7/14/2012: ...picked out the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook from the library, again, and this time I set myself to one of them: a memorization of 1 John 3. One of my go-to Epistles of the NT, and it's... one of my go-to Epistles in general, like Psalm 103 and Psalm 19....Well, that didn't happen. I did, however, manage to memorize 1 John 3:1-24 by September 1, though. As of today, I've skipped back a bit to 1 John 1:1-3; my plan is to work my way through 1 John 1-2 and take it from there. Hopefully I should have the entire thing down by the end of the year.
There are 24 verses in the chapter; one verse a day, and I'll be able to memorize it all by August 19.
The question (which I brought up last post) was simple: "Why memorize?" And the answer was simple: "inadequacy." I was tired of reading through a Bible that was increasingly important to me and feeling impotent, as though I had no idea what was in it or what it said.
So I started memorizing, and it's had some interesting knock-on effects.
- As mentioned, I know all of 1 John 3 like the back of my hand.
- It's given me an appreciation for the style of the NRSV. (Not always a positive one - it's made me aware that NKJV, say, is more euphonic.) All the "brothers and/or sisters" have done a lot to highlight where the NRSV diverges from the Greek, and that's interesting. On a few occasions it's driven me to check out the NRSV-Greek-NIV intercolumnary NT from the library to look and see what the hell the Greek was actually getting at.
- It's weaned me off a lot of crappy music, which seems to unfailingly remind me that I've forgotten what I'd set about to memorize today.
- 1 John is part of the greater Johannine corpus, involving 2&3 John and the Gospel itself. Before July, I'd never actually thought about what was in these books, or for that matter how they related. Spending so much time poring over 1 John has helped me connect those dots, and driven me to read more (and pick up a few books on the subject.) It's... constellated. And it feels beautiful.
That, I think, is a good thing. It means that I'll never be able to stop rereading it.