Memorizing Scripture


#1

Hello everyone,

My first motivation to learn about the method of loci five years ago was to find a way to more easily memorize verses of scripture. I remember watching a video by Ron White describing how, with mnemonics, you can easily memorize the names of a room full of strangers and rem with perfect recall. Needless to say I was fascinated and tried to find a way to use this technique for what I really wanted to do which was to memorize scripture.

I wanted to post this in case as anybody else who was wondering how to do the same and who may be a beginner with mnemonics. For any scripture, I use my physical house for my mind palace. Every room in the house particular catagory of scripture. The front porch pertains to salvation while the kitchen pertains to suffering. The bedroom upstairs pertains to God’s love, and so on. Using this method, I can instantly recall verses based on categories when I need them. Depending on the room, I may have six or seven different verses in different corners, pieces of furniture, etc.

Every loci has several pieces of information: the book of the bible where the verse is found, the chapter and verse numbers, and the first several words of the verse to jog my memory on how it goes. I have tried to memorize scripture by rote in the past and the difference in results between that and using this method is NIGHT AND DAY.

I start by finding a verse that I want to memorize. If I want to memorize Acts 16:31 concerning salvation, which reads, "They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” I would start by creating images for each word. They (Day) said (sat) believe (beef) in the (Indy) Lord Jesus (lurchy) and you (hand you) will be (wimpy) saved (safe), you (yew) and your (injure) household (household). I now combine the words together into a story. A baby sitter during the day is eating beef while watching the Indy 500 on Tv. She sees one of the cars lurching very badly as the baby she’s sitting hands her some wimpy sauce which he grabs from a metal safe. The girl stands up and shoots the Tv with a yew bow and arrow in frustration, although the arrow bounces back and injures her and the household. Does that make sense? If you can create and memorize a story like that this, you can memorize the verse. If you want to, you can put the images in a loci too. I pick any from www.360cities.com and make sure to save the url to my computer.

Now that we have memorized the verse, we will need to memorize the book, chapter, and verse numbers. I find a word that rhymes with the book (in this case, an axe for acts). Then I go to phoneticmnemonic.com and type in the numbers 16 and 31 for two words. The word sequence HAS to be memorable though. It has to have some kind of ring to it or form an alteration. In this example I’ll choose the words stitch mit (16, 31). So I find an empty location in my room concerning the subject matter of salvation (for me my front porch). I picture an image of an older lady stitching (stitch) a pair of pants while playing catch (mit) with her great grandson. She gets mad at the job she is doing and takes an axe (Acts) and chops the table she was working on. The only thing left we have to memorize is the beginning words of the verse. If you can jog your memory with a few words, you’ll remember the rest easily. Maybe we can transplant the image of the baby sitter watching the Indy 500 at the same table as the great grandmother. Maybe the baby sitter is eating breakfast or something.

We now have all of the information of the verse. If you ever need to remember it, you can easily go to the place in the bible where it is found…or simply remember the whole thing if you don’t have a bible handy!

Aaron


#2

Thanks for sharing your technique. It’s a unique way to memorize scripture by category.

I have a similar interest in scripture memorization but keeping verses in context of their location in a chapter. It requires many more locations to do, assigning a room to every chapter. The thing I discovered recently that I should have been doing from the start is putting the verses in consistent locations. For example Gregor von Feinaigle came up with a system of 9 loci per side of a room. So the far-left of the floor is always verse 1, the center of the back wall is always verse 25, and so on. It seems kind of wasteful at first not to use every part of a room, but the reward of always knowing the exact verse number of the thing happening in a certain part of a room is worthwhile. I no longer have to add any images to the loci to represent verse numbers.


#3

Slate,

That’s interesting! I’m glad you explained it to me. I’ve heard many people talk of Feinaigle’s method but was sort of unclear as to what it actually was. If I may ask, where do you find your rooms? Do you create them or are they actual places?

Aaron


#4

I made a mistake in my previous post about the number order but I corrected it. It’s easier to understand the Feinaigle number order with an illustration which I made in this post. There are, of course, many ways the numbering could be done, starting with walls first or snaking back and forth more like a journey. The main thing is whatever numbering method you choose stays consistent for every room, that way you don’t have to make any extra effort to remember the verse number, if you remember where it happened you know the verse number.

In the past I’ve used rooms of houses that I’m familiar with. Now I’m working on a new approach which will be a way to generate an entire memory palace of Feinaigle-type rooms in nested Feinaigle-type arrangements on the computer, including cubemap rooms so that every room is unique, and the actual scripture text in the appropriate location. That way we can skip the palace-build phase and jump directly to the memorizing/imagining part. I can’t give many more details right now but hopefully will have something to show after a while.