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The Word Hand Illustration

The Word Hand illustration is an easy to remember tool highlighting five methods of learning from the Bible. Use it for your own spiritual growth and to share with someone else.


  1. HEARING the Word from pastors and teachers provides fresh insight into the Scriptures. The weakest finger—the pinkie—represents hearing because we retain only 5 percent of what we hear. Romans 10:17
  2. READING gives us an overview of the Bible and is the foundation of daily quiet time. The ring finger represents this. We generally retain 15 percent of what we read. Revelation 1:3
  3. STUDYING the Scriptures deepens our convictions. It requires greater time and effort but results in increased Bible knowledge. Most people retain 35 percent of what they study. The middle finger represents this. Acts 17:11
  4. MEMORIZING God’s Word enables us to use the Sword of the Spirit to overcome temptations and to have verses readily available for ministering to others. The index finger, our strongest finger, represents memorization. We remember 100 percent of what we memorize if we consistently review it. Psalm 119:9–11
  5. MEDITATION is the inward process that accompanies each of the other four methods of Scripture intake. This is why meditation is assigned to the thumb. Only the thumb can touch all the other four fingers. By meditating on God’s Word as we hear, read, study, and memorize, we discover its transforming power at work in us. Psalm 1:2,3