‘That I May Know Him’

Cliff Barrows' Lifetime Commitment to Scripture

When Cliff Barrows’ mother insisted he memorize hymns as a child, the wheels were set in motion for a lifetime of hiding God’s Word in his heart. And his time at Bob Jones University solidified the commitment to Scripture memorization, since it was required of students.

While many young people might drop the memory practice once it is no longer required, it only fueled the fire for Barrows. With each passing year of his life, he fell more deeply in love with the Holy Scriptures.

Barrows was widely known not only for his ability to recall nearly any Scripture reference on command; but also for knowing many of them in multiple versions.

He was often asked how he came to have such a vast knowledge of the Bible. His answer was always, “Review, review, review.”

Not surprisingly, the Scripture that Barrows deemed his “life verse” was Philippians 3:10, which speaks of knowing God intimately—and can best be done by writing His word on our hearts:

“[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts other believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]” (AMP, 1987 version).

And even as he was dying, Cliff Barrows held fast to the Scriptures, clutching the thin red Bible he had carried for more than 50 years.