Memorize the Bible - first attempt

Have you ever wanted to memorize the Bible? I have. So, I decided to start and see how far I could get. I thought maybe someone might like to join me.

I didn’t know how to start. Starting from the beginning and memorizing by rote seemed boring. So, I looked into a memory trick called mnemonics. That sounded impressive, so that’s how I’m going to begin. I’m going to start with certain verses that I already love and therefore would have a propensity to remember. And I’m going to use some the mnemonic tools that I found here. Especially, the numeric (aka phonetic) alphabet.

I haven’t read the entire website, but I know that they also recommend visualization, exaggeration, humor and any trick to make the thing more memorable.

With that in mind, let’s begin.

This is the verse I want to memorize:

Philippians 4:13 I can do all these things in him who strengtheneth me.

Let’s break Philippians down into the following:

Phili sounds like “filly” and a filly is a female colt, a female horse. So, picture a filly in your mind.
pains sounds like “piano” and a piano is a large instrument to play music. So, picture a piano next to that filly.

Now, if you go to the numeric alphabet, you’ll see that the number “4” is represented by the letter “r”.
And the number “1” can be represented by the letter “d”.
And the number “3” can be represented by the letter “m”

So, we’ve got the letters r, d, and m.

Which I’ve put together to make the phrase, “ride’em”.

So, in order to remember Philippians 4:13,

Let’s visualize a piano riding on the back of a filly. So, say to yourself, “filly piano ride 'em”. And picture a piano riding on top of a filly.

Now, let’s go to the text. It says, “I can do all these things in him who strengtheneth me.”

Now, visualize yourself approaching the filly with the piano riding on top of it and putting your hands on the filly’s belly and attempting to dead lift the filly with the piano on top of it. The filly turns and looks at you quizzically, like asking, “What are you doing?”

At first you can’t do it. But then, you feel a hand on your back, you turn to look and the hand belongs to Jesus. And then, you get back to work and dead lift the filly, piano and all. Because Christ strengthens you and you can do anything. Therefore, “you can do all things in Him who strengthens you.”

Let me know if it helps you at all.


De Maria

Sorry but that doesn’t help at all.

I attempted to do that years ago, but with my attention span I had a very hard time staying on task. I really feel that memorizing the Bible is something that takes more than doing helpful memorization techniques, but it probably requires a gifted memory. I really do hope that what you are doing blesses you and that it works, because that would be an awesome thing! Even if you only memorized 10 percent of the Bible that would be awesome!

Thirty years ago using the Navigators system I memorized over 500 verses plus the entire first letter of St. John. For several years, they were all in my head because I had a systematic program of reviewing some of those verses every day so I could keep them all fresh in my mind. I did this day after day, over and over again. Memorizing new verses and reviewing old ones.

Eventually I stopped reviewing them when I got too busy. How many of those 500 verses can I quote today? Probably just a handful. Along with memorizing, you need to commit yourself to reviewing the verses or you will lose them.

If you are not willing to commit to a long term a review program, then I would recommend memorizing Bible portions that you will use on a regular basis such as the Canticles in the Liturgy of the Hours and some of the Psalms that occur often such as Psalm 95 and the Night Prayer Psalms. That way the reviewing process will be automatic. You already have the *Our Father * from Matthew chapter 6 memorized (I assume) so you know this works.

By the way I didn’t use any fancy mental picture association tricks; I just wrote the verses on small cards which I could carry with me. No, I did not carry all 500 cards at one time. :slight_smile:

I would rather “memorize” the precepts of THE TEN COMANDMENTS, THE BEATITUDES AND THE WORDS AND ACTIONS OF JESUS. That is just me. If someone wants to memorize the Bible that is OK, but to see the Bible put into action without fanfare, pride or vanity is really all I wish to achieve. Call me lazy, I guess.

Thanks. That’s exactly my reasoning. Studying the Bible in my apologetical endeavors has already blessed my life immensely. I’ve been at that for about 20 years now. This will be another long term endeavor.


De Maria

I’m hoping that the visualization program will produce a more long term memory.

I am starting with the verses which I like and those I use in apologetics. However, as I perfect the method, I hope to add more and larger portions of the Bible to memory.

I’ve memorized 5 verses so far, one a week. And I’m going to begin a program of memorizing verses that I use in explaining Catholic doctrine. For instance, the verses I use in explaining Baptism. Those I use in explaining the difference between justification by faith and works and Sacramental justification (i.e. justification by faith apart from works.)

Thanks for your input. That is very encouraging. I expect this to be a lifelong project in conjunction with my apologetics, which is now approaching its twentieth year.


De Maria

I’ve started with the verses which I like. I’ve moved to the verses I use in apologetics. I plan to move to the verses which I use in my explanations of Catholic Doctrine.

I actually memorized the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes a couple of years ago. But I found very little occasion to use them so, I’m back to square one on that. I figured since I’m always quoting the Bible in apologetics, I might take advantage of that opportunity and begin memorizing the verses I quote.

Thanks for responding.


De Maria

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