The Word Hand illustration is an easy-to-remember tool highlighting five methods of learning from the Bible. We encourage you to use it to spur your own spiritual growth and to inspire others.
Pastors and teachers teach from the Word provides fresh insight into the Scriptures. The weakest finger (the pinkie) represents hearing, because we retain only five percent of what we hear. Romans 10:17
Reading gives us an overview of the Bible and is the foundation of a daily quiet time. This is represented by the ring finger. We generally retain 15 percent of what we read. Revelation 1:3
Studying the Scriptures deepens our convictions. It requires greater time and effort but results in increased knowledge of the Bible. Most people retain 35 percent of what they study. This is represented by the middle finger. Acts 17:11
God’s Word enables us to use Scripture, “the Sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17), 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
Meditation is the 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
The Word Hand by The Navigators, ©1964. All rights reserved.