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Review: The Bible in Ten Easy Lessons ::

A Bible Overview for Sunday School Kids. Recently revised and re-packaged, this very helpful term of Sunday School lesson material is now available on CD-ROM as well as book format.
Source: Perspective Vo5 No2 © Perspective 1999

Produced: Phil & Louise Campbell
Available: Presbyterian Christian Education, Sydney, Australia (02) 9310 14555
Reviewer: Annette Gardiner

A Bible Overview for Sunday School Kids

Reviewed by Annette Gardiner

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to study Graeme Goldsworthy’s book “Gospel and Kingdom,” which totally revolutionised my understanding of the Old Testament. I could clearly see for the first time that the Old Testament contained the step-by-step revelation of God’s plan of salvation. Jesus was just as essential as the key to understanding the Old Testament as he was for the New Testament!

Unfortunately I’d never gained this perspective on the Bible from my days in Sunday School. I had been taught about the great Bible “Heroes” of the Old Testament like Abraham, Moses and King David, but I had no idea how they related to Jesus. In fact, I didn’t think they related to him at all.

Now that I’m a Sunday School teacher, I’ve found that most of Sunday School material produced today perpetuates this same disjointed way of dealing with the Old and New Testaments. The New Testament is undeniably about Jesus, but somehow the Old Testament gets reduced to a series of great Adventure stories out of which is squeezed a nice Christian sounding moral message. The two Testaments are treated like two separate books, and kids don’t get a sense of God’s big plan of salvation that starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation.

It’s not good enough!

Then I discovered “The Bible in Ten Easy Lessons.” It was exactly what I’d been looking for. Phil and Louise Campbell have created a series of ten simple Sunday School lessons designed to introduce children to “the big picture”, giving a broad sweep of Biblical history from Paradise in Eden to Paradise in Heaven.

Last year we used this material in our Sunday School at Parramatta City Presbyterian Church. The syllabus picks up the major themes of God’s big plan over ten weeks, and covers the following areas:

  1. CREATION – God’s people happy in God’s place (Genesis 2:4-25)
  2. THE FALL – The Temptation to disobey God (Genesis 3:1-24)
  3. PROMISES OF BLESSING – God’s promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)
  5. SOMETHING GOES WRONG King Solomon disobeys God (1 Kings 11:1-10, Exodus 24:3-4)
  6. THE EXILE – God’s people are punished and everything is a mess. But what about God’s promises? (2 Kings 24:8-16)
  7. THE BIRTH OF JESUS – Jesus is from the line of Abraham and David. He will bring God’s blessing and rule forever on David’s throne (Luke 2)
  8. PAYING THE WAGES OF SIN Jesus dies for our sin
  9. THE RESURRECTION – Jesus is the Risen king (John 20:19-31)
  10. HEAVEN – God’s People in God’s place again (Revelation 22:1-6)

To help kids remember the focus of each lesson, and clearly understand the continuity of the Bible’s message, the lessons are geared around a major craft activity – the production of a three metre long felt-on-calico-banner. The banner is an integral part of the syllabus, and is added to each week so that it becomes an excellent tool for revision. The stories of the Old Testament then comes alive as part of a big plan that finds its fulfilment in Jesus, rather than a collection of unrelated moral stories which deprives them of their true significance.

Sample page – click on picture for big version

The Bible In Ten Easy Lessons is an excellent resource. The lessons were clearly set out and easy to use for both teachers and kid”., and they achieved the aim of helping our Sunday School children to understand for the first time God’s big plan of salvation from the beginning of the Bible to the end!

The banner has also been an excellent tool to refer back to as we’ve gone on to study other parts of the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. It’s been great to get the banner out and see just where this weeks story fits into God’s plan, and to see children developing an understanding of the continuity of God’s message.

Kids need good teaching from the Bible. In Sunday School we help lay a foundation for reading and understanding the Bible that children are likely to remember for the rest of their lives.

I wish that I had been given a “Bible Overview” when I was in Sunday School, instead of having to wait until I was an adult before finally understanding why Christians have and Old Testament in their Bibles, and how it points us to Jesus!

Click here to view/download a sample chapter in .pdf format

The Bible in Ten Easy Lessons has recently been revised and updated (the screen shot above is from the new version). It is available either from:
Presbyterian Christian Education GPO BOX 100, Sydney 2001 Australia.
Or from the authors directly on CD-ROM

Cost: $AU35 including banner patterns and worksheet master copies.

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