As I’ve visited many different churches one of the things that has bothered me most of all is that very few Christian churches actually use the Bible. I wrote about it here and have personally resolved to carrying my Bible with me more often. But after watching and listening to the book of Hebrews being recited as a sermon I have begun to consider the importance of Bible memorization.
Like most Christians who grew up in a church I have memorized verses as a child, and I also memorized verses for classes while I was in college. A few years ago I downloaded the Fighter Verses App from Desiring God and I highly recommend using it as well. But what I’m talking about is trying to memorize long passages of Scripture like a chapter or a whole book. I came across this blog with instructions on How to Memorize Entire Books of the Bible. Here is her recommendations:
Principles for Memorizing Scripture
Before we go further, the good doctor gives some principles for Scripture memorization:
- Review Old Verses—“Work before play!” says Dr. Davis. Make sure you refresh yourself on what you’ve already learned before moving on to new verses.
- Repeat Over Time—It is more helpful to say a verse once a day for 100 days than to say it 100 times in a single day. So repeat these exercise once daily over a long period.
- Memorize Verse Numbers—You’ll be less likely to skip verses and more easily cite them if you memorize the verse numbers (e.g. 1:1 = one-one) as if they were part of the verse.
- Photograph with Your Eyes—Memorizing is taking mental pictures and remembering them. Pretend you are taking a picture of each word to help you memorize them.
- Say It Out Loud—Remembering how words sounds will help you embed them into your long term memory. You can also practice inflection when you say them out loud to help you get the sense of the text and remember it better.
So how do you do it? What’s the actual method? It’s pretty simple.
- Day One: Read the verse aloud 10 times. Be sure to say the verse number each time (e.g. Eph. 1:1). Then cover up the words and recite the verse from memory 10 times.
- Day Two: Recite the previous day’s verse 10 times. Then do the new verse of the day. Read the verse aloud 10 times, (say the verse number; e.g. 1:2) then cover up the words and recite it from memory 10 times.
- Day Three: Recite the previous day’s verse (Eph. 1:2) 10 times from memory (include the verse number). Recite all the old verses together (e.g. Eph. 1-2) ONCE. Then practice the new verse of the day (e.g. Eph. 1:3). Read the verse aloud 10 times. Then cover the words and recite the verse 10 times from memory.
- Day Four: Recite the previous day’s verse (Eph. 1:3) 10 times from memory (include the verse number). Then recite all the old verses together (e.g. Eph. 1:1-3) together ONCE. Practice the new verse of the day. Read the verse aloud 10 times. Then cover the words and recite the verse 10 times from memory.
This seems doable and makes me want to try to memorize a chapter of the Bible. What are your thoughts on the matter? Have you ever attempted long passages of Bible memorization? Were you successful?