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

Book Mnemonic
Genesis Apple with bite
Exodus EXIT sign
Leviticus Lev-er
Numbers Calculator
Deuteronomy Huge dew drop on top of on switch
Joshua Josh/Joshua
Judges Judge wig
Ruth Ruth or root
1&2 Samuel Two Sams
1&2 Kings Two crowns
1&2 Chronicles Two old chroniclers, writing in a big book
Ezra A PEZ dispenser
Nehemiah big knee
Tobit A big toe that has bit
Judith Judith
Esther A frightened queen Esther [holding big ‘E’]
Job Computer monitor, for someone’s job
Psalm Lyre (a harp-like instrument for singing)
Proverbs Chunk of pave-ment
Ecclesiastes Mexican napping in a siesta [with ‘E’ on hat]
Canticles A cantor singing (Canticle of Canticles, Song of Songs)
Wisdom An old, white beard.
Sirach Sir Ack — a knight hack-ing & coughing (Ecclesiasticus)
Isaiah Isaiah/Isaac
Jeremiah Jeremiah/Jeremy
Lamentations A handkerchief, soggy from tears
Baruch A big bar
Ezekiel Dry bones dancing (Ezekiel’s vision of bones coming to life)
Daniel Lion (Daniel in the lion’s den)
Hosea Garden hose
Joel Joel/Joe
Amos Mouse holding paws to make an A
Obadiah Bed shaped like an O
Jonah Whale
Micah mic-rophone
Nahum Man hum-ming
Habakkuk Prophet Habakkuk carried by hair
Zephaniah Z-fan (E.g. big Z or Zebra stuck in fan)
Haggai Old hag
Zechariah Z-car (E.g, Zebra driving zebra-striped car.)
Malachi Mail-man (Malachi also means “messenger of God”)
1&2 Maccabees Two 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.

Book Mnemonic
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John Newspaper (Gospel means “good news”)
Acts Axe
Romans Roman soldier
1&2 Corinthians Two apple cores
Galatians Galaxy
Ephesians Elephant (has E, ph, an)
Philippians Phillip or Phillip’s head screwdriver
Colossians Col-umn
1&2 Thessalonians Two saloon doors
1&2 Timothy Two Timothys
Titus Tie-dye shirt, in T shape
Philemon Lemon
Hebrews Jew (Hebrew) in traditional garb
James Blue jay
1&2 Peter Two keys
1&2&3 John Three Johns in triangle
Jude St. 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.

Book Mnemonic
Isaiah Isaiah/Isaac (Isaac is different, but it’s more common now, and sounds similar.)
1&2 Samuel Two 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.

Book Mnemonic
Genesis Apple with bite
Numbers Calculator (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.

Book Mnemonic
Nehemiah big knee
Hosea Garden 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.