My approach to memorizing Bible verses has pretty much never been much of an "approach" at all, just what seemed to work: I would pick a verse that stuck out to me (from whichever translation suited me best) and try to learn it word-for-word, sometimes remembering the book, chapter and verse attribution but oftentimes forgetting them later.
That's where the Topical Memory System from The Navigators comes in, which I recently received a copy of to review. While there isn't anything "new" in this approach (no gimmicks or memorization tricks), the approach does work. They stress repetition. But not just going over the verse again and again; instead, they encourage a different memorization set-up.
Their approach has Christians memorize verses by first memorizing the main theme of the verse (say, "Obedience to Christ.") Then you memorize the location of the verse (Romans 12:1). Finally, you memorize the verse itself, word-for-word. Then, you memorize the verse location, again. While I had never placed much attention on memorizing the verse location, I can attest that this repetition (always repeating it before and after the verse) really does solidify it so that it pops into memory. They also urge readers to read the selected verse in context so that you have a fuller understanding of what the verse is talking about.
The course comes with a workbook as well as a book of the verses you'll be memorizing over the course. The workbook lays out the foundations for memorizing verses as well as tips, activities and reflection questions to help readers delve more deeply into each verse. The companion book of verses includes every memory verse you'll be learning through the course, in a choice of 8 translations, depending on which you prefer. You can just tear the verses out as you memorize them. This is really great because then they're all the same size, already laid on in the prescribed memorization order, and ready for you from the start. I really like that they prescribe the given verses you'll memorize each week, because sometimes I've been held up on memorizing a new verse because I'm not sure which one to pick next. This eliminates that obstacle altogether!
During the course you'll learn 60 memory verses, that cover thirty different themes, such as "Humility," "Assurance of Salvation," "Develop World Vision," "Obedience to Christ," and "His Help in Temptation." They suggest that you work at the pace of memorizing two verses per week, which would calculate to 30 weeks, however you can adjust this to work for your schedule and pace.
While there is nothing earth-shattering about the course, I love that it is simple in its approach and something that any of us can put into practice. For others who are looking to beef up their knowledge of Scripture and could use a more guided approach, I think the the Topical Memory System will serve as a great tool. It definitely has for me!
Find the Topical Memory System from The Navigators on Amazon.
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