As some of you know, I have taken up the task of memorizing Philippians. Here are some reflections on my approach and some of the results.
- I try and dedicate at least 30 mins of concerted effort a day to the task of memorizing Philippians.
- Over the course of one week, I memorized 8 verses. Some of the verses were much shorter than others. For this reason, I am not attempting to reach a verse count per week.
- Before Mary Beth took vacation time from work, I would often walk to the grocery store with Elijah. During the walk, I would recite the verses I knew, and try and add more. This allowed me to accomplish three tasks at once: entertain the baby, grocery shop, and learn scripture.
- Though it is not set in stone, it seems to be the case that every other day I learn new material. On the days I do not learn new material, I solidify the verses I previously memorized. I have found that it is easy to memorize huge chunks of material only to forget it shortly thereafter. Constant and continual reinforcement, therefore, is essential.
- On days that I spend my 30 minutes reciting the verses I memorized, I attempt to think through the material as I recite. I try and interpret as I go. When Paul says, “μετα χαρας την δεησιν ποιουμενος,” I place emphasis on μετα χαρας. Doing this transforms rote memorization into an interpretive project.
- My vocabulary is already increasing. In memorizing the verses, I ensure, before moving on, that I have memorized all the vocabulary contained therein.
- Memorizing the Greek text is not simply a task that enables me to reproduce a copy of the NA27. No, I am able to think through the Greek. I am able to translate as I go.
- Though this is tangential to the task of memorizing, as I translate through the homilies of Chrysostom, I am able to recognize textual variants without consulting the NA27.
- I find that I am beginning to know Philippians in a more intimate manner.
As I continue, I hope that the results will increase. I have no clue what the project will bear out. My prayer is that it will continue to deepen my knowledge of Greek, Scripture, and God.