A Unique Way to Memorize Scripture

Post by Pastor Tim – During the month of December, the DOTW Discipleship Family takes time to reflect on how the Lord has worked in our lives and how we have responded to that working. I wanted to reflect on one of the tools that has benefited my family.

Memorizing Scripture – Every week during 2013, our family memorized anywhere from 2-15 verses of Scripture. This has been one of the most “life-transforming” activities our family has undertaken this past year. My kids didn’t have much difficulty memorizing the larger portions of Scripture, but I would often struggle. Then, I came across a blog post by Pastor Teddy Ray and learned his unique approach to memorizing Scripture. In order to memorize, Pastor Ray took a passage of Scripture and wrote down the first letter of every word.

In order to do this, you take a verse (or verses) of Scripture, such as John 13:6. It says,
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Then write down the first letter of each word. For John 13:6 you would write,

HctSP,wsth, Laygtwmf?

Make sure you also write down all punctuation and capitals. And instead of trying to memorize by looking at the words, you are now trying to memorize by looking at the initials.

At first I didn’t understand the benefit that this would bring, but I found that it made my memorizing much quicker. Pastor Ray even said,

Someone shared something that changed my whole approach to Scripture memory. They had me take a larger chunk – a full passage rather than single verse – and turn it into initials. I worked on a few verses at a time until I could say the full passage using only the initials as my guide. Then from there, I began to discard the initials and work on full memory.

For some reason, that intermediate step of working from initials made a huge difference. I think it also helped to begin looking at Scripture memory in terms of whole passages rather than single verses. The memorization served a deeper purpose, too, as it opened up the depth of these passages to me in whole new ways. It also helped me to see I could work through pretty large chunks, amounts I didn’t think were possible to memorize.

If you are technologically minded there are online flash cards at Anki Software, but it is just as easy to make hard-copy flashcards – that’s what our family has done!

Have you used any unique techniques to help you memorize Scripture?

About tdillmuth

Pastor Timothy Dillmuth is the Discipleship Pastor of Voice of the Martyrs Korea. He oversees Underground University, a missionary training school for North Korean defectors, and does discipleship training with Christians from all over the world. Pastor Tim received a bachelor's degree from Zion Bible College and an M.Div. from Regent University. He lives with his wife, Melissia and their three children in Seoul, South Korea.
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14 Responses to A Unique Way to Memorize Scripture

  1. Very helpful. When there are key or pivotal things I want to memorize like the elements of the “4 pillars” creeds, qualifications for overseers, etc. I have my version of “PrayerMateApp” for iphone include them in a regular rotation so I’m regularly being exposed to them and forced to consider if not exactly memorize them…

    • tdillmuth says:

      Good suggestion – I did a search for the app and came up with one called “PrayerMate – Quiet Time Organiser” by Andy Geers. Is this the right one?

      • Yes – that’s it – the way it’s set up you can do lots more than just requests. And through Dropbox you can import material you type on a full keyboard too!

        — Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  2. Reblogged this on Missio Links and commented:
    Memorizing scripture is too little practiced these days. Here’s a helpful blog post that may assist you in your efforts to memorize scripture!

  3. bellissimanh says:

    I’ve used index cards on a spiral (keep them on the dashboard and memorize while I drive), but I also love http://www.scripturetyper.com.

    I love that your family memorized Scripture together this past year! Hoping I can convince mine to do the same for 2014. What an awesome way to live out Dt. 6:7!

    Blessings to you all… miss you!

    • tdillmuth says:

      Hi Heather – thanks for commenting! We miss you all as well and hopefully we can connect on our next trip to Maine 🙂

      Thanks for the suggesting on Scripture Typer . . . I’m signing up right now.

  4. Pingback: Links 18 – 6/12/13 | Alastair's Adversaria

  5. James Alexander says:

    this is fantastic. thanks.

    I’ve found just daily repetition most useful.
    also, music. getting musical friends to help compose tunes for passages is helpful + fun.
    also, I’ve found it mildly helpful to listen to, rather than read, big chunks of Scripture. I mainly use the robotic-sounding voice on my phone to do this. something about hearing it without tone or inflection that helps it register at new levels. I love it.

  6. Bible Memory verse (a free scripture memorization app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) uses the “first letter of each word” approach to practice bible verses.

    Please let me know what you think of it, if you try it out!

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bible-memory-to-god-be-glory/id714235223?mt=8

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  8. Pingback: Need More Help To Memorize Scripture? How About The Topical Memory System? | Do the Word

  9. reedstone says:

    Wonderful. Grace be with you Tim. We will try it using your unique approach.

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