Friday, July 10, 2009

In the beginning...

I started this Basic Bible 101 project in the summer of 1993 with a small group of about 8 people in a little church in Flower Mound, Texas. Some in this group were new believers, some had been out of church a long time, and some were just trying to find a more digestible way to tackle Bible study. It's true, studying the Bible can be confusing, overwhelming, and sometimes boring. Most people will tell you to start with the book of John. But who's John? You can't even get through the first verse without confusion -- "The word was with God, and the Word was God" Huh? What Word? So you see the problem.

Using the Student Bible (by Zondervan) I outlined what I thought were the most important highlights in the Bible, you know, the stories and characters that you frequently hear about in sermons. Starting with Genesis we covered one of these highlights every Sunday morning for a year, and finally finished an overview of the entire Bible. Needless to say the class was a hit and as more people heard about the course requests for another year-long class were overwhelming. Again I covered the same main stories, but this time I added a few twists -- for one the class would have reading assignments and questions for homework each week. Second, I added some pop quizzes as a review, and a short quiz after each section. Finally, I handed out a review sheet after we finished each testament and gave a final exam the next week.

It's true, when you have to prepare for a test you study harder, and hopefully you commit the info to long term memory. That seems to have been the case, because most of group members who took the course went on to tackle tougher classes, and some are Bible teachers today. So my challenge to anyone who is considering taking this class, or leading a group through this class, is take the assessment test on the website If you score high enough then move on to a more challenging Bible study. If you bomb the test then order the student workbook, listen to the podcasts and get busy. God does want to teach you his Word. Here's your opportunity to learn.

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