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Christian Life

Bible Study: What If You No Longer Had a Bible?

I remember when I was young and going to Sunday school, each week we would receive a Bible verse that we were supposed to memorize. The following week we would be given the chance to recite the verse from memory in exchange for a small reward of some kind.

I don’t memorize much Scripture anymore. When I need to find a particular verse for a topic, I just Google the topic with the keyword Bible. If I don’t have a computer with me (which is super rare), I search the concordance of my Bible. I read my Bible regularly; I just don’t memorize much of it anymore. I know a few of the more famous verses from memory, but that’s only a tiny portion of God’s Word.

Does this sound wrong to you ladies? It probably should, and here’s why:

1. What if I lost all of my Bibles? How much Scripture would I remember? One of my favorite fictional books is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s a story of a world where no one reads anymore and books have been outlawed. People found to own books are punished, and all of their books are burned. I know we don’t live in a world that extreme, but what if something happened and you lost your copy of the Bible and were unable to replace it? What Scriptures would you be able to remember? How much detail would you remember of God’s great miracles? How much of God’s Word would you be able to pass on to another person?

2. It’s commanded and helps us live for God.

To me, this is the far more important reason to memorize Scripture.

 Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes (Deuteronomy 11:18 NKJV).

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You (Psalm 119:11).

How do you make decisions when you don’t have a Bible at hand to look up the right approach? You rely on your memory of what you’ve read in the Bible, right? (I hope you are making that part of your decision-making process!) Wouldn’t you want to have as much biblical information at your fingertips as possible whenever you needed it?

The truth is that originally, the Word of God was not mass-produced. Israelites couldn’t just run to the store and pick up a new copy of the Old Testament when they misplaced their original. Gentiles couldn’t just Google for the gospel. They had to rely on the few shared, hand-copied books of the Bible available, and those were usually found in the temples or in people’s memories. Most people didn’t have copies of the Scriptures on their bookshelves at home.

If they wanted to be comforted by Scripture in the middle of the night, they had to rely on their memories. For the first Christians, it wasn’t a question of whether or not they wanted to memorize God’s Word; they did it because otherwise they’d only ever hear it when they went to temple. That would be little help to them when life was hard or they were having an especially difficult week.

We need to “hide” God’s Word in our hearts, not just so we can avoid sinning against Him, but so that we have His hope within easy reach whenever we need it.

Ladies, what tips do you have for memorizing Scripture? Share them with us in the comments!

The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide (Psalm 37:30-31).

More Stories Like This on Project Inspired:

Bible Study: Don’t Let Anyone Look Down on Your Youth
Bible Study: Do You Ever Fall into the Comparison Trap?
Bible Study: What Does It Mean to Live in True Fellowship?

Image: Hemera, ThinkStock

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6 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by cristobela on September 13, 2013 at 09:06

    This is why we’re instructed to speak about his word all the time: when His word is what comes out of our mouths 24/7, memorizing it is a natural by-product of how we’re living every day. Doing so sure makes evangelism and discipleship-making more easy and not something we have to think about. When his word is what comes out of us in all situations, people are being discipled simply for being around us and chatting with us.

    Deuteronomy 6:6-8 (NIV)
    6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by tink98 on May 6, 2013 at 23:14

    I write bible verses(with skin marker) on my arm and legs. I dont usually have a bunch written just one on my wrist. usually one that means something to me in the situation I am in. it is easy to memorize the verse because people ask you what is on your wrist all the time. right now I have Hebrews 12:4 because when I go to do something I shouldn’t it is a great reminder. ” in your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding
    your blood”

    • Posted by JennArman on May 11, 2013 at 20:10

      tink98 – I’ve just started doing this! I’ve been writing verses on the palm of my hand because my wrists are ticklish (I know, I’m weird 😉 ). It helps tremendously to have the verse I want to memorize someplace that I can look at it any time of the day no matter where I am!

  3. beautifymysoulgod

    Posted by beautifymysoulgod on May 6, 2013 at 18:01

    Made me think. I can’t imagine my life without my bible, or it being tooken away from me. That really motivates me to start memorizing more.

  4. brennaeskyler2

    Posted by brennaeskyler2 on May 5, 2013 at 18:49

    Well, when I first read the title I began to think about what if I didn’t have a BIble! Then, I thought about the early Christians in the Bible! When they heard the Word preached, they had to like memorize the portion of Scripture being read to actually have like a daily “time with God.” For me, my Sunday School lessons each come with a memory verse for each week! I like to read thru the verse five times each day, and then, when I start to memorize the verse, I will try to do from memory a few times. After I have it mostly memorized, then, i”ll do it once or twice! Thanks, Jenn, for that graeat article that made me think!

  5. Kyla

    Posted by Kyla on May 2, 2013 at 16:04

    Wow! Great perspective!