2017-06-15 / Faith

Tips for memorizing Scripture—there are apps for that

Sally Carpenter

In recent columns I discussed how the ability to recall favorite Bible verses can help in one’s daily walk with God.

So how do we go about memorizing Scripture?

Let’s start with some websites that offer tips on memorization. Find the methods that are most helpful for you. www.navigators.org www.biblegateway.com/blog: “Ten Tips for Memorizing Bible Verses” wikihow.com: “Memorize a Bible Verse” https://scripturememory.com unlockingthebible.org: “How to Memorize Scripture” www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-tips-for-memorizing bible-verses www.christianitytoday.com: “10 Tips to Start Memorizing Scripture” biblestudytools.com/topicalverses/short-bible-verses

Bible memorization has moved into the digital age with various apps. I have not tried these applications, but I’d love to hear from those who have. http://biblemindedapp.com from the American Bible Society

Scripturetyper.com. Free memory system available for iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire

Remember Me: Android app on Goggle Play


All memory systems have one thing in common: repetition. The more one says, reads or reviews a verse, the more it “sticks.” Even the Bible itself realizes this.

“Take to heart these words which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NABRE).

“Do not let this book of the law depart from your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may carefully observe all that is written in it” (Joshua 1:8a).

Before memorizing a verse, learn what it means. Research it so you can apply the teaching rather than just say the words.

What verses should you start with? Some basics include John 3:16, Psalm 23, the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-18), the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) and fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

You might come across a verse in personal Bible study that is especially meaningful, or hear a powerful passage in a sermon that you want to remember. Various websites also list verses to learn.

What version of the Bible should one use for memorization?

Some prefer the beauty of the traditional King James version or the new King James that keeps the poetry of the original but updates archaic words and includes up-to-date biblical research.

Others prefer modern translations for ease of understanding. Go online and sample various translations to find the one that speaks to you.

Start small. If memorization is new to you, don’t try to tackle an entire chapter or long verses all at once. Easy does it.

Some people can remember a verse by reading it silently multiple times. Others learn by reciting the words aloud. Some imprint the verse on their minds by writing or typing a verse many times.

Others print the verse on index cards and post them as visual reminders throughout the house and office.

You might want to recruit a partner and the two of you recite verses back and forth, correcting one another.

Going over a verse several times throughout the day not only keeps one focused on God, but also helps to drive it home better than a once-a-day effort.

You can also use a rosary (Protestants can do this too). Say a verse on each bead instead of the traditional prayers. Or you can use each decade (section of 10 beads) for a different verse, learning up to five verses at a time.

Regular attendance at worship and Bible study also exposes one to Scripture. When I was growing up, I learned many hymns and prayers simply by hearing them repeated each week.

The more time we spend with Scripture, the deeper it becomes embedded in our hearts.

Sally Carpenter is a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Moorpark. Reach her at sallyc@theacorn.com.

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