Have you ever wondered how people memorize entire books of the Bible? I sure have. As a Christian, the Bible is the foundation of my faith. It’s the means through which God chose to speak to humankind. But as a seminary graduate, there are times when I neglect memorizing entire passages of Scripture. I know general themes and key verses that appear throughout Scripture. I have a ton of verses memorized, but I don’t have very many chunks of Scripture committed to memory. I love God’s Word. It’s my source of encouragement, hope, and inspiration. But, I’ve been less than diligent with piecing verses together and memorizing entire chapters of God’s Word. Until now.
How To Memorize…
I came across a wonderful system that I wanted to share with you. Dr. David Andrews created it and it’s the best system I’ve seen for learning entire chapters—and books—of the Bible. And it’s quite simple. I’ve combined it with a few other resources I have to make it quite edifying in my journey memorizing Scripture and for my own spiritual growth. You ready? Here goes.
1. Choose a Book
You probably don’t want to start in the book of Psalms—it has 2461 verses in it. I’d suggest you pick a shorter book for your first endeavor. Dr. Andrews has a great chart in the .pdf I linked above with the number of verses in each book of the Bible. The first book I chose to memorize was Philippians, my favorite book of the Bible. For you, it might be Jude—which has 24 verses total. Whatever the case, pick a book that you’d enjoy memorizing.
2. Determine Your Pace
When I set out to memorize Philippians, I knew that it had 104 verses. So I decided to memorize one verse a day for a little over three months. It was a good pace while I tried to learn the system. It didn’t seem too overwhelming. So I would commend that to anyone who is starting this system for the first time. One verse. One day.
3. Follow This Daily System
Day 1: Read [your chosen book] 1:1 out loud ten times, looking at each word as if photographing it with your eyes. Be sure to include the verse number. Then cover the page and recite it ten times. You’re done for the day.
Day 2: Yesterday’s verse first!! Recite yesterday’s verse, [your chosen book] 1:1 ten times, being sure to include the verse number. Look in the Bible if you need to, just to refresh your memory. Now, do your new verse. Read [your chosen book] 1:2 out loud ten times, looking at each word as if photographing it with your eyes. Be sure to include the verse number. Then cover the page and recite it ten times. You’re done for the day.
You then repeat the same step for each successive verse/day in the book of the Bible you’ve selected. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you memorize huge chunks of Scripture.
A few practical things on this system. First, I put the memory verse for the day in my Google Calendar, so I’d make sure I memorized that verse on a given day. It helped keep me accountable. Second, I picked a day I would take off each week—Saturday—to give me some wiggle room in case I miss a day.
FYI: If you are an electronic Bible reader, I’d commend doing this exercise using a paper Bible. It helps you mind map and photograph words with your eyes.
4. Use a Scripture Memory Tool When on the Go
Finally, I added one more memory tool to Andrews’ system to help me nail down my verses. It’s a Bible App called Scripture Typer. It’s quite phenomenal and helps you memorize verses on the go. I use it when I’m waiting in the longest line in the world at Chipotle or when I’m on a grocery run. It has helped me get a solid grasp on verses that tend to give me problems in longer passages.
So there you have it. If you’re giving thought to memorizing larger chunks of Scripture, check out Dr. Andrews’ system. It has worked better than any other system I’ve tried. If you do check it out, let me know what you think by hitting me up in the comments below.