Correcting Recitations - Help Without Exasperation

We all make mistakes in reciting Scripture. “To err is human;” perhaps nowhere more than in reciting Scripture! But because "every word of God is pure" (Prov. 30:5), make it your aim to find and fix every error. Being confident of the exact wording will make quoting more pleasurable and sharing more comfortable. An attentive hearer who catches your mistakes will help you make great progress toward the goal of having your Scripture ready to deploy in every situation (2 Tim. 4:2). If your hearer also quotes to you, this will make it much easier for him/her to have mercy on your miscues. Consider the two types of correction below:

1) Instant Correction: Your hearer alerts you instantly, as soon as a mistake is made in your recitation. He/she can correct you with "Say that part again" or "Go back to the part where it says this.” Or, a hearer can simply say "again" at the exact point of error. Instant feedback prevents errors from lodging in the mind. Experience proves that errors allowed a foothold soon become permanent residents very difficult to evict! On the other hand, instant feedback can derail your train of thought.

2) Reviewed Correction: Your hearer listens to your whole recitation before correcting your errors from a list he or she has written or remembered while you quoted. This method minimizes distractions while you recite--as long as you ignore the moving pencil! Also, if your hearer marks down corrections on your copy, you then have a great review sheet to help you file down the rough edges. Another way to practice this is making correction in dry-erase marker on copies of your verses in clear sheet-protectors. On the down side, waiting for corrections allows errors to settle in and sometimes the hearer forgets some of the errors. Also, one may feel disheartened if the string of corrections gets long.

Pick a method above or devise your own, but clarify the exact mode of corrections with your hearer ahead of time. Of course you and your hearer may prefer different correction methods when reciting. Regardless, practice correction intentionally, receive it humbly, and enjoy knowing His Word exactly! “Faithful are the wounds of a friend,” and so are the nicks of correction (Prov. 27:6).



  • Good reminder, thank you. I committed the month of January to bring all my memorized books back to perfection. It took almost two months though, but now I'm over 95% correct again (I had let some go without regular reciting and had to do some relearning - but thankfully it's all back). Hopefully I'll start a new book again in March.
    • I appreciate hearing that experience, Jaris. As I have been collecting verses and chapters for at least 15 years, only in the past year or so have I been trying to "line them up in my mind" in ways that are easy to recall:my listening verses, my peace verses, God's will verses, Romans 8, Luke 2, etc. As I go over my previously learned verses, I find new ways to categorize them. So it's a blessing to relearn.

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