Best method for memorizing the Bible


#1

I’ve been using the method of loci. are there more effective ways of memorizing large bodies of texts? Or is it a personal preference thing?

I’ve personally come to associate, not simply objects, but small narratives with a specific spatial location, constituting chunks of up to 5 verses before moving on. Is this effective? Is there a better way? It seems to be working for me. I memorized 4 chapters or so with ease the other day, which is quite beyond impossible for my raw memory. So it seems to be working. Is there some kind of shortcut I’m missing though? I just want to maximize efficiency and cost-effectiveness in terms of energy expenditure.

For example:

"Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers[a] who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen."-Galatians 1:1-5.

^I used one locus for this. I just imagined a man being shoved aside by Jesus alongside Jesus when I read/thought the verse “not from men nor through man”, I imagined puppet strings from on high causing Jesus to bear our sins for us(I say this with reverence - I’m just trying to create vivid enough images for my brain to remember this stuff), etc. After 5 verses or so, I move on to a nearby locus and continue the narrative. How cost-effective and efficient is this as far as memorizing texts (in this case, scripture) goes?


#2

Why do you ask if it’s effective? If it’s working for you, then it IS effective.

If you’re doing it with ease, it IS effective.

If you retain the memory, then it IS effective.

I’m surprised you couldn’t answer your own question.

As for “shortcuts”, why not simply try other methods and measure their effectiveness against your method? If you were able to discover the method you’re using, then it seems you’d be able to find other methods on the net and see if they make sense to you. A simple “trial-and-error” system should easily tell you if a certain system is as good or better than the one you’re using now.


#3

Hey Daniel … Blaine has been no help on my thread about memorizing scripture either. Anyway - I liked your using stories (narratives) for memorization - I did that too. How do you reference specific verses? I used a PAO system, but I’m finding it not memorable enough. It works short term - but after a couple of months the PAO images have faded and the verses (and verse numbers) are gone. Maybe I need more review … lol.


#4

bump

How have you guys been doing with memorizing the Bible. This 41 year old would like to learn from your experience. I want to start memorizing the New Testament.


#5

I’ll start by talking about passages I am already familiar with.

I was working on Hebrew 8:8-12 this morning, and the advantage is that I’m already familiar with the passage because it’s a personal favorite. I read over the passage, see how much I can recall instantly through recitation, and keep doing that until I have the whole passage memorized. No special techniques are needed for this because you already have a heart for the passage, and it’s familiar to you. If you have a special endearment to what you are memorizing, memorizing will come easier.

For a passage that I have not previously memorized, I will sometimes pick out the first letter of each word, make up very odd words or sentences out of the letter sequence, and the outcome can be so quirky that I’ll remember the verse because I remember the letters. I may have a strong image associated with those words to solidify it. And after I have recited it a few times, the verse is locked in my memory, I can forget the original mnemonic, and I only need review it periodically.

In both cases, I also have an app for my Android phone called “Remember Me,” which will bring up verses for regular review; and the more times you recite a verse correctly, the less frequently the verse will come up for review.

I’d be interested in the opinion of others on this board… with the method I describe in the second paragraph, my goal is to minimize the amount of mental work needed to develop and apply mnemonic techniques. Or, the simpler the better. You can develop a system that is so clumsy and cumbersome that you may never reach your memorization goal. Like these gents, my goal is the full memorization of Scripture, but that’s a lofty goal, The King James Bible contains 31,102 verses, and 783,137 words. If you want to attain a goal like this in your lifetime, you don’t want to use a technique that is cumbersome or weary just to apply it, or you will never attain it. The discipline of memorizing will itself bear fruit and snowball into a professional skill.


#6

Hey iamdaniel! Good point. That is exactly how I go about memorizing scripture. I’ve found that it is actually easiest to create images for groups of words in a verse rather than for each word by itself. I personally create images for the first few words of a verse and its reference using the major system and file it in one large memory palace by category with each room representing a particular category of verses like purity, freedom, pride, etc.

God Bless!