Easily memorize the Old Testament books with a phone number

Anyone familiar with the number 555-1212? That’s the winning phone number for today’s post.

555-1212 Background (skip if you don’t care)

According to Wikipedia, it is the number to call for directory assistance (ie: 411). The difference between 411 and 555-1212 is that with 411, you get local assistance whereas with 555-1212, you get directory assistance for the area code you dialed.

Which means I could be in San Francisco and dial 904-555-1212 to find the Burger King closest to where I live in Jacksonville.

Not that I would actually do that, but I could.

Also, here’s an interesting piece of trivia. Apparently the numbers 555-0100 through 555-0199 are reserved for “fictional use” (eg: movies and tv shows).

How is that number going to help me?

So what’s the significance of 555-1212? Just as you can use it for directory assistance, you can use it to assist you in memorizing the books of the Old Testament. We do this by breaking the number down a little bit.

And now I have a confession.

Although the end goal is that you’ll memorize all the OT books, this post is just going to focus on the different classifications or book types found in the OT. Baby steps here, baby steps.

Bite-sized Pieces

5 – that’s the number of law books (ie: The Pentateuch)
5 – the number of Wisdom Books
5 – how many major prophets there are

12 – el numero de “historical books”
12 – the number of minor prophets in the house

Now the extra credit question. What’s the sum of those numbers? Yup, 39. Which also happens to be the number of books in the Old Testament.

Sponsored by the letter ‘H’

That’s about it for now. Next time I’ll break down the books in each of the classification types and figure out some ingenious way to memorize them. For example, God Exists Like Nobody Does is a mnemonic for the first five books of the Bible (The Pentateuch).

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

I’ve also whipped up a PDF you can download with a summary of all this information and a pretty visual aid sponsored by the letter ‘H’.

I’d like to thank the Academy

Since I’m a “good little Christian”, I won’t take credit for something I didn’t come up with. The H-visual as well as the numbers 5, 12, 5, 12, and 5 were from The Old Testament Made Simple by Melvin Short. I just rearranged them into the phone number and added them up. Hopefully I’m not infringing on any type of copyright. ;)

4 replies on “Easily memorize the Old Testament books with a phone number”

Hi Alex, I would like to know the rest of the mnemonics foe the rest of the books of the Bible. Thnaks a lot

hi inna, unfortunately, i never got around to creating other mnemonics. given my current life priorities, i don’t see that happening in the future. but if you come across any other ones, feel free to post a comment here so others can see!

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