I memorized the entire Gospel of Luke, looking for a way to mnemonically help with recall (New to forum & mnemonics)

Hello everyone,

This is my first post, however I have been lurking on the forum for a while now trying to get some answers. I appreciate any help you guys can give.

Situation: I recently finished memorizing the Gospel of Luke from the Bible (just text, not verse numbers), it took me a year and a half and I used solely Rote memorization. I’ve come to the realization that in order to recall it I will have to continually be reviewing it, and as I’m looking to start memorizing other books of the Bible it led me to see if there are better methods to memorize scripture in order to be able to recall it later. My research led me here.

What I am looking to accomplish: Memorize scripture in a way that years from now I will be able to recall it, given a consistent review schedule.

My current plan:

  • Break text into individual verses.
  • Read text out loud (maybe 5-10 verses) multiple times to get familiar.
  • Strip down the text to only the first letter of each word, and use as reference as I continue to quiz myself.
  • Strip down text to only the first 3 letters (first 3 words) of each verse and continue to quiz myself.
  • Review into oblivion.

This method has proven successful for me, it’s basically a systematic way to do Rote. I know its not mnemonics, but I’ve noticed that when I recite verses I will mentally visualize the location of the words from whatever page I memorized them off of. When I reduce the text down to the first letters only, it allows me to visualize less data, if that makes sense, and makes it seemingly easier to recall. I’ve also noticed that I typically only need the first few words of the verse to be able to recite the whole thing. My consistent review (typically done speaking out loud) fills in the gaps for the rest.

The Problem: My biggest issue is being able to remember the first few words of each verse/section, and because of that I can’t remember the entire verse/section/chapter etc.

All that to say this; I would like to pursue a method to memorize the first letter of the first 3 words of every verse, which, if I can remember those letters, I believe I will have a much better time recalling all the text years from now.

I thought the PAO method using a memory palace might be the answer and I gave it a try. I assigned a person, action, and object to all 26 letters. What I came up with was confusion over a lot of the same letters being used in each verse. Since the letters “A” and “T” and a few others are used so much, so many of my images involved the same persons, actions, and objects revolving around those letters. My object for “T” is toaster, and in the first few sections I had so many toasters that I couldn’t keep track of them all. I did not completely exhaust this method, and this is the first time I’ve tried PAO and memory palace so it could be that I’m just not experienced enough. Regardless, given the unique nature of this memorization, I wanted to reach out to people with experience.

This is what I’m looking to memorize mnemonically for the entire Gospel of Luke:
Verses: 1150
Letters (3/verse): 3450

Basically, I need to memorize 1150 sets of 3 letters, or 3450 letters. For example, the first 5 verses of Luke (ESV translation) look like this; Iam, jat, isg, tym, Itd).

I broke it down by letter and found out that over 75% of these 3450 letters are taken up by only 7 different letters (a, t, w, h, s, b, i). In other words, if I use PAO, 75% of my images will be the ones used for those letters.

Do you guys know of a better way to do this? If you were in this situation what would you try?

Memorizing scripture is something I’ve grown to be very passionate about, so I really do appreciate anyone that takes the time to help point me in the right direction. Glad to be part of the forum!


Firstable, i suggest you make a little adjustment to that plan, but it will have a major impact. when you memorize a verse, add one or two or three words from the next verse. for example, when you memorize this verse : 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee. add the 3 first words from the next verse : 27 to a virgin.
that way the verses will be chained one to the other, and you can recite the whole section from any point you start. you can do the same with sections, you link the end of the section with the title of the next one, for example you memorize : 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” The Birth… this way the whole Gospel will be like one verse.
Now, when you need to recall a verse, if you can’t remember the first words, you can always start recalling from the closest previous word you remember, because you can recite the whole Gospel from any point. That’s the way i memorized and recall the Holy Quran.


I suggest you try finding shapes that looks like three letters (horizontally or vertically), it’s not easy but it’s doable. for example :
NNN : Saw
EEE : Coil (Vertically)
AAA : Moutains with snow on top
BBB : Library Shelf (Vertcially)
ABB : Skycraper (Vertically)
AWA : Fighter (A as missile)
OWO : Bomber (O as Bomb)

Of Course you have some easy ones like : FBI, CIA, NSA, FDA, IRS, CBI…

1 Like

I like that, just yesterday I was thinking of ways to convert the letters into symbols that would be easier to remember. I will have to think more about this.

Have you used the Dominic method? I thought of a way to use the Dominic method for Luke by replacing the standard 10 letters used (a, b, c, d, e, s, g, h, n, o) with the ten most common first letters in Luke (a, b, f, h, i, s, t, w, y, o). That would cover about 85% of the letters I need to memorize, and I would have to get creative for the remaining letters when they appear or when I don’t have a pair of letters together.

Ideally, I would use this to link verses together by a person (based off of the initials in verse 1) completing an action (based off of the initials in verse 2) and so on and so forth. Does this seem feasible? Is the Dominic method useful long term memory?

I appreciate the help abohamed.

In medieval times they used a grid method where a handful of words were memorized in chunks. The manuscripts were highly stylized with lots of mnemonics written in the margins to aid memory. That’s why you see all kinds of pictures and stylized letters in the old manuscripts. They always used the same manuscript for memorization so the mnemonics on the page would be the same.

Look into the work of Mary Carruthers.

1 Like

You Welcome.

Sounds good. Sure a three letters system will be better (like the one I suggested) but It needs a LOT of work and time. If you want my opinion, I’ll give the three letters shape system a try, and see if it suits my needs, If not you can always use dominic.

Try the method I suggested : adding words from the next verse, you won’t be disappointed.



I would create a visual link for the story, understanding what the story is about and what happens in space/time.

Then I would use key words, ultimately whittling everything down to 3 key words.

Without understanding the gist of the narrative, you can’t get to the particulars.



First off, good job working through the Gospel of Luke! Regardless of the effectiveness of recall, spending the time meditating on the words does something to you. Nevertheless, with all of the commands throughout the Bible to “remember”, it’s a wonder that it’s so hard to find mnemonic skills among Christians. Rote is the technique I’ve found most common among bible memorization programs.

I’m very interested in your technique. I’ve demurred spending the time setting up a mnemonic scaffold like you described, because I want to be sure it works before I invest in it. If it does work, I would start immediately.

Here are few techniques I’ve found that aid in rote memorization. I’m not advocating for them, since I don’t have anything else to compare to, but they are better than monotonous repetition:

  • When repeating verses, vary emphasis on different words.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee.

This helps keep it interesting, and also helps slow down the process of interpretation to consider what the author might have been emphasizing, rather than what you would tend to assume is the emphasis.

  • Get dramatic. It also keeps it interesting and engages more of your body to dramatize and exaggerate the narration. If you are in a private place, you can shout and whisper, emote anger and grief and wonder, argue with imaginary opponents, move your hands around, engage your whole self.

  • Make word pictures. This may mess with your PAO, but it helps me immensely if I can visualize word pictures that associate with the text. For me, that is mostly, “This word sounds like this thing.” Again, I can’t fully recommend it, since it tends to also exhaust me and I don’t know if this ad hoc method has retaining power, or if the images disappear shortly after applying them.

Honestly, I wish there was a whole sub-forum for text memorization. I’ve seen so much advice, but not many practitioners telling what works. I’d love to hear more about your and @abohamed.kattan’s experience and methods!

1 Like


1 Like