Bible Memorization Techniques
First, prepare index cards with Bible verses on one side and the references on the other. Generally prepare 50 cards or less at a time. The important thing is to get a start with some set number of verses.
I suggest choosing verses by subject or doctrine, not by chapter, or you risk losing valuable time working through a number of verses to get to the one you need. Memorizing by subject or doctrine is more liable to bring verses to mind when a given subject is raised.
Use a good concordance (possibly Young's or Strong's), and make a list of choice verses on the particular word or subject you wish to study. For example, you might take the word "save" or "saved" in studying the doctrine of salvation. Placing the verses on your cards chronologically will help to keep your thoughts organized. You may want to use the following verses: Isaiah 45:22; Jeremiah 8:20; Matthew 1:21; Luke l9:10, John 3:17; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:1; 1 Corinthians 1.21; Ephesians 2:8,9; I Timothy 1:l5, 2:4; and Hebrews 7-25.
Memory cards could look like this:
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
There is another approach to the choice of verses for memorization that we call "Subject Coherence." Here is a sample of that type of study:
- Sin: Psalm 14:3, 51:5; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 53:5; Micah 7:2; Luke 18:19; Romans 3:9-18, 3:23; Galatians 3:22.
- The results of sin: Ezekiel 18:4,20; Romans 5:12, 6:23; James 1:15; Revelation 21:8,27, 22:15.
- The remedy for sin: Isaiah 53:5,6, Matthew 20:28; Romans 5:8; I Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4, 3:13, Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18.
A good concordance also provides a means of cross-reference study on two subjects. By memorizing verses on both, a knowledge is gained about how the two relate. A set of verses cross-referencing baptism and salvation might be arranged with comments as helps in the following manner:
1. Why did Christ come?
Matthew 9:13; Luke 19:10; 1 Timothy 1:15.
2. How did He save?
NOT BY BAPTISM:
Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5.
3. What is the gospel?
1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
TO ADD WATER IS HERESY:
4. How can one be saved?
THROUGH FAITH -- BELIEVING:
John 3:14,16,36, 6:47, 8:24, 11:25, 14:1, 20:30,31; Acts 10:43, 13:38; Romans 1:16, 4:3, 4:5, 10:9,10; l Corinthians 1:21; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Peter 2:7.
5. Who then should be baptized?
THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SAVED:
Acts 2:41, 8:37, 10:47, 16:31-33.
A packet of memory cards on the doctrine of Christ might contain this outline:
1. VERSES ON THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF
CHRIST: Isaiah 7:14; Jeremiah 31:22; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27; Hebrews 10:5.
2. VERSES ON THE DEITY OF CHRIST:
Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:23, Acts 7:59,60, 16:31,34; Romans 9:5, I Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20.
3. VERSES ON THE BLOOD OF CHRIST:
Exodus 12:13; Leviticus 17:11; Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13, 14,20; Hebrews 10:18,19; 1 Peter 1:18,19; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5, 5:9.
4. VERSES ON THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST:
Matthew 28:6; Mark 16:6; John 2:19; Acts 2:23,24, 3:15, 5:30; Romans 1:4, 4:25Exodus 24: 4; 2 Samuel 23:2; Psalm 119:.1l,105,130; Jeremiah 1:9, 30:2; Matthew 4:4; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21.
One desiring to be equipped to prove the reliability of the Bible would memorize verses having to do with inspiration. A few might be:
1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 3:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Hebrews 13:20, Revelation 1:18.
I recommend quoting each verse in the first packet aloud, seven times daily for one week. The second week this can be cut to twice each day. The third week once daily will be sufficient.
Meanwhile, a second packet, of perhaps 20 cards, has been added on the second week and the verses are being reviewed seven times daily while going over the first packet twice.
By the fourth week, the original packet will only need to be reviewed one time weekly. That should be continued for three months. After that, a monthly refresher will be sufficient. (All the while each new system is following this pattern.) Finally when a packet of cards is completely mastered, a review once in three months will be enough.
If all this seems like a lot of work, it should. However, the use of the card packets will allow much of the work to be done in hours that otherwise would have been whiled away in less profitable pastimes. Any time of waiting can be time in the Word.
Remember, no amount of memory aids, however, can replace self-discipline. Without that, any memory plan will fail.