Counseling One Another

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Counseling One Another

6 Tips for Memorizing Scripture

Earlier today, I read a helpful little booklet written by Susan Heck entitled A Call to Scripture Memory. In this 21-page booklet from Focus Publishing, the author answers five questions:

  • Who should memorize Scripture?
  • Why should we memorize Scripture?
  • What Scripture should we memorize?
  • When should we memorize Scripture?
  • How do we learn to memorize Scripture?

She then ends the booklet with these 6 simple tips:

  1. Work on memorizing when you are mentally alert and free of distractions.
  2. Stick to the same Bible translation until you master the passage.
  3. If you are having trouble with a certain verse of passage, put it to music.
  4. Another helpful tip is to try to teach the verses to your children or to other children.
  5. Remember you are not just memorizing words, but God’s words!
  6. Lastly, if you find yourself leaving out portions or phrases, ask yourself, “What logically would come next here?”

The following portion, containing illustrations from church history, was especially convicting to me.

Even as the New Testament church progressed, according to church history, many Christians cherished God’s Word much more than we do, and would memorize great portions of it. Tertullian (160-220 A.D.), an early Christian apologist devoted his days and nights to Bible reading, so much so that he even memorized much of its punctuation. Theodosius the Younger (347-395 A.D.), a Roman emperor known for making Christianity the state religion during his reign of the Roman Empire, could repeat any part of Scripture exactly. Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556 A.D.), a leader of the English Reformation could repeat the entire New Testament from memory. Theodore Beza (1519-1605 A.D.), a French theologian who played an important role in the early Reformation could repeat all of Paul’s letters in Greek at age 80. Finally, Frances Havergal who wrote my favorite hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be” memorized the entire New Testament, the Psalms, and Isaiah, in her teenage years, and in her later years she memorized the Minor Prophets. She died at the age of 43, and had already committed 12, 935 verses to memory.

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  1. It is amazing what God enables our minds to remember by His Spirit! Thanks for sharing! That is challenging. 🙂

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  3. Thank you for this! Exactly what I needed. Printed out a copy for myself, will highlight it. Thank you!

  4. I heard this from John Piper: In the memorization, focus on the argument/idea/point rather than the words (goes along with point 6)

  5. Pingback: 6 Tips for Memorizing Scripture | Counseling One Another | Christian News |

  6. Sorry! It’s actually Thomas Cranmer, not Cramer. We used to memorize about 100 verses and then have a quiz-off to see who knew them the best. The quizzer would start reading some portion of the verse and the first person to stand up and spout it off without any errors stayed in. If you made any mistake, you were OUT. It sounds pretty nerdy but it was actually a lot of fun.

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  8. Brilliant article. I will soon include it in my website. I coin, collect and crave for mnemonic devices. I have coined couple of mnemonics on softskills and behavioral skills.

  9. thanks for sharing these!
    It may seem childish but I’ve found doing actions helps a lot as well.

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