Memorize the Books of the Bible

You can memorize all the books of the Bible with this list of visual mnemonics.

On this page, you’ll find a list of visual mnemonics for all 73 books of the Bible.

All these mnemonics are visual. They’re pictures you can see in your imagination.

And they’re mnemonics, because they’re easy to remember, and they’ll remind you of the names of the books. You might not be able to imagine “Haggai” very easily, but you can imagine an old hag.

Scroll past the list for a longer explanation.

Old Testament

BookMnemonic
GenesisApple with bite
ExodusEXIT sign
LeviticusLev-er
NumbersCalculator
DeuteronomyHuge dew drop on top of on switch
JoshuaJosh/Joshua
JudgesJudge wig
RuthRuth or root
1&2 SamuelTwo Sams
1&2 KingsTwo crowns
1&2 ChroniclesTwo old chroniclers, writing in a big book
EzraA PEZ dispenser
Nehemiahbig knee
TobitA big toe that has bit
JudithJudith
EstherA frightened queen Esther [holding big ‘E’]
JobComputer monitor, for someone’s job
PsalmLyre (a harp-like instrument for singing)
ProverbsChunk of pave-ment
EcclesiastesMexican napping in a siesta [with ‘E’ on hat]
CanticlesA cantor singing (Canticle of Canticles, Song of Songs)
WisdomAn old, white beard.
SirachSir Ack — a knight hack-ing & coughing (Ecclesiasticus)
IsaiahIsaiah/Isaac
JeremiahJeremiah/Jeremy
LamentationsA handkerchief, soggy from tears
BaruchA big bar
EzekielDry bones dancing (Ezekiel’s vision of bones coming to life)
DanielLion (Daniel in the lion’s den)
HoseaGarden hose
JoelJoel/Joe
AmosMouse holding paws to make an A
ObadiahBed shaped like an O
JonahWhale
Micahmic-rophone
NahumMan hum-ming
HabakkukProphet Habakkuk carried by hair
ZephaniahZ-fan (E.g. big Z or Zebra stuck in fan)
HaggaiOld hag
ZechariahZ-car (E.g, Zebra driving zebra-striped car.)
MalachiMail-man (Malachi also means “messenger of God”)
1&2 MaccabeesTwo giant bees

New Testament

I group the New Testament books differently. I don’t need help remembering the Gospels or Acts, and Apocalypse (or Revelation) at the end is pretty easy too.

What mixes me up are the Epistles. But you can break them into three equal groups! The first 10 are by St. Paul, and the last 5 aren’t. (Assuming Hebrews isn’t his). On a side note, the Pauline letters are ordered from longest to shortest. Philemon is tiny.

Note that I’m combining “1 and 2” sets into a single mnemonic. For example, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians are two apple cores.

BookMnemonic
Matthew, Mark, Luke, JohnNewspaper (Gospel means “good news”)
ActsAxe
RomansRoman soldier
1&2 CorinthiansTwo apple cores
GalatiansGalaxy
EphesiansElephant (has E, ph, an)
PhilippiansPhillip or Phillip’s head screwdriver
ColossiansCol-umn
1&2 ThessaloniansTwo saloon doors
1&2 TimothyTwo Timothys
TitusTie-dye shirt, in T shape
PhilemonLemon
HebrewsJew (Hebrew) in traditional garb
JamesBlue jay
1&2 PeterTwo keys
1&2&3 JohnThree Johns in triangle
JudeSt. Jude’s image of a face, or a dude
Apocalypse (Revelation)Explosion

Kinds of mnemonics used in this list

As you noticed, this list includes different kinds of mnemonics.

A name of someone you know

Many Bible books have names which are still common today, like Joshua, Judith, and Timothy. Do you know someone who has this name, either in real life, or even a movie character or a celebrity? You can imagine that person as a mnemonic. Usually, you’ll just imagine the face.

BookMnemonic
IsaiahIsaiah/Isaac (Isaac is different, but it’s more common now, and sounds similar.)
1&2 SamuelTwo Sams (With two Sams, we combine both books into one mnemonic.)

A symbol of something that happens in the book

Sometimes, you can imagine one thing that happens in the book. Or you can imagine something that reminds you of the book’s meaning.

BookMnemonic
GenesisApple with bite
NumbersCalculator (There’s no calculator in Numbers, but it reminds you of “numbers.”)

A reminder of the sound of the book’s name (a bad pun)

Sometimes, all you can do is pick a mnemonic that sounds a little like the book’s name. The sound of the mnemonic will remind you of the word. I’ve put these sounds in italics.

BookMnemonic
Nehemiahbig knee
HoseaGarden hose

Of course, if any mnemonic doesn’t work for you, just make up your own.

Is this the only way to remember all these books?

Not at all. You could use a poem, or try putting each chunk of 5 names on a flashcard. But if you like visual mnemonics, these might help.

How am I supposed to keep track of 73 different mnemonics?

You’ll probably want to store the Old Testament books using the “loci method.”

For the New Testament books, I only need the three groups of epistles. So in each group, I use the first book as the base for the rest, and I don’t really need to bother with loci places.

For instance, for the first group, I imagine a Roman with the other four book mnemonics attached to him, from top to bottom. He’s hold two apple cores (1 & 2 Corinthians), he has a galaxy (Galatians) around his waist, he’s riding an elephant (Ephesians), and the elephant has a Phillips’ head screwdriver (Phillippians) in its trunk.

You can do the same sort of thing with the other two groups.

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2 Replies to “Memorize the Books of the Bible”

  1. MNEMONIC FOR ORDER OF OLD
    MNEMONIC FOR ORDER OF OLD TESTAMENT BIBLE BOOKS:

    God everlasting lets no discipline just joylessly ruin someone’s* knowledge*, confidence*, experience; No, eternal justification provides peace.

    * two books starting with same letter.

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