Learning 1,000s of Bible verses

Hi everybody,
I want to learn loads of (specific) verses in the Bible: not the whole Bible though. I am able to learn (rote) the verses in the Bible, so that isn’t a problem.

If I use a memory palace, since I am not learning every verse, is this method still usable? Plus, what if, at a later date, I find a new verse that I want to learn, how do I fit it in between two already in place and learned verses (using the memory palace method)? Would I be better off using a journey for each book of the Bible (in Matthew for example, I have 73 verses to learn, 33 in Mark, 53 in Luke and 68 in John)? In this way, if a ‘new’ verse comes up that I want to learn, could I simply be able to ‘insert’ a new step in the appropriate place (thus maintaining the journey order)?

Before I started investigating the many methods available for memorisation, I used to learn everything wrote & in order (taking visual cues from the layout of my Word document (see attached)), but in the end, I started getting lost by the time I had reached the four Gospel as I started getting confused about whether a particular verse was in Matthew or Luke etc.

Another big problem for me has been that numbers are the same in each book of the Bible For example, there is a Genesis 2:14, but there is also a Isaiah 2:14, a John 2:14 and a Revelation 2:14 etc. How can I ensure that the sheer repeated nature of the same numbers does not get confused when learning different verses (that may or may not have the same numerical reference) from different books.

I have spent quite a few hours reading topics here on AoM, so wonder what mixture of Mnemonics / Loci / POA / Palace / journeys / peg system be best suited to my endeavour?

Thank you SO MUCH for your time in replying - some of you 'out ‘there’ have done this kinda things and could save me many months (if not years) trying methods that are just not suitable or the best.

Steve.Important Bible passages Gospels.doc (61 KB)

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Learning to recite the Qu’aran is still a fairly common practice.
It would be nice to better understand how people successfully commit large texts to memory effectively.

Obviously there is a level of commitment and a belief that the Qu’aran represents the word of God so for the faithful it is very important.

But the method of memorization would be interesting. I would expect that one would meditate on the text such that each section would be meaningful. Is it common to use some form of peg when memorizing religious text? The modern Christian bible has been broken up into many discrete sectiosn that could be pegged. This doesn’t commit the content to memory but it does at least provide a structure for the content.

I have seen quite a few posts over the years here but haven’t seen anyone break down a process that they have successfully applied.

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This is an untested idea, but maybe you could combine a memory space/memory palace with a peg list — create one room for each book of the Bible. Then use two 2-digit Major System images to store the verse numbers.

For example:

In the Matthew room, there could be a wooDPecker (19) standing on a NaRwhal (24). You could link that image to an arbitrary location in the room and then to the verse itself (a camel passing through the eye of a needle).

If there are multiple verses to memorize from 19, then maybe the wooDPecker (19) could represent a general area of the room, and the verse-number images could be gathered around the woodpecker.

Another idea is to create multiple peg lists (for 00-99) to reduce the number of repeated images.

See also the #bible-memorization tag.

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Few years back I ran into YouTube video that I thought was pretty good:

He has several videos in the library. I hope it will help.

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If you haven’t seen them yet, there are some posts about that method here: #lanier-system

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Thank you Josh - I know that we are all different and what works for one of us will be less successful for another. I think that one thing that we can all agree on is that if we can get to where we want to go in the quickest, simplest and (hopefully also) most effective way, then that gives us more time to learn more.

Having read quite a few posts (seen a few videos and even paid for a course on memorisation, a few people have said that they believe the memory palace to be more demanding on prep time than is necessary. All of this is untested by myself and on the other hand I do understand that even though it is quite labour intensive, that it works well and is a tried and tested (many, many times) method.

The things that brought my previous learning to a standstill was remembering the numbers and keeping them unique in my mind so that I knew which Gospel (in this instance) they were from (something that I eventually failed to be able to maintain).

Thank you Vplan,
I have read quite a bit from/about him here on AoM. If I recall correctly, the prep for his system is quite demanding (not a problem though if it is solid) and Gary himself does state that this system is designed for him specifically (though it is or course wonderful that he shares it with everyone). Having said all that, I will have a good listen to his video (which I haven’t seen before & didn’t know about) - thank you :slight_smile:

I have memorized the entire topics of each Bible book in a little more than a year. I find the Lannier method quite overwhelming. There is a way easier way.
I can recommend my friend Timothy’s ressources on memorizing the Bible. Just google the Master of Memory podcast.
He has a whole course on memorizing James.

Basically what you do is this: you define only key words in your verses. The stressed words in the sentence are what you want to aim for. You turn those into mnemonic images and put them in a palace.

You record the verse, listen and recite along. The palace mnemonics serve as triggers.
It works perfectly well. And is so efficient.
If not just sleep on it. Your neurons form connnections when you sleep. Next day will be way easier.
The combination of those tactics supercharges your memorization.
As for the verse numbers: use the major system. You need to train it a bit but it will be well worth it.
If you have questions you can reach me over at rethinkingmemory.com/kontakt

Good luck brother

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I use something similar to the method that Wolfram suggests for learning Old English poetry by heart. Perhaps a bit more rote than just the ‘key word’ method. I also place each ‘chunk’ on a loci of an actual journey- the last time through a graveyard (English Church grave yards are great places for memory stations I find, each tombstone is different).

I’ll give you an example: the first line of the OE Poem Widsith is “Widsið maðolade, wordhord onleac” which means “Widsith spoke, opening his treasure chest of words (word hoard)”. That is actually a whole line but as its short I didn’t split it into two smaller chunks.
“maðolade” sounds like ‘Marmelade’ (the German word for Jam which Germans say ‘mar-may-larder’) and “Wordhoard” sounds similar (to my strange mind) to “Warthog” - I use the image of that annoying character from that even more annoying film my kids used to love.

So on the first gravestone I ‘place’ the image of a jar of a German brand of Jam being eaten by a Warthog. Recite that line standing infront of the station several times as i like physical journeys and then at home again in my mind. .

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I have read just as many that say just about the opposite. I myself use palaces for EVerything, and often in combination with other techniques. And it does not take more preparation than any other techniques. You create your image and place it in a physical place, it really doesnt need to be more complicated than that. At first I also thought identifying, prepping, practicing, creating palaces before hand was necessary, but its just not, unless it’s for a competition of course. Remember, you can update, link, adapt, correct, just do pretty much anything with palaces, and the more you do, the better you get at making them on the fly.

I second GibtsDochGarNicht and WolframRuin and what they mention is also what I pretty much do for text and dialogue. The examples of Josh, I would definitely work with that also !

I really like your project and I also have a similar project with the Bible.

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Mine tend to be. I purposely research the history and where available the local ‘lore’ of the buildings i use as stations on a Journey MP . If I’m using grave stones I will take the time to read the names and dates, the inscriptions and consider the art work (although one can only admire so many naff Victorian cherubs) and then link the names to things locally…“oh that must be one of the forebears of the butcher”. I find researching my loci makes them super-sticky but that’s just me. It helps me ‘see’ them better in my mind’s eye and gives me useful hints as to what my images should be ; if the shop was a former Gin Palace then I can get that whole “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” absinthe scene thing going on :slight_smile:

But I am quite capable of making an MP in a heartbeat using the Vaughn Cube and some room I can recall, with no prep although I think Anthony Metivier is right when he insists that roughly sketching it out (at the very least) is a really good idea. And in a video just last week or so Johnny Briones recounted how having a few videos taken with his smart phone of some room or the other saved in the cloud, saved his bacon just before a competition . All he needed to do was log on, watch the videos and hey presto Insta-Palace!

TL/DR: making MPs is about as much work as you want it to be.

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That’s real cool what he did with his video. Idont compete, but I’m definitely trying that!

I do also get really into detailing and designing my palaces and journeys, but I do in steps now, in tandem with what I need to remember, not beforehand, and when still necessary, according to my “revisiting” results. I use to do a lot of detailing beforehand and it did work for me just as well so I’m a bit surprised I grew apart from working on my palaces so much before populating them.

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Thank you for your message! Funnily enough, I have just signed up to Timothy’s James in a month program (have only done the into day + the first day where he describes the house. The relevance of the colours is an added + that I hadn’t thought about before too.:+1:
Thank you again and also thank you for your contact details: if I get stuck or need a little advice, I will be sure to ask.:slight_smile:

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Thank you for taking the time to reply. Your method is interesting + I have bookmarked your comments so that I can come back to them (will try to include it in whatever method I try out first.:+1:

Thank you for the reply again :slight_smile:

I guess that my concern is being able to build a palace in my mind that I will remember (one palace for the whole Bible or one for each book? What do you think?).:thinking:

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That’s interesting! I will definitely have to research this more!:thinking:

Thank you. :slight_smile:

Hi Cameri,
I do like the idea of being able to design something BOTH beforehand and also ‘on-the-fly’. Beforehand as I know (at least for the New testament) how many entries I have for each book, and on-the-fly because I don’t doubt that, in the future, I will want to add in additional verses as they ‘jump out’ at me in the future.:+1:

Don’t worry about that. Once you populate it, revisit it, study it, meditate on it, (all by parts you can manage of course), you won’t have any problems remembering it and finding any given verse when needed. You can simply link familiar places, any places, as you move along, building a universe of interlinked palaces, big and small, interlinked in any way you seem fit.

Remember you can restructure a series of interlinked palaces as needed in the future; and update, and modify any part of them quite easily. And since the amount of info to encode is so vast, planning in advance is harder than updating on the way and even more at the end, in my experience.

So I strongly suggest you start by the first familiar space that comes to mind, place the first image that comes to mind reading the first verse you want to remember, than move on to the second, and when needed, add the first image a number makes you think for chapters and verses, and move on till the location is as full as possible without having to struggle to find any space to place your images within it, then revisit it and add new images as necessary to fill in the blanks, and revisit, till you can recite the verse going through your palace and recite it without hesitation. Than move to the next familiar place you think of, link the two with anything that is already present or use your book, chapters and/or verses numbers, and populate that one.

I started this way and Little by Little, I got better at all the skills involved: key image used covered more and more meaning, guessing what I haven’t even placed in images became easier and faster and more and more exact and needed less and less images to trigger… I could go on too long about how everything got easier with pratice, and faster than I had imagined. The trick was to get started and worry less on how and more on just jumping in and keeping what works and playing with what works less till I got want I wanted, to remember.

No matter how your palaces are made, you will always have the freedom to insert additional info. Just linking any part of it to another space and linking this one back to the first and you have portholes wherever you need them.

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Your 2 for Genesis can be a Z image, your 2 for Isaiah can be a swan, your 14 for one verse can be a flamingo on a stick, another 14 can be your Dad. Important thing that there is at least one image close by that reminds you in which book are on , and what verse. And don’t forget, they will be grouped closely together so there will be many hints to remind you which book are in already, among other things. You will see. Perhaps an example would help.

P.S sorry for my previous post, too big and dense perhaps.

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