Topical Memory System Review

Memorizing Scripture is one of the most helpful disciplines you can do for your spiritual life. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He responded by quoting Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). In the Old Testament, Israel was encouraged to hide God’s Word in their hearts, which included memorizing and teaching it to their children (Deut. 6:4-10). Unfortunately, memorizing Scripture is rarely practice among many believers today. Even worst, there are not a lot of tools published today to help Christians memorize the Bible. Thankfully, NavPress continues to provide a helpful course in Scripture memory to get believers moving in the right direction. Below is a review of their product.

What do you get with the course?

The course comes with an 80 page workbook that describes how the course works, a plastic memory card holder, and 60 Scripture Memory Cards in the following versions: New International Version (NIV); The Message (MSG); New American Standard Bible (NASB); New King James Version (NKJV); English Standard Version (ESV); King James Version (KJV); New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), and New Living Translation (NLT).

How does the course work?

The course is designed to memorize two verses each week for 30 weeks. The verses are divided into five major sections (known as Series in the course) with six minor topics under each of the five series (see example below). Each of the minor topics have two verses assigned to it. So, each week you will memorize two verses for the minor topic. By the end of the sixth week, you will have memorized 12 verses, which completes the first major series.

Here is the layout for the first 6 weeks:

Series A: Live the New Life

Week #1: Christ the Center (minor topic): (1) 2 Corinthians 5:17 (2) Galatians 2:20

Week #2: Obedience to Christ (minor topic): (1) Romans 12:1 (2) John 14:2

Week #3: God’s Word (minor topic): (1) 2 Timothy 3:16 (2) Joshua 1:8

Week #4: Prayer (minor topic) (1) John 15:7 (2) Philippians 4:6-7

Week #5: Fellowship (minor topic) (1) 1 John 1:3 (2) Hebrews 10:24-25

Week #6: Witnessing (minor topic) (1) Matthew 4:19 (2) Romans 1:1

What I like about the course.

  1. I tend to be a loyalist and have always appreciated the Navigator’s Ministry and their focus on discipleship. Although I think their Scripture Memory System does not lend itself to understanding the fuller context behind each verse, it is a great starting point for a new believer or someone just starting out memorizing Scripture.
  2. I like that the verses in this course focus on doctrinal content instead of life issues. If someone is a new believer, building a doctrinal foundation is really important as they begin to memorize Scripture. Navigators also have a Life Issues Course, but I would recommend the topical memory system first if you are new in the faith.
  3. I like that the course has a variety of translations to choose from making it user friendly to an individual’s preference. Plus, you can see how the verses differ based on the translation.

Some further thoughts about the course.

  1. Years ago, when I took an Advance Hermeneutics Doctoral Seminar my professor had memorized entire books of the Bible. On day three of the seminar, he quoted with great passion the whole book of Philippians. I was so impressed with his commitment to memorizing God’s Word it changed how I thought about memorizing Scripture. The Navigators course is a ready-made system to help you get started, but it should not be the only system. Most of us would feel overwhelmed if we had to memorize an entire book of the Bible. So, if you are new to memorizing Scripture pick up the Topical Memory System, learn those 60 verses, but don’t stop. Explore other Scripture memory methods and maybe you will be quoting whole books of the Bible before you know it.
  2. There are also Scripture memory apps for smart phones today, but I am a little old school and really like having the cards. It may be pride, but it feels nice to pull out the plastic card holder and see that big stack of verses you have memorized.
  3. Overall, I give the Topical Memory System 4 stars only because the method does not lend itself to understanding the fuller context of each verse. Nevertheless, I have purchased this course at least five times over the past 20 years and highly recommend it for new believers.

How much does it cost?

I bought the most recent edition through Amazon for $15.92 (price subject to change – click here for most accurate information). normally has competitive prices as well. At the time of this writing, it was $15.99. Sometimes has sales and you may get it cheaper. Not sure about the shipping. The price on Navigator’s website is $19.99 at the time of the writing.

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