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Dr James Ach

Memorizing The New Testament

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Congratulations DrJamesA, an amzing feat.

 

I wish you would have offered this a few years ago.  My time is very limited, and my memory is being destroyed slowly from toxins that go to my brain and destroy brain cells.  I am afraid I would not do well now, but am glad you were able to accomplish it in only 5 years. 

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My memory is terrible but have always wanted to do this.  I made a commitment to the Lord and my family to spend far more time in His Word than I did last year.  I'm in and thanks!

I'm going to try and work on this soon, the PDF form will likely come before the youtube. I have Windows 8 now and trying to figure this system out is worse than pulling teeth.

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I'll just a short explanation here since it's a relatively simple system, the more detailed parts are just the little tricks in between.

 

But I use a 3x5 index card system, and keep them all in a plastic 3x5 index card holder with a lid. The box if mainly for the review of the verses.

 

Each card would look like this: (sorry don't have a graphic so I'm typing this out) You can make a template and print them out, or do it the hard way (like I do), and use a pen to make the card like that everyday.

 

****************************************************************************************************************

                                         [Front Card]

(Memory Help-Like perhaps draw a tree for Ps 1:1), Revelation 1:1           Date: 1/27/13

 

25 20 15 10 5

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37

38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

 

Weekly 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

 

1 Month                                     3 Months

6 Month                                     Yearly

************************

[back side on the lined portion is the bible verse(s). If you are memorizing more than one verse at a time, you have to write very small]

 

 

************************

Use a separate notebook to keep a tally of the verse count (I'll explain later)

 

The first verse will be written on the back of the card, then write the reference of the verse on your Bible next to the verse. If you are memorizing Rev 1:1, put a "1:1" next to the verse. You wil stare at that reference when you get the verse down.

The first one you do will be quoted 25 times, after a while you will have it down after about 10 quotes, but once you get it down, stare at the reference "1:1" while quoting it. After you have quoted it 25 times, cross off the 25, and the next day, that same verse will be quoted 20 times, the next day 15, the next day 10, and then 5. After that you quote the passage once a day for 45 consecutive days, crossing each day of as you go. 

 

So each day, you are adding a new verse, so in 5 days after the start, you would have Rev 1:1 to quote 5 times, Rev 1:2, to quote 10 times, Rev 1:3 to quote 15 times, Rev 1:4 to quote 20 times, and today you would add the new verse, Rev 1:5 to quote 25 times.

 

In the plastic box, you make "dividers", which will be like file dividers. The first one will be marked "Daily" and that will contain all of the 25-5, and the 1-45 daily quotes. Keep them in order with the oldest ones in front. After the 45 days are up, that verse will go into a weekly file. This will take 7 cards for each day of the week. Whatever day you finished the 45 day mark goes in that weekly file. Like if you finished on Sonday, it goes in the Sonday file, and every Sonday you check that file for verses. The weekly folder verses are quoted once a week for 7 weeks. Each week when that Sonday verse comes up, cross off one of the numbers.

 

After the 7th week, the verse goes into a monthly file. You will need 12 dividers for this for each month of the year. Whatever date you finished up the 7th week on, mark the card in the "Month" slot with NEXT MONTHS date. So if I finished the 7th week of a verse on Jan 28, 2013, I would mark the card 2/28/13 and put it in the February file. 

 

When February rolls along, when I get to 2/28, then date the verse 3 months ahead. So after I quote the verse once on 2/28, it will then be reviewed again in 3 months on 5/28. When 5/28 comes, it gets reviewed again in 6 months on 11/28. On 11/28 you will then write that date on the yearly slot and review that verse on 11/28 every year for life.

 

You can use the same 3.5 index cards to make the files. Just turn them long ways, and cut them down enough so the lid closes, and the file cards stick out above the rest so you can see them (just like on a file cabinet index). Or you can just do it the fancy way and buy tabs to stick on the index cards for labeling them.

 

***********

A notebook is used (I use a small 4x6 notepad) to write down the reference, and then keep a tally after quoting the verse. If you are memorizing an entire chapter, just write the ch and verse. If you are quoting different verses each day, write out the entire book, ch and verse. The tally is to check off all the days from quoting the verse from 25, 20 , 15, 10, 5

 

So I have a tally that looks like this:

 

REVELATION

22:1 IIII IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII, IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII, IIIII IIIII IIIII, IIIII IIIII , IIIII (of course, I slash the 4 to make 5 but can't do that on here)

22:2 IIIII IIIII IIIII IIIII etc. etc...

 

********

If you are memorizing multiple verses at once, like 5 verses at a time, go back to the beginning and quote each verse once leading up to the next verse you intend to memorize. Like if I memorize Rev 22:2, go back and quote Rev 22:1, and then 22:2 again together. When you get to 22:3, go back and quote 22:1, 22:2, and 22:3, when you get to 22:4, after done, go back to 22:1, 22:2, 22:3. This helps keep it in context and enables you to remember the verses in groups.

 

There are a lot of programs that use 3.5 cards, but they don't use a systematic reviewing program. The systematic review is what helps retain what you memorized.

 

One verse a day will eventually take about 25-30 minutes a day. Five verses a day takes about 1.5 hours and is the amount of time it takes to memorize the NT. If you have gobs of time, and want to step it up, 10 verses a day will complete the NT in 2.5 years, and that takes about 2.5 hours a day.

 

And take GIngko Biloba. I don't care what skeptics say, it's good brain food for memory. 

 

****

Do other exercises that also help memory. Like the grocery list.

 

1-BUN

2-SHOE

3-TREE

4-DOOR

5-HIVE

6-STICKS

7-HEAVEN

8-CRATE

9-TWINE

10-HEN

 

Memorize the list, and then for a grocery list create a visual scenario for each item and related it to the list. For example: 1-BUN. The first item on my grocery list will be Milk (yeah it can be bread but that's too simple). I will picture a bottle of milk having a fight with a bun, buns claim to have calcium in them and the milk carton tells the bun how dare you claim to have more calcium than I do. The milk container crushes the bun and says "Got Milk?".

 

2-SHOE. My second grocery item will be coffee. (you are not right with God if you do not drink coffee). I can picture a shoe swimming in a bowl of coffee grounds, and then hearing a noise in my percolator and pulling out a shoe, and then hear something rattling in my shoe and pull out an infinite string of coffee bags!

 

After you do these for 10 items, if you remember 1 bun. What is 1 bun? It is milk. etc..you will be  able to memorize a grocery list without writing it down.

 

Now this is not a "casting imagination" exercise, it is for memory recall. But it is just one of many exercises that I use as well as my kids. My oldest has the book of John memorized, and can tell you 3 verses for each major doctrine of the BIble, and he's 12.

 

I will revisit this issue again once I put it in a format that's easier to understand, but if anyone can figure this out the way I wrote it, that can give you a head start.

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I'm reading a book right now entitled "Ageless Memory" by Harry Lorayne. He uses almost the exact same principle that you are describing for memory aides.

Haven't heard of that one, but any little thing helps. The more you do it, you'll start developing your own little techniques that work best for you. I started out using an explanation in a Jack Van Impe biography called "The Walking Bible". There was a short explanation in the back of the book, but it didn't have a review system. You just carried the cards with you like to doctor's appointments, on the bus, etc..which is still a good idea, but there was no follow up.

 

The acronym stuff I got from a college textbook we used, and of course, I can't remember the name of it LOL. But it was a book that covered a lot of general areas like how to study, prepare for tests, take notes in class, prepare resumes, etc..

 

There's a newer online memory aid called "Lumosity". It takes a paid subscription but the trial version was pretty decent. I need to study it first before I recommend it because many of these programs out there attempt to incorporate new age stuff into their aids.

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My memory is terrible but have always wanted to do this.  I made a commitment to the Lord and my family to spend far more time in His Word than I did last year.  I'm in and thanks!

When I first got serious about memorization a friend and I decided to memorize at least one verse from every book of the New Testament. We each chose the verse, verses or passages we wanted to memorize from each book; sometimes they were the same, sometimes different. Then we would practice them and whever we saw one another during each day we would each recite what we were working on at the time. I remember being surprised at how quickly we managed to do this.

 

Then we went on and did the same thing for each book of the Old Testament.

 

Some years later I had a couple friends I would go walking with and we would practice memorization together during our walks.

 

I can memorize verses on my own but I find it much easier to do so with a friend.

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I have recently finished memorizing the entire New Testament. I plan on creating a documentary and small book on how to do it, tips and memory tricks (mnemonics) and will make it available here.

I have the program down to 2.5-5 years (it actually took me almost 20 because I didn't stick with it). At 5 verses a day you can memorize the NT in 5 years, 10 verses a day is 2.5 years. It takes @ 2 hours per day in review once you get the daily verse slots filled. 

I have not put it on my agenda to do anytime soon, but if enough people are interested I will start on it right away. 

Most Muslims have the Koran completely memorized at age 12, and in the OT, a ready scribe was someone who had the entire Torah memorized, and that was AVERAGE PRACTICE.

 

Warning however, once you start, your memory will improve, and it will get easier, and then you will begin to develop strange doctrines because you will start to see verses in ways you didn't see them before, and you will get odd reactions in check out lanes in Wal Mart when a light bulb turns on from a scripture you memorized that has an explanation in another verse you memorized.

 

If there are enough people interested in learning this system, I'll get started this weekend.

 

Brother, anything that brings us into God's word and truthful worship, I'm for it. Amen!

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When I first got serious about memorization a friend and I decided to memorize at least one verse from every book of the New Testament. We each chose the verse, verses or passages we wanted to memorize from each book; sometimes they were the same, sometimes different. Then we would practice them and whever we saw one another during each day we would each recite what we were working on at the time. I remember being surprised at how quickly we managed to do this.

 

Then we went on and did the same thing for each book of the Old Testament.

 

Some years later I had a couple friends I would go walking with and we would practice memorization together during our walks.

 

I can memorize verses on my own but I find it much easier to do so with a friend.

That is also a good method. I did this with my sister when we were younger with dictionary definitions. Find a word, and use it in a sentence throughout the day. That works well with Bible verses as well. The more applications you can add to the verse to make it memorable and functional, the easier it is to retain it.

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Wow, that is incredible.  I memorized the book of Colossians and it was a lot of work. You're right, the more you memorize the more you can memorize.

 

I'd be interested in watching a video of you quoting a NT book. Youtube it!

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Wow, that is incredible.  I memorized the book of Colossians and it was a lot of work. You're right, the more you memorize the more you can memorize.

 

I'd be interested in watching a video of you quoting a NT book. Youtube it!

I have thought about doing that, my "accent" does not go over very well, and it takes about 30 minutes to go through just one of the larger books (Matthew-Acts, and Revelation). Then the other thought would be that critics would consider it bragging, and that would be a persuasive argument. The proof is in people trying this for themselves, and once they do, they will discover it really works:)

 

Congrats on Colossians. I hope you keep it up. I would however advise you to avoid Ephesians for a while because it is so similar to Colossians (memorizing parallel passages can be difficult because the similarities make retaining the reference hard). But if you are continuing to memorize the NT, I would start with either Galations or Phillipians next as memorizing the books in their groups aids in retention (those 4 can be considered the "GEPC Quartet [pronounced "gep-see"]) and then go back to Ephesians last after you put some distance between Eph and Col.

 

If you were memorizing 1 verse, try 2 at a time now. If you need any help or advise on that, feel free to send me a message. 

Edited by Dr James Ach

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I have thought about doing that, my "accent" does not go over very well, and it takes about 30 minutes to go through just one of the larger books (Matthew-Acts, and Revelation). Then the other thought would be that critics would consider it bragging, and that would be a persuasive argument. The proof is in people trying this for themselves, and once they do, they will discover it really works:)

 

Well Sir, many folks consider your accomplishment a blessing and an encouragement. I wouldn't let critics dictate my actions (unless they're right). In my mind you have complete bragging rights anyway (not that you would).

 

I don't have a TV in my house, but I'd gather the family around the computer for a video of someone quoting a book of the Bible.

 

Wow, I'm still blown away.

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My tip: For various reasons certain verses were more challenging than others. So it helped me to memorize the first letter of every word and use that as a legend. For instance, if I found myself frequently quoting this passage incorrectly:

 

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (Colossians 1:12)

This is a 21 word verse. I'd take the first letter of each word to produce something like this: GtutF whmum tbp otiotsil

This odd legend would help me to not leave out any words or exchange similar words when reciting the tricky passage.

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My tip: For various reasons certain verses were more challenging than others. So it helped me to memorize the first letter of every word and use that as a legend. For instance, if I found myself frequently quoting this passage incorrectly:

 

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (Colossians 1:12)

This is a 21 word verse. I'd take the first letter of each word to produce something like this: GtutF whmum tbp otiotsil

This odd legend would help me to not leave out any words or exchange similar words when reciting the tricky passage.

That seems a bit of an overload because you have to memorize a lengthy acronym just to memorize the verse LOL :)

 

If you have difficulty with a verse like that, try breaking it down into sections like:

 

"Giving thanks unto the Father" x25

"which hath made us meet...     x25

"to be partakers of the inheritance....x25

"of the saints in light x25

 

After you do the first section, when you get to the second part, go back to the first and then quote the 2 first parts, then move to the third x25 then back to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd once, and then finish with the 4th x25, then back to 1,2,3 and 4.

The KJV has a built-in "rhythm" which makes it easy to memorize. So if you come to a verse that is giving you trouble, try breaking it down like that.

 

The important part though is getting that review system down so you retain it.

 

*******************

Song:

 

I think Jack and I are even on the NT, but I think he's got me on the OT. In Israel, it is not uncommon to find several that have the entire OT memorized which I have yet to accomplish. Actors memorize entire scripts movie after movie and I am ashamed that actors know their scripts better than I know the Bible :(

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People's minds work differently.
I had a friend that used a similar thing - in memorising the books of the Bible he had a series of funny sayings, the first letter of each word being the first letter of the books in order.

That doesn't work for me - I find it almost harder to memorise the saying than the verse.

I memorise best while pacing, but then on difficult passages I have to pace to remember.......
:D

For me, the movement helps, for him the silly sayings.

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You should try writing it down and see if you can write out the whole NT. Now that would really be a thing and could be beneficial in the future. Perhaps in an area where the bible is banned. You'd be a walking printing press.

Edited by ASongOfDegrees

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That seems a bit of an overload because you have to memorize a lengthy acronym just to memorize the verse LOL :)

 

If you have difficulty with a verse like that, try breaking it down into sections...

 

Your advice is good, thanks. Remembering an acromym came easy to me and has helped me with verses that were "stubborn" but it wasn't my overall approach. Acronymns would help keep me from swapping "the" for "a" or somethig similar or from dropping words or short phrases.

 

I've been known to do things the hard way at times...

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I have recently finished memorizing the entire New Testament. I plan on creating a documentary and small book on how to do it, tips and memory tricks (mnemonics) and will make it available here...

 

Have you made progress with your documentary or book?

 

I re-read this post with interest. I'm going to memorize the book of Romans with my son. He's on his 3rd time reading the Bible through in the past 2 years and I'm proud of him. I've never pressured him to read the Bible, he just does it.

 

Again, I memorized Colossians years ago and my approach was less systematic. I just basically used 3x5 cards with about 3 verses per day until I could quote them without mistakes. I didn’t need to repeat them as much as you’ve indicated to have them committed to memory. I only spent more time on verses where I found myself leaving out words or changing words accidentally using the technique I described previously.

I teach music and can relate to your 25, 20, 15, approach for memorization. However, I am interested how you arrived at the number 45 repetitions once you’ve got it down.
 

Any other tips and suggestions would be appreciated. Romans is 16 chapters so I know it's going to take some diligence. I'd be very interested in watching you quote the book of Romans on Youtube. Please consider doing that as it would be an encouragement to me and my family.

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You wil stare at that reference when you get the verse down...

 

Also, I never did put an emphasis on memorizing the verse reference. Although I remember many of them, most I do not. Please comment in this regard.

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