Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Everyone agrees that memorizing scripture is a good thing...

except, apparently, for me. I don't think it is a good thing.

Well, OK, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with memorization. How could there be?

It is when we use it as a challenge/contest/requirement/litmus-test or in any of a number of ways make it an end unto itself that I deviate from the majority view. Under those circumstances I find memorization is often counter-productive.

It can even be stressful (especially as you get older) and result in meetings and bible studies and small groups that are not as enjoyable as they should be.

It is far more important that you come to an understanding of a passage, and remember its meaning rather than its exact wording.

I find myself asking "why am I spending my time memorizing this passage. I know what it means. I could easily paraphrase it in words that are close (but not identical) to whatever translation I am using. And I could spend the time I'm wasting trying to get the exact wording memorized on studying other passages."

Frustration should not be a part of scripture reading.

The fact that there are multiple acceptable translations also shows that memorizing the exact wording of some particular translation is actually not important.

Of course if it came easy to me I'd probably sing a different tune.

1 comment:

  1. What was worse - as a child - was having to memorize passages in the KJV - it was just too easy to mangle the meaning of the sentence due to faulty memory and missing out the odd word.