Know and memorize.
These two follow yesterday’s long and complicated article on how to read and study.
A certain amount of writing will need to go into the next step, know. You should endeavor to know something about the basic theme of each book. What is Galatians about? What is the purpose behind Romans? What is Acts for?
When you know that, then slowly you should be able to roughly point to a couple of central chapters or passages that sum up the books.. Just being able to say this is a huge amount. It will require reading each book several times to be able to say what the background was. When it comes to the Epistles in the New Testament, they are often in response to specific background situations. For instance, Galatians and Colossians are in response to Jews who’d gotten saved and were telling Gentile Christians they needed to convert and keep the laws of Moses if they were Christians.
That’s roughly what a lot of Messianic Jews are saying today. So a study of Galatians and Colossians prepares you with the arguments to tell them to, well, go peddle their papers elsewhere.
Part of Knowing the Bible gives you the tools to apply the Bible.
Last but not least… memorize the Bible. I know everyone’s got their lists of what verses to memorize. But I would think that those central passages you identified as being key to the books should be on the list.
I don’t care how you do it. Flashcards, Bible program, or what. Really, only Logos and E-sword are set up to help you memorize Bible verses, and E-Sword actually does it a little better than Logos!
The idea is that you identify the crucial words, memorize the phrase or verse, and then be able to identify the missing words in the verse. Enough of that, and you’ve got the verse memorized.
Some people sing the Bible verses. I remember buying a cassette tape years ago with a few random verses on it, and believe it or not, by having them in a song, it made it EASY to identify them!
Alas, they were in the NIV, so now I have to re-memorize them.
Just take an old folk tune like “On top of old smokey” or something like that you can fit the verse into, and trust me… memorizing is very quick.