Bible School

This week, I want to do something different. Rather than posting an article on some specific topic, I decided to answer a few questions I'm frequently asked. Three of them, in fact, all related to memorization as part of our Back to the Bible focus for the month of February.

I tackle these questions with a bit of trepidation, knowing that no matter what I write, some of you are not going to like my answers! :) But they are important questions, and I think they are worth the discussion!

Question #1. Individual Verses or Whole Chapters?

If you have been a member of FAST for a while, or done any of our advanced memory courses, you probably know my thoughts on this. I'm a huge proponent of memorizing key verses as God gives them to you. Here's why:

1) I believe this is how God instructs us to study. Verses like Isaiah 28:9-109 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: and I Corinthians 2:13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. suggest God teaches us bit by bit, and then connects those insights together in our mind by the Holy Spirit. Memorizing verses as God gives them, allows Him to guide you in that process and will accelerate your learning. Yes, we should study our verses in context, but we do not need to memorize the context, to lay up some truth.

2) Practically, I have been in full-time ministry for nearly 30 years, preaching, teaching, giving Bible studies, writing, and all the rest, and I have never once been in a situation where I needed to quote an entire chapter to answer a person's question. But I've had plenty of experiences where some verse God gave me a few weeks earlier was just the verse I needed.

3) Long Passage Disease (as I refer to it) is one of the most common causes of a crashed memory program. Once people learn a few tools and discover how easy it really is to memorize, they set some giant goal and start plowing through a long passage. They increase their intake which bogs down their daily review. And they let their meditation on individual verses lapse, causing their review to become mechanical and dry. Before long, their memorization sputters out and dies. Literally, I've seen this repeatedly. Don't take a chance!

4) Last but not least, memorizing key verses keeps your memorization personal and real. This was the experience God commanded in Deuteronomy 6:6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:. Every time we review a verse through which God spoke to us, we can review the principles and applications He gave us. This helps us follow the counsel in Hebrews 2:1Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip., and avoid being like the man in James 1:24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.. Verses like Deuteronomy 4:9Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; further suggests it is important to review the lessons God gives us, so we can share them.

Admittedly, it can be a real treat to throw in some slightly longer passage or even a chapter now and then, but the foundation of your memorization should be built on the day to day experience of taking verses straight from God's hand to your heart.

Question #2. What version should I memorize from?

Talk about a hot potato topic! This is a live one, if there ever was one. Given that everything on our site and in our study guides defaults to the KJV, my answer to this question may surprise you: Use the version that works best for you.

This is not to say all versions are created equal. I prefer Bibles that can be used freely without burdensome copyright restrictions (II Thessalonians 3:1Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:). I believe translations are better when they employ multiple translators, rather than an individual or a small team. I prefer a more literal translation to a paraphrase, or a translation with a specific agenda. The manuscripts used to create a translation should also be carefully considered. And I personally like the rich protestant history of the KJV Bible.

But I'm not in the camp who argue we should use the KJV Bible, because that's the version Paul used! :) I recognize the language is archaic and can be difficult to understand--especially for those whose first language is not English. There are numerous times, I have sensed the Holy Spirit impress me to look up some word in the Greek or Hebrew to discover a better word could be used. And I'm well familiar with various "problem texts" that have to be explained away because they were translated poorly in the KJV. Of course, these last two issues are true of all translations. None are perfect.

So the KJV is a good translation. I've used it for years and grown accustomed to the language. But it may not be best for everyone. I encourage each person to study the issues out for themselves and make an intelligent, informed decision.

The fact is, the natural man can't understand Scripture anyway, apart from the guiding influence of the Holy Spirit. And He can teach any person with an honest heart whatever lessons He needs to through whatever version is available. Choose the best translation you can, compare it with the original languages as best you can, and put your trust in the Author, not the version.

Question #3. Random or book order back review?

Here's a question I've been chewing on for awhile, especially since our last Breakout Memory Challenge, where we added some new features to the Engine allowing you to review your verses in book order. That is, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22.

When I first began memorizing, I kept all my back review verses in book order, and reviewed my verses in that order--moving a little marker back through the box as I completed a different section each day. My goal was simply to get to the end of the box by the end of the month.

It worked well. And I suspect it helped cement the location of those verses in my mind. It also made it easier for me to do "Bible Trains". When out and about, I could try and run through all my verses in a specific book or section of the Bible from memory without having any cards in hand. I just went through it chapter by chapter and tried to recite every verse I knew.

Years later, when creating the Memory Engine, we settled on an algorithm to randomly pick back review verses, and shuffle their order. It kept the daily review challenging as you never knew what verse you would get and had to recall the verse with nothing to help you but that one reference. It also allowed you to review verses by topic as needed.

This approach helped keep references sharp, and the review interesting. In fact, I often ask God to intervene in the randomization process and give me just the verses I need to review for that day--and I believe He answers those prayers. This kind of review was not easy when limited to physical cards. I was hesitant to shuffle my cards for a more random review, or sort them into topics, knowing how long it would take to put them all back in book order.

So my conclusion after stewing on this question for awhile? Do both! We're currently in the process of revamping all the tools in our tool box and plan to give you an easy option to switch back and forth between random and book order back reviews any time you want. Alternate every other day, or do a bit of both each day. The option is (will be) completely yours!


So there you have it--my personal opinions on three common, but important, questions related to memorization! Focus on key verses, tied to your devotional life and the personal applications God gives you each day. Carefully assess the best Bible version for your needs, and trust the Holy Spirit to be your interpreter and guide. And last, mix up your review with both random and book order back reviews. Whatever you do, keep memorizing!


Have something you want to add to one of my answers above? Or perhaps have another question I didn't address? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Curious to see what new questions come up!

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Posted by Laurie Wissink on 11/16/23 - Coach
Yes Johnté. We want to hear that word behind us when we turn to the right hand and when we turn to the left! Isaiah 30:21And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.. In other words we hear God's voice speaking to us, directing us, through the scripture we memorize. And that's really the point of memorization isn't it?
Posted by Johnté Whyte on 11/14/23
A lot can be considered when it comes to memorizing Scripture, but what’s important is that we actually memorize it and be faithful in reviewing what we memorize.

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/15/23 - Coach
I'm not an expert on all the ins and outs of the manuscript versions and their history Rebecca, but I don't think this is at all correct.

Erasmus was instrumental in merging some of the best Greek texts into a new Greek New Testament, which he used as the foundation for an improved version of the Latin Vulgate, but he published both Greek and Latin together. That Greek version was improved several by Erasmus, and republished and eventually is what became known as the textus receptus. In other words, Erasmus was actually the person who compiled the "received text".

Tyndale translated the first English Bible from this text, and the KJV used it later as well.

When the NIV and other modern versions deviate from the textus receptus they are actually deviating away from Erasmus, not toward him. And the NIV in particular didn't come around for some 450 years later!

Posted by Rebecca Gottfried on 10/14/23 - Coach
Dan Did Erasmus mess up the original text that was the beginning of NIV?
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/12/23 - Coach
Glad this was helpful Rebecca! Personally, I'm not a big fan of the NIV, but for an easy to read version I've found the NLT surpririsingly insightful. ESV is highly rated. And I just found a new Bible called the Berean Bible or something that looks good. I'm going to be adding it to our online Bibles because it is very generous with its licensing. :)
Posted by Rebecca Gottfried on 10/12/23 - Coach
There have been many times in my life that I have not finished projects like I should have. But today I am so glad that I got to this last reading of our resources of this week in revival school. It helped me with one of the questions I had.

I’ve owned a few different translations in my life. I like having a variety of translations, because some of them make the Bible clearer than others. And I like talking about the fact that the end goal is for us to understand the Bible, so whatever translation can help us in the best way to understand the Bible for each individuals’ needs I think it’s important to think about.

When I pray I like to quote KJV because I believe it is more respectful with God’s name and pronouns. Therefore most of my memorization is in KJV. I do a few verses in NKJV because my children’s Bible lessons use it for their memory verses. When I’m studying I have used NIV, NKJV. If I’m really stuck I may get a concordance. If nothing else helps, I’ll read the Clear Word.
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/19/23 - Coach
I think that's a good choice Olena. If there are exceptions, God can guide you. :)
Posted by Olena Twine on 03/18/23
Dan thanks for your feedback. I think from now on I will stick with one translation. I have memorised just over 40 verses so far and used 3 different Translations, so not too much.
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/13/23 - Coach
I think generally, that sticking with one translation for reading, study, and memorization works best. Because all that repetition leads to increased familiarity with the wording. When a verse is not clear, you can always compare with other versions to get the sense, but you don't necessarily need to memorize in that version.

You also have the problem, that when sharing a verse, it may or may not match the version you have in your hand. So if someone wants to see a verse you just quoted, it would look like you quoted it incorrectly.

Having said that Olena, I do know people who take the approach you do and it can be made to work. Some verses are quite striking in certain translations--especially the loose paraphrases. And they can be quite impactful. But I'm a bit more of a literalist. :)
Posted by Olena Twine on 03/11/23
I have an app on my phone called Parallel Plus with several bible translations. When I need to memorise a verse I read through some of them and choose the one that gives me the best meaning and understanding of the verse (English is my second language). So I end up with a bunch of different translations in my memorisation (kjv, nkjv, NIV, ESV). I don't know if that's right or not, but for me it is more important that I understand the meaning of the verse then just memorising a bunch of verses with strange language
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/18/23 - Coach
The Word is powerful Sam! Let's keep filing it away, day by day!
Posted by Shawnda McKnight on 02/15/23
As long as we are keeping God's word in our hearts, we are doing the right thing.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/09/22 - Coach
Short, fresh verses are powerful Marieanne! And yes the KJV has some advantages, partly because the language is so familiar, and yet also a bit unusual--which I think helps it to stick. Other versions may work better for some people though, especially if English is not their first language. Good post!
Posted by Marieanne on 12/08/22 - Coach
I started mentoring in the KJV and for me it’s easier now. The other translation are more difficult for me. Appreciated your thoughts on what to memorize. Thank you!
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/21/22 - Coach
You are very welcome!
Posted by Daniel on 11/20/22
All interesting questions and answer - Thank you Dan
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/14/22 - Coach
I like book order for verse review, but random order for reference review. Feel free to experiment and see what works best for you Barbara!
Posted by Barbara E. LaRose on 11/14/22
Love the suggestions, I need to try the random selections.   
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/13/22 - Coach
You are welcome Deanne. It will be good to make preparations for hundreds of verses. Once you get going, it gets easier, and you can really accumulate a lot in the first couple years...

Nice Terri! I do random for new verses and book order for old verses. But it's fun to change it up.

I use other versions too Carlota when first learning a verse to make sure I understand the meaning. If there's a discrepancy, then I go back to original languages to see if I can figure which version is more accurate. I still stick with KJV for my memorizing--but that comparison and study process helps a lot with grasping the meaning of a verse...
Posted by Carlota Belmo on 11/13/22
I like the KJV to study, I do use other versions when I don’t get it at first. Thanks for sharing, I will try the random also.
Posted by Terri Todd on 11/12/22
I use the random order daily, but at the beginning of each year, I go through the whole Bible in book order.
Posted by Deanne Reinke on 11/11/22
I think this article was helpful in that I can see I need to make some decisions early on to cover these 3 areas, so that I dont get bogged down later when I have accumulated more verses that are memorized.
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/10/22 - Coach
Yes, there's definitely benefit to the random order Julio. I like a mix of both. Random for newer verses, book order for older verses. Thanks for your input on that! You might be right...
Posted by Julio Useche on 11/10/22
I personally like the random order because it forces me to memorize the verse by itself without any clues before it. In fact for some passages that I've memorized I find my self reciting the entire passage to get the hint for the verse I'm trying to remember. For me randomization helps the verse to stick all by itself... sometimes :).
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/10/22 - Coach
When you have a lot of verses, the Full Bible Review tool is so amazing Louise! You are going to love it... When starting out, the regular daily review is fine.
Posted by Louise P on 11/10/22
Memorising verses that are meaningful, and using a version I am comfortable with - as well as comparing it with the original language at times. Done.
Random versus Book Order Back Reviews? That’s new, so will give it a go!
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/28/20 - Coach
Yes, many people find that true Anita. Because the language is a bit archaic and with some unusual sentence structure, it does tend to stick in the memory better. It can be an obstacle to understanding for some people, but it does help with memorization!
Posted by Anita Huffman on 09/26/20
I find the "poetical" language of the KJV easier to memorize for some reason. The plain, everyday language of the modern versions just doesn't stick in my mind.

I appreciate all the comments here. I learn much from them.
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/03/20 - Coach
Glad this was helpful Dicky. It's good to review some of these concepts now and then, because each time we pick up a little more information, and our core convictions are strengthened. Just keep pressing forward brother--it's only going to get sweeter!
Posted by Dicky on 08/03/20
I fully agree, indeed my past failed attempts includes attempting long passages, poor follow up, lacking of system, which I find these overcome by FAST engine. It's the first time my memorization program lasting longer than 3 months, and verses are being added gradually.

About the version, I fully agree with you, Pr Dan. Your write up makes the points clear and systematic.
Posted by Dan Vis on 07/10/20 - Coach
Glad this was helpful Bert. Long passages are fine, but it's so much better to get fresh personal verses that the Lord points out to us individually. In the long run, they stick better and have more life impact.
Posted by Bert Hopkins on 07/09/20
ThankYou I agree with Your observations
I have tendency to want to memorize long passages. I will try to limit this in the future. Blessings.
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/17/20 - Coach
I have learned a few verses in French many years ago, which I've studied a bit. It's amazing how different languages can open our understanding to Scripture. Great job on what you've been doing Kjersti!
Posted by Kjersti Holtedahl on 03/17/20
Over the year have I three different languages I lern versesfrom, this isn't impossible. But very important to know the different languages, bout to speek and to write.
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/04/20 - Coach
Glad this was helpful Suzi. You make a really important point that it is hard to switch versions, so it's really important to make a good decision from the start. It's not impossible, but definitely a challenge to relearn verses in a new version...
Posted by Suzi Woods on 03/03/20
Thank you 😊 for this Q and A ! I started out in Fast class with the New KJV but when I was asked by my current scripture partner to be her accountability partner 15 years ago, I changed to KJV which she used. I still struggle with those first verses I memorized , they ended up being combination of NewKJV and KJV .   I have always loved my fresh verses the ones I learned in the trenches!!
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/19/20 - Coach
Thanks for affirming these points Paul. And your testimony is my experience also. Those verses God highlights are always the best ones. So much fun to review.

There's nothing wrong with a passage now and then, and everyone should at least memorize the 10 Commandments at some point for sure. But these longer passages should be the exception, not the rule!
Posted by Paul Roell on 01/19/20
Dan, I couldn't agree more about memorizing chapters or verses. I was first compelled to memorize the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-171 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.). Furthermore, I love the message of I John 1:6-106 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.. I therefore memorized those sequences of scripture. Those are the only times I memorized a sequence. All other times, I memorized the verses that were in the Survival Kit, Basic Training, etc.

My favorite memorized verses are the ones I felt inspired to memorize. As I read the Bible, a verse jumps out at me and I feel a conviction to memorize it. Those, to me, are more meaningful and very enjoyable to review! I love reviewing all my verses, but those ones are special to me.

I typically memorize in NKJV, simply because it replaces the more difficult wording into more modern language. However, there are some verses that are absolutely more beautiful in the KJV! Therefore, I think it’s good to use whichever version helps make more sense to you, without losing any of the divine value in it.

Thank you for this Q&A, Dan!
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/25/18 - Coach
Wow! Thank you Linda for sharing what you did about FAST. Couldn't have expressed more beautifully what we really want our ministry to be! All glory to Him.

And I love your quote about God speaking through a donkey and about Bibles on the shelf. Great stuff! Enjoy your time at Arise. :)
Posted by Linda Gerace on 02/25/18
I appreciate your comments, Dan. I love the language of the KJV and prefer to memorize from it, even though it does have it's issues. Sometimes I wonder why the translators chose a particular word, and sometimes I struggle with understanding a passage and I will go to another version to help me understand it.

For a long time I have said "the best version of the Bible is the one that gets read," similar to what you said. I might have 50 KJV's laying around my house, but if I don't read them because I can't quite grasp the language, what good are they? I'd be better off giving them away and letting someone else get a blessing fron them. We limit God's power when we say that ONLY the KJV version should be used. I say, if God can speak through a donkey, He can speak through the NIV, KJV, NKJV, The Message, The Living Bible, or whatever translation/paraphrase a person owns. He may want to lead them to a different Bible later on in their relationship with Him, but the Holy Spirit is not limited to speaking through the KJV.

I love the changes that have been made to the FAST tools. I got off track the last month due to starting ARISE Online and getting behind... trying to catch up. Now that I am caught up I am hoping to keep up with both FAST and ARISE. I am so grateful that you have maintained the mission work that FAST is over the last 6 years since I joined. It has been a rock for me... always there no matter where I am, always wooing me back to my Bible, back to the Word, back to God. Praise God for what He is doing through this work.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/21/18 - Coach
Hi Gail! Always a blessing to see you and others from back home. And a very good comment! I think you are absolutely right--everyone should have a few good chapters in their back pocket. Romans 6-8, John 17, Psalms 91, or even something longer. If not at first, down the road a bit. These are wonderful to meditate on!

Kind of like jogging. A short job of 4-5 miles a day is good. But everyone one in a while it's run to train for and do a half marathon or something. Good for you, and a fun experience. :)

Thanks for helping to balance my answer! Please ask Howard to say hi to everyone in the FAST class for me...
Posted by Gail Wein on 02/21/18
The questions (and responses) are all so interesting. My husband and I were discussing the "long passage" concept and we both had a similar outlook. When you reach our senior years the long passages have a couple of different and personal advantages. Seniors sometimes have nights that sleep will not come and those long passages, said quietly in the dark, can be so very comforting. It is also such a wonderful exercise for the aging brain.:) Aside from that we have to agree that for teaching and exhortation the shorter, to the point, verses are much more useful.
Posted by Patricia Jones on 02/20/18
You're right, Dan, no easy answer. It was simpler when I was growing up. There were other versions around, but generally everyone used KJV for all but comparison when studying or for a change in pace with devotional reading. Now they ask people to read aloud together in church for the opening scripture and even though there are KJV in the pews, there are a variety of versions read aloud at once. My preference would be to have one person read it or use the readings in the back of the hymnal so we're all reading the same thing, but . . . I love teaching the kids. That is my joy!
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/20/18 - Coach
Appreciate your ministry to your kids at church Patricia. Keep up the good work! As for versions, there's no easy answer. Hearing different versions all the time hinders memorization, but we won't all agree on one version. So we have to manage as the best we can! :)
Posted by Patricia Jones on 02/20/18
Dan, last night I mentioned my frustration with having the kids' verses in NKJV. With what you said about choosing a version to memorize, it probably is better, as for most kids these days it is probably easier to memorize in that than in KJV. I do have some kids who use KJV because that is what is used at home. I guess I just continue making sure I am reading it correctly when we review and when I switch to KJV let them know that's what happened.
Posted by Patricia Jones on 02/20/18
Pam, the Swiss cheese approach seems to be giving me the balance I want in long/short as well as helping me know where in a chapter key verses are. I have been including remembering the references, always the hardest part for me, since I have begun with FAST, and I am seeing improvement. I want to tie my memory work even closer to my reading and study. One step at a time.
I find that I get the most out of the Bible and SOP reading/study I do to prepare for teaching the kids. All week long I'm reading and studying what I will be teaching and asking God to give me what He knows I need that day along with what He knows they need when I teach. Because I was putting so much time into it, I switched it to the morning and get up earlier so I have that unrushed time. In the evening I study the adult lesson and do other reading/study, but it is not the depth I have in the morning.
Dan, maybe it was here I heard about the Swiss cheese method. I've taken a lot of tips from many places. It does take review to keep passages, like individual verses, fresh. It is a work in progress to find what works best. I gradually make adjustments, and keep them if they work over time.
Thank you to you and the coaches who make this site available.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/20/18 - Coach
I agree Patricia, about the "swiss cheese" method. It's the method I advocate for those who want to tackle a longer passage. Over the normal course of memorizing, I had learned lot's of verses in John 15 for example: vs 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 13, etc. So it wasn't hard to go back and fill in the pieces to memorize the whole section John 15:1-161 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.. I've done that with several passages. I have noticed however, if I don't work really hard on my review, the "filler verses" tend to get lost, and I end up maintaining best my original key verses. Longer passages can be retained, but it takes a lot of work.

Great to see you Tesha! Love your quote: "Key verses are important for spiritual growth, I think, because I can memorize verses that I think I need to use in my life."

Absolutely right Clarris! If you do have longer passages, enter them separately as a bunch of short verses in the engine for review. On the Engine, you can review them both in order as a chapter or in random order. So you can practice both ways. And yes, there are definitely some medium length passages (like the exact ones you mentioned) every believer should know.

And thanks again for another great post Pam especially the part about how important it is (whether memorizing passages or key verses) to avoid rote memorization and take time to meditate on each individual verse. And how if we do, we can find "beautiful things in verses that didn't 'look special' to me on the surface".

Great to hear everyone sharing their memorization experience! The more testimonies like this I hear, the more convinced I am this is the kind of universal experience God wants with each of His children...
Posted by Pamela Kendall on 02/20/18
Patricia your "Swiss Cheese" approach to longer passages adding key verses first is good - and one verse at a time is good. I think part of my problem was that I didn't meditate on the verses so it was more of a rote memory task than communion with God through his word. I have wondered what rich experience I might have had if I had meditated on each verse or section as I learned it! The passages could be so much more personal and special to me!

On occasion someone here at FAST will post an insight into a verse from one of my "chapters" - insights from a verse that I lightly passed over and they found beautiful things in verses that didn't "look special" to me on the surface... The word of God is so deep and God can teach us so much from it if we take time to digest it with the Holy Spirit's influence!

Carole I like your plan for memorizing and Bible reading! In the past I read my Bible or SOP without stoping to think or meditate. I would forget almost all of what I read and it had very little impact on me. I have been amazed at the rich treasures God has been showing me since I began to slow down and actually think and ponder on what I am reading! The Bible truly is an amazing Book!
Posted by Clarris Magadza on 02/20/18
I totally agree with the memorising long sections, or rather, not memorising long sections of scripture but individual verses. I tried the long sections with 1 Corinthians 13, Revelation 14:6-126 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. and the 10 commandments. I divided them into portions 3 or 4 verses long and that worked for a while. However, when these came up in monthly or quarterly part of the review cycle, I found myself remembering the first and the last verses in the section but struggling with the middle part. I have now gone to my review list and broken down these portions into individual verses and put them in the weekly and daily review.
This is working much better and with the computerised review system, I review the verses separately in a different order each day which makes me focus on each verse individually instead of 3 of 4 verses at a time.
Posted by Tesha Anna Gilmore Bair on 02/19/18
Yes, normally long chapters are difficult for me to retain. When I memorized the Ten Commandments, and the Sermon on the Mount, I did it a verse or two at a time. It still took me a year or more to memorize the Sermon on the Mount, because I also memorized key verses from other passages during that year.
Key verses are important for spiritual growth, I think, because I can memorize verses that I think I need to use in my life.
The only exception to the rule about long chapters, for me, is when I have found the chapter in Scripture song. Then reviewing it is a joy, because I can sing it each time!
Posted by Patricia Jones on 02/19/18
Like you Pam, I find I have far more verses I want to memorize than time/mental capacity to add them quickly. I too have several chapters and some longer passages I've memorized, but they are familiar passages. I'm working on getting them added verse by verse into the engine here. Somewhere I read about memorizing longer passages with a Swiss cheese approach: starting with key verses and gradually adding around them. With my reviews focusing on individual verses, I think it will keep the passage fresh. I will see how this method works.
Dan, my focus has been and will continue to be on individual verses, but I like having the few chapters/passages I've memorized.   I come across verses I want to memorize all the time, far more than I can reasonably keep up with. I've been adding in verses I previously memorized from Memverse along with verses I'm currently memorizing from your Verse Packs. I think I may put more emphasis on current verses from my devotional reading and slow down what I add in from other sources.
I've read, studied, and memorized in KJV primarily my whole life and it is by far what I prefer. I'm a bit frustrated because the kid's lessons I teach use NKJV for memory work.   I have to read them when we review, or I switch to KJV.
I've always done random review, as I figure that is the way to ensure I know things solidly. I have a copy of my review list which I can use for train reviews when walking, driving, shoveling, etc. These are times I use for singing hymns and scripture songs as well.
I guess I like variety: long/short, in/out of order, Bible/SOP/songs. I also like the community here.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 02/19/18
You quoted from my favorite author.

Posted by Dan Vis on 02/19/18 - Coach
Glad to hear it all made sense Carole! :) Your comment reminded me of a statement found in that great little classic Steps to Christ...

There is but little benefit derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures. One may read the whole Bible through and yet fail to see its beauty or comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained. Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory. Even while you are walking the streets you may read a passage and meditate upon it, thus fixing it in the mind. (SC, p. 90)

Interesting how it goes from reading, to study, to memorizing. :)
Posted by Carole Bliss on 02/19/18
I appreciate this reading today.
The way you answered each question, I agree with.
If I memorize too much, I lose the meaning. I would rather memorize one verse and know the full meaning, and apply it to my life, than many verses, and just memorize for the sake of saying I memorized this much.
While reading the Bible, I am trying to slow down, and think, about what I just read, how do I apply it to my life.
Posted by Pamela Kendall on 02/19/18
I like your answer John , yours too Dan - great points, thanks!
Posted by John Gilmore on 02/19/18
Regarding quoting from the KJV, Pam, Paul quoted from what we call the Old Testament, but not always "word perfect", in order to get the message across to his readers. When speaking to a young child or someone who understands only simple English, for their sake, I paraphrase or give the meaning rather than quote verbatim. I see memorizing word perfect as most important for maintaining the accuracy of my mental record of God's Word, to keep my steps from wandering from His truth.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/19/18 - Coach
John, thanks for emphasizing the most important thing: to keep memorizing, along with all the other M's. :) And you are right, the version issue is more a problem in English than other languages, but it is not unique to English. Several countries have two or more translations and they have the same debates.

Thanks Marion for sharing your testimony. So good to hear things are going strong again for you. I too have memorized some longer passages, and treasure those.

Pam, thanks for your testimony. I would definitely encourage anyone with questions about individual verses or long passages to read it. You expressed your story so beautifully. Thank you!

Other great points also. The plethora of versions today has made it harder to memorize because we continually hear verses quoted differently. That definitely hampers memorization. And switching versions, where you rememorize all your verses, is problematic too. In terms of memorization, you want every possible exposure to the Bible to reinforce the exact same wording.

As for your question about witnessing, I have found it simplest to just adjust the pronunciation slightly. So instead of "as he thinketh in his heart" I may say "as he thinks in his heart" when talking to someone. It's still word-perfect, but easier for the listener to understand. This solves a good share of the problems but not all. There are other "tricks" too, but that's another topic for another place! :)

I've known several people who use that approach as well, Diane, and just add the version to the reference so they memorize that as well. I personally prefer to stick to one Bible for memorizing--the Bible I keep with me. That way when I'm preaching, teaching, giving a Bible study, or whatever, the verse I quote always matches the Bible in my hand. I do however sometimes memorize a key verse (or phrase) in a "backup" translation. So I can quote a verse and then add, "or as the NEB Bible translates it..." This definitely comes in handy.

Thanks again everyone for your great comments!
Posted by Diane Castanon on 02/19/18 - Coach
Hi Dan! I appreciate this topic for today. When I memorize, I use which ever version makes the text clear, after I've studied the text in my concordance. I also avoid paraphrased versions, but I do memorize in KJV, NKJV, NIV, NLT, etc...

As a side line, I love the updates that have been taking place over the past few years on FAST. Thank you and your family for all you guys do so that we can memorize "word-perfect."
God bless you all!
Posted by Pamela Kendall on 02/19/18
I like your "M's" John ! Memorize, Meditate, Move, and Motivate, really great!

Dan when I first heard your emphasis on memorizing individual verse here and there (during my first BMC) Isaiah 28:10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: - I wasn't too excited about it. My memorization program had been focused almost entirely on long passages or chapters/books of the Bible. I had a system that worked for me (memorizing each verse separately and together) so I was successful in keeping up with my verses but they were not very "special" or personal to me and I did not meditate on them.

Despite my hesitancy/uncertainty I began introducing more individual verses to my review thanks to your advice - and this principle has greatly enriched my memory program! The verses are much more special to me now (especially when I take time to meditate on them well...not often enough yet). It is especially exciting when the Holy Spirit makes connections between verses during meditation I Corinthians 2:13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. !

I find that I find new verses I want to memorize faster than I can add them to my review (without over-bloating it) so I hardly have time for the chapter/book project I was working on... and hate to take away a spot from a "special" verse to add a "project" verse.   As a result my "project" has nearly come to a halt - I may still add a project verse now and then but my focus is on the special verses that God gives me that are more pertinent to what I am studying in Devotions, FAST, something I hear in church that stands out to me, or a verse God brings to mind that specifically relates to a circumstance or need in my life at the moment.

It reminds me of nutrition - our health will be much better and our food will be more enjoyable if we eat a wide variety of healthy food than if we have a steady diet of one food only!

The here a little, there a little principle ( Isaiah 28:10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: ) has greatly enriched my memory program (especially when combined with meditation and when it connects with my life personally) and I encourage other "long passage" memorizers to give it a try! And I encourage anyone who hasn't taken the Breakout Memory Challenge be sure to sign up next time it is offered - there are so many great principles there to revolutionize your memory program making it much more personal and meaningful!

Briefly on the other 2 points. I personally grew up with the KJV and so am familiar with the language. When snatches of verses come to mind that I have heard before it is usually from the KJV and easiest for me to search for in KJV. I have done a lot of memory work in KJV as well. My Grandmother tried to switch her memory program from KJV to NKJV and she found it difficult and confusing.

So while I personally have stuck to KJV for my memory program, I do have a question on how it relates to witnessing to others. Suppose God brings a "perfect verse" to mind to share with someone but I have memorized it in KJV and it has some complicated language, and suppose the person I am sharing with does not have much Bible background and they aren't schooled in "KJV language"... if I quote the verse to them word-perfect from KJV will it be too confusing? If they don't understand the word(s) it might make it easier for the devil to snatch away the "seed" before it has a chance to take root in their heart... Matthew 13:19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. . Is it better to paraphrase it in today's language? If so it seems that would nullify the "word perfect" effect and make it a bit less powerful... I'd be interested in other's thoughts on the effect of Bible memory version on witnessing.

As far as book order versus random I have focussed primarily on random review order - but I do supplement with book order reviews. I started doing it mostly with my long passages and chapters because I wanted to be able to say them easily in order without having to pause to think of the next verse, but now I also include my "here a little there a little" verses. Basically I do my random review on one program (SwordScript in my case) and my book order review on a different program (Scripture Typer). It is great that the FAST engine will soon be able to do both easily! I think both methods are helpful. I like random review as my focus and book order review as a supplement.
Posted by Marion Coppock on 02/19/18
Since I was one who lost my habit of memorizing when I started to memorize chapters, I agree with you Dan. I am happy I have learned whole chapters.   I am reviewing special verses in them now, and find it very rewarding. I have always learned from the KJV, but really like your thoughts on what version to use.
Posted by John Gilmore on 02/19/18
Yes, "keep memorizing!"
And (for some more m's) keep meditating, and moving (in obedience to the word), and motivating (urging others to follow Jesus, too).

On the issue of versions, the fallacy of "only the KJV" is obvious as we consider that 80% of the world population does not speak English at all. For them to memorize in the KJV would be as profitable as for me to memorize the Koran in Arabic.

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