Memorizing the Bible
It';s no exaggeration to say that memorizing Scripture is one of the most important things a believer can do. It';s important for a number of reasons, and it';s rewarding and enjoyable to boot.
Having a variety of Bible verses and passages committed to memory can be helpful in many ways. It can help you when you need to remember some good Biblical wisdom or instruction that applies to your own life situation. It can help you minister to other believers who need encouragement. And it can help you to tell others about what exactly the Bible has to say to them as people for whom Christ came to die.
The apostle Peter, who was with Jesus during the entirety of his earthly ministry, explained the importance of knowing Scripture by mind and by heart when he wrote, “And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15).
The writer of Psalm 119 strongly implied the importance of memorizing Scripture and making it a part of our thinking when he wrote, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). This tells us that memorizing Scripture is a help when it comes to battling temptation to sin.
If you';re ever in a situation where someone asks you about your faith — and it';s sure to happen eventually — you can more easily explain what you believe, why you believe it, and what it';s done for you if you have some of the Bible memorized. But what steps should a Bible reader take to begin effective Bible memorization? Here are some tips and ideas that might help you make memorization a part of your Bible reading and study.
Pick a version of the Bible that works for you. This may not sound like a huge part of Scripture memorization, but you might be surprised to find that the version of the Bible you memorize can make a big difference. Some people find that the more poetic tone of the King James Version is more easily memorable, while others like a more modern-sounding version such as the New King James or the New Living Translation. Pick one you are comfortable with, one whose style and language is easiest for you to connect with. That will help make Bible memorization easier and more comfortable for you.
Pick out the verse or verses you want to memorize. You can do this by topic or by whatever portion of Scripture you are presently studying. (While studying the Bible, some people like to jot down specific verses for memorization.) Read it through several times — silently • and aloud. Focus on the keywords in the verse and pay special attention to the meaning.
Write the verse down. Write it in your study notes, on a note card — anywhere that makes it easy to review later. Many Bible readers are amazed to find out how writing a verse down word for word helps them to memorize it. They also find that writing verses down is helpful for review. If you write the verse on a note card, you can easily carry it with you so that you can look at it and reread it in those spare moments during the day. That goes a long way in helping you memorize particular verses or passages.
Don';t try to memorize too much at a time. There';s an old saying about the best way to go about eating an elephant: one bite at a time. When you read your Bible, it can seem like a daunting task to memorize enough of it to make a difference. The key is to memorize it in amounts you are comfortable with. Start with three or four verses or passages a week and then see if you can take on more. Remember, different people have different abilities when it comes to memorization. Find your own pace and stick with it.
Work with a partner. Like many other things in life, memorizing Scriptures goes better with teamwork. Memorizing Bible verses with a friend, spouse, roommate, classmate, or any other partner you can count on to consistently help you and challenge you gives you accountability as well as someone to quote Scriptures to when the opportunity presents itself. It';s more effective and more fun, too!
Remember learning to spell in grammar school? If you';re like most schoolchildren, you used flashcards that contained not just the spelling of a particular word but a picture of it. You can use homemade flashcards to help you memorize Scripture. It';s an effective way to help you memorize, especially if you are working with a partner.