Sunday, November 21, 2010

Memorizing and Reciting Scripture: It Can Be Awesome! (trust me)

  So, how many books of the Bible have you memorized, ready to recite at a moments notice?

     Yeah, I haven't either.

  Scripture memorization is something we all know we should do, yet seldom undertake. Hiding God's Word in our hearts is nothing more than a few mangled and misquoted verses for most of us. Sad, but true.

  Well memorization isn't the only thing I want to talk about, so set that aside and we'll get back to it a bit later.

  One thing I have found very helpful to my understanding of scripture, is stepping back and trying to see the big picture. Rather than focusing on a few verses or even a chapter, I try to view a book in its entirety. I want to get a feel for the flow of the book and what the author is trying to present to the reader. What are the major points and what arguments are used to back these up? This is especially productive when studying the epistles. 

  Paul often wrote very conversationally and persuasive. He builds his argumentation step-by-step leading the reader to each of his points. The beauty of Paul's writing became more evident when I started reading the ESV Bible translation. I love the KJV, but I don't regularly speak in old English :-) With its odd wordings and sentence structure, the subtlety of Paul's writing skills can be lost in the confusion.

  One night I listened to the entire book of Romans (ESV) and was greatly blessed by the experience. I could hear Paul pleading with his audience to accept the truth of salvation from sin through Jesus Christ our Lord. Oh how amazing it would have been to hear Paul preach. Everything just seemed to fall together as the picture became clearer. I was getting the message Paul wanted me to receive.

  Now to put the two together:
  • Long big picture passages and
  • memorization.
  This is unbelievable. I stumbled upon this interview by Tim Challies of  Ryan Ferguson awhile back and have been captivated by it ever since. Ryan has a gift for memorizing and reciting scripture. I watched two videos of him: one reciting Hebrews chapters 9 and 10 and the other of Psalm 22. Both are awesome. I've watched them many times. He brings the passages to life. I can't help but think this is how they were meant to be heard. I've included both of these videos below. Please watch them. You will be blessed.

   Well I've meandered a little bit, but I hope I've accomplished something. This is something I think the church could benefit from greatly. Now, go memorize a book of the Bible and perform it for your church! Then send me a video, I'd love to see it. Meanwhile, I might get around to this someday.

Hebrews 9&10


Psalm 22



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