66 short Bible verses perfect for kids to memorize (1 from every book!)

Try this fun Bible memory challenge that will lay a foundation for a lifelong walk with God and love of His word.
17 min read

It’s fantastic that today we can have the Bible with us at all times.

Even though our phones serve up every word of Scripture in multiple translations, memorizing the Bible still has tremendous value for adults and kids. Think of the Bible passages we memorize as the Holy Spirit’s vocabulary. When He wants to bring comfort or direction, His native tongue is the Bible.

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (John 14:26 NASB)

And Bible memory doesn’t need to be intimidating. Start small, with some of the short Bible verses we’ve collected here.

Martin Luther had so much of the Bible memorized that, when God opened his eyes to justification by faith alone (see Romans 1:17), Luther was able to confirm what he had found without turning to anther page. “Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory,” he later wrote.

Memorized verses are the rails the Spirit’s instructions run on. How much track have we laid?

Why not encourage your kids to memorize a short Bible verse from each of the 66 books? These verses can serve as “hooks” to remember the main themes of each book.

Memorizing from each book has the added benefit of helping kids become more comfortable and fascinated with the whole Bible—a wonderful foundation for a lifelong walk with God.

To make this project even more fun for the kids you lead, we’ve included a Did you know? fact about each book in the Bible.

Pair them with Bible memory games for even more learning!


Short Bible Verses from the Old Testament

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NIV)


Did you know?

Genesis is the most famous book about the beginning of the world.

Exodus 14:14

“The Lord will fight for you. All you have to do is keep still.” (NLV)


Did you know?

The grossest plagues in the Bible are in Exodus—including a plague of frogs that climbed into ovens and people’s beds.

Leviticus 19:18

“Stop being angry and don’t try to take revenge. I am the LORD, and I command you to love others as much as you love yourself.” (CEV)


Did you know?

Leviticus is full of rules and laws that sound strange to us—like how God’s people long ago were allowed to eat grasshoppers but not lobster.

Numbers 6:24

“May the Lord bless you and protect you.” (NCV)


Did you know?

In the book of Numbers is where you’ll find the story of a talking donkey (before Shrek).

Deuteronomy 6:5

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. (NCV)


Did you know?

Deuteronomy tells the story of how Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land. He’d led his people to the edge of it, but God only let Moses go up on a hill and look into the land before he died.

Joshua 1:5

“No one will be able to defeat you all your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” (NCV)


Did you know?

Joshua has the story of how, when God’s people shouted in faith, the mighty walls of a fortress came crashing down and God’s people conquered the city easily.

Judges 6:12

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (NIV)


Did you know?

Judges includes the story of how Samson killed a lion with his bare hands.

Ruth 3:11

Now my daughter, do not be afraid. I will do for you whatever you ask. For all my people in the city know that you are a good woman.” (NLT)


Did you know?

Boaz was willing to pay the price for Ruth’s safety and well-being—even though he didn’t have to. It’s kind of like how Jesus pays the price of eternal life for us. AND Ruth and Boaz are part of Jesus’ family tree!

Think of the Bible verses we memorize as the Holy Spirit’s vocabulary.

1 Samuel 17:47

“And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (NLT)


Did you know?

This book is where you’ll find the story of David and Goliath, the giant David killed with a sling.

2 Samuel 7:22

“Lord God, this is why you are so great! There is no one like you. There is no god except you! We know that because of what we ourselves have heard about what you did.” (ERV)


Did you know?

This book tells what a fantastic (and at times terrible) job David did as king.

1 Kings 18:21

Elijah approached the people and said, “How long will you not decide between two choices? If the Lord is the true God, follow him, but if Baal is the true God, follow him!” But the people said nothing. (NCV)


Did you know?

In 1 Kings, we see Elijah put God up against 450 priests of a false god to see which one will send fire down from heaven. Guess who wins.

2 Kings 6:16

“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” (NLT)


Did you know?

In 2 Kings, there is the story of an invisible army that a man can suddenly see—horses and chariots and warriors all over the mountains.

1 Chronicles 16:11

Depend on the Lord for strength. Always go to him for help. (ERV)


Did you know?

In 1 Chronicles, we see the story of when King David dressed like a priest and danced and jumped for joy to God … but his queen thought he was bad for doing it.

2 Chronicles 15:2

Azariah went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you look for Him, He will let you find Him. But if you leave Him, He will leave you.” (NLV)


Did you know?

In 2 Chronicles, we see the story of a boy who became king when he was only 7.

Ezra 7:28

The Lord has shown me, Ezra, his love in the presence of the king, those who advise the king, and the royal officers. Because the Lord my God was helping me, I had courage, and I gathered the leaders of Israel to return with me. (NCV)


Did you know?

Ezra tells how the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon and found Jerusalem and the Temple in ruins.

Nehemiah 1:11

“O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer. (NLV)


Did you know?

While the Jews rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem against their enemies, they had to hold their tools in one hand and their swords in the other.

Esther 4:14

“If you keep quiet now, help and freedom for the Jews will come from another place. But you and your father’s family will all die. And who knows, maybe you have been chosen to be the queen for such a time as this.” (ERV)


Did you know?

Queen Esther knew the penalty for coming to the king’s throne room without being invited was probably death, but she risked her own life to try to save all of her people from being killed.

Job 5:17–18

“The person whom God corrects is happy. So do not hate being corrected by God All-Powerful. God hurts, but he also bandages up. He injures, but his hands also heal.” (ICB)


Did you know?

Ever wonder why bad things happen to good people? Job wondered that too. In the Book of Job, you can read God’s reply.

Psalm 55:16

As for me, I will call on God and the Lord will save me. (NLV)


Did you know?

The book of Psalms teaches us to seek God, tell Him the truth about everything, and worship Him because of who He is—not just because of what He gives us.

Proverbs 31:8

Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Help people who are in trouble. (ERV)


Did you know?

Proverbs contains advice from the wisest man who has ever lived.

Ecclesiastes 5:18

I have seen what is best for a person to do here on earth. He should eat and drink and enjoy his work. This is because the life God has given him on earth is short. (ICB)


Did you know?

Like a scientist, King Solomon experiments with all ways of living to find the best one.

Song of Solomon 6:3

I belong to my love, and he belongs to me. He’s eating among the lilies.” (NIRV)


Did you know?

This book may be the script for a musical play that was performed at King Solomon’s wedding

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking: Who should I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am. Send me. (CSB)


Did you know?

Isaiah spent his life giving God’s messages to the Jewish people—but God had told him in advance that they wouldn’t listen.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I chose you for a special work. I chose you to be a prophet to the nations.” (ERV)


Did you know?

God’s people hated being in captivity in Babylon, but Jeremiah told them to work for the good of Babylon, because it would be their home for 70 years.

Lamentations 3:23

His great love is new every morning. Lord, how faithful you are! (NIRV)


Did you know?

Lamentations is the sad cry of God’s people because their temple is destroyed, and they are being taken into captivity in a faraway land.

Ezekiel 36:26

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (CSB)


Did you know?

Ezekiel contains a vision of a valley full of skeletons coming to life and forming an army back from the dead.

Daniel 2:28

. . . “but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these” (NIV)


Did you know?

Daniel is thrown into a pit of lions, and Daniel’s friends are thrown into a blazing oven—and God saves them all.

Hosea 14:9

Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall. (NLT)


Did you know?

God told Hosea to marry a woman who didn’t love him … as a way of saying that God loved His people even though they didn’t love Him back.

Joel 2:32

“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.” (NIV)


Did you know?

Joel is about a giant cloud of bugs (locusts) that invade the land and eat all the crops.

Amos 5:4

This is what the Lord says to Israel: “Seek me and live” (NIV)


Did you know?

Amos tells the story of how God sent His people into captivity because of how badly they treated the poor and helpless in the land.

Obadiah 1:15

The day is coming when I, the Lord, will judge the nations. And, Edom, you will pay in full for what you have done.” (CEV)


Did you know?

Obadiah is only 1 chapter long, and the prophet (Obadiah) is really mad the whole time.

Jonah 2:2

“When I was in danger, I called to the Lord, and he answered me. I was about to die, so I cried to you, and you heard my voice.” (NCV)


Did you know?

Jonah got thrown overboard, swallowed by a giant fish, and then vomited up onto dry land.

Micah 6:8

The Lord has told you what is good. He has told you what he wants from you: Do what is right to other people. Love being kind to others. And live humbly, trusting your God. (ICB)


Did you know?

Micah predicts that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem—and He was … 700 years later.

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good. He is a safe place to go to in times of trouble. He takes care of those who trust him. (ERV)


Did you know?

Exactly one hundred years after Jonah preached to the city of Nineveh, Nahum told Nineveh that God was going to destroy the city for their sins. And He did.  

Habakkuk 3:19

The Lord God is my strength. He makes me like a deer that does not stumble so I can walk on the steep mountains. (NCV)


Did you know?

In Habakkuk, God uses one country to punish another—the country of His own people—for disobeying Him.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing. (CEB)


Did You Know?

Zephaniah tried to give God’s people one more chance to stop sinning, because if they didn’t, they would be taken away to captivity. They didn’t stop sinning.

Haggai 2:5

“When you came out of Egypt, I promised that I would always be with you. I am still with you, so do not be afraid.” (GNT)


Did you know?

Haggai teaches us that God will be good to His children in the future, even if disaster comes first.

Zechariah 4:6

So the angel explained that it was the following message of the Lord to Zerubbabel: I am the Lord All-Powerful. So don’t depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit. (CEV)


Did you know?

Zechariah predicted that Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, that He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, and that He would be stabbed, all of which came true … 500 years later.

Malachi 2:10

Don’t we all come from one Father? Aren’t we all created by the same God? So why can’t we get along? Why do we desecrate the covenant of our ancestors that binds us together? (MSG)


Did you know?

After Malachi hears from God, heaven goes silent for 400 years … until the time of Jesus.

When the Holy Spirit wants to bring comfort or direction, His native tongue is the Bible.


Short Bible Verses from the New Testament

Matthew 11:28

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. (CEV)


Did you know?

When Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector, to be one of His close followers, it must’ve surprised a lot of people, who thought that tax collectors were always bad guys.

Mark 8:36

“What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself?” (CEV)


Did you know?

Bible scholars think Mark’s book was the very first gospel (story of the life of Jesus) ever written down, and that Mark got all his information from his teacher: the disciple named Peter.

Luke 19:10

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (NLT)


Did you know?

Luke was a doctor—almost a scientist, even—who was so careful to get his dates and facts right in his gospel that he has been called one of “the greatest of historians.”

John 16:33

“I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” (ICB)


Did you know?

John’s gospel uses the most poetic language of all the gospels, calling Jesus the word, the light, the door, the bread of life, the resurrection, the good shepherd, and the truth.

Acts 4:12

“No one else can save us. Indeed, we can be saved only by the power of the one named Jesus and not by any other person.” (GW)


Did you know?

Like the four gospels, Acts is the story of Jesus and the first Christians—but Acts starts where the gospels end; it shows how the church grew and spread.

Romans 8:1

Those who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer under God’s judgment. (NIRV)


Did you know?

Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome is considered by many to be the mountain peak of the entire Bible, the place where the meaning of life, Jesus, and everything else come together.

1 Corinthians 3:16

You should know that you yourselves are God’s temple. God’s Spirit lives in you. (ERV)


Did you know?

The church in Corinth needed four letters from Paul to get them to live right. Two letters have been lost over time, but wow, this church needed lots of help!

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he replied, “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. (CEV)


Did you know?

Paul’s third letter (now lost) to the church at Corinth was strong enough to get the Christians there to stop following false teachers, and this letter shows Paul’s relief and joy.

Galatians 5:1

We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong in that freedom. Don’t go back into slavery again. (ERV)


Did you know?

False teachers were telling the Christians in Galatia that just believing in Jesus wasn’t enough and that they had to start obeying the pre-Christian rules again, so Paul had to correct them before it was too late.

Ephesians 2:10

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. (NCV)


Did you know?

In this letter, Paul describes a Christian’s “armor”—helmet, sword, shield, etc.—based on the armor worn by the Roman soldiers who guarded the prison cell Paul was in at the time.

Philippians 4:6

Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. (CEV)


Did you know?

Paul, in jail when he wrote this letter, was almost positive he was going to be executed by his Roman guards at any moment. Instead, he was released. But he really was ready to go be with Jesus.

Colossians 2:14

He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. (NLT)


Did you know?

Paul told the Christians in Colossae to read this letter to the church but then to take it to all the surrounding towns and read it in all those churches too. It has great advice for all Christians.

1 Thessalonians 5:15

See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. (NLT)


Did you know?

This isn’t the first book you’ll find in the New Testament, but it may actually be the very first one written.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

May the Lord of peace give you His peace at all times. The Lord be with you all. (NLV)


Did you know?

Paul wrote this letter because the Christians in Thessalonica had been scared by false teaching that Jesus had already returned and taken all the other Christians to heaven, leaving them behind.

1 Timothy 6:9

But men who want lots of money are tempted. They are trapped into doing all kinds of foolish things and things which hurt them. These things drag them into sin and will destroy them. (NLV)


Did you know?

Paul was an old man when he wrote this letter to his “son” and friend, Timothy. Paul hoped Timothy would take his place in doing the work Paul had been doing to spread the church.

2 Timothy 2:25–26

Be humble when you correct people who oppose you. Maybe God will lead them to turn to him and learn the truth. They have been trapped by the devil, and he makes them obey him, but God may help them escape. (CEV)


Did you know?

Paul wrote this letter (which may have been his last one) from a Roman prison that might have been a hole in the ground with a metal grate over it. He was executed in Rome soon after.

Titus 1:15

To those who are pure, all things are pure. But to those who are full of sin and do not believe, nothing is pure. The thinking of those people has become evil and their knowledge of what is right has been ruined. (ICB)


Did you know?

Paul wrote this letter to Titus, a student of Paul’s, whom Paul had left on the island of Crete to be in charge of all the churches on the island.

Philemon 1:4

I always thank my God when I remember you in my prayers. (NIRV)


Did you know?

Paul wrote this to his friend Philemon to ask him to be kind and not punish his runaway slave, Onesimus, who had become a Christian and who Paul was sending back to his master.

Hebrews 4:16

So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most. (VOICE)


Did you know?

Hebrews is the only book in the New Testament that we don’t know who wrote. There are many theories, but all we know is that he (or she!) knew a lot about the Temple and priestly things.

James 1:3

. . . for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. (TLB)


Did you know?

This letter was written by James, who was Jesus’s brother. At first, James didn’t believe Jesus was from God, but later he became a leader of the Christian movement.

1 Peter 3:18

Christ himself died for you. And that one death paid for your sins. He was not guilty, but he died for those who are guilty. He did this to bring you all to God. His body was killed, but he was made alive in the spirit. (ICB)


Did you know?

Peter, who wrote this letter, was the most famous of Jesus’s disciples. He was definitely not a perfect guy, but that’s part of why people love to read about him today.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act. (GW)


Did you know?

Peter knows he’s going to be executed soon by the Romans, so he writes one last letter, and in it, he remembers being there when Jesus was transformed (transfigured) and God spoke out loud.

1 John 5:14–15

And this is the confidence that we have in him: if we ask for anything according to his will, he listens to us. And if we know that he listens to our requests, we can be sure that we have what we ask him for. (ISV)


Did you know?

From John’s first letter, we learn that Christians aren’t perfect and will still sin sometimes. We can’t be perfect, but we can show God’s love.

2 John 1:6

Love means that we do what God tells us. And from the beginning, he told you to love him. (CEV)


Did you know?

John’s second letter is very short. Its one and only chapter teaches Christians to oppose false teachers who lead Christians astray.

3 John 1:11

Dear friend, never imitate evil, but imitate good. The person who does good is from God. The person who does evil has never seen God. (GW)


Did you know?

This third letter of John is the shortest book in the entire Bible.

Jude 1:21

And keep in step with God’s love, as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to show how kind he is by giving you eternal life. (CEV)


Did you know?

Jude is a 1-chapter letter written by another brother of Jesus. How strange to become convinced that your own brother is the Son of God! But that’s what happened with Jude.

Revelation 21:4

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (NLT)


Did you know?

John saw a vision from God about the end of the world. It has dragons and creatures and plagues and a lake of fire. But it shows that, no matter how bad things get in our world, God will bring Christians to a happy ending.


David C Cook is your go-to source for short Bible verse memory resources for kids—and so much more. Try these to start:

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About the Author

  • Jeff Gerke is the author of over a dozen books. His role as Content Developer at David C Cook allows him to work on a wide variety of projects, from books to video to curriculum to apps. He is married to the love of his life, and they have three children together. Jeff has taught the Bible to kids for more than 35 years.

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