Jenni and I are frequently amazed at how easily our two-year-old daughter, Kara Marie, memorizes things. It’s amazing. So we’re trying to harness some of her brainpower by memorizing the Bible.
Jenni has taught Kara dozens of verses, and we’re using some additional resources to help these verses stick long-term. Texts in song are remembered long, so memorizing Scripture with music is especially helpful (though some of the songs mentioned below may be more “bumpy” than some prefer).
By the way, children are not the only ones who benefit from Scripture put to song. Dads and moms do, too! We frequently find ourselves meditating on verses like “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” or “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God.’”
- “Foundation Versesare strategically chosen Bible verses for children preschool through age five.”
- Fighter Versesare “designed for school-age children through adults.”
- All the verses are available as an app for the iPhone-iPad and Android.
- The passages are available on flashcards.
- The verses in sets D and E (including the entire Sermon on the Mount from Matt 5–7) are put to music on two CDs (samples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Some of these songs are a bit cheesy (e.g., there’s a Frank Sinatra impersonator), but putting Scripture to music like this can be so helpful for memorizing.
- Update on 12/11/2015. Fighter Verses Songs: Set 5 just released. More info here.
2. Hide ‘Em in Your Heart (Steve Green)
The DVDs are corny (probably very stylish in the 1980s), but the songs are clear, catchy, and singable.
3. Questions with Answers and Songs for Saplings (Dana Dirksen)
A mother and her children sing Bible verses and Q&A taken from a digest of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Stephen Hildebrandt’s The Catechism for Young People). Some are more catchy than others (e.g., “How can you glorify God,” sample 3 here).
The music is louder and the words are harder to understand in these albums than those above. But some songs are memorable.
- Vol. 1. Seeds of Courage. MP3 downloads | CD
- Vol. 2. Seeds of Faith. MP3 downloads | CD
- Vol. 3. Seeds of Praise. MP3 downloads | CD
- Vol. 4. Seeds of Purpose. MP3 downloads | CD
- Vol. 5. The Power of Encouragement. MP3 downloads | CD
- Vol. 6. The Power of Character. MP3 downloads | CD
- Vol. 7. The Character of God. MP3 downloads | CD
5. Hide the Word (Mark Altrogge, Forever Grateful Music)
Mark Altrogge, senior pastor of a Sovereign Grace Church in Pennsylvania, has set 182 Scripture passages to 9.1 hours of music. The genre is similar to Sovereign Grace Music, which has published several of Altrogge’s songs.
- Vol. 1. Hide the Word (mostly NIV, some NASB)
- Vol. 2. A Ransom for Many (NIV)
- Vol. 3. Once for All (ESV)
- Vol. 4. Refuge and Strength (ESV)
- Vol. 5. The Word of the Cross (ESV)
- Vol. 6. Weight of Glory (ESV)
- Vol. 7. Not One Falls (ESV)
- Vol. 8. Through the Waters (ESV)
- Vol. 9. Walk Humbly (ESV)
- Vol. 10. Ends of the Earth (ESV)
6. Hidden in My Heart: A Lullaby Journey through Scripture (Jay and Trina Stocker, BreakAway Music)
These two CDs are nice for playing when you put your child down for sleep. Mellow. (The translations vary from KJV to NLT to NKVJ to NIV.)
From the back covers of each volume:
One out of every ten Hidden In My Heart CDs is donated to Crisis Pregnancy Centers around the country. BreakAway Music strongly supports the ministry efforts of these centers.
7. Ask Me WhoOo: The Children’s First Catechism; Word-for-word and Set-to-music (Diana Beach Batarseh)
Diana Batarseh, a member of Scotty Smith’s PCA church in Franklin, TN, uses a catechism that the PCA uses for children. It updates Joseph Engels’s The First Catechism, which Engels adapted in the late 1800s from the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
Diana puts 150 questions and answers into 74 melodies that she sings with her children; Diana asks the questions, her children sing the answer, and each melody ends with someone quoting related Scripture. The Q&A is much more explicit in its covenant theology than the Questions with Answers songs (above), so some parents may want not want to use all of the tracks.
8. Rain for Roots
9. Sovereign Grace Music
The Ology (This album released at the same time as a children’s systematic theology called The Ology. I endorsed it: “This well-illustrated book clearly and logically introduces theology for children.”)
What other Bible-memory resources (and edifying children’s music in general) do you recommend?