Learning Methods: Memorization of passages

Learning Methods: Memorization of passages

Postby Paul-Nitz » February 29th, 2012, 10:30 am

I'm enjoying memorizing some NT passages in Greek using the Hoffman method of memorization. The method makes memorization much easier. The memorization itself has, I feel, given me a leap in my understanding of Greek.

The nine passages I have memorized are short (one to three verses). I think a short story would be more useful for internalizing the language.

I have chosen Mark 9:14-32.

I wonder if one of our B-Greek fluent Greek readers could give Mark 9:14-32 a quick look. Does it look like nice typical Koine? Is there a Bible story that would be better for internalizing Greek?

I'm thinking that I want a story that's not too short (15-25 verses) and that has some dialogue.

If anyone wants to join the challenge, I'll send the schedule and notes on the Hoffman method. If I get no suggestions here, I'll stick with Mark 9:14-32. The schedule I have starts on 4 March and runs through 21 May. It takes about 15 minutes every day.
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi
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Re: Learning Methods: Memorization of passages

Postby Stephen Carlson » February 29th, 2012, 10:44 am

My Greek teacher required me to memorize a Greek text--I still remember it after almost 30 years. I also require my Greek students to memorize a text.

I don't know what the Hoffman method of memorization is, though. What is it?

Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Learning Methods: Memorization of passages

Postby Mark Lightman » February 29th, 2012, 12:57 pm

I wonder if one of our B-Greek fluent Greek readers could give Mark 9:14-32 a quick look. Does it look like nice typical Koine? Is there a Bible story that would be better for internalizing Greek?

χαίροις Παῦλε,

Yes, this is a good passage with a little bit of everything—participles, infinitives, various tenses, even a subjunctive or two. This is also a good one to do because Louis Sorenson’s recital of Mark in Restored Koine goes up to chapter to 9,

http://www.letsreadgreek.com/ntaudio/ma ... mark09.htm

so folks would have several audios from which to choose to help in the memorization process.
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Hoffman Method - Mark 9:14-32 - Memorization

Postby Paul-Nitz » March 1st, 2012, 3:16 am

Thanks much, Mark Lightman! That gives me confidence.

Here is my summary of the Hoffman Method of memorization:
Here is a schedule in Excel for learning Mark 9:14ff (4 March through May):
More about the Hoffman method
    Marlin Hoffman was a professor at Abilene Christian College. Thanks to Don Potter and his website for putting me onto the Marlin Hoffman method of memorization. Here is a message from Don Potter about the method, followed by a link to a fuller explanation of the method:
“I would like to tell you my story in order to motivate you to use Brother Hoffman’s method. For much of my early life, I thought I could not memorize very well. I memorized the names of the presidents in high school, and the Gettysburg Address, and a few other things; but overall, I thought my ability to memorize was very poor. Brother Hoffman had a unique way of firing up his students. He convinced me that with his method I could memorize anything. In a class on the Pastoral Epistles, Brother Parker Henderson challenged us to memorize the books we were going to be stud ying. He said that if we would memorize all of I Timothy and Titus and one chapter of our choosing from II Timothy, we would automatically get a hundred for the course without having to take the exams. We had to quote the books to Brother Henderson himself. I immediately went to work on memorizing them. Brother Hoffman’s method worked just as he said it would!! I quoted all of I Timothy, Titus and II Timothy chapter 2 to Brother Henderson. Later I memorized I Thessalonians for Ted Kell and quoted it to him without a single mistake. Hiding these Scriptures in my heart has been a source of continual blessing throughout the years. I heartily recommend Brother Hoffman’s method, and pray that God will help me to spread it far and wide through the http://www.donpotter.net web site... Fantastic results can be obtained by reviewing scriptures daily for six months or more. For eleven years, my young son, Larry, trained in this manner, and he was definitely the most accurate in quoting the scriptures that I have ever heard or trained. On one test over a period of more than two weeks in reviewing scriptures, he quoted about 5,000 verses of scripture before he made a mistake that he could not correct himself from memory.”

Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi
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Re: Learning Methods: Memorization of passages

Postby DonPotter » January 1st, 2017, 3:43 pm

The new link for Marlin Hoffman's Method for Memorizing God's Words is:


I have also published A Systematic Plan for Memorizing Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians that feature Hoffman's method. This includes the KJV, RV (1960 Spanish), Greek TR and Latin Vulgate.


Donald Potter http://www.donpotter.net
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Re: Learning Methods: Memorization of passages

Postby Paul-Nitz » January 3rd, 2017, 9:40 am

Thanks much, Don Potter. I owe a debt of gratitude to you for introducing me to the Hoffman method. Back when this thread started (2012) I set out to memorize Mark 9:14-32. I succeeded and it went far to embed the Greek in my mind. Unfortunately, I was halfway between Erasmian and Restored Koine pronunciation at the time.

Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi
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Re: Learning Methods: Memorization of passages

Postby Devenios Doulenios » January 5th, 2017, 3:17 pm

Χαίρετε υμιν πάντα,

Ι found the Hoffman method fascinating and may try it too. Let me mention an alternate method of memorization that is helping me.

I've started memorizing selected Psalms, focusing on the Messianic Psalms and selected others (e.g., 19, 23,139, and portions of 119; numbering is the Hebrew/English one). I'm learning them in Hebrew, LXX Greek, and the Latin Vulgate, with plans to add the Aramaic Targum version(s) at a later time.

I have audio of all the Psalms in Hebrew, two sets of selected Psalms in Greek, and one set of selected Psalms in Latin. The Greek ones are from two sources. First I have the recordings from Louis Sorenson on his website. Then I have the first 25 Psalms recorded by a native Greek, a Greek Orthodox monk who also did narration of the Koine Greek NT and other LXX books for the Greek Bible Society.

I've been working on Psalm 1 for a few months now in my spare time (probably about 1 hour a week) and have learned it well in Hebrew and almost completely in Greek.

Here's my approach: First, I listen to the passage several times on the recording. Then I read it aloud as close to normal speed as I can several times. Then I listen again several times and copy out the passage from a printed text several times. I then write it out several more times and then start trying to write it from memory. I then write it out some and then start trying to recite it from memory.

After both the writing and recitng from memory, I check my effort against the printed text for errors. Each time I begin a new session I also read it aloud again before attempting to write or read from memory.

I can now recite the Hebrew perfectly and write it out correctly (unpointed) and recite the Greek correctly and write it out almost perfectly--just a couple of minor errors remain. I am using an accented Greek text but am writing it out without accents. I'm using the Modern Greek pronunciation. I just started on the Latin yesterday so I haven't got it memorized yet.

While several months on 1 passage may seem like a lot, I'm just doing for myself at this point, not for a class, so it doesn't matter. Not only is memorizing helping me with the languages, it is also helpful devotionally. I am sure this will continue to be true as I proceed. Later I will work some more with the NT (starting with John, which I am working on to revise a translation of I made some years back) but for now I'm focusing on Psalms.

I don't know if this method would help you, but it helps me. Just my two lepta.
"τὴν ζωὴν καὶ τὸν θάνατον δέδωκα πρὸ προσώπου ὑμῶν τὴν εὐλογίαν καὶ τὴν κατάραν ἔκλεξαι τὴν ζωήν ἵνα ζῇς σὺ καὶ τὸ σπέρμα σου"-Dt. 30:19

"Ὁδοὶ δύο εἰσί, μία τῆς ζωῆς καὶ μία τοῦ θανάτου."--Διδαχή Α, α'
Devenios Doulenios
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