I’ve been working on these with my 2 and 3 year old. They actually end up being set to little tunes that pop into my head.
It’s amazing the power music has to cement things into our memory. If you don’t believe me, just think about all the ridiculous songs you wish you didn’t know the lyrics to and yet, which seeped into your brain without you having worked to memorize them. (Rhianna’s “Umbrella”… Ugh. And there it is, stuck in my head for the next week.)
The way I set up our ABC verses was to choose 26 (A-Z) verses of Scripture from both Old and New Testaments.
It’s important here to use the translation of the Bible you’re most comfortable and familiar with for this part. For example, if you struggle with the King’s English, I don’t recommend using the King James Version. Let’s remember, Jesus was a Hebrew who conversationally spoke Aramaic, not the King’s English; God created languages (Genesis 11:5-9)– He’s more concerned with you understanding and applying His Word than using words like “sayeth,” or “Thou,” or “comest.”
What you want in a Bible translation is the closest accuracy to the original text as possible, while still being able to understand what it says. For example, there are word-for-word (KJV, NKJV) translations, thought-for-thought (NIV) translations, word-for-word except in cases where the thought-for-thought makes more grammatical sense (CSB), and finally paraphrase (The Message). What you want to avoid in Scripture memory are the paraphrase translations as they are farthest from the original text.
My personal favorite is the Holman Christian Standard Bible because of the grammatical ease of readability and overall accuracy of translation, so that’s the translation I used for the bulk of my memory verses. However, there are some letters for which it’s difficult to find a verse, so in those cases I used the KJV translation (it’s my 2nd favorite, ESV is 3rd.)
I set it up in a chart via Microsoft Word, and we place stickers beside the verses once the kiddos have them memorized. My oldest has up to letter I, and my daughter to letter H so far.
Some people outside the Christian faith look at this Scripture memorization as dogmatic brain washing, or at the least, conditioning of the children. I have a billion thoughts on that; here are the top three.
1.) I wholeheartedly believe the Bible is true; the Inspired, Infallible, Inerrant Word of God. (Proverbs 30:5-6; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 17:17)
2.) The Bible commands that we teach the Bible to our children (Deuteronomy 11:6)
3.) I believe Christ is the only means provided mankind for salvation from sin, and means to eternal life in Heaven (John 14:6)
Because I Believe these things to be true, it would not only be neglectfully unethical of me to not teach my children the truth of the Bible, but also irresponsible. And as it is a direct contradiction to Scripture not to, it would also be sinful. Therefore, I’m hiding God’s Word in their hearts, that they might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11).
How do you teach/memorize Scripture?