I love various study Bibles. I also love memorizing the word and looking at different techniques and methods people use. When I found out that fellow Wordsower Tom Meyer was releasing a Bible that could help guide people through methods on memorizing God’s word, I was excited for an opportunity to review it.
Tom Meyer is a great person to put together a Memorization Study Bible, as he has personally memorized over 20 books of the Bible. He has also studied memorization techniques used over Jewish and Christian history.
Meyer establishes his techniques on what he calls the “three pillars of memorization”: Seeing the text in 8 words or less, reading out loud/hearing, and writing the text down. He has explained that one can use any or all of those pillars, though he personally uses all three as he commits Scripture to memory.
The Memorization Study Bible is a (King James Version) KJV New Testament, but it has a unique layout, which I will discuss later in the review.
There are notes from the author before the Bible text. These notes include the following (all information in parentheses is mine): Memorization Matters (quotes from other Christians about memorization); a Quick Start guide; Timely Tips; A Word of Encouragement; The Memorization Method; Why It Can Make a Difference; The Process (a breakdown of how the Memorization Study Bible is set up); and Simple Science of Memorization — You Can Do This! This initial section is very encouraging to read and builds the memorizer’s confidence.
The books of the Bible are next, followed by 7 appendices (all information in parentheses is mine): Seven Short Scriptures (to memorize); Sin to Salvation in Ten Verses; Popular New Testament Chapters (to consider memorizing); Important New Testament Verses; Historical Development of Bible Memorization; Techniques Used to Memorize in Judaism; Techniques Used to Memorize in Christianity.
Each book of the Bible has an introduction that includes a breakdown of how many chapters and verses are in the book, some basic background to the book, specific aspects of how the book contributes to our understanding of the Bible, and a few quotes from others (such as commentaries) about the book.
The key difference between this Bible and others is its layout. This Bible is double columned (like most Bibles, although some are single-column Bible now). Most Bibles, however, either have a verse-by-verse format (each verse is its own paragraph) or a paragraphed layout. This Bible, in keeping with the author’s goals, breaks verses down into lines of 8 or fewer words. Each new line attempts to begin with a preposition or conjunction. Numbers mentioned in the Bible stand alone as their own line. The goal is to present the Scripture in more memorable lines, lines short enough that the eye can take them in quickly and the mind can retain them.
These lines are what Tom Meyer encourages people to focus on when memorizing; one small bit at a time. He encourages memorizers to read the line, copy it by hand, and say it out loud repeatedly until they have it, then move on to the next line.
I think the Memorization Study Bible is a great tool to help people memorize Scriptures. It will be especially useful to those who read the King James Version of the Bible. Those who use another translation, however, have a few options if they would like this Bible: They can memorize the KJV, even though they do not read that version; they can use this Bible for the intro, book information, and appendices only; or they can use the ideas in this Bible to try to divide up the version they prefer so they can apply these ideas in order to memorize it. I have not personally tried dividing up another version this way, but it seems like it would work as long as you keep the number rule in mind and try to find prepositions or conjunctions to use to divide the verses up.
The Memorization Study Bible retails for $19.99, and I think it is definitely worth the price. I, for one, am glad to have another tool to recommend to other believers when they ask me for tips on committing more Scripture to memory. If you want to be encouraged to memorize more and if you are looking for some techniques that have been tried and successfully used, look no further than this Bible!
You can purchase a copy from the publisher here.
*Note: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.