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Why Memorize the Bible?

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Why Memorize the Bible?

Memorization has never come easy to me. It has always been one of those elusive skills that I felt I could not master. When I was a young boy, my mother always encouraged me to memorize various things. I was always astounded at her ability to recall some poem, list or story that she had memorized as a young girl. When I made the attempt to memorize some poem or Bible passage, it would escape my memory as soon as I was done with reciting it. Due to this inability to keep what I had learned, I stopped attempting to memorize anything. Yet I still found myself wanting to memorize the Bible because of the impression that’s been made by numerous people including my parents.

There have been numerous feats of memorization that impressed me when I heard about them. My own father surprised me when I learned at a very young age that he had memorized the entire KJV New Testament. Sometimes when listening to a sermon or Bible lesson, I can’t help but be amazed at the ability of the men teaching to recite passages without looking down at their Bible. I have heard accounts of men that memorized large passages of the Bible before they went overseas during World War II. They did this just in case they were captured and wouldn’t be allowed to have a Bible. I even heard of one preacher that had the entire gospel account of John memorized in Greek and preached sermons from the book without looking at it once. These are just a few of the instances that have guided me towards improving my Bible knowledge and have inspired me to memorize the scriptures.

It has become apparent to me as I’ve grown older that there is a lot of value to memorizing the Bible. It sharpens the mind and keeps it active. We are brought closer to God when His word is hidden in our hearts. We’re less likely to sin against God when we know His word intimately. (Psalm 119:11) It is easier to defend the hope that exists within us when the Lord’s word is a part of our life. (2 Timothy 4:2) It occupies our time with something of value that will last us to eternity. Finally, what better pursuit is there than learning God’s word in order to teach others about Jesus?

There are a number of principles, hints and tips I’ve learned and developed in my pursuit of memorizing God’s word. Listed below are the majority of the methods I use. As always, with any kind of process, there may be methods that work better for you than what’s listed here. Each person must decide for themselves what works best for them and put those methods to practice in their lives. My hope is that you will come away from this lesson with some new ideas for improving your attempts to write the word of God upon the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 3:3)

Methods for memorization

  • Repetition!  Repetition! Repetition! – This is the key to memorization.
  • Write the verses to be memorized on 3 x 5 cards. Keep track of when the verse was memorized and when it is reviewed. Keep the cards in an index card box for later review.
  • Memorize verses and passages by topics, i.e. baptism, obedience, faith, wisdom, etc.
  • Memorize in small portions. Break each verse down to small sections and memorize each section until you’re ready for the next one.
  • Start memorizing new passages from the end and work to the beginning. We often work hard to memorize the beginning of a passage that we don’t repeat the ending as many times as the beginning. The ending doesn’t get fixed in our memory like the beginning does. This is a new technique I started using and have found it to be very effective.
  • Write down your thoughts on the verse or passage being memorized. What applications does it have to you or others? What are some things you’ve learned about the passage? What is it about the verse that made you want to memorize it? The key here is to have something associated to the memorized passage.
  • Practice writing the verse down or typing it out on the computer.
  • Don’t memorize too many passages over a long period of time. Take a break from memorization for reviewing the passages that are already memorized. An example would be to take one week for reviewing memorized passages for every three weeks spent memorizing.
  • When you read the Bible and you get to a passage you’ve memorized, try to recall it from memory rather than reading it. Mark the verses and passages you’ve memorized in the margin of your Bible with an “M”.
  • Work with a partner. It helps the memory to recite and discuss the passages you’ve memorized.
  • Memorization is not just about remembering the text of the Bible verbatim. Take time to remember lists, and the locations of various Biblical accounts, parables, prayers, psalms and proverbs. Here are some examples of things to memorize: the list of judges of Israel, the six days of creation, the 12 apostles, the ten conversions in Acts and their respective chapters.
  • Take it slow when memorizing. Don’t try to memorize a lot in a short time span and don’t get discouraged if you can’t remember passages you’ve already memorized. Memorizing the Bible is a life-long project.

Even if you forget a passage that was once memorized, the location of that passage will be easier to locate because you had it memorized at one time. 

May God bless our studies as we study to show ourselves approved unto Him! (2 Timothy 2:15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

These are good tools towards memorization! Thanks!

In the past couple years, I have worked to memorize the songs we sing. I have found that I have a greater understanding of what I am singing when I do not rely on a songbook or overhead. Also, it has helped to put my heart into what I am singing instead of merely reading something out loud.

Whether it be Scripture or our singing, memorization is a great way to get God’s message into our hearts!

great thoughts Lynn! thanks

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