According to his ministry website, throughout his life Dr. Van Impe “spent about 80,000 hours in memorizing more than 18,000 [Bible] verses. And that time was all invested for the glory of God. There were no contests to win. No awards to receive. No one challenged him to a memory marathon. His service for Christ here was just as real to him as preaching or leading a soul to Christ. The Scripture memory time was a sacred rendezvous. There were few memory gimmicks used to achieve his goal. The important dimension to this accomplishment was, and is, dedication.”
Dr. Van Impe’s memorization method consisted of preparing index cards with Bible verses on one side and the references on the other. He generally prepared 50 cards at a time and grouped verses by subject or doctrine, instead of by chapter. He said memorizing by subject or doctrine is more liable to bring verses to mind when a given subject is raised.
He suggested using a concordance (“Young’s or Strong’s”), and making a list of choice verses on the particular word or subject you wish to study. For example, you might take the word “save” or “saved” in studying the doctrine of salvation. Placing the following verses (he preferred the KJV Bible translation) on the cards chronologically help to keep your thoughts organized: Isaiah 45:22; Jeremiah 8:20; Matthew 1:21; Luke 19:10, John 3:17; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:1; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Ephesians 2:8 and 9; 1 Timothy 1:15 and 2:4; and Hebrews 7:25.
A second packet, of perhaps 20 cards, would be added on the second week and the verses would be reviewed seven times daily while going over the first packet twice.
By the fourth week, the original packet would only need to be reviewed one time weekly for three months. After that, a monthly refresher would be sufficient. When a packet of cards is completely mastered, a review once in three months would be enough. According to his website, Dr. Van Impe reviewed the New Testament every four months.
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