My new Scripture memory technique

I memorized a lot of verses when I was a kid – my parents encouraged me to do so, I memorized some for Sunday School, and eventually I had to do a lot of memorization when I went to Christian Jr/High School (in El Cajon, CA).

In college and (more so) after, though I have wanted to be disciplined in working on memory verses, more often than not, I haven’t been. Part of the problem has always been the verification process; usually, when I’ve wanted to work on verses, especially in the early stages of learning any given verse or passage, it hasn’t been convenient to get feedback from another person. (I’ve even tried learning verses while riding my bike, “laminating” a small sheet of paper with tape so that I didn’t destroy the ink, much less the paper, with my sweat!)

Several months ago I discovered a new way of working on memory verses which has really worked well for me. I’ve shared the technique with a few people and have had some positive feedback, so I thought I’d share it here:

  1. Cut and paste the passage you want to work on from your favorite online Bible (or Bible software tool) into μsoft Word (or whatever you want to use).
  2. Read it a few times, say it out loud a few times.
  3. Looking at the pasted-in verse or passage, start typing the verse (or first verse of the passage). Do this several times.
  4. Here’s the benefit of this technique: mark (highlight) the original verse (copied in from the source you trust), hit Ctrl-Insert, Ctrl-F, Shift-Insert, and then Enter (in other words, copy the original verse into the clipboard, then initiate a search, paste in from the clipboard, and run the search).

This allows you to verify each and every instance of the verse you typed, down to the punctuation. Why do I care about the punctuation? It helps me think about the structure of the verse or passage: its grammar, nuances, etc. I find this greatly helps me in the process of meditating on the passage I’m working on.

One thing to watch out for: in Word, at least, you can’t search across a paragraph marker (i.e., the result of hitting the Enter key). At least, I haven’t bothered to figure out how to do that. So when you mark the text you want to search on, make sure you only swipe to the last visible character in the verse – a letter or some sort of punctuation mark – and don’t include any blank space.  (This also means that you can’t hit Enter before the end of a verse.  You could, of course, type a passage as a paragraph, but that’s more difficult to type correctly early on, and more difficult to check at any time.)

You should also recite the verses out loud, of course, to aid in the process of committing them to memory – but I’ve found that the process above really helps early on in the process of memorization.

If you find this technique helpful, let me know!

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Lee! This is Lindsey (Warren). I ran across your blog:) It’s been a long time!
    I am going to try this technique! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi, Lindsey! Yes, it has been a while! I hope everything is going well for you and your family.

    You’re welcome – I hope it works for you, too! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    Lee

  3. I’m looking for John Piper’s technique to memorizing scripture. Have you heard of it? I think it’s “Warrior’s_____”. Thanks. I know Navigators has a good memorization program, but I was looking specifically for John Piper’s.

  4. Hi, Katy – I do know that John Piper’s church works on what they call “Fighter Verses”, which I learned about in a blog posting of his which I wrote about here. If you follow the link in my post to Piper’s blog, you’ll eventually find this page on Fighter Verses. It doesn’t really explain the system, though – but you can either buy one of the systems (*), or keep searching for an online description armed with the information you can gather from that page. Good luck!

    (*) I’m in no way affiliated with Desiring God ministries or Bethlehem Baptist Church…

  5. […] because of a comment I wrote over on Neal Whitman’s blog, Literal-Minded, read my post on my new Scripture memory technique, and said ‘hello’ over on my About page. We got into a discussion about some of the […]


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