Hi, my name is Prof. Tom Meyer. While studying in Jerusalem, I learned the three pillars of memorization: reading, hearing, and writing. Let me briefly explain how each of these techniques or a combination of them can help you or your students memorize Scripture.
The first technique is: Reading
After you have selected a verse to memorize, read it aloud over and over. When you read the verse aloud, your eyes work together with your mouth and ears to give you a much better chance of retaining the verse than if you were reading it silently. Another technique related to reading is the power of format. To apply the principle of format, read aloud the verse you want to memorize while looking at the verse in your Bible, using the same Bible every time.
The second technique to memorize is: Hearing the Word of God
While living in Jerusalem, I was often told that the Bible was originally meant more for the ears than the eyes. It’s kind of like reading Mozart versus hearing Mozart. You can read Mozart on the page all the day long and imagine how beautiful it would sound, but when you hear someone play the piece well on the piano, the document almost takes on a different life, doesn’t it? So, if we can listen to the Word of God, we can hear the spoken Word of God with all the emotions, drama, etc., over and over. This is the most ancient way to memorize.
The last memorization technique is: Writing the Verse Out
Every Bible in the world is printed in such a way that doesn’t foster memorization. That’s why I created a version of the Bible called The Memorization Study Bible. It goes something like this.
1. Prayerfully select a verse.
2. Divide the verse into several lines. Count the words in each line and write the number in the right-hand column as a memory aid.
3. Copy the right-hand column’s numbers onto a fresh sheet of paper. Write out the verse with pen and paper just the way you’ve divided it using the numbers as a crutch. If you draw a blank, you can look at the number column as a cheat sheet to help you know how many words go on that line.
4. While you are writing the verse, try speaking it aloud. That way your mind, eyes, mouth, hand, and ears are working together in unison.
Finally, whether you memorize Scripture by reading, hearing, writing, or a combination of those techniques, the way to retain it is to review it.
The process of reviewing Scripture you have memorized is called meditation in the Bible (Joshua 1:8) and is critical to our spiritual life. If we can let the Word of Christ “abide” or remain in us (1 John 2:14), then we can draw upon it in times of need. This will give you or your students the best fighting chance to overcome the world.
Prepare for Ministry, Prepare for Life
The internalization of the Word of God helps you thrive in every area of life. Having a deep knowledge of the Word, whether it’s memorized or not, assists you in charting the course of life because you have scriptural principles in your mind to help guide you in all walks of life.
This internalization of God’s Word is at the heart of the mission of Shasta Bible College and Graduate School. Whether you are preparing for a life of teaching, preaching, or living life as a witness, knowing the Scriptures helps you because you have God’s Word in your heart readily available to you. We not only prepare students for ministry, but for life.