Counseling One Another

Helping you grow in God's all-sufficient truth and grace

Counseling One Another

RERUN – 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:

  1. Who should memorize Scripture?
  2. Why should we memorize Scripture?
  3. What Scripture should we memorize?
  4. When should we memorize Scripture?
  5. 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.

[Originally posted November 11, 2011]

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  1. The ending portion from church history was thought-provoking for me. Why does the society, even the Christian, Bible believing society, I live in not have a larger focus on memorizing Scripture? Is it because of easy accessibility to it so we take it for granted? Or because of the carelessness with which we live life? I do not want to take the Bible, the truths and wisdom for my life for granted.

  2. What a rebuke. I know I certainly do not put the focus on Scripture memory that I should. I hung a passage of Psalms by my mirror to read over as I do my hair in the morning, but find that I do my hair and never even look at it. Thank you so much for reminding me of what a treasure I have in the freedom to have the scriptures, and the importance of learning and meditating on it.

  3. I have been trying to memorize a psalm with a friend recently. It seems that each time we meet we haven’t made any more progress with the passage, though. This is a slap in the face. We have absolutely NO excuse.

  4. I think it is so easy to take the Bible for granted because of the easy access we have to it. We don’t see how precious it is. We would all agree that Scripture memory is important, and we encourage kids to memorize it all the time. I know that I constantly need to be thinking about Truth because Satan seeks to deceive.

  5. This is something that I need to be doing more. This is convicting and helpful.