"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." [1 Peter 3:15]

Q . How is our memory set up so we can we recall and remember parts of the Bible?

A . God created us with a marvelous memory capability. The human brain has the capacity for 10 trillion bits of information and facts. How do we store and recall all those facts? One way is by focusing our attention on stories or narratives. Most people can remember a story better than a random set of facts.

Studies of the human memory indicate by setting up a Framework for certain types of information in our minds our retention and recall is increased. An example is; the author is a baseball fan and has a framework for the leagues, teams and players set up in his mind. It is easy to recall baseball facts, dialog on important information and new data has a place to be stored in the mind. On the other hand the author is not an opera buff; and has no framework for opera information. Facts about operas enter and leaves his memory will little chance of “sticking”. The author is not equipped to dialog regarding Opera because he has not created a framework to store and recall facts. The same is true with scripture and spiritual information. As we set up Frameworks for Biblical information, our chances of remembering, recalling for dialog stories, facts, and beliefs increases.

The field of memory theory supports this idea. In his book Lifespan, Guy R. Lefrancois explains that we have three components of memory processing: sensory memory (temporary sensations like hearing and touch), short-term memory (remembering names of people or a phone number for a few minutes), and long-term memory (remembering stories and events for a lifetime). Lefrancios goes onto explain that our sensory memory feeds the brain with information every moment. There is virtually no cognitive processing of sensory memory; thousands of bits of information enter our memory every second but are seldom retained. Meanwhile, our short-term memory can retain limited information over a short period of time. In contrast, long-term memory is very stable and helps us recall events from our youth. It is our knowledge base of main ideas, beliefs and attitudes. The key is to find ways to move information from our short-term memory, or “working memory,” into our long-term memory.

Memory theory shows that people have different ways of linking information from their short-term to long-term memory. One important way is to use narratives or stories. Other “techniques” include chunking similar items of information together and using acronyms, alliterations, word associations, and picture visualizations. This web site uses many of these techniques. For example, key events of Christ’s life are “chunked” around four base locations: Nazareth, Capernaum, Judea / Perea and Jerusalem. Within each group, the event headings are alliterations (for example, “In’s” of Nazareth contains In the Beginning, Infant Birth, Incarnation, etc.). All of this is done with memory theory in mind to help readers move the life of Jesus into their long-term memory and become a storyteller of the life of Jesus.

Storytelling His Life Events - In addition to the “inward” journey of knowing and loving Jesus at a deeper level in our meditations and prayers, the author hopes that people studying this web site will become storytellers of events in his life. People are natural storytellers. The storytelling symbol appears at the end of each of the 32 studies. The symbol uses a key, lips, and heart with a keyhole. Inclusive spiritual dialog (using gentleness and respect as I Peter 3:15b cited earlier suggests) is finding words from our lips that may be the key to unlock hearts of others to engage in talking about Jesus. Practice storytelling events from the life of Jesus at the end of individual or group study sessions. Use Appendix 2 to memorize all 32 stories and develop a framework of his life.

Many people who use www.myBibleBasics may prefer to develop their own acronyms, word associations, pictures, or visualizations for retention. That is great! Use memory theory to your advantage. As you train your short-term memory to know Jesus and link key events in his life to long-term memory, you can share the stories of Jesus with others.

Remember the Heart of the Bible is written to provide a Framework summary of the Holy Bible for people to read and study. Bible reading for the author provides a challenge to order and recall scriptures. Connecting memory and recalling information is difficult; yet the truths of the Bible should remain vital for all of us. Narratives, summaries, and stories can assist store truths in our memory for recall and sharing. A broad goal of this work is to focus on key scriptures in narrative, summary, and meditative form to assist utilization of biblical truths. Also, ‘keep it simple’ hopefully will be an organizing principle. This is not a deep theological dialog or discussion; it is a framework designed to assist recall!