Memorizing Scripture is an important part of the Christian life. The Psalmist includes reminders in his writings that hiding God’s word in the heart will help Christians to resist sinful temptations. Jesus’ example during His temptation in the wilderness supports that, as He turned away Satan’s inducements with Scripture quotations.
However, anyone who has ever tried to remember anything knows that it is not always as easy to memorize things as it seems like it should be. It takes time and effort. If one is determined to learn, there are some tips and tricks that can aid in retaining Bible verses – both short passages and long ones.
Tips and Tricks
- Be in the habit of reading the Bible regularly. The more familiar one is with the Word, the easier it will be to remember parts of it. When serious about memorizing, read it out loud. Read the section you want to learn out loud fifty times and much of it will be memorized already!
- Include memorization time daily. Everyone has a routine they follow to some degree. Either morning, evening, or both is done pretty much the same every day. Including memorizing time in one or both of these routines will help to reinforce it. Fifteen minutes to an hour is a good amount of time to plan to spend for efficient learning.
- Choose a topic. Trying to learn several verses about the same concept is likely to be easier than jumping around to a lot of different ideas.
- Strengthen comprehension. Understanding what the verses say is important to remembering the words of the Scripture. Consider trying an audio Bible to help aid in better comprehension. Start with learning the concepts presented and the verse in which they are presented, such as “John 3:16 – God loves the whole world and sent Jesus so people would believe.” Move on from there into the whole verse. This will make it so key verses can be easily found when needed, because the location and concept are known.
- Carry it. Use index cards or flash cards to keep the verses in a pocket or otherwise nearby. Read and review the Scriptures often to lock them into memory. Recite them without looking, then check the notes to see if it was correct.
- Use music or hand motions to reinforce the words while studying. Songs tend to be easier to remember than just plain words. There are some verses that already have tunes written for them, so it may be helpful to start with these, for those new to Scripture memorization.
- Walk or move while studying. The movement can be helpful for retention.
- Repetition, repetition, repetition. The key to remembering anything is repetition. Choose a verse or passage and repeat it ten times a day. If it is a passage or book, do this one verse at a time. Each day review the previous verse(s), go over all to this point, then add the next one, and eventually the whole section will be memorized.
- Use multiple methods. Write the verse. Read the verse. Listen to the verse. Sing the verse. Record the verse. Use the first letters of each word as a memory trigger. Say it to another person.
- Mark up the text – if writing in the Bible is not appealing, print the section on separate paper. Mark names, places, quotes from the Old Testament – choose your own markings but use color to help burn the text into memory.
- When review stops, retention begins to decline. The more a verse is reviewed, the more it will be remembered. Verses that have been memorized will likely always be familiar, even without review, but it will be difficult to quote it word for word if review has not continued.
- There are apps one can use to assist with reviewing daily. Many of these are free, though some offer premium features for a fee.
Starting with Psalms and Proverbs is usually a good idea, as they are simple, but full of wisdom. Some individual verses that most Christians learn include:
- Joshua 1:8
- Psalm 119:11
- Psalm 119:105
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Matthew 28:19-20
- John 1:12
- John 3:16
- John 14:6
- Acts 4:12
- Romans 3:23
- Romans 5:8
- Romans 6:23
- Romans 10:9-10
- Romans 12:1-2
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- 1 Corinthians 10:13
- 1 Corinthians 10:31
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
- Philippians 4:8
- Philippians 4:19
- 2 Timothy 2:15
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- 1 John 1:9
Passages that can be read aloud in fifteen minutes or less include Genesis 1, Genesis 2, Genesis 3, Genesis 7, Matthew 5-7, John 14-17, Romans 6-8, Hebrews 11-13, and the entire books of Philippians, Colossians, and James.
For those who desire to learn entire chapters, consider chapters 1, 23, 40, 51, 100, 101, 118, and 150 of Psalms, and chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians.
If a whole book is a goal to learn, the New Testament books that are shorter, and thus good places to start, include Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. Philippians is an excellent choice to remind a Christian of the joy of the Lord. James is full of wisdom that will encourage Christians to follow the Lord in all areas of life. All of them contain information that will aid a Christian in living according to God’s will.
Where to Buy
How To Memorize The Bible Scriptures Quick and Easy In Five Simple Steps: A Practical Step-By- Step Guide For Memorizing Bible Verses, Chapters, Books ... Scripture, Long Passages, Chapters, books)
How to Memorize – Books
The author of this book has memorized several books of the Bible through the methods set forth in this text. He shares his experience to help other Christians to learn the Scriptures.
Five simple steps making learning Scripture easy and fast with this book. It will teach how to choose Scripture to learn, how to get ready to learn it, and how to commit it to memory.
Understanding how the mind retains information can aid in adding information to be remembered. This book sorts through that and offers a powerful method for writing Scripture on the heart to be recalled by the brain.
Where to Buy
Agape Flashcards- Scripture Study Flashcards: 100 of The Most Important and Useful Bible Verses | Pack of 100 Bible Study Flashcards | Perfect for Memorizing Bible Verses | Made in USA | English
Scripture Cards - 4-Pack Set of "Verses for Purses" - Fruits of the Holy Spirit Love, Joy, Peace, and Overcoming Fear Worry and Anxiety Bible Verses (Scripture Memory)
Journals, Workbooks, Lists, Cards
100 thick and sturdy flash cards are water-resistant and about the size of a standard business card.
These 52 coloring cards are double-sided. The sturdy box makes it portable and has the verse on both sides – simply printed on one side and with spaces for coloring on the other. While intended for kids, adults may also find these useful for memorization.
This list of verses was assembled by the senior pastor of the Moody Church and his wife. They recognized the need for Christians to return to the habit of memorizing Scripture and include topics and questions to encourage internalizing.
The beginning of this Bible introduces the concepts that assist in memorizing the Scripture it contains (the entire New Testament). The chapters are then printed in a format meant to assist in memory. Also available in Kindle.
This list of Bible verses was put together to give Christians a place to start. Adding one’s own favorite verses is encouraged.
These verses were selected to be useful and encouraging for men, and are printed, one per side, on fifty-two cards that are about the size of a standard playing card, making them easy to carry anywhere.
Four packs of cards on rings are perfect for tucking into a pocket or purse for studying whenever a minute is available – waiting in line, riding in the car, taking a walk, or any other time. These packs are themed worry, peace, love, and joy.
This journal with writing prompts are set up to give the same set of questions every week. This makes it a helpful part of a daily routine of Scripture memorization.
This Faith Maps book is geared toward women, offering specific topics and goals for memory in a journal format. It encourages familiarity with the Word of God and aids in developing a habit of memorization.
This system for memorizing Scripture is a kit to assist in memorizing the Bible. It includes a workbook, cards, and a holder for carrying the cards.
Where to Buy
Memlock has long been a good name in Bible memory products, which originally were notebook, then floppies, CDs, and a downloadable file. This free app is a continuation of that same well-known system. Over 700 verses cover 48 topics and include the text and a visual cue.
This free app includes audio, flash cards, puzzles, and quizzes, as well as several memory practice methods.
This free app allows users to play verses looped, offers puzzles and ways to organize verses that are being studied and that have been learned. It also provides reports on progress.
This free app includes audio, visual, and touch in memorizing Bible verses, as well as a recorder to record speaking the verse to check for accuracy.