My dear friend Linda Carlblom worked her way through this book a few years ago and recommended it highly. When it came up on a BookBub promotion, I remembered, and ordered it.
The first few chapters of 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart are about why memorizing Scripture is a worthwhile endeavor and a good discipline, and how people have been blessed by internalizing passages of the Bible.
I made myself index cards of the verses. The first few verses were some that I already knew, so I started by reviewing the first six, and then added one or two verses each day or so. When I had over 26 cards, I found it time-consuming to run through them all everyday (each one I missed, I repeated five times to help me remember), so I limited myself to reviewing 20 a day and learning one more. The ones I got right I moved to the bottom of the stack; the ones I missed I laid on top so I would review them again the next day. Most days I was able to move eleven or twelve to the bottom of the stack.
The book is published by B & H Publishing Group which owns the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation, so that is the translation used for the verses. Unfortunately, I had already memorized some of the verses in other translations, such as the NIV and the old King James Version, and trying to relearn them in the HCSB felt cumbersome. They just didn’t roll off my tongue. I kept messing up, and I finally just rewrote the cards in the more familiar translation.
I think it took me a full year to work through the whole book, because there were times when I couldn’t remember anything, and I just worked on my 20 cards and didn’t add any new ones. That’s okay—it’s not a race.
The end of the book includes a summary of How to Memorize by William Evans, published in 1909 and long out of print. I wish I had read this appendix first. It was extremely helpful, and it included one suggestion I would have appreciated before I began, because I did not think of it myself: writing the reference on one side of the card, and the verse on the other side. It’s such an obvious idea, but I wrote both on the same side. As I flipped through my cards, I covered the verse portion with a blank card and didn’t reveal it to myself until I’d said the verse to the best of my ability. One of the advantages of having the reference on the reverse side is that you can practice the verses in two ways: looking at the reference and reciting the verse, and looking at the verse and reciting the reference. You’d think if you could recite the verse from the reference, you could remember the reference from the verse, but not everyone’s brain works that way. (Mine sure doesn’t.) I am in the process of recopying all my cards.
And I intend to continue to study my cards, and gradually add to them.
It is possible to find lists of the verses online, but I heartily recommend you buy the book, because the content Morgan includes helps you remember the context of the verse, and also provides motivation for learning it. I asked my friend Linda to type me a list of the verses way back when she was learning them, and then I didn’t study it. Sincerely, if you want to memorize scripture, buy 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart. And since you’ve read about my experience, you won’t make the same mistakes I did.