Memorizing a Book of the Bible

Conversing With the Word Throughout the Day  
In conversation with a friend (and pastor) many years ago, he challenged me to put to memory a book of the Bible. His challenge was part of his own testimony on how the joy of meditating on an entire passage throughout the day resulted in much fruitfulness in his devotion to Christ and in conversation with others. Inspired by his testimony, I selected and began memorizing the book of Ephesians.  

Watch below, a short word of encouragement from Bob Jennings, the pastor who presented the challenge: 

Several techniques were considered in preparation to memorize the book of Ephesians. Joshua Foer, in his book ‘Moonwalking with Einstein,’ recommends a Memory Palace strategy involving the creation of an imaginary palace filled with rooms containing visuals used to anchor specific parts of a passage. As part of Foer’s recommended technique, one travels a set route within an imaginary palace encountering intentionally bizarre visuals used to prompt recall of memorized sections. This journey allows the technique user to recall long passages one short section (or imaginary room) at a time. 

The primary reason this technique was not chosen to memorize the book of Ephesians was the desire not to have the bizarre visuals be the focus anchors. Instead, the color coding recommendation by Foer was chosen to be the memorization technique of choice. 

Each chapter in Ephesians was divided into four sections with each section written on a single notecard. The goal with the division of sections onto notecards was to memorize one section each week with the aim of memorizing one chapter every month.  

The notecard on which the sections were written included the passage, the theme of the book and a number identifying its place in the chapter division.

To accelerate the memory acquisition of Ephesians, the entire book was put to audio as fast as could be read out loud. This recording was listened to twice a day until all six chapters were put to memory. 

Utilizing the color-coded technique described above, the book of Ephesians was memorized in seven months. See below a video providing more details on the process:

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