Basic Bible interpretation involves seeking keywords in the Scriptures to get more out of the passage or verse. When we study the Bible through this lens many women are surprised to learn that the Bible as literature is made up of stories, poetry, songs, parables, letters, and even satire. It’s truly fascinating for the creative woman who likes to associate symbols and colors to a passage of Scripture and the analytic woman who likes taking things apart and putting it back together again.
This is not a textbook, rather the Bible is the heart of the Living God and should be applied to your life as a Christian. It’s a spiritual book to be interpreted by Christians. Without the Holy Spirit we cannot interpret (see John 16:13-14; 1 Cor 2:11-16).
Verse mapping is a Bible study method which breaks down the parts of a sentence into diagram form. Where the inductive method breaks down the passage into symbols and colors, verse mapping is a diagram method of extrapolation- pulling keywords and concepts into smaller parts of discovery. Methods include:
- Begin with prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the verse
- Look at verse in different translations
- Look for historical context when verse was applied
- Look for important Hebrew and Greek words
- Look for cross reference verses
- Ask how you can apply the verse to your life today
When you are verse mapping you might select your memory verse of the week, a verse from your current Bible study, or a devotional verse. Here’s how Peggy worked through her verse today…
Any method of Bible study should be meaningful quiet time and fellowship with God. It’s not a time where we snap selfies as we study, or create legal arguments to use against fellow Christians. This is YOUR time with GOD. At the end of your verse mapping you should gain insight from the Bible and deeper clarity on the verse.
One warning in this method of study is to not to give symbolic meaning where none exists- called allegorizing. Use a study Bible, commentary, and Bible dictionary- fact check your work.
Another warning is not to take a verse out of its original context. When you’re mapping make sure you note the chapter preceding your passage, the paragraphs before the verse, and those following.
Just like Bible journaling, Bible verse mapping has the risk of people noticing your work more than they notice God. You’ll find numerous images of verse mapping and Bible journaling on Pinterest, Facebook groups, and Instagram. Prayerfully consider if sharing your work is to encourage others (as Peggy did in these images), show God’s glory, or draw attention to yourself. Ask this important question: Does it magnify God?
Thank you so much to Peggy Ratts for sharing her images and encouraging women to give Bible mapping a try!
Recommended Resources for Bible Verse Mapping
- Life Application Study Bible
- Pilot Frixon Erasable Pens
- Bible Commentary
- Bible Dictionary
- Artist’s’ Sketchpad or binder and plain paper
We’d love to hear from women who’ve used Bible mapping as a devotional study! Comment below and share some of your mapping ideas with our readers.
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