Saturday, March 13, 2010

Know Your Teacher

When my son was younger, he loved the movie "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective". He had practically the whole movie memorized.

We often do that with things that we love. Poems, songs, movies, certain passages in our favorite books. I bet if you stopped to think about it, you would be surprised at just how many things you have memorized. It would seem as though the more we like it, the easier it is for us to etch it in our memory.

This brings me to my own dilemma. I seem to have a hard time memorizing verses in the Bible. If I can remember the verse, I cannot remember where it is found. Or, I can remember the book but nothing else. While listening to a local Pastor this past Sunday, I heard him recite the first 5 verses of Matthew 6. These were to be the verses he would be teaching on. Before he started he related a story that has been on my mind since. Orthodox Jews memorize the first 5 books of the Bible. These books are known as the Pentateuch. If you take the time to look at these books in your own Bible, you will see that this is no small feat. A Messianic Jew is speaking with one of them and is asked, "So Jesus is your Rabbi (teacher)? What are His writings?" This man could not recite any of the gospels for the Orthodox Jew.

Neither could I. Could you? We all know pieces of verses. But do you know the teachings of your Rabbi? So now I am on a quest to learn more of my Rabbi's teachings to memory. I don't know how well I will do or if I will even be able to memorize one chapter much less a book. I often find myself making all sorts of lame excuses for why I have not memorized more in the Word. But, we are taught to keep the Word of God close to our heart and He will bring to our memory what we have learned. That is my goal. To have God close to my heart.


  1. Tracy said...
    I want to memorize more scripture too. I'm also comfortable however, when I have it generally memorized - know the book and chapter and the main thrust though not perhaps word perfect - that way I can easily access it and it becomes a part of my thinking.
    Trulyfool said...
    1) A few things. I'm an educated guy, but have not had to memorize anything since, maybe, high school. People used to do it more when there were fewer things around to read? Or more strict ideas of what's worth remembering?

    2) Biblical material is deeply interesting, if for no other reason than so many people take it as foundational for life's purpose, God-sent.

    Which Bible? Catholics, Jews, Protestants use differing assortments of interior books.

    You mention the Pentateuch, a Greek term, probably linked to the Septuagint version of the Hebrew scriptures written in Greek. Christian scholars used it and Latin translations from it to support various key doctrines of the early (and later) Christianity.

    Jews use translations based on the Masoretic text, no extant copy of which is as old as the Greek ones, but it is written in Hebrew and carries the cachet of deriving from 'something truer'.

    The English versions, especially newer ones, translate passages in such ways that vindicate the way their belief practices.

    As literature, one can pick that which sounds best, most poetic, and hold in memory those things.

    As truth beyond the poetic, as to 'what was actually said and done', we can get only a rough idea and can only copy the sounds that suit the community we feel we must belong to.

    Too small a comfort?
    JD Curtis said...
    As a youngster I read alot. I think that helps me now that I am older. Start them on the Word young people. It pays off later in life.
    That corgi :) said...
    I know this is late, Inge, but I wrote Scripture I wanted to memorize on index cards. The lined side would have the verse and the blank side would have where the verse came from in the Bible. For example Romans 5:8 would be on blank side and then on the lined side it would be written out "But God demonstrated his own love to us in while we were still sinners Christ died for us". So then I would memorize one at a time and then keep reviewing the ones I had already learned. I got out of the habit of it but I've recently started back with going through my index cards of verses. I do it sometimes when walking the dog.

    Also, I have heard if you are going to memorize Scripture, make sure you do it from the same translation all the time. I think it makes it easier. I just like the NIV so that's what I use.

    Mad at myself. I had 1 Corinithians 13 (the whole chapter) memorized but didn't keep up with remembering it :(

    Oh well

    but it is good to memorize Scripture indeed


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