How To Memorize Scripture

‘Remember’—”To be capable of recalling when required; to keep in mind; to be continually aware or thoughtful of; to preserve fresh in the memory; to attend to; to think of with gratitude, affection, respect, or any other emotion.”—Webster’s Dictionary.

Unless we possess a photographic memory, (perfect, or total recall) to some degree, we must work to improve the ability of our minds to retain and access that information which is stored in our memory—the specific, intact information we wish to recall. While we’re truly blessed IF we possess this ability, it is generally accepted that the majority of us must make a reasonable effort to maximize this sector of the brain’s amazing structure. Every day, many commit to memory, a large amount of information including letters, words, dates, sentences, numbers, codes and events.

From adolescence until our senior years, we memorize our ABC’s, multiplication tables, numbers, the basic colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, the chords, notes and  lyrics of our favorite songs, poems, street & business addresses, computer and debit card security codes, passwords, important appointments, birthday/anniversary dates, recipes, historical information, literature, speeches, rules/regulations, telephone numbers, social security numbers—and many other bits of information.

What we choose NOT to memorize, (or remember) is generally the information we determine to be of lesser importance.


1879: “Scripture should be committed to memory. This is an age of reading; it is not an era of retaining. The memory once did stereotyping, now it is all done in the printing-office, and very little that we read is really our own. The Bible should be with us in the dark and when the eyes are closed; when we cannot read, when we cannot hear, when from sickness or the approach of death we are too weak to think, then, unbidden and unsought, promises and consolations from God’s Word should come floating into the darkened chambers of thought, and, like angels of light, they should minister to the sick and to the dying.

They will not come then, unless we entertain them now. We must invite them till they are wonted with us and at home; then they will not fail to, minister to us when our hand forgets its cunning and the tongue cleaves to the roof of our mouth.

This memorizing some portion of God’s word should be a daily duty. Three hundred and sixty-five promises will in a year make a bundle of wealth. Pursue this course from early life, when the memory is especially active, till old age, and a man may not only come down to his grave like a shock of corn fully ripe, but he may carry with him a harvest of wealth, sheaf piled on sheaf in more than autumnal luxuriance. If the selection be made a pillow verse, and taken to bed with us, our couch will be softer, and our rising will be with a brighter light.”—Rev. Henry S. De Forest; 1879.

Let’s try to memorize John 15:13 utilizing the following method.

 kjv Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Interpretation Required; Handwrite the following interpretation of this verse; You are encouraged to substitute your own interpretation, after arriving at the intended meaning (context) of the verse. (You should not attempt to memorize any verse of the Bible, until you fully understand its meaning.)

Example; This verse describes a great sacrificial act, which is completed by the person who is willing to die for his friends. This person is willing to lose his/her life—to give his/her friends the opportunity to live on. A significant comparison to the Love of God for all mankind, as He sent His only Son to die for our sins. This greatest example of love was manifested when our Saviour, Jesus Christ, died on the cross—and as a result of that selfless action, everyone was thereafter given the opportunity to accept Christ and live forever!

Read this verse aloud several times…”Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Did you notice the first letters of each word above are in bold?

Now, write the following abbreviations; John 15:13: G L H N M T T T A M L D H L F H F.


Using (only) the abbreviations above, practice reading the verse until you can recite it—exactly as it was written in the Bible—from memory. After you commit this verse to memory, enter each new verse you’ve mastered (the abbreviated scripture) in a small reference notebook. By keeping these notes with you at all times, you can periodically review (as your free time permits) and eventually retain them—in your heart and mind.


  • Start out by memorizing a single verse each week (for 1 month).
  • In the beginning, limit your efforts of memorizing scriptures to single sentence verses.
  • In the second month, search the Bible for scriptures containing at least two sentences and add their abbreviated sentences to your notebook for ongoing and future reference.
  • In the third month—three sentence scriptures (4th month = 4 sentences and so on.)
  • In a short time, your notebook may appear to be a “secret code book” to those who are unaware of your new abilities—and knowledge of the Bible. Your ability to witness effectively (and accurately) for the Lord shall be greatly increased! If you discover the above progression is too demanding, reduce the total sentences you’re working with, until such time as you’re ready to move forward.

Another practice verse; (can you guess which verse this is?)

A W K T A T W T F G T T T L G, T T W A T C A T H P

And this one?

F G S L T W, T H G H O B S, T W B I H S N P, B H E L

John 14: 26 26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

2 Timothy 2: 15 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth

Joshua 1: 8 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

A Famous ‘Photographic’ Memory:

(Abraham) “Lincoln had the advantage of a photographic memory which could retain almost any passage in literature, and he was able to repeat long passages from Shakespeare and other plays and poems which pleased him. It was only necessary for him to read them over once or twice and they remained in his memory forever. He developed this faculty early in life, and it was the greatest enjoyment allowed the humble people among whom he lived to hear him recite passages from the books he had read and declaim selections from “The Kentucky Preceptor,” which was a standard text-book in those days.

He could repeat with effect all the poems and speeches in other school-readers, and his talent at mimicry furnished amusement for the neighborhood. The traditions of Gentry ‘Ville tell us that the neighbors seldom gathered for a “raising,” or a “quilting,” or a “paring,” or a “husking-bee” without hearing Abe Lincoln.”—The True Abraham Lincoln, By William Eleroy Curtis; 1903.

  • “Meet the man who has memorized The Bible:” “One of the best things for Christians to put on, is the memorization of the bible.”—Tom Meyer; KRCR News; A story by Mike Mangas & Aaron Spurlock;
  • Other people who have memorized the entire Bible! (1) (2)
  • Read these AMAZING accounts!
  • The Mastery Of Memorizing.
  • Did Jesus memorize the Old Testament?
  • The Blind woman who memorized the entire New Testament!
  • “Charles Matlock, 59, is known as the “Walking Bible of West Tennessee” and can recite entire books and chapters.” ¹ “Matlock said he started to memorize the Scriptures when he was 12 years old. He recalled memorizing his homework one day and thinking to himself that he could also memorize Scripture.” ²
  • Reportedly, Dr. Jack Van Impe has memorized over 14,000 verses of the Bible. ¹
  • Ten Tips for Memorizing Bible Verses. ¹
  • The number one rated verse of the Bible. ¹

Memorizing scripture is rewarding.

“I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified”—Chuck Swindoll; Pastor, author, educator, and radio preacher.

“Especially we must know our Bible. A man who truly knows his Bible can preach a great and striking sermon without using a word of his own, just putting passages from the Bible together; and there are Churches where the ministers are able to do just this thing. I was attending a funeral just a few days ago where the services were conducted by one who spoke for twenty to twenty-five minutes. He did not have any Bible in his hand, yet every word he spoke was from the Bible. I have heard him conduct communion services, and every word that he said was quoted from the Bible. We cannot do better than to memorize the Bible,—that will give us a vocabulary. If we cannot read any other books, let us read the Bible and store it in our minds.”—Robert Elliott Speer; 1909.

“Someone has said that there are four things necessary in studying the Bible: Admit, Submit, Commit and Transmit. First , admit its truth; second, submit to its teachings; third, commit it to memory; and fourth, transmit it.”—D.L. Moody.