While at Baptist Bible College (Springfield, MO) I was encouraged to memorize chapters of the Bible by one of my professors, R. O. Woodworth. Even after 75 years of age, he could stand up and quote Romans 8, John 14, and several other chapters.
I tried to do that, but seemed to fail a lot. But a few years ago, I was encouraged to memorize Philippians (104 verses). It took me about 16 weeks, but I did it. Since then, I’ve memorized other long passages of the Bible.
I’ve made a new commitment to memorize Psalm 119. It’s the longest chapter in the Bible and highlights the importance of Scripture. Nearly every verse mentions the Bible.
As I began my journey, I found a few ideas that helped me memorize long sections of the Bible. If you choose to memorize long sections of the Bible, like a chapter, I hope they will help you. Go ahead and try it. Psalm 23, 1 Corinthians 13, or the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12) are great sections to begin.
1. Review Old Verses
Always give priority in your mind to the retaining of old verses even over the learning of new ones. You should begin every day’s work with review of old verses.
2. Repetition Over Time
The absolute key to successful Scripture memorization is repetition over a long time period. This is how you retain old verses while learning new ones.
3. Memorize the Verse Numbers
Memorize the verse numbers as if they were part of each verse. This will help prevent you from dropping out verses or even whole paragraphs when you’re reciting the book al the way through. don’t short-cut this discipline!! It actually makes memorization easier in the long run!
4. Photograph the Verses with your Eyes
Read each new verse ten times, covering each word as though photographing it with your eyes. Burn each verse into your brain with your eyes.
5. Say It Out Loud
Another help in memorizing is to say the verse out loud to yourself. This helps the memorization process. It doesn’t have to be very loud, just loud enough so kyou can hear it. Also, try putting some feeling and interpretation into reciting the verses… this is actually a form of meditation on the verses as you are learning them.
6. Recite the Entire Section from Memory for 100 Consecutive Days.
If you have done your work well after about the second week you probably won’t even need the Bible anywhere near you while reciting. This can be done anywhere… it will add no extra time to your busy schedule!!
7. Weed the Garden
Simply take one of your Monday morning times after the 100 days (perhaps every other month) and just read the book by sight all the way through. This will correct errors… thus “weed the garden.”