Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scripture Memorization

When I was growing up, my Grandfather Lidbury appeared to know an incredible amount of scripture. It seemed that if you read him a verse, particularly a verse from the New Testament, he could quote the verse before and the verse after it.

My Grandfather Orr, however, was just as amazing, he was just quieter about it. One of my childhood memories was up at Heritage Camp one of the first years we were there when we were still building the camp. We were to memorize the first chapter of James that year, and Aunt Alice had set me the task of copying out all of James 1. I was only 10 or 11 years old then, and to copy out a chapter of the Bible was a fairly large task. I copied it out and took it to Grandpa Orr for him to see. He read down it (without a Bible open to check from) and pointed out to me that I had missed a verse, which he quoted to me.

One of the things I regret as I age is that it's much, much harder for me to memorize. I remember that as a child, I would read through a passage two or three times and I would have it committed to memory. Now it takes a lot more effort than that.

This year in Bible Quizzing, we're studying Hebrews and I and II Peter. Bram is memorizing total content. He has currently memorized all of Hebrews and is in the second chapter of I Peter. He has to have it all memorized for the first weekend in May, which is the final quizzing tournament of the year. This means that he needs to memorize four to five verses a day - word perfect. I'm allowed to say, "again" which means that he's got a minor error somewhere, and no more than once a chapter, give him a short prompt or correction. He needs to be able to quote the entire work through at one sitting. I'm confident he'll be able to do that, too.

I am continually amazed at the time and dedication that Bram is putting into this. He has me listen to him quote one or two evenings as week, but every single evening he works at it for a minimum of 15 minutes. He has done this all year since he first started in late June last year.

In addition, he's our reference quizzer. This means that when there's a question such as, "According to Hebrews 3:3, the builder of what?" Bram's able to correctly answer, "a house" and differentiate between Heb 3:3, which states "Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself." and Heb. 3:4, which has the same phrase, "the builder of".... "For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything." Heb. 3:4.

The quiz books I purchase at the beginning of the year are already preshaded with key verses, however Bram's doing his own highlighting to help him with these reference questions. After he's been working on it for awhile, his quiz book looks like this:

"I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11

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