Bible Memorization Tips:
1. First read the passage through 5 times to familiarize yourself with it. Next break the passage down phrase by phrase. Read the first phrase 10 times, then say that phrase out loud 10 times, or until you feel familiar with it. Add on the next phrase, using the same method, then say the first phrase and second phrase together. If you’re unable to recite them together comfortably, repeat a few more times before adding on the third phrase and repeating the process until the entire passage is memorized.
Step #1: read through Genesis 2:15-17 5 times.
Step #2: Take the first phrase from the verse and read it out loud 10 times: The Lord God took the man. The Lord God took the man. The Lord God took the man, etc.
Step #3: Recite that first phrase out loud 10 times (or as needed) without looking.
Step #4: Add a second phrase and read IT out loud 10 times: and put him in the garden of Eden. And put him in the garden of Eden. And put him in the garden of Eden, etc.
Step #5: Recite that second phrase out loud 10 times (or as needed) without looking.
Step #6: Put the first and second phrase together and recite: The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden.
Step #7: Continue adding phrases and repeating steps
2. Recite passages out loud to keep yourself focused.
3. Review verses daily. Take note of any verses you struggle through and work on them more.
4. Note the repeated phrases in verses with slight variations. Often these little differences will throw you off. Example: In Genesis 1:26-28, it reads "and over ALL the creatures that move ALONG the ground" in verse 26 and "and over EVERY living creature that moves ON the ground" in verse 28.
5. Pay close attention to occurrences of “and”, “then”, “so”, “for”, etc, tenses, and singular/plural forms of words.
6. Think about what the verses mean as you recite them. This will help the words come easier since it makes sense.
7. Note the different names of God used in the passages--God, the Lord, the Lord God, the Lord your God--and think of something to trigger your mind into remembering which name is used in a specific passage.
8. Often the hardest part of reciting is figuring out the first words of a passage. Does it start with “and”? Or was it “then”, “for”, “so”, or “the”? Think of things to help trigger your memory for this.
9. Have a passage that contains a list of things that’s confusing you and causing you to mix up their order? Find something that triggers your memory into remembering the correct order. Example: in Exodus 25:1-8, the items listed to receive as an offering from the people are 1: gold, silver, and bronze--these are listed in standard order of medals. 2: blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen—purple is sandwiched between the two colors you mix to make it: blue and scarlet (red).
10. Have a passage that lists just two things you keep mixing the order around for? Check and see whether or not they’re in alphabetical order, take note of it, and use that as a test to trigger your memory. Example: in Deuteronomy 4:31-40, it says, “For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not abandon or destroy you...” Confused about whether destroy or abandon comes first? Alphabetically, abandon comes first, as it does in this verse, so I take note of that and when confused, call it to memory.
11. If you’re a visual learner, grab a piece of paper and some colored pencils and draw pictures for each word in the passage to help you remember the verse.
12. If you’re a hands-on learner, come up with hand motions to the verses.
13. Write or type the verses out several times.
14. Write the verses on a marker board. Read them aloud, then begin erasing words one or two at a time, drawing a line every time you do so to represent the missing word. Read through the verse again, inserting the correct word into the blank(s) when you come to the empty spot(s), and continue to erase words until no words are left. Can be done alone or with siblings taking turns reading and erasing.
15. Write each word of the passage on a separate slip of paper. Arrange them in the correct order, read through them several times, then scramble them up. Start a timer and see how quickly you can arrange all the words in the correct order. Continue to compete to beat your former records. Take turns with a friend or sibling for some fun competition. Works best with individual verses or small passages.
16. Record your verses on an ipod, mp3 player, or voice recorder. Play it back and listen to them. Listening to scripture familiarizes you with it, making it easier to memorize. For passages you’ve already memorized, play back the recording and recite a second or two before it. This is a way to review when you have no one to quiz you.
17. Recite the verses in chant or to a rhythm.
18. Write references on slips of paper and put them all around the house where you will see them constantly, be reminded of them, and review them. Put them on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, your computer, your TV, your bed, beside your light switch, and any other place you frequent. (You can even laminate some and put them in your shower)
19. Bring your verses with you everywhere and pull them out when waiting in lines, driving, or have spare moments.
20. Let your family and friends know you’re memorizing and tell them to hold you accountable and quiz you on your verses whenever they see you.
21. Don’t have someone to quiz you and aren’t sure if you’re missing or adding words to your passages when you recite? Type up or write out your passages from memory, then check for errors.
22. Review or memorize new passages as you fall asleep at night. Your mind will continue to think on the passages while you sleep and you will often find you know the verses better in the morning than you did the night before.
23. Work, work, work, work, and WORK!! With time, discipline, and much review, scripture memorization is both possible and SO rewarding!
Thank you to Miss Sarah for these memorization tips!