Jennifer Gould: Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother, Teacher , Friend and Daughter in law. Thankful to have her !
Zondervan has teamed up with Kristy Cambron, a Christian fiction author, to develop several NIV verse mapping Bibles, I received a grey cloth covered hardback NIV version for anyone, as well as a brighter prettier hardback version for girls. Although they also have a floral hardback, leather, and teal options as well. The floral and leather have the options of being tabbed as well. The Bibles are formatted exactly the same with 8 point font, double columns with a third column for notes, and 350 verse mapping pages with pre-selected verses to study as well as 70 blank verse pages interspersed at the end of each book. There are no pictures, maps, or commentary in either Bible except for a brief introduction page for each book. I do appreciate that page numbers match for each Bible, in case you are studying with your child or someone else side by side, you can quickly refer to the page number and be in the same place. The grey adult Bible includes a simple ribbon for place marking, but the girls Bible does not. The pre-selected verse mapping pages include the NIV verse in step 1, the NKJV and NASB version of the verse in step 2, and definitions of certain words in the verse in step 3. If you are new to verse mapping or have little time to write all of that yourself, this is very helpful to already have printed.
Zondervan also sells a companion Verse Mapping Journal with blank pages for verse mapping as well as a more detailed example of how to verse map as well as a list of extra resources to help you in your journey. This journal is hardback and spiral bound and slightly bigger than the Bibles. It does lay flat, but there is no room to add extra pages. I also think it odd that the 5 step verse mapping pages have steps 1-3 on the front of each page and steps 4 and 5 on the back. I think it would be more logical to have the steps laid out so that each verse mapping page covers a two page spread on the back of one page and following onto the front of the next page so you could see your notes on your verse without flipping back and forth.
I do like the idea of diving into a particular verse to flesh out the nuances, but I do think you really need to be reading the verse in context. Therefore, in order to use the preselected verses I would have to recommend doing it along with a Bible in the year reading plan or something similar. With a young girl, you may not want to read the entire Bible, but at least the major events. For instance one pre-selected verse is Genesis 21:2-3 when Sarah gives birth to Isaac, but the next pre-selected verse is Genesis 28:16-17 which is Jacob’s dream. There is a lot that happens in between these two selected verses! You may not want to study a verse each day, but just when you get to a preselected verse, or if you use this Bible you may want to have a separate notebook or journal on the side so that as you do your own daily Bible reading you have a space to flesh out any particular verse that speaks to you. I love the idea of having pre-selected verses ready to study, but their placement in the Bible leaves me with some questions about their practical implementation.
The basic premise of verse mapping is to research verses to gain a better understanding of what it really means, which I am all for of course! Step 1 is to choose a verse, that’s easy enough. Almost everyday I have a verse in my reading that really sticks out to me. Step 2 is to see the design of your selected verse. This is done by comparing several translations and seeing what words are repeated, and finding key words to explore. Step 3 is to develop the verse by understanding the words in context. She asks you to look at the definitions of the words and right them down using a Bible concordance or similar tools. More detail about this step is included in the introduction pages of each Bible. Step 4 asks you to detail the context of the verse, and how that impacts it’s meaning. For instance, if the verse is directed towards a specific person instead of a group of people. Finally, step 5 asks you to summarize what you have learned and how you can implement its meaning into your life.
Overall, I like the overall concept and I especially like the way the Bibles synchronize with each other, however, in order to do verse mapping you will still need access to other materials like other Bible translations, a concordance or dictionary, and possibly commentaries. The pre-selected verses certainly save you a lot of time by not requiring you to write nearly as much. You will also want to purchase the verse mapping journal or create a similar journal on your own so that you may have space to write your own verses. In a world full of Bible options I’m not sure that I would select this for myself, but if you long to dig more in depth and find a study method that works for you, or as a group, this Bible would certainly be an option to help you get started.
Thank you Jennifer for sharing your thoughts and in-sites on The process and study using verse mapping.#BibleGatewayPartner