Do you bleed Bible? Encylopedia Brown, Farenheit 451, and John Bunyan

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was about the boy detective Encyclopedia Brown. He was called Encylopedia Brown because he had read his parent’s Encyclopedia set, and with his photographic memory, could easily solve any neighborhood mystery.

Cover of "Fahrenheit 451: A Novel"

As an adult, I have deeply appreciated a comparable book by Ray Bradbury called Farenheit 451. In this dystopian novel, all books are being destroyed, but their knowledge is retained by individuals who have memorized different author. So one of the characters introduces himself as Shakespeare, since he has memorized Shakespeare’s work and is the best incarnation available to humanity.

There is something fascinating about being able to so embody an author or text. It makes great fiction, butg it is even better when people devote that kind of energy to memorizing Scripture. Charles Spurgeon once described John Bunyan this way:

“Oh that you and I might get into the very heart of the word of God and get that word into ourselves. As I have seen the silk worm eat into the leaf and consume it so ought we to do with the word of the Lord. Not crawl over its surface but eat right into it till we have taken it right into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance merely over the words or to recollect the poetical expressions or the historical facts. But it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until at last you come to talk in Scriptural language and your very style is fashioned upon scriptural morals; and what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord. I would quote John Bunyon as an instance of what I mean: read anything of his and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had studied our authorized version, which will never be bettered as I judge till Christ shall come. He had read it till his whole being was saturated with Scripture and though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress, that sweetest of all prose poems, without continually making us feel and say, why this man is a living Bible, prick him anywhere and you will find that his blood is Bible-ing, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the word of God.

What about you, do you make it a practice to memorize Scripture? Do you know of any tools or technologies that can assist us in memorizing Scripture?

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