trying out a new method of study but appreciate some boundaries and limits this will give you ample opportunity to practice within a two-page spread and build up your comfort level. Because I love to read multiple translations and I tend to Bible jump I really appreciate this setup for practicing this study/journaling practice.
Some helpful features:
- Study Guide
- Blank Verse Maps (50)
- Sample Map
- Verse Mapping Study Plans
- Resource Guide to help with Bible Study
SO what do you think? Let me know if you have questions or what you’d like to see. I will do my best to answer! If you already do this practice, let me know how you like it. Thank you for being here!
For More Information
Disclosure: I received these Bibles and Bible Products for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid #BibleGatewayPartner. As always I am sharing my own thoughts about these products.