The Bible Story Handbook: A Resource for Teaching 175 Stories from the Bible

The Bible Story Handbook: A Resource for Teaching 175 Stories from the Bible

by John H. Walton, Kim E. Walton

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Overview

This book assists teachers and parents to teach Bible stories sothat the authoritative teaching of Scripture shines forth.Each of the 175 lessons includesstory focus and application, historical background, interpretational issues, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433506482
Publisher: Crossway
Publication date: 09/30/2010
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 1,213,156
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

JOHN H. WALTON (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including several Bible commentaries and Bible story books for children.

KIM E. WALTON has been teaching Sunday school and developing and evaluating curriculum for 25 years. The Waltons have three adult children.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

1. God Created Light (Genesis 1:1–5, 14–19)

Lesson Focus

God is the creator; all things were made by him.

• God made our world to function by time.

• Light and the heavenly bodies regulate time.

• God has brought order to our world.

Lesson Application

We know that we have a great and powerful God by the world that he made.

• God is the master and creator of our time.

• The sun, moon, and stars do his bidding, so we believe that God is in control of our world.

Biblical Context

The book of Genesis tells us how God prepared a place for the people he created and how he has entered into relationship with them. Genesis 1 reveals that God ordered the world so that it would be just right for people and also determined to live among them. God began to order the world for people by creating time. Verse 1 is most likely an introduction to the story, and verse 2 indicates that the story begins when there was no order; however, the presence of God's Spirit also indicates the potential for development.

Interpretational Issues in the Story

Light and time (Gen. 1:3–5). In Genesis 1:5 God calls the light "Day" and the darkness "Night." Thus, we learn that day and night are the creative focus, since they are named. God has spoken a period of light into what had previously been darkness (v. 2) and named the period of light "day." This rotation of periods of light and darkness (day and night) constitutes time. We see then that nothing material is created on day one. It is a function — time — which shows God bringing order to his world. This is why it is important to see that in verse 2 the account begins without order (not without matter). Though material is inevitably involved, the focus of the narrative is function, not material.

"Good" (Gen. 1:4, 18). The word good can have many connotations. Here it refers not to moral goodness but to functionality — it worked just right. We know this because that which is not good (Gen. 2:18) is simply not yet fully functional, rather than morally corrupt.

Evening then morning (Gen. 1:19). This reverses the way we would say it, but only because the account starts with darkness (v. 2); God then introduces the period of light to set up regular transitions. The first transition from the period of light to the period of darkness is evening.

Sun and moon created after light (Gen. 1:3–5, 14–18). Many have noted the apparent problem of light being created on the first day and the bearers of light on the fourth day. Even young students might ask this question. In our view, days one through three involve the establishment of the major functions by which the world operates (time, living space, weather, and vegetation/food). In contrast days four through six install functionaries. Functions are prioritized over functionaries in the order rather than following a material chronological order.

Background Information

Ancient audience. Genesis was written in the ancient world to an ancient audience, even though it contains truth for all. Nevertheless, it talks about the world in the terms that were important then. The point is that this is not a scientific account.

Separation. Since separation was an important creative activity throughout the creation literature of the ancient world, it is no surprise to find it so often in Genesis 1. To separate things from one another is the first important step in giving them individual roles.

Signs and seasons. The heavenly bodies provided signs for the agricultural calendar and for orientation in travel. Most parts of the world do not have four seasons. The seasons referred to in the biblical text are agricultural seasons (plowing, planting, harvesting) and the seasons of the religious calendar.

Mistakes to Avoid

Do not try to turn this into a science lesson, for such an emphasis misses the point entirely. Science today explores the natural world. Biblical faith affirms that everything we call "natural" is the handiwork of God, but that does not mean that we need to convey the handiwork of God as expressed in the Bible in natural terms (e.g., "Here is where God did the Big Bang"). Speak of the Bible's message in the Bible's terms: God set up and designed our world to work the way that it does. He did this for the people he would create. He set up time and put us in time. He controls time.

God's act of speaking is important because it shows his control. But the fact that "God spoke and it happened" leaves a lot unspecified: what God speaks could come about instantaneously or gradually; what God speaks could come about in startling, unexplainable ways or in ways that can be tracked and understood step-by-step. All of it is the work of God. Teachers should avoid trying to resolve the question with the opinion that the response was instantaneous. The length of the day is, of course, disputed, but there will generally be no need to get into this issue for elementary-school-aged children. Our commitment should be to focus on what the text is focused on rather than mixing in our opinions on controversial issues. The message of Genesis 1 is that God is the one who made our world work.

CHAPTER 2

God Created the World around Us (Genesis 1:6–13)

Lesson Focus

God is the creator. All things were made by him. No one but God could create the world.

• God made our world to function with weather.

• God provided places for us to live (dry land).

• God created ways for food to grow.

• God has brought order to our world so that we can live in it.

Lesson Application

We know that we have a great and powerful God by observing the world that he made.

• We believe that God has set up the weather under his control.

• We believe that God provides food for us by the way the earth works.

Biblical Context

The Genesis story is about God entering into relationship with people whom he created to be in relationship with himself. Genesis 1 shows how God created an environment perfectly suited for human habitation. The first three days are about the major functions that characterize the world around us: time, weather, and food. God designed the world with all that humans need to survive and thrive.

Interpretational Issues in the Story

Expanse (Gen. 1:6). Understanding this word presents one of the most difficult issues in the chapter. The King James translation, "firmament," followed the Latin interpretation of earlier times, conveying the idea that the sky was solid and held back waters. This interpretation was widely believed until just a few centuries ago. We know differently now, but that does not change the language of the text, which reflects an ancient worldview derived from appearances. But there is no need to get into this issue or fret about it. In the story-telling it is sufficient to talk about the sky. The point is that God set up weather mechanisms, regardless of how they are described. The "waters above" simply describe the source of precipitation (the sky) in nonscientific terms. Remember that the Bible tells about creation in relationship to how people thought about their world in ancient times. The "waters above" are not the clouds, mist, and fog, and the "firmament" is not invisible. In the ancient world they believed that the rain was held back by a solid sky.

Separated and gathered (Gen. 1:6, 9). Separating and gathering were acts of creation in the ancient world, because in this way distinct identities were set up. The focus is on order and function.

"According to its kind" (Gen. 1:11). This comment is not intended to give botanical taxonomy but to indicate that God set up a world where everything reproduces itself rather than something random growing. A plant grows and drops seed, and the same thing grows again. In this way farming can take place and food can be grown.

Background Information

Waters that were above. In the ancient world everyone believed that since water came down (in the various forms of precipitation) there must be water up above the sky. If water is up there and doesn't come down all the time, something must hold it up. As a result, everyone in the ancient world believed that the sky was solid and held back heavenly waters.

Mistakes to Avoid

Do not try to turn this into a science lesson, for such an emphasis misses the point entirely. Science today explores the natural world. Biblical faith affirms that everything we call "natural" is the handiwork of God, but that does not mean that we need to convey the handiwork of God as expressed in the Bible in natural terms (e.g., "Here is where God did the Big Bang"). Speak of the Bible's message in the Bible's terms: God set up and designed our world to work the way that it does. He did this for the people he would create. He set up time and put us in time. He controls time.

God's act of speaking is important because it shows his control. But the fact that "God spoke and it happened" leaves a lot unspecified: what God speaks could come about instantaneously or gradually; what God speaks could come about in startling, unexplainable ways or in ways that can be tracked and understood step-by-step. All of it is the work of God. Teachers should avoid trying to resolve the question with the opinion that the response was instantaneous. The length of the day is, of course, disputed, but there will generally be no need to get into this issue for elementary-school-aged children. Our commitment should be to focus on what the text is focused on rather than mixing in our opinions on controversial issues. The message of Genesis 1 is that God is the one who made our world work.

CHAPTER 3

God Made Animals (Genesis 1:20–25)

Lesson Focus

God created each animal according to his special design and purpose.

• Animals are part of God's plan for the world.

• God gave the animals the ability to multiply and fill the world.

• Each animal reproduces the same kind of animal.

• God made animals of all sorts to serve different purposes.

Lesson Application

We believe that God is very wise from the special way he made each animal.

• We believe God's wisdom is expressed in the diversity of creatures.

• We believe God's wisdom is expressed as we observe how each animal is designed for its environment.

Biblical Context

The book of Genesis tells us how God prepared a place for the people he created and how he entered into relationship with them. Genesis 1 shows how God created an environment perfectly suited for human habitation. The first three days relate how God set up the major functions that we experience as we live on earth (what we would describe as time, the water cycle, and the plant cycle). Days four through six explain the roles and positions of those who inhabit the cosmos. The text does not indicate why God created animals to fill our world but affirms that he did, whatever his purposes.

Interpretational Issues in the Story

"Let the waters swarm ... let birds fly" (Gen. 1:20). Here the language focuses on the realm God is filling but does not express the mechanisms God uses.

Great sea creatures (Gen. 1:21). In the ancient world people believed in creatures that represented a threat to the ordered cosmos. The book of Job describes such creatures and speaks of God's control over them (Job 40–41); Psalms occasionally speaks of God's victory over them (Ps. 74:13–14). Here in Genesis there is no conflict between God and these creatures — they are just another of God's works.

"According to their kinds" (Gen. 1:21, 24). This comment is not intended to give zoological taxonomy but to indicate that God set up a world where creatures would be able to reproduce to populate their space.

Background Information

Domesticated animals were essential for the life and survival of ancient peoples. The birth of sheep and goats enlarged the herd and provided for another season of supply (milk, meat, and clothing). Sometimes they viewed wild animals as threats associated with chaos; at other times they saw them as simply mysterious. In all cases, the animal kingdom reflected God's provision and wisdom.

Mistakes to Avoid

When discussing the animals, some might be inclined to suggest that prior to the fall there were no predators. Such a conclusion might be supported by the idea that all was peaceful and harmonious, with lion and lamb living side by side (from passages such as Isa. 11:6–8). Further evidence might be that all was good and that there was no death. These are all arguable. When the apostle Paul writes that death came by sin, he was addressing the question of why humans are subject to death. Death came to humans because they were cut off from access to the tree of life. However, Paul had suggested that death was absent from the rest of creation. There is death involved as cells regenerate, as plants drop their seed for new to grow, as animals eat plants, when fish eat flies, and when birds eat worms.

There is no place to draw the line here to rule out predation. A lion eating a zebra is in principle no different from a fish eating a fly. We need not think that the situation described in Isaiah 11 is a replication of what it was like before the fall. There is therefore no biblical support for the absence of predation before the fall. The food chain is one of the significant ways that God ordered the world in which we live. When God declared the world "good" he was saying that it functions just right for us, not that it operates by perfect moral principles. Gravity is not moral, nor is the animal kingdom.

CHAPTER 4

4. God Made People and God Made You (Genesis 1:26–30; 2:4–7, 18–24)

Lesson Focus

People are the most special part of God's creation because they are made in his image.

• God made all of creation for people to use and enjoy.

• God put people in charge of the world.

• God intends people to represent him and serve his purposes.

• All people have been made in the image of God and must be treated with dignity.

• The first people God made were Adam and Eve.

Lesson Application

God made you special. You are important to him.

• Because we all are made in God's image, we must respect one another.

• Since we are God's representatives, we must treat the world as his, not ours.

• Because we are made in God's image, we each have a part to play in God's kingdom.

Biblical Context

The book of Genesis tells us how God created humans and then entered into relationship with them. In Genesis 1, God creates an environment perfectly suited for human habitation; during days one through three, God set up the major functions that we experience as we live on earth; during days four through six, he appointed roles and positions for those who inhabit the cosmos. God established all the operations of the world for the benefit of people. God's blessing in these verses defines human roles and privileges. In Genesis 2 God set up relationships as the nature of humanity is discussed. Humans are related to the ground, and men and women are inherently related to one another.

Interpretational Issues in the Story

"Let us make ... in our image" (Gen. 1:26). We might be tempted to read these plurals — "us" — through our modern Christian perspective and think of the Trinity. The Israelites had no revelation or knowledge of the Trinity, but these plurals meant something to them (possibly discussion in a heavenly assembly). Because there are other strong possibilities it would be best to avoid planting the Trinity interpretation in children's minds. Focus on what it means to be in God's image.

"Image" and "likeness" (Gen. 1:26). Make sure students understand that these words do not suggest physical similarity to God. God has no physical body, but we are his representatives in physical form. Many have suggested that being made in God's image consists in our ability to think and to be aware of ourselves and of God and to do anything that animals cannot do. More likely, the abilities humans have are not how we are made in God's image but rather the tools God has given to humanity so that we can serve in God's image. We might best understand being made in God's image as the role we have as God's representatives and vice-regents. We are not worthless slaves to God, but we are accountable to him.

"Be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28). It is important to note that even though this is grammatically an imperative, it does not mean it is a command. Imperatives can serve various functions in Hebrew. Here it is identified as a blessing, and as such it is a privilege, not an obligation.

"Subdue ... have dominion" (Gen. 1:28). This does not give people the right to abuse or exploit the world. Instead, God has charged us with bringing the world under our control (a role that is seen in early times in domestication of plants and animals and more recently in development of science and technology). Like God, we should be just and wise rulers.

Plants given for food (Gen. 1:29). This cannot be used as a defense for vegetarianism, since in Genesis 9:3 God permits the eating of meat.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Bible Story Handbook"
by .
Copyright © 2010 John H. Walton and Kim E. Walton.
Excerpted by permission of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments,
Why Do We Teach Bible Stories?,
Is There a Right Way or a Wrong Way to Use Bible Stories?,
The Big Picture of the Bible,
Old Testament,
1. God Created Light (Genesis 1:1–5, 14–19),
2. God Created the World around Us (Genesis 1:6–13),
3. God Made Animals (Genesis 1:20–25),
4. God Made People and God Made You (Genesis 1:26–30; 2:4–7, 18–24),
5. The Garden of Eden and the Fall (Genesis 2:8–17; 3),
6. Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1–16),
7. Noah (Genesis 6:9–9:17),
8. Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–9),
9. The Call of Abraham (Genesis 12; 17:1–8),
10. Abraham and Lot (Genesis 13),
11. The Birth of Isaac (Genesis 15:1–6; 18:1–15; 21:1–6),
12. Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 16; 21:8–21),
13. Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16–19:29),
14. The Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22),
15. Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24),
16. Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25; 27–28),
17. Jacob and Laban (Genesis 29–32),
18. Joseph Becomes a Slave (Genesis 37; 39:1–6),
19. Joseph in Prison (Genesis 39:7–41:57),
20. Joseph's Family Saved (Genesis 42–50),
21. Baby Moses (Exodus 1:1–2:10),
22. Moses and Jethro (Exodus 2:15–22; 18),
23. The Burning Bush (Exodus 2:11–4:17),
24. Moses and the Plagues (Exodus 6–12),
25. Crossing the Red Sea (Exodus 13:17–15:21),
26. God Provides Manna and Quail (Exodus 16),
27. Water from the Rock (Exodus 17:1–7; Numbers 20:2–13),
28. God Gives the Law (Exodus 19–20),
29. The Tabernacle (Exodus 25–31; 35–40),
30. The Golden Calf (Exodus 32),
31. Sukkot/Thanksgiving (Leviticus 23:33–43; Numbers 29:12–34),
32. Twelve Scouts (Numbers 13–14; Deuteronomy 1:19–40),
33. Korah's Revolt (Numbers 16),
34. The Bronze Serpent (Numbers 21:4–9),
35. Balaam (Numbers 22–24),
36. Rahab and the Spies (Joshua 2),
37. Crossing the Jordan (Joshua 3–4),
38. Joshua and Jericho (Joshua 1:1–11; 5:13–6:27),
39. Achan (Joshua 7),
40. Joshua and the Gibeonites (Joshua 9–10),
41. Joshua Divides the Land (Joshua 13–21),
42. The Pattern of the Judges and Ehud (Judges 2–3),
43. Deborah and Barak (Judges 4–5),
44. Gideon (Judges 6–8),
45. Jephthah (Judges 10:6–11:40),
46. Samson and the Philistines (Judges 13–15),
47. Samson and Delilah (Judges 16),
48. Ruth (Ruth),
49. Eli and Hannah (1 Samuel 1:1–2:11),
50. Eli and Samuel (1 Samuel 2–3),
51. Travels of the Ark (1 Samuel 4–6),
52. Saul Becomes King (1 Samuel 8–12),
53. Saul Disobeys (1 Samuel 13; 15),
54. Samuel Anoints David (1 Samuel 16),
55. David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17),
56. David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1–4; 19:1–7; 20:1–42),
57. David and Saul (1 Samuel 24; 26),
58. David and Abigail (1 Samuel 25),
59. David at Ziklag (1 Samuel 30),
60. David's Kingship (2 Samuel 5–7),
61. David and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9),
62. David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1–12:14),
63. David and Absalom (2 Samuel 15–18),
64. Solomon Asks for Wisdom (1 Kings 3:1–15),
65. Building the Temple (1 Kings 6–8),
66. Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1–13; 2 Chronicles 9:1–12),
67. Solomon: Failure and Disobedience (1 Kings 11),
68. Jeroboam Disobeys God (1 Kings 12:25–33; 13:1–5; 14:7–11),
69. Elijah and the Ravens (1 Kings 16:29–17:6),
70. Elijah and the Widow's Oil (1 Kings 17:7–24),
71. Elijah and the Contest (1 Kings 18:16–46),
72. Elijah at Mount Sinai (1 Kings 19:1–18),
73. Naboth's Vineyard (1 Kings 21),
74. Elisha Succeeds Elijah (2 Kings 2:1–14),
75. Elisha and the Widow's Oil (2 Kings 4:1–7),
76. Elisha and the Shunammite Woman (2 Kings 4:8–37),
77. Elisha and Naaman (2 Kings 5),
78. Elisha and the Aramean Army (2 Kings 6:8–23),
79. Joash (2 Kings 11:1–12:16; 2 Chronicles 24),
80. Hezekiah and the Assyrian Army (2 Kings 18–19; 2 Chronicles 32; Isaiah 36–37),
81. Hezekiah's Illness (2 Kings 20:1–11; Isaiah 38),
82. Josiah and Reform (2 Kings 22:1–23:3; 2 Chronicles 34),
83. The People Return and Rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1– 6),
84. Ezra (Ezra 7; 8:15–36; Nehemiah 8–9),
85. Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2; 4; 6:1–15; 12:27, 43),
86. Esther (Esther),
87. Job (Job),
88. Isaiah's Temple Vision (Isaiah 6:1–8),
89. Jeremiah's Scroll (Jeremiah 36),
90. Jeremiah and the Fall of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 37–39),
91. Daniel and King's Food (Daniel 1),
92. Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Statue (Daniel 2),
93. The Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3),
94. The Humbled King (Daniel 4),
95. Belshazzar's Feast (Daniel 5),
96. Daniel and the Lions (Daniel 6),
97. Jonah (Jonah),
New Testament,
98. The Angel Visits Joseph (Matthew 1:18–24),
99. The Magi (Matthew 2:1–12),
100. The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:21–22; John 1:29–34),
101. The Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1–11; Mark 1:12–13; Luke 4:1–13),
102. Jesus Calls Disciples (Matthew 4:18–22; 9:9–13; Mark 1:16–20; 2:13–17; 3:13–19; Luke 5:1–11, 27–32; 6:12–16; John 1:40–51),
103. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1–7:29; Luke 6:20–45),
104. Building on the Rock (Matthew 7:24–27; Luke 6:46–49),
105. The Centurion's Servant (Matthew 8:5–13; Luke 7:1–10),
106. Jesus Stills the Storm (Matthew 8:23–27; Mark 4:35–41; Luke 8:22–25),
107. The Madman of Gadarenes (Matthew 8:28–34; Mark 5:1–20; Luke 8:26–39),
108. Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Matthew 9:1–8; Mark 2:1–12),
109. Jairus's Daughter (Matthew 9:18–26; Mark 5:21–24, 35–43; Luke 8:40–41, 49–56),
110. Different Kinds of Soil (Matthew 13:1–23; Mark 4:3–8, 14–20; Luke 8:5–8, 11–15),
111. Finding Treasure and the Pearl (Matthew 13:44–46),
112. John in Prison (Matthew 14:1–12; Mark 6:14–29),
113. Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand (Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–15),
114. Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22–33; Mark 6:45–52; John 6:16–21),
115. Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–13; Mark 9:2–13; Luke 9:28–36),
116. Lost Sheep and Lost Coin (Matthew 18:12–14; Luke 15:4–10),
117. The Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21–34),
118. Jesus and Children (Matthew 19:13–15; Mark 10:13–16; Luke 18:15–17),
119. Worker and Wages (Matthew 19:30–20:16),
120. Jesus and Bartimaeus (Matthew 20:29–34; Mark 10:46–52; Luke 18:35–42),
121. The Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–10; Luke 19:29–44; John 12:12–19),
122. Cleansing the Temple (Matthew 21:12–13; Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45–46; John 2:12–17),
123. Waiting at the Wedding (Matthew 25:1–13),
124. Three Stewards (Matthew 25:14–30; Luke 19:12–27),
125. Judas Betrays (Matthew 26:14–16, 23–25, 47–50; 27:3–10; Mark 14:10–11, 43–45; Luke 22:1–6, 47–53; John 13:26–30; 18:1–5; Acts 1:18–19),
126. The Last Supper (Matthew 26:17–29; Mark 14:12–26; Luke 22:7–20),
127. Peter's Denial (Matthew 26:31–35, 69–75; Mark 14:66–72; Luke 22:54–62; John 18:15–18, 25–27; 21:15–25),
128. Gethsemane and the Trial before the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:36–68; Mark 14:32–65; Luke 22:39–53; John 18:1–14, 19–24),
129. The Trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:11–26; Mark 15:1–15; Luke 23:1–25; John 18:28–19:15),
130. The Crucifixion and Burial (Matthew 27:27–66; Mark 15:16–47; Luke 23:26–56; John 19:16–42),
131. The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–11; Luke 24:1–12; John 20:1–18),
132. The Ascension (Matthew 28:16–20; Luke 24:50–53; Acts 1:1–11),
133. The Widow's Small Coin (Mark 12:38–44; Luke 21:1–4),
134. John the Baptist (Luke 1:5–25, 57–80; 3:1–20),
135. The Angel and Mary (Luke 1:26–38),
136. Jesus Is Born (Luke 2:1–7),
137. Christmas Shepherds (Luke 2:8–20),
138. Anna and Simeon (Luke 2:21–39),
139. The Boy Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41–52),
140. Rejection in Nazareth (Luke 4:16–31),
141. Jesus Anointed (Luke 7:36–50),
142. Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37),
143. Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38–42),
144. The Rich Fool (Luke 12:13–21),
145. The Lost Son (Luke 15:11–32),
146. Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11–19),
147. The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9–14),
148. Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10),
149. The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13–35),
150. Doubting Thomas (Luke 24:36–49; John 20:19–29),
151. Jesus Changes Water to Wine (John 2:1–11),
152. Nicodemus (John 3:1–21),
153. The Woman at the Well (John 4:1–42),
154. Jesus Heals a Lame Man at the Pool (John 5:1–18),
155. The Man Born Blind (John 9),
156. Lazarus (John 11:1–44),
157. Washing the Disciples' Feet (John 13:1–17),
158. Pentecost (Acts 2),
159. Peter and John and the Lame Man (Acts 3:1–4:31),
160. Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 4:32–5:11),
161. Stephen (Acts 6–7),
162. Philip and the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26–39),
163. Saul's Conversion (Acts 9:1–19),
164. Dorcas (Acts 9:36–43),
165. Peter and Cornelius (Acts 10:1–11:18),
166. Peter Released from Prison (Acts 12:1–17),
167. Barnabas and Paul Sent from Antioch (Acts 13–14),
168. Lydia (Acts 16:6–15),
169. The Philippian Jailer (Acts 16:16–40),
170. Paul in Athens (Acts 17:16–34),
171. Aquila, Priscilla, and Apollos (Acts 18),
172. The Riot in Ephesus (Acts 19),
173. Paul on Trial (Acts 21–26),
174. Paul's Shipwreck (Acts 27:1–28:10),
175. John's Vision (Revelation),
Resources for Further Study,
Teaching Index,
Scripture Index,
Maps and Illustrations,

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“An excellent resource for anyone teaching or preaching the Bible. While written for teachers of children, the Waltons provide clear and accurate exegetical understanding of the major stories of the Bible that will strengthen any teacher or preacher.”
Craig Williford, President, Trinity International University

“For too long, Christians have been taught Bible stories as stand-alone episodes that provide moral instruction and encouragement based on imitating human characters in the stories. John and Kim Walton provide welcome correction! The opening chapters show us the real reason for teaching Bible stories—the revelation of God himself—and the big picture of the Bible, into which all the individual stories must fit. Not only teachers of children but anyone who uses Bible stories to teach others should examine his or her use of narrative passages by the guidelines in this book.”
Starr Meade, author, Training Hearts, Teaching Minds; The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study; and Give Them Truth

“Wow! What a resource! The Waltons provide us with an invaluable tool for the person who teaches the Bible to anyone of any age in any context. The Waltons focus on the biblical story, keeping it God's story, making God the hero of every story, just as the original writers intended. This work is a gift to Sunday school teachers, curriculum writers, and parents who want informed, rich perspectives on the stories within the biblical metanarrative. The Introduction alone provides a vital background for reading the Scriptures. For a scholar like John, with his expertise in Old Testament studies, and someone with the experience of Kim to corroborate on a work of this magnitude is a timeless gift for the teaching ministries of the Church of Jesus Christ.”
Scottie May, Associate Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry, Wheaton College; coauthor, Children Matter

“Ted Ward once asserted that ‘Christian education is neither.’ For generations, the church has outsourced responsibility for Bible learning and faith development to curriculum publishers. However, responsible publishers have never presumed that their material can be much more than introduction to the Bible. If Christian education is impoverished, the church, not the publisher, is responsible. This book looks like a curriculum. It is not. It is a description of a method, with abundant examples, that may assist congregations to become ‘hermeneutical communities’ exercising responsible use of Scripture as they design learning experiences for the people of God.”
Linda Cannell, Academic Dean, North Park Theological Seminary

“In an effort to make the bible relevant to children, too often curriculum writers and parents have focused on the wrong issue, which does violence to the text as they seek to make it relate to children. Bible scholar John Walton and his wife, Kim, have responded with this volume that speaks directly to the well-intentioned but nevertheless abusive use of the Bible, offering succinct insight into biblical stories, helping parents and teachers find the actual meaning of the text to enable responsible teaching. I highly recommend this excellent book for those who want to teach the Bible insightfully to children and to adults. They help us all to take the text seriously, letting it speak as God intended.”
Perry G. Downs, Professor Emeritus of Educational Ministries, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“All too often we who teach children have come to the Bible with an agenda. We come with a lesson in mind and then search for a Bible story that might be used as a sort of ‘proof text’ for the lesson with nary a thought of the real intent of the passage. This is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers to help them remain true to the biblical text while providing valuable help in communicating truth to children. It can be used as a supplement to classroom curriculum or as a guide in teaching children in the home. I recommend this book to everyone who understands the importance of clearly and accurately communicating God’s Word, especially to the youngest of God’s family.”
Diane Jordan, Director of Children's Ministry, College Church, Wheaton, IL

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