IVP - Addenda & Errata - Memorize for the Prize

February 13, 2009

Memorize for the Prize

Miriam Adeney has finished a manuscript we will be publishing in November with the title A Kingdom Without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity. It’s a wonderful, inspiring book that broadens our vision of what God is doing through his people around the world. There is much in this book that I could blog about, but the following caught my attention in light of my recent blogs (here and here) on memorizing Scripture:

Many believers come from traditions where sacred Scriptures are memorized and chanted. They feel honored when they are directed to memorize God’s Word. This is a learning style that should not be devalued.

In South Asia, more than 600 Muslims have come to Jesus over a thirty-year period through the ministry of two single women. Memorization has been crucial. As soon as a Muslim committed to Jesus as Lord, he was required to learn thirty-four verses from the Gospel of John. If he was not literate, he had to find someone else who knew the verses and could teach him. This empowered nonliterates. They felt they owned the message. Some became superb grassroots witnesses.

The literate teenagers received prizes for memorizing whole books of the Bible—maybe a radio for Colossians or Philippians (four chapters) or a stripped-down bicycle for Ephesians or Galatians (six chapters). Teens immersed themselves in Scripture, and several have grown up to be pastors.

I’m memorizing Colossians, and since I’m doing it in Greek, I’m hoping for an iPod.

Posted by Dan Reid at February 13, 2009 2:18 PM Bookmark and Share


I have been struggling to memorize each passage of Scripture as I preach through it: First the easier books-Jonah, Ruth, James and now a larger task: Acts. Repeating aloud, orally, hearing it echo I found not only could I enter and experience (and exegete) the text more profoundly, but the audience also could hear, feel, see, touch the Biblical stories too. The hardest part of memorization? A cluttered life-I am guilty, but O the difference when instead of memorizing a Bible Bullet verse there, and a sword scripture here...one enters the story, the whole story to be changed by it.

Comment by: T.O'Casey at February 16, 2009 5:34 PM

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