The Bible verses in this collection are divided into six topical categories to help facilitate recall. If you successfully memorize these Scriptures, you will have a firm foundation which will serve to guide and strengthen your daily walk in Christ. Everyone has to begin somewhere and this collection of Scriptures is an excellent starting point. I still fondly recall a similar collection of verses I first treasured in my heart some 25 years ago as a new believer (Ps 119:9-note, Ps 119:11-note; Job 23:12-note) and to this day I continue to use these Scriptures in teaching, praying, witnessing, meditating, etc. So Beloved of the Lord (1Jn 3:2-note), let me encourage you to…
(1) Begin slowly (but be sure to BEGIN!), perhaps choosing a verse with which you are familiar, remembering that before you go to the Word, go to the Author of the Word! (Ps 119:18-note)
(2) Write the verse (including the Topic Heading) on a card (index cards or business sized cards work great, the latter allowing for more flexibility). Keep this collection with you to review when you have "down time" (waiting in long lines at Disneyland, stuck on elevators, waiting in the "10 items or less" line at the grocery store, etc)!
(3) As you add verses don't forget to regularly review verses you have previously committed to memory. Regular review is where many of us fall short and the result is that the verses become "rusty". Keep your sword (Ep 6:17-note) "sharp" with periodic, purposeful review!
(4) Use a more literal translation (ESV, NAS, KJV, NKJV). The NIV is also fine but you want to avoid memorizing passages in paraphrased versions (NLT, TLB, etc). (See Bible Versions compared )
(5) Always read the verse in context (which you can do easily by clicking the Scripture link) and make sure you understand what it means (consult a conservative commentary after you have prayerfully sought the meaning of the passage). (See also Inductive Bible study, and separate topics  Observation,  Interpretation,  Application)
(6) Using the tool below you can select the version you prefer. Then you can recite your verse (don't forget to recite the chapter and verse along with the actual Scripture) and check your accuracy (always seek to be word perfect!).
(7) Passages marked with (N) identify in depth notes related to that verse.
(8) Note that some sections consist of more than one verse, because to take them out of context would disrupt the flow and/or interpretation of the passage.
(9) Be diligent (2Ti 2:15-note) and directed to seek to apply each passage personally (Jas 1:22-note, 2Ti 3:16, 17-note). The purpose of Scripture memorization is not to make us prideful "Pharisees" or smarter sinners, but saints who are daily becoming more like their Savior (Php 1:6-note, 2Pe 3:18-note, Php 3:20, 21-note).
Some insights from John Piper on memorizing God's holy Word…
There's a high level of expectation people ought to have when they approach the Bible… I don't think you need to be a "professional" preacher like me to enjoy deep and glorious things with God. In fact, some of the deepest saints that I've ever met, who outshine me, have not been "professional" Christians… (In answer to the question "How do you memorize Scripture?" Piper says) First… by praying for discipline and setting aside time. I set aside a block of time in the morning (an hour or so) to be with God alone, reading my Bible, praying… and my prayers may extend for 20-30 minutes. So I've got at least 5 or 10 minutes for Scripture memorization in that hour. If you decide to memorize Scripture for 5 or 10 minutes a day, you can memorize a lot of Scripture! Really, it's incredible! As I'm reading, I put circles around the paragraphs or verses that I want to memorize. I put a little "m" beside the ones that I have worked on so I can come back and review them in coming days. I got this idea from a little booklet about how to memorize long passages of Scripture. It recommended that you take your first verse, read it 10 times, and then close your eyes or shut your Bible and say it 10 times. I think if you do that, you can memorize almost any verse in the Bible: 10 times read, 10 times said, and then you've got it. When you come back the next day, open your Bible, say that verse again 5 or 10 times. Then you do the same thing with the next verse. Then you do them both together. Finally, you shut your Bible, you shut your Bible, say that verse again 5 or 10 times. Then you do the same thing with the next verse. Then you do both of them together. Finally, you shut your Bible and leave. Then you come back and do it again. So basically, the answer is repetition and review.
Here's one other little tip that I use. If I pick a verse, a couple of verses, or a paragraph, I'll put it on a piece of paper, and I'll carry it in my pocket for the day. And at times during the day, I'll pull it out an read it for my soul (italics in the original). I don't memorize verses that don't help my soul. I'm not into mechanical memorizing. I'm into fighting the fight of faith (Italics in the original, cp 1Ti 1:18, 6:12, 2Ti 4:7-note). I want to memorize Scripture so that I can defeat the devil at 3 o'clock in the afternoon -- that's why I memorize! It's so that I can minister to a saint in the hospital at 10 o'clock at night if I've forgotten my Bible. This is for my soul, and for the souls of others around me. So I carry it around, and review it. Review is to crucial. (Bible Study Magazine. Sept & Oct, 2009, page 8 ) (Bolding added by me)
Finally, if you need some extra motivation to begin memorizing the Word of God, you might take 45 minutes and listen to Dr Piper's sermon If My Words Abide in You. Here is an excerpt from his sermon to encourage you to listen to the entire message...
- Memorizing Scripture makes meditation possible at times when I can’t be reading the Bible, and meditation is the pathway of deeper understanding.
- Memorizing Scripture strengthens my faith because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ, and that happens when I am hearing the word in my head.
- Memorizing Scripture shapes the way I view the world by conforming my mind to God’s viewpoint.
- Memorizing Scripture makes God’s word more readily accessible for overcoming temptation to sin, because God’s warnings and promises are the way we conquer the deceitful promises of sin.
- Memorizing Scripture guards my mind by making it easier to detect error — and the world is filled with error, since the god of this world is a liar.
- Memorizing Scripture enables me to hit the devil in the face with a force he cannot resist, and so protect myself and my family from his assaults.
- Memorizing Scripture provides the strongest and sweetest words for ministering to others in need.
- Memorizing Scripture provides the matrix for fellowship with Jesus because he talks to me through his word, and I talk to him in prayer.
Let the encouraging words of the well known Bible teacher Pastor Chuck Swindoll motivate you to redeem the time (Ep 5:16-note) and begin your great adventure of "eating the Word" (1Pe 2:2-note, He 5:14-note) today (the best day to begin - 2Co 6:2)…
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." (from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life) (Bolding added)
Another Memory "Tool" - I have recently discovered a very innovative tool called NaturalReader (not the free version but the personal version that cost about $50 and comes with one amazingly natural sounding voice - I use the pleasant voice of Paul.) This program reads what you highlight (on the Web, email, Word, Pdf documents) and also allows you to copy and paste written material from any source which can then be converted to Mp3 files which I listen to on my Ipod. To facilitate memorization, you can copy and paste the Scriptures you are working on, even writing notes or memory joggers or repeating parts of the verse several times (e.g., especially portions that you are having difficulty retaining). I will often listen to several Scriptures and then intersperse a favorite hymn or chorus followed by more Scriptures, etc. This works great when you are driving in the car, so instead of listening to the radio, you can be reviewing the Scriptures that you currently memorizing. You will be amazed at how "natural" the recordings sound. And you can use this tool to listen to commentaries, sermons, etc that are not otherwise available in an audio format. For example, I recently listened to Jonathan Edwards sermon on "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". Woe! I highly recommend this tool and find it very useful.
Need some motivation to run the "memorization race" with endurance? Read "Charlie's List", the story of Charles Hayward…
When Charles Hayward died last May at the age of 87, he left a legacy for his children and grandchildren. He and his wife Virginia had faithfully served as missionaries for many years both in India and South Africa. But at age 73, he began to select and memorize portions of Scripture so he would “finish well” with his mind full of God’s truth.
He called his project, “The Whole Bible Memorization Plan.” His children call it, “Charlie’s List.” Charles chose a theme verse (Col 3:16-note), at least one verse from each Old Testament book, at least one from each New Testament narrative book, and a verse or verses from each chapter of the New Testament Epistles. He began with Genesis 15:6, “He believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” and ended with Revelation 22:17-note, “Let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
All in all, Charles committed 239 verses to memory. He reminds me of the psalmist who wrote: “Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps 119:11-note). Like Charles, the psalmist meditated and delighted in God’s Word (Ps 119:15, 16-note). What better goal could any of us have than to fill our minds with God’s truth. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved
If you are faithful in reading God’s Word,
You can be sure that you’re growing thereby;
And if you’re hiding His Word in your heart,
You’ll be rejoicing to meet Him on high. —Hess
Memorizing God’s Word is like planting seeds
that bear the fruit of a righteous life
(1) The Fountain and Foundation
|Christ Your Life||Galatians 2:20 (N)||Colossians 3:4 (N)|
|Christ Your Lord||John 14:21||Romans 12:1, 2 (N) (N)|
|Christ the Word||Colossians 3:16 (N)||Romans 10:17 (N)|
|Christ your Mediator||Hebrews 7:25 (N)||1John 5:14, 15|
|Christ your Motivation||Hebrews 10:23, 24, 25 (N)||1John 3:2, 3 (N) (N)|
|Christ your Message||Matthew 4:19, 20||Romans 1:16 (N)|
|Effectiveness of the Word||Hebrews 4:12, 13 (N) (N)||1Thessalonians 2:13 (N)|
|Adequacy of the Word||2Timothy 3:16, 17 (N)||1Peter 2:1,2 (N) (N)|
|Meditation on the Word||Psalm 1:1, 2, 3 (N) (N) (N)||Joshua 1:8 (N)|
|Meditation on the Word (2)||Philippians 4:8 (N)||Philippians 4:9 (N)|
|Necessity of the Word||Matthew 4:4||Job 23:12 (N)|
|Blessing of the Word||Jeremiah 15:16||Ezra 7:9b, Ezra 7:10 (N)|
|Protection of the Word||Proverbs 30:5||Proverbs 18:10 (N)|
|Power of the Word||Acts 20:32||Psalm 19:7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (N) (N)|
|Pray the Word||1Thessalonians 5:17, 18 (N) (N)||2Thessalonians 3:5|
|Pray the Word (2)||Ephesians 1:17, 18, 19 (N) (N)||Colossians 1:9, 10, 11, 12 (N) (N) (N)|
|Pray the Psalms||Psalm 119:38 (N)||Psalm 119:133 (N)|
(3) Testify Solemnly of the
|The Problem||Romans 3:10, 18 (N) (N)||Ephesians 2:1, 2, 3 (N) (N)|
|The Penalty||Romans 6:23 (N)||Hebrews 9:27 (N)|
|The Payment||2Corinthians 5:21||Romans 5:8 (N)|
|The Provision||Ephesians 2:8, 9 (N)||Titus 2:14 (N)|
|The Profession||Ro 10:9, 10 (N)||John 1:11, 12, 13|
|The Permanence||1John 5:13||John 5:24|
|The Protection||1Peter 1:4, 5 (N) (N)||Jude 1:24,25|
|The Protection (2)||Romans 8:1 (N)||Romans 8:38, 39 (N)|
|Be Filled With and Walk
by God's Spirit
|Ephesians 5:18 (N)||Galatians 5:16 (N)|
|Wait on God's Sufficient,
|Isaiah 40:31 (N)||2Corinthians 12:9, 10 (N) (N)|
|Work Out What
God Works In
|Philippians 2:12, 13 (N) (N)||Ezekiel 36:27|
|Lamentations 3:21, 22, 23||Philippians 1:6 (N)|
|Rest in the Peace
with and of God
|Romans 5:1 (N)||Philippians 4:6, 7 (N) (N)|
|2Peter 1:3 (N)||Philippians 4:11, 12, 13 (N) (N)|
|Count on God's
Succor and Support
|1Corinthians 10:13 (N)||Hebrews 2:18 (N)|
|Seek the Savior
|Philippians 3:13, 14 (N) (N)||Matthew 6:33, 34 (N)|
|Mark 8:34, 35, 36, 37||John 12:24|
|Deny the World
Boast in the Cross
|1John 2:15, 16, 17 (N)||Galatians 6:14 (N)|
|Consider Yourself Dead
to Sin and to the Law
|Romans 6:11 (N)||Romans 7:6 (N)|
|Depend on Christ
and His Spirit
|John 15:5, 8||John 6:63|
|Deny Your "Adequacy"
Depend on Christ's Adequacy
|2Corinthians 3:5,6||John 3:30 (N)|
|1Peter 2:1, 2 (N) (N)||2Peter 3:18 (N)|
|Serve One Another
As Christ Served Us
|Mark 10:45||Galatians 6:2|
|Store Up Treasure
|Matthew 6:19, 20, 21 (N)||Luke 6:38|
|Acts 1:8||Matthew 28:18, 19, 20|
(6) Be Holy
|Exercise Your Faith||Hebrews 11:6 (N)||Proverbs 3:5, 6|
|Be Motivated to be Holy||2Corinthians 7:1 (N)||1Peter 1:14, 15, 16, 17 (N) (N) (N)|
|Keep a Future Focus||Colossians 3:1, 2 (N) (N)||Titus 2:11, 12, 13 (N) (N) (N)|
|Keep a Future Focus (2)||2Corinthians 5:9, 10||Psalm 90:12 (N)|
|Love God and One Another||Mark 12:29, 30, 31||John 14:15|
|Humble Yourself||James 4:6 (N)||Philippians 2:3, 4 (N)|
|Forgiveness Motivated||Psalm 103:12 (N)||Colossians 3:13 (N)|
|Forgiveness Commanded||Matthew 6:12, 14,15 (N) (N)||Mark 11:25|
|Unforgiveness Punished||Matthew 18:34, 35||Ephesians 4:26, 27 (N)|
|Forgiveness Practiced||Ephesians 4:30, 31, 32 (N) (N)||Ro 12:14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 (N) (N) (N)|
|Keep Yourself Pure||1Cor 6:18, 19, 20 (N)||1 Peter 2:11 (N)|
|Keep Yourself Pure (2)||1Thessalonians 4:3 (N)||Psalm 139:23, 24 (N) (N)|
|Keep Yourself Pure (3)||Psalm 101:3 (N)||2Timothy 2:21, 22 (N) (N)|
|Keep Yourself Pure (4)||1Thessalonians 5:21, 22 (N)||Romans 6:12, 13, 14 (N)|
|Guard Your Tongue||Ephesians 4:29 (N)||Psalm 141:3 (N)|
|Do Not Lie||Colossians 3:9 (N)||Ephesians 4:25 (N)|
|Surrender and Let Christ
Live Through You
|Ephesians 2:10 (N)||Matthew 5:13, 16 (N) (N)|
- Simple Study on the Power of God's Word
- A Primer on the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation
- Memorizing God's Word - Why? How? Resource links…
- How to Perform A Greek Word Study on the Web
- Greek Tense, Voice, Mood Reference Guide
- Greek Word Studies - in depth
- Bible Interpretation - Figures of speech
- Interpretation-Supernaturalistic, Naturalistic, Existentialistic, Dogmatic
- Introduction to Inductive Bible Study
- Observation - What does it say?
- Interpretation - What does it mean?
- Application - How do I respond?
- Bible Versions - How literal is your translation?
- Bible Commentaries - some comments and caveats
- Seven Minutes with God - jumpstart your quiet time if it's too "quiet"!