Well, folks, it has been some time since I have written on the blog. But I have kept up the same pace of scripture memorization as before. The italicized section below was written in one sitting, without needing to look at the text. I am enthralled at the progress.
Now that I am getting into the process of memorization, I think I see one major impediment that has kept people (including me) from memorizing the scriptures over the years. I'm talking about multiple translations of the scriptures.
Don't get me wrong. I think there are many good translations of the Bible, and I believe that it is necessary to retranslate the Bible every so often, so as to have it available in modern English. In this way, I have little common ground with those who see the King James Version as the only true translation of the scriptures. But those who do see the KJV in this way have one keen advantage when it comes to scripture memorization: They never expose themselves to other translations, so they only hear the Bible spoken in one particular way. So it is easy for them to almost unconsciously pick up verses in their memories, as they hear them spoken over and over again.
In the past, I have not had this advantage. I have indiscriminately read the KJV, the NIV, the NRSV, the RSV, the ESV, the NEB, the NASB, and the HCSB. While I was at it, I'm pretty sure I read the SUV, the KGB, the PTA, the NYPD, the CSI and the JFK. While these were all legitimate versions (except for the ones in that last sentence), they all phrased things a little differently, and the result was confusion in my mind about what exactly the Bible said. As I have been working to memorize the Bible, I have found that many of my mistakes would have been correct if I had been using a different version.
To eliminate this problem, I have tried not to study any translation of the Bible except for the one I am memorzing-the NIV. The result has been very helpful so far.
Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it."
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field". And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother, Abel?"
"I don't know", he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"
The Lord said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground! Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."
Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence. I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."
But the Lord said to Cain, "Not so. If anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the Lord put a mark on Cain, so that no one who found him would kill him.
So Cain went out from the Lord's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain lay with his wife and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son, Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech. Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain's sister was Naamah.
Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, listen to me. Wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me; a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times!"
Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, "God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him."
Seth also had a son and named him Enosh. At that time, men began to call on the name of the Lord.
This is the written account of Adam's line: When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them, "man".
When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image, and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years, and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.
When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years, and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.
When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. And after he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died.
When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. And after he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Kenan lived 910 years, and then he died.