Knowing Scripture


Paul quotes the Old Testament more in Romans that in any of his other letters.

Two things come to mind:

1) The Old Testament is important to Paul and should be important to us. He says in Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” This was written before there was a New Testament but after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Jesus says in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”

2) Paul knew the Old Testament. Paul most likely wrote Romans when he was in Corinth so it wasn’t one of the prison letters (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon). At that time he may have had his books and parchments and may not have had to quote everything from memory. But at the time he wouldn’t have had a concordance or a computer to search for the Scripture he wanted to quote. He knew it well enough to find everything he needed and I would guess he had much of it memorized.

While writing the prison letters he may not have had anything written down and have in fact have to have quoted from memory. 2 Timothy 4:13, “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.”

I believe a large part of knowing Scripture is memorizing Scripture. In case you need Scripture to support that, here are a few:

  • Joshua 1:8
  • Psalm 1:2
  • Psalm 119:11
  • Proverbs 7:1
  • Romans 15:4
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • James 1:25

3 Responses to “Knowing Scripture”

  1. 1 Christopher

    My name is Christopher, and I whole heartedly agree with your saying that we need to know the word of God. I never thought about Paul not having his parchments when he quoted Scripture, but even if he did have them you make a good point. He would have had to know exactly where to find them since he would not have had chapters and verses.

    My wife and I memorize whole books of Scripture at a time. We are currently working on Ephesians together. This will be her third book and my fifth book. They have been nothing less than a blessing. And may God bless you! Happy blogging!

  2. 2 ScriptureZealot

    Welcome to the blog.

    That’s quite a feat to have whole books memorized. What do you find are the benefits of memorizing whole books?

    Click on Christopher’s name to see his blog.

  3. 3 Christopher

    Memorizing whole books is nowhere near as hard as it sounds or seems. In fact, it is a heck of a lot easier that memorizing verses “here and there.” I find it is easier because you are following a train of thought.

    Anyway, the benefits are numerous. One is that you can keep verses in context, which is always the best thing to do concerning God’s word. Another blessing is that, with the free flow of thought, you can catch the full meaning of a passage–the blessings Paul pronounces on his churches, the condemnation that Jude has against false teachers and so on. I cannot say enough about the discipline, and am currently writing a booklet on whole book memorizing and its benefits.

  1. 1 Why Memorize Scripture? | Scripture Zealot
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