Verse Mapping 101: Your Guide for Breaking-Through-Barriers Scripture Study

Verse Mapping bible

By Kristy Cambron

Having walked away from my career to pursue a new career as a fiction author, I found myself on a completely different life path than the one I’d known.

My family and I were grieving the loss of my dad to cancer. Navigating the calling of a new writing career and raising a young family doesn’t exactly make it easy to process life change at every turn. So while it wasn’t surprising that I found myself in unfamiliar territory, what is surprising is the place that I found the least familiar: the pages of my Bible.

After years of having no time to attend a women’s Bible study, I had a true lack of confidence in my ability to understand the Word. So when I decided to pursue Bible study in a group, I walked into a church building with more than a few barriers to overcome. As if it was a lifeline, I held onto the Bible I’d been recently given—the one my dad used when he was saved and baptized at 60 years old—the Bible my dad had studied in the two short years before he’d passed away. I wanted to find an answer to my every question in those pages. I needed a life-guide, despite my schedule and my apprehensions. And I ardently hoped that there was a way for me to find a reawakening in my faith, praying that the Holy Spirit was ready and willing to help me walk this new story road.

Here was my prayer: I wanted that Bible to be worn and weary from use and the Word well-traveled in my heart and mind.

Maybe finding yourself on a similar story road draws you to seek a new way of studying Scripture too. As followers of Jesus, we want to experience what the Bible promises:

• We will become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
• We need to study God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17), understand it (Psalm 119:130), and obey it (Luke 11:28) in every season of our lives.
• We’ll make God’s Word our oxygen—to apply its promises to our daily faith walk, no matter the outlook of the path ahead (Hebrews 4:12).

Sometimes that’s easier said than done. But depending on Scripture for guidance and direction is not as far away as you might think.

If you want to unpack the context of the Scriptures you’re reading but you want to do it in a simple way—looking at the Hebrew/Greek translations, finding connections in the Word, and learning as much as you can from spending time with the Holy Spirit—then get ready. You’re invited to experience study that will inspire, encourage, and unlock your understanding of the Word of God!

What is Verse Mapping?

Mapping Bible verses isn’t new; it’s been a topic of conversation and practice for years. You’ll find endless examples of simple ways to accomplish this with a quick online search. And Bible journaling images and inductive study methods are popping up all over social media. But what is verse mapping, and can a few steps really help us understand God’s Word more clearly—enough to truly make us new creations?

In simplest terms, verse mapping is getting real about studying the Bible. It’s not just reading it, it’s researching everything you can in a verse to learn more about who God is and how he wants to speak to you through his Word.

What Qualifies Me to Do This Kind of Study?

If you’re not a seminary-trained theologian by education, don’t worry—verse mapping is for anyone with a heart to know the Word of God more. What matters is not how much knowledge you have before you begin but where the experience takes you.

What are the Rules?

There’s no right or wrong way to pursue verse mapping from a structural standpoint, but here is an example pulled from the NIV Verse Mapping Bible:

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