Bible Study: “Memorize Scripture? Who Me?”

I was ordained into the Christian ministry, following in my father’s footsteps in 1982. Prior to my ordination I graduated from Lexington Theological Seminary, formally known as The College of the Bible, in Lexington, Kentucky, My father was also a graduate of that school. Almost a century before, a fellow by the name of Henry H. Halley had studied, then served on the faculty, at that same institution. Also ordained as a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, Halley became known for his ability to memorize scripture and skillfully recite it by memory. Wanting to put that scripture in proper historical context, Halley wrote a little pamphlet to help his listeners along those lines. Published in growing form and multiple editions, it eventually became the best-selling Bible handbook ever – with over 6,000,000 copies sold.

Not bad for a little country preacher from Kentucky.

Well, let me hasten to add, I draw no connections between the Reverend Halley and myself beyond we went to the same seminary. But, I do appreciate the value of Biblical literacy and memorization.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

These words from the apostle Paul to Timothy should be taken to heart by every Christian.

In coming posts, I will provide some helpful tips on how to effectively and productively study and memorize the scripture. Stay tuned…

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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