Learning 1,000s of Bible verses

I have also been memorizing Bible verses in the New Testament and this is what has been working pretty well for me.

There are 29 books in the NT and 28 letters in the alphabet. I assigned an animal name beginning in Matthew with an animal that starts with “A”. And going all the way to Jude I use an animal that begins with “Z”. For Revelation I use “Judge” which isn’t an animal but my system doesn’t work perfectly because there is one book more than letters of the alphabet.

So, using Matthew for an example, the animal I choose is an anteater. So, I picture an anteater in my mind and the anteater represents the book of Matthew. Then, to represent the different chapters in Matthew, I associate the anteater with some item that also begins with an “A”. Each chapter has its own item. So, there is one animal for each book and each chapter of that book has an item associated with the animal.

Matthew is an anteater and chapter 1 uses an abacus, chapter 2 is an air conditioner, 3rd chapter is an accordion…and so on. I had to just look through a dictionary to find names of items to use. Matthew 1:28 is an ax…so I see an anteater holding an ax for the last chapter in Mathew.

Then to distinguish the different verses I relied on the peg words for remembering numbers that memory books teach. Toe for one, Noah for two, Ma for three…etc.

So, for example Matt. 1:1 would be an anteater with an abacus and a toe. Matt. 1:2 would be an anteater with an abacus and Noah and Matt. 1:3 is an anteater, an abacus, and a Ma. Then somehow with a lot of creativity I have to actually create an story that connects the anteater, abacus, and toe or anteater, abacus, and Noah or Ma to the actual verses they represent. Some verses are easy and some are not as easy.

In the Book of Mark I use an animal that begins with “B” and items that represent the chapters also begin with a “B”…but I use the same toe, Noah, ma etc. for the actual verses. In the NT books that only have one chapter, I don’t bother with any item at all. Jude is a zebra and he is connected to toe, Ma, and Noah for verses 1,2,3, and so on. Jude has only one chapter. The real key to making this work is to clearly see the animal with his item and associate it with the toe, Ma, Noah and so on.

I hope this helps. I have memorized about 10 chapters so far this year using this method. The actual memorizing of the verses is mostly rote, but this system with the animals helps me keep it organized in my mind and easier to recall. it is almost like each verse now has an “address” in my mind. This method allows me to skip around to any verse I want to memorize…nothing has to be in any particular order.


I love the way you are using the alphabet with animals and that the last book is a “letterless” book, marks the last nicely I think.

Using animals adds much color and you remind me I could use more.

You’re experience is helping me thank you! I am used to using journeys and palaces so here I go, inspired by you:

I would place these in a location, let’s say my bedroom, on my chair transformed into an abacus is a playful anteater with a manicured nail toe for a face, I can see and smell the dripping varnish. Then next to that is my bed, on which I place the first image that that first verse makes me think of, a great tree rooted in my mattress, in the heart of which lays curled up in a tree knot Jesus,DAvid, Abraham rooted themselves on either side.

I would not mix them yet they would clearly be linked since my chair is next to my bed.

I would not create and add other images for every verse number, as one every 6-9 verse would be enough. I can clearly see which one is which because they are together in a palace. I can see which one is one and right there, on my sofa, 4 verses away, is the 5th

I would not add another anteater because I know, in space, Mark’s animal, a great grizzly bear, awaits much further away.

Nor would I use abacus again, an air conditioner further away, passed a few linked memory palaces and journeys filled with all that is chapter 1, is indicating the start of chapter 2.

The books and chapters images being used only once, the physical locations used helping naturally, I would not take any time into choosing them beforehand with a system. I would just use whatever image every name and every beginning of a chapter brings up. Being at this or that restaurant, in this or that friends house, neighborhood, reveals instantaneously where I am and no confusion is possible in regards to books and chapters.

I would still use animals when something reminds me of one in the verses because I love them !

Wow! Portholes! That hadn’t even crossed my mind! Great suggestion!:clap:

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Hi Cameri,
Please would you kindly clarify the above. I am not quite getting the gist of what you mean one this bit!:smile:

Hmmm. Are you saying that I could (or should?) have 66 different images for 1s / 2s / 3s etc to make each unique for each book in the Bible?

Nooooo, not for every single one, but only when you encounter the possibility that one can be confused by another. Remember, they will have their own space, so most of the time, the location alone will help you distinguish between it all. It will all sense once you encounter it while populating your palaces.

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I mean exactly that, like what I did here :

2 is Z shaped so I thought of that and would use a zebra or something Z or 2 shaped, without over thinking it, because you will revisit your palaces enough to remember why there is a flamingo on a stick there because you have created it for 14. When I started trusting myself I made leaps in developing these skills. Worst that can happen is as you revisit a part of your palace you feel close to not being able to remember what this or that image was for, you can always update it, change it, and it actually reinforces that whole space because you are seeing everything there and the surroundings again.

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a number can make one think of a person, an athlete, a person’s birthday a shape of something (see number shapers thread) an animal an address and when it’s not for competition when it’s not hundreds of digits in a row, just adding an image that the number makes you think of at that moment just works and it’s enough.

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Really interesting!:thinking:

Would you mind posting your full list of animals etc. that you use please?:+1:


Thank you for clarifying. :slight_smile:

Do you write down a description of you memory palace and where everything is, or do you completely rely on everything staying in your memory?

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I have done a couple of things in this regard. For passages of the Bible I focus on the key content of the verse and get that down and make an image or two on each location and then review for a couple of days making tweaks if necessary until I have it nailed down. I have used this for preaching and works well. I had to learn to be ok with not having it word for word. This has worked very well for me.
Secondly, I have given every chapter in Genesis and Exodus a title and picked a movie genre that I enjoy and created somewhat of a sequence of movie scenes. Usually I take about a third to a half of the chapters of the book and figure out the scenes. I then review them every day until I feel good about them and then take the next chunk of chapter titles and keep going until I am done. After that I review every week until I am confident I have it and then move my reviews out farther apart. When I feel like I start to get bored because I have the chapters down then I start working on giving the next books chapter titles. I just started working on Leviticus. This has worked well for me.
Hope this helps


Nope, never, and I have many many many. That is one advantage about this technique, no need for anything to be written down. Of course it doesn’t hurt to write things down, and I did for a while because everyone was. But, again, I was underestimating the power of loci, and for my hundred or so last palaces, used mostly for languages, I chose the location, populated it, linked to another location as needed, populated that one, and so on, without any need to write anything down. Just make sure to revisit certain part from time to time. I got better at doing this by listening to my gut : the second I feel a piece of a palace is fading, I go back and revisit a bit. Most of the time it takes only a few seconds and I’m walking or waiting or in between jobs, and that’s the beauty of it, also

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That’s it! Pretty much what I do to, and I strongly recommend you try it this way. That key content I place in my memory palace and work on many more than I could without, meditate on more content without the need for any material, just eyes closed if I want, walking, in the commute, stretching in the park…

@bull I love that movie scenes trick, will give that a try definitely, thanks!

FYI (as it says that you’re new and perhaps you don’t know this yet) you are describing ‘memoria rerum’ , a memory for things (in this case ‘key content’) as opposed to ‘memoria verborum’ or ‘nailing it word for word’ https://artofmemory.com/wiki/How_to_Memorize_Verbatim_Text
Memoria rerum was the technique favoured by the great Roman and Greek orators…worked pretty well for them too.

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Yes I have personally worked through which way to go about it and read some books and watched some videos, but the link definitely puts it more succinctly, so thanks for the reply.

No problem. For me it makes creating the action and emotional part of the images a lot easier. It also has gotten more useful the more I use it.

I will be happy to share what animals I use.

Matt. anteater
Mk. bear
I Cor. giraffe
II Cor.hyena
Gal. ibex (mountain goat)
Eph. jellyfish
Phil. kangaroo
Col. lobster
I Thess. monkey
II Thess. nightcrawler (earthworm)
I Tim. octopus
II Tim. pig
Titus- quail
Heb. squirrel
I Pet. unicorn
II Pet. vulture
I John-walrus
II John-xantus (a type of humming bird)
III John-yellowjacket (wasp)
Book of Revalation-Judge (a human)

You can also do an internet search for "animals that begin with A, with B, with C…etc. and see listings of animals that begin with each letter of the alphabet and pick out other choices of animals.

It is also helpful to make a connection between the animal and the book it represents…see an anteater gobbling up “math” numbers (for Matthew) for example. For II John I see a hummingbird with two parts, a head and a body which a connect to the second epistle of John. For III John the yellow jacket has a head, a thorax, and an abdomen…three parts reminds me of third John. Hope this helps.


Thank you for the clarification. :+1:

Thank you :slight_smile:

I am looking forward to using some of this when I start the whole memorisation process. :smile:

Or you could go really old school and use the Tetramorph, each Evangelist has his own animal. Infact I think there may an animal associated traditionally with each New Testament writer.

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