You know that verse where it says something like…?

I can’t paraphrase worth beans. Sometimes it’s better not to even try so I don’t mangle Scripture. I think that’s why God gave me the gift of memorizing it. I started out with the Topical Memory System and after that I memorized anything that God used to reveal something to me, anything I was especially fond of, convicting, helpful for prayer, comforting, required for a Bible study, etc. What a great gift to have all of that in my brain, given that I had such a hard time memorizing things in school, along with everything else schoolish.

Was it Einstein who said not to memorize something that you can look up? (That’s a terrible excuse not to memorize Scripture, and if anyone said that I’d chastise them from here to kingdom come.) However, since my brain is full up on memorized Scripture right now–including reviewing sections of them at least six days a week, in addition to memorizing and retaining Greek vocabulary–if I could add some references to Scripture that I could look up (if you can look it up, you have to know where to look it up, Einstein!) but not necessarily memorize, maybe I could fit some of those into my brain right now. (Was that too long of a sentence?)

It would be a good way to have an even better grasp of where things are in Scripture. Maybe it would be good to memorize what each chapter or half of a chapter of a book is about. Just the topics in Romans and letters to Corinthians would be good.

It goes without saying that this should not take the place of regular Scripture memory. The Bible didn’t have chapters until the 1300s or verses until the 1500s. People had to know it in large sections and so should we. Scripture doesn’t tell us to hide verse references in our heart.

Does anybody do this?

Here are some I’ve gathered. A lot seem to be wisdom stuff obviously.
-Not too rich or poor
-Just kidding
-Other gospel
-Prov 26:4-5
-Prov 18:2

P.S. As an aside: some recommend memorizing verses, at least to start out, and some say to only memorize chapters or books. I think both are valuable. Having a lot of 1-3 verse passages memorized that are scattered throughout the Bible gives you a good idea of where things are and what topic a chapter or part of a chapter is about. But it’s very important that a single verse be a complete idea and that you have a good understanding of the context. Otherwise, memorize passages–as long as it takes to be a complete idea. Gordon Fee said that the worst thing to happen to the Bible are verse numbers. We’re constantly blaming the media for taking what people say out of context and yet we do it with the Bible all the time.

3 Responses to “You know that verse where it says something like…?”

  1. 1 Eric

    All good points, Jeff. Memorizing is difficult for me, but is enormously rewarding when I make the effort. I try to do whole (small) chapters, like 1 Cor. 13 & some Psalms, but also do smaller parts. I’m pretty good at Bible addresses since I’m a numbers person & can usually get the chapter right, if not the verse. I think Scripture memorization is one of the most important disciplines we have. I often recite the verses to myself as I’m trying to fall asleep. Eric

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot


    That’s really great to hear. There are so few people that do that. Sounds like you have it all covered. I usually recite a verse or two in the morning (which I did a post on), but I should do that before I go to bed too, especially since I sleep horribly. I haven’t had insomnia lately but it could always come back.

  3. 3 Eric

    The whole routine of reciting verses after my prayers & before falling asleep has been helpful to me. I think it signals my body & mind to let go & let Him who “neither slumbers nor sleeps” take over for a while.

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