What do I think of Jacob Freidman’s book on Scripture memorization? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Jacob Freidman contacted me and offered me the gift of his book for a review. It’s a short book, one you could read in about an hour, and even comes with some fun trivia at the end, but the main goal is to get you to memorize Scripture. In the book, you also see that Freidman is one who has a deep heritage in Scripture being both Jewish and a believer in Jesus. Freidman’s work is short and to the point and if followed depending on one’s learning style could help one greatly in memorizing Scripture.
Rightly, he starts off by pointing out the reason for memorizing Scripture. We don’t memorize it for the sake of memorizing it or just to show off to others around us how much we know about the Bible. We do it because having Scripture in our heads better lets it be an influence on us. I have found it immensely helpful in my own personal life to be having an awareness of what the Scripture says and not only when I’m struggling with a decision, but also as I try to go to sleep at night I can think on a particular passage of Scripture and try to analyze it and to see what gems I can get out of it.
Freidman starts by asking you to take a quiz that he provides to help better figure out what kind of learner you are. Are you a visual learner or an auditory learner or a kinesthetic learner? All of them will learn differently, although some of us have varying degrees of how far we go. Once you get that, Freidman gives you an example of a passage and shows how you could go about learning to memorize that passage. These are good techniques you’d likely find on any book written on memory itself, but Freidman has packed it in tight into a nice little package so you can easily have it at your disposal.
There is no need here to go into detail, but Freidman wants you to always keep in mind again as he closes your motivation. The reason we are to do this is because we are all to have a high view of Scripture, especially since Jesus and His apostles did, and we should hide it in our hearts. Freidman rightly has some material at the start of the book on how the ancients had to memorize due to them not being a literate society. It would have been nice to see some apologetic information there, but I am not surprised it wasn’t there because this is not a book on apologetics. Still, the point is there that if the ancients did this because of their high view of Scripture, and keep in mind Paul wrote to Gentile churches where they already had a high enough view that Paul could quote a passage that we might think obscure and they could recognize it from their Old Testaments, then we should also have a high view.
I commend Freidman. The work is inexpensive and can be read in an hour and I do agree that memorization is something incredibly helpful to have.