Christian Schools Australia (CSA) has developed a new strategic plan with a vision to advance further Christian Education in Australia. Within this plan it has designed a new Christian School Framework comprising six main elements. The purpose of this framework is to assist schools in retaining their unique distinctive through the provision of resources, services, professional development coordinated according to the framework.
One of the six key elements of the framework is Biblical Literacy. The purpose is to improve the overall biblical literacy of staff so they can read the Bible with sufficient understanding in order to not only be able to explain its basic meaning but participate effectively in teaching from a Christian worldview. CSA has recognised the need to not only provide resources but also training packages that help our schools accomplish the goal of improving biblical literacy in economical and effective ways.
A programme is being developed to help resource and equip our CSA schools to more effectively deliver and ultimately improve the biblical literacy of not only their staff but also their boards, their students as well as parents.The first stage of equipping our schools is to provide, on the CSA website resources and materials that are already published and available. The second stage will involve developing a set of four DVD training videos of one hour in length for schools to use for in-house training of staff. Stage 3 will involve the development of a Graduate Certificate consisting of four units. The units will be developed by Vose and Morling College and registered through the Australian College of Theology. This would then mean that the programme could be delivered at their accredited colleges across Australia.
The four units would possible be Introduction to the Old Testament, Introduction to the New Testament, Christian World-view and something like Principles of Christian Education.
Please see below for resources collected for Stage 1 of the project related to reading and understanding the bible, and understanding how to apply biblical meaning to life:
Explore the Bible (The Bible Project – Visual Story Telling Meets the Bible) – Probably the best video series out there exploring topics such as: How to Read the Bible (ongoing series); Torah Series; Gospel Series; Wisdom Series and The Shema Series (Word Studies) plus it explores a number of themes such as: The Covenants; The Day of the Lord; Gospel of the Kingdom; Heaven and Earth; Holiness; Holy Spirit; Image of God; The Law; The Messiah and Sacrifices and Atonement.
The Bible Project is a non-profit animation studio that produces short-form, fully animated videos to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere.
It also has a whole OT and NT series on each of the books of the Bible.
Some examples of ongoing content in the Bible Project newsletter (free subscription) and on their website. https://thebibleproject.com/
Character in Biblical Narrative (The Bible Project) – Most of us think of characters in Bible as either sinners or saints, good or bad. At least that’s how Bible stories are presented to children. In this video, we’ll explore the ways biblical authors present characters as more complex and morally compromised than we usually imagine.
Justice (The Bible Project) – What is justice and who gets to define it? Explore the biblical theme of Justice and discover how it’s deeply rooted in the storyline of the Bible that leads to Jesus.
Joy (The Bible Project) – In this video, they explore the unique type of joy to which god’s people are called. It’s more than happy, but rather a choice to trust that God will fulfil His promises.
Bible Fluency Complete Learning Kit weaverbookcompany.com bBy: Kenneth Berding
Bible Fluency is a fun, creative way to learn the Scriptures. Since the Bible is a big book, and since it is not organised like a typical volume, readers need help knowing where things are found and how it all fits together.
Intended middle school age through senior adults, Bible Fluency features 7 songs performed by semi-professional singers that cover 400 of the Bible’s main themes, events, and characters.
Though the songs represent the backbone of the curriculum, it is supported by 3 other high-quality items: 400 colour-coded flashcards, 2 DVDs with an instructional guide, and a workbook. The flashcards showcase simple—and easy to remember—learning icons that correspond to particular lines in the song lyrics. The workbook goes deeper to connect the learner directly to the passages in the Bible that form the basis for the lyrics. And the teaching DVDs with instructional guide go even deeper by providing 22 lessons taught by Dr. Berding, a Bible professor at Biola University.
Bible Fluency can be used either for individual study, group study as a school class or Bible study, or as a school curriculum. Lesson plans, handouts, and tests and quizzes can be downloaded for free at biblefluency.com.
For a detailed explanation of the Bible Fluency program see biblefluency.com. This site includes additional resources, all of which are free, as are all of the above-mentioned resources in electronic form. Weaver Book Company provides these resources in physical form.
Two Bible Fluency Teaching Videos (1 OT; 1 NT with workbook)
Access Truth – Practical and adaptable online courses developed by experienced Bible teachers, translators, missionaries, church planters and cross-cultural workers. Courses include: God’s Narrative: Genesis to Christ; God’s Narrative: Acts; Defending God’s narrative; Living in God’s narrative) https://accesstruth.com/courses
Read Scripture Videos – Read Scripture has created some beautiful and amazing animated Old Testament and New Testament videos that provide digestible context for every book in the Bible. They also have created several themed videos that help give understanding to some of the greatest and most difficult themes we see throughout Scriptures. These videos are helpful to gain context in whatever part of the story you are reading.
Year of Biblical Literacy
This is a project developed by a couple of different churches in conjunction with the people behind the Bible Project and the Read Scripture App. The Year of Biblical Literacy’s strength is its accessibility—a simple (even if challenging) reading plan, a series of fun and informative videos, and thoughtful personal Huddle materials and sermons.
The Year of Biblical Literacy offers to immerse readers in Scripture so that they may understand and experience the Bible.
Below are some of the churches offering this programme.
Central Vineyard Church
Over the year this biblical literacy programme will cover four layers: a personal layer, a communal layer, a worshipful layer, and an educational layer. The hope is these layers will work together, hopefully providing a more complete context and clarity as the year goes on. https://www.centralvineyard.co.uk/yobl.html
Reality San Francisco, Bridgetown Church (Portland Oregon)
You can start by exploring one of the three user pathways listed on the website. The Explore link on this site will help you quickly access resources you can use on a weekly basis. http://bible.realitysf.com/
Bridgetown Church – Part of the Year of Biblical Literacy. Offers a Bible Reading Plan that allows you to work through the entire biblical narrative one day at a time. Along the way, there are short animated videos to help understand the structure and themes of the Bible. This programme is a collaborative effort between The Bible Project, Reality SF, and Bridgetown Church to teach a new generation to know an love the Scriptures. It is made of four parts: reading the bible, watching videos, listening to teachings and lectures, and talking with community. https://bridgetown.church/bible/
Look at the Book – An ongoing series of short videos by John Piper where he sit swith the reader to, as he says, “plunder every line for what it is worth.” With each of the short videos only displaying the text of the Bible and Piper’s annotations, the focus is solely on understanding what the Bible is saying. Look at the Book combines deep exegesis with a clear and easy to grasp presentation. With new videos being produced all the time, this series is worth keeping an eye on throughout 2017. It’s also a great resource to use in a small group setting and is totally free.
Biblical Literacy Class – These are a series of Biblical Literacy classes conducted at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston Texas., taught by Mark Lanier, a practising attorney who also holds a B.A. in biblical Languages from David Lipscomb University.
Each week prior to Sunday morning, the lesson handout is sent to over 50 individuals from various disciplines including Old and New Testament scholars, archaeologists, apologetic professionals, pastors, rabbis, and academicians with relevant expertise in the material. This allows Mark the opportunity to provide the secular controversies and arguments in light of the actual Bible truths and God’s revelation to His people in the 21st century.
The biblical literacy class began in 2003 with a vision to complete an overview of the entire Bible. The founding idea was to create a class that provided “core material” that would offer anyone, including a novice, a working familiarity with the Bible. To accomplish this, Mark Lanier prepared a lesson handout used as a guide for the Sunday morning lecture, a format which has continued in each series. Three exciting years later “Old Testament Biblical Literacy” and “New Testament Biblical Literacy” was completed.
All of Life – The Bible Project Videos – The videos below are excellent ways to quickly acquaint yourself with the major themes in each book of the Bible. Videos include: Genesis 1-11 and 12-50 with supplementary video on Torah (Gen 1-11 and 12-50; Heaven and Earth; Image of God. Also, there are videos on Exodus 1-18 and 19-40.
Bible Fluency (Biola University) – Teaching Bible Fluency: Using Classes and Videos. Gather together a group of people who are interested in becoming Bible fluent; that is, they want to know where the main events, characters, and themes are found in the Bible, as well as how it all fits together. Decide whether you want to begin with an Old Testament Fluency in 12 Weeks class or a New Testament Fluency in 12 Weeks class—you can start with either. You then have to make a choice. Are you going to lead and teach the class or are you going to simply lead the class and let the video teacher (me) teach the instructional sections? The program is set up so that you can choose either.
The teachers’ guide will lead you step by step through everything you need to know about leading a class: what to bring and what to do at each step in the process. Each class session is designed to be one hour long.
Books, Articles and CDs
Harris, B. (2015). The Big Picture: Building Blocking Blocks of a Christian Worldview. Authentic Press.
This book is an accessible exploration of the big building blocks of the Christian faith, differentiating between the important contours of a Christian worldview and secondary concerns imposed by culture and tradition. “Skilfully bringing together biblically-informed theology and the everyday world, Brian Harris unpacks themes of grace, creation and Christian hope in an engaging conversational manner. The result is a book that empowers us to live out our faith wherever we are.” Stephen Garner, Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand.
Palmer, W. R. (1995). How to Understand the Bible: Study Course for Youth and Adults. College Press.
Pawson, D. (2012). Unlocking the Bible. Harper Collins UK.
A unique overview of both the Old and New Testaments, from a widely respected evangelical speaker and writer.
Unlocking the Bible opens up the word of God in a fresh and powerful way. Avoiding the small detail of verse by verse studies, it sets out the epic story of God and his people in Israel. The culture, historical background and people are introduced and the teaching applied to the modern world.
Eight volumes have been brought into one compact and easy to use guide to cover both the Old and the New testaments in one massive omnibus edition.
• The Maker’s Instructions – The five books of law
• A Land and A Kingdom – Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings
• Poems of Worship and Wisdom – Psalms, Song of Solomon, proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job
• Decline and Fall of an Empire – Isaiah, Jeremiah and other prophets
• The Struggle to Survive – Chronicles and prophets of exile
• The Hinge of History – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and acts
• The Thirteenth Apostle – Paul and his letters
• Through Suffering to Glory – Revelation, Hebrews, and the letters of James, Peter and Jude
Chatham, J. O. (2006). Creation to Revelation: A Brief Account of the Biblical Story. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
The Chronological Guide to the Bible : Explore God’s Word in Historical Order by Thomas Nelson Explore Your Bible in Chronological Order. Readers will see the people, places, and events of the Bible come alive with this guide that will enhance your study with any Bible. The Chronological Guide to the Bible’s colorful pages guide readers step-by-step through the nine epochs of biblical history — the same ones used in the best-selling Chronological Study Bible. Customers will maximize their understanding as they experience God’s word in dynamic historical order, no matter which translation they choose to use. Dig deeper into the cultures and people of biblical times with The Chronological Guide to the Bible.show more
Explore Your Bible in Chronological Order. Readers will see the people, places, and events of the Bible come alive with this guide that will enhance your study with any Bible. The Chronological Guide to the Bible’s colorful pages guide readers step-by-step through the nine epochs of biblical history — the same ones used in the best-selling Chronological Study Bible. Customers will maximize their understanding as they experience God’s word in dynamic historical order, no matter which translation they choose to use. Dig deeper into the cultures and people of biblical times with The Chronological Guide to the Bible.show moreExplore Your Bible in Chronological Order. Readers will see the people, places, and events of the bible come alive with this guide that will enhance your study with any Bible. The Chronological Guide to the Bible’s colourful pages guide readers step-by-step through the nine epochs of biblical history – the same ones used in the best-selling Chronological Study bible. Readers will maximise their understanding as they experience God’s world in dynamic historical order, no matter which translation they choose to use. Dig deeper into the cultures and people of biblical times.
Understanding the Bible, by (author) John R. W. Stott
This book answers foundational questions: Who wrote the Bible? What is its message? Why is it thought to be a “holy” book? How does one read and interpret it? Best of all, though, you’ll broaden your vision of Jesus Christ, the focal point of Scripture. How? By better understanding the geographical, religious, and historical concerns that shaped the world in which he lived. You’ll see Jesus as never before: both as a man of his times and culture, and as the culmination of a divine providence that prepared the way for the ministry of the Messiah. Written by renowned preacher, writer, and apologist John Stott, this new, expanded edition includes – Questions at the beginning of each chapter to help you focus – New, up-to-date maps for the chapters on history and geography – An index to help you speedily access areas of interest.
Witherington.B. (2015). Reading and Understanding the Bible. Oxford University Press Inc.
With his usual verve and reader-friendly style, Ben Witherington III brings us a fresh and distinctive guide to interpreting the Bible. Reading and Understanding the Bible provides something that no similar textbook does-it works carefully through all the different genres of literature in the Bible and explains how to interpret each within its proper context. Reading and Understanding the Bible deals with the social and literary character of the Bible, teaching students how to read the Bible with eyes open to the differences between the modern world and ancient biblical cultures. It explains how ancient societies worked, how documents were created, who preserved them and why, the patriarchal nature of all ancient cultures, and, most importantly, how these cultural characteristics ought to affect our reading of the Bible. In the second half of the book, Witherington illustrates the hermeneutical rules usually applied to the Bible with core samples of contextual interpretation. Reading and Understanding the Bible provides a wealth of information in an engaging style, with helpful pictures, charts, and maps to keep the visual learner on task.The book is ideal for courses on Biblical Interpretation, Introduction to the Bible, and Hermeneutics.show more
Bell, R. (2018). What is the Bible? : How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything. Harper Collins Publishers.
The New York Times bestselling author Rob Bell, using his inspired and inquisitive approach, focuses on the most widely read book of all time. He provides surprising insights and answers about how the Bible actually works as a source of faith and guidance, showing a brand-new way of reading this sacred text. Rob Bell, the beloved author of Love Wins and What We Talk About When We Talk About God, goes deep into the Bible to show how it is more revelatory, revolutionary, and relevant than we ever imagined – and offers a cogent argument for why we need to look at it in a fresh, new way. In Love Wins, Rob Bell confronted the troubling questions that many people of faith were afraid to ask about heaven, hell, fate, and faith. Using the same inspired, inquisitive approach, he now turns to our most sacred book, the Bible. What Is the Bible? provides insights and answers that make clear why the Bible is so revered and what makes it truly inspiring and essential to our lives. Rob takes us deep into actual passages to reveal the humanity behind the Scriptures. You cannot get to the holy without going through the human, Rob tells us. When considering a passage, we shouldn’t ask `Why did God say …? To get to the heart of the Bible’s meaning, we should be asking: `What’s the story that’s unfolding here and why did people find it important to tell it? What was it that moved them to record these words? What was happening in the world at that time? What does this passage/story/poem/verse/book tell us about how people understood who they were and who God was at that time?’ In asking these questions, Rob goes beyond the one-dimensional question of `Is it true?’ to reveal the Bible’s authentic transformative power. Rob addresses the concerns of all those who see the Bible as God’s Word but are troubled by the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies in Scripture. With What Is the Bible?, he recaptures the Good Book’s magic and reaffirms its power and inspiration to shape and inspire our lives today.
Butler, T.C. (2010). Six Ways to Study the Bible. Chalice Press.
Williams, M. (2012). How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture. Zondervan
Beal, T. (2010). Biblical literacy: The essential bible stories everyone needs to know. Zondervan.
Alexander, T. D. (2002). From paradise to the promised land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch. Baker Academic.
Beale, G.K. (2004). The temple and the church’s mission: A biblical theology of the dwelling place of God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press.
Benware, P N. Survey of the New Testament. (2004). Chicago: Moody.
——. Survey of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody.
Chatham, J. O. (2006). Creation to revelation. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Nelson, T. (2008). The chronological study bible. Thomas Nelson Inc.
The Chronological Study Bible is the only study Bible that presents the text of the New King James Version in chronological order—the order in which the events actually happened—with notes, articles, and full-colour graphics that connect you to the history and culture of Bible times and gives you a dramatic, “you are there” experience.
Davis, J. J., & Whitcomb J.C. (1970). A History of Israel from Conquest to Exile. Grand Rapids: Baker.
Cross, J. R. The stranger on the road To Emmaus: A Clear and Simple Explanation of the World’s Best Seller. (1997). Canada: Good Seed International.
Drane, J. (1983) The Old Testament Story: An Illustrated Documentary. Italy: Lions Publishing.
Goldsworthy, G. (1991). According to God’s Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Harbin, M. A. (2005). The Promise and the Blessing: A Historical Survey of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
House, P. R., &Mitchell, E.A. (2007). Old Testament Survey. Nashville: B & H Academic.
Hunt, A. W. III. (2003). The Vanishing Word: The Veneration of Visual Imagery in the Postmodern World. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
Kaiser, W. C. Jr. (1998). The Christian and the “Old” Testament. Pasadena, CA: William Carey.
——. Mission in the Old Testament. (2012). Grand Rapids: Baker.
——. The Messiah in the Old Testament. (1995). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
——. The Promise-Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. (2008). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
——. Recovering the Unity of the Bible. (2009). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Kostenberger, A.J., Kellum, L.S. & Quarles, C.L. (2009) The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Academic.
Lodahl, Michael. (2008). The Story of God. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press.
Green, C. (2014). The Biblical Meta-narrative, Christian Schools Australia; Victoria Conference, (slide Presentation)
Promoting Biblical Literacy in the Elementary Classroom, by Barbara Fisher. Avondale College, firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding the Bible: A Bible Comprehension Course: http://www.muqaddas.eu/d4web4sm/courses/ubunit00.ht
A Panoramic View of the Bible (Rolling Hills Baptist Church) http://www.rhbaptist.org/sermon-series/a-panoramic-view-of-the-bible/
A Panoramic View of the Bible: Genesis to Exodus – http://fbchermantown.org/a-panoramic-view-of-the-bible-genesis-exodus/
Panorama of the Bible: https://www.litpress.org/Products/GetSample/E4880/9780814648803
Ten Steps to Biblical Literacy: http://www.bible-researcher.com/bible-study2.html
How to Understand the Bible: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/bible-study-aid/how-to-understand-the-bible?s=2
Explore the Bible and Bible Skills for Kids: http://www.lifeway.com/Explore-the-Bible/c/N-1z13wmcZ1z0zrd0?intcmp=LifewayKids-MTX-Image-ETB-20150105
Understanding the Bible: http://www.itiswritten.com/search-for-certainty-lesson-1-how-to-understand-the-bibl
How to Understand the Bible: 21 Simple Methods for a Deeper Understanding: https://theblazingcenter.com/2017/03/how-to-understand-the-bible.html
Bible Study Course (Covering the main themes of the Bible in 12 lessons): https://www.ucg.org.au/library/bible-study-course?gclid=CjwKCAjwhOvPBRBxEiwAx2nhLvm3xSf2j0z0iJ2Dhc-hd5PcXyzbdU6AE5gqjpFN9X5Nl6Q_8IdvWRoCh1IQAvD_BwE
You Tube – Understanding the Bible – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E5OKbKnxKE
How to Understand the Bible: https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2014/11/how-can-we-understand-the-bible-better/
Understanding the Bible: http://www.ebiblefellowship.com/outreach/tracts/understandingthebible/index.html
Lessons on How to Understand the Bible: https://www.itiswritten.com/search-for-certainty-lesson-1-how-to-understand-the-bible
Know Your Bible Better Course:: http://www.understandingthebible.org/the-know-your-bible-better-cours
Bible Quiz: https://www.biblequiz.biz/quiz.php
How Well Do You Know the Bible Quiz: https://www.goodreads.com/quizzes/9317-how-well-do-you-know-the-bible
The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem. https://albertmohler.com/2016/01/20/the-scandal-of-biblical-illiteracy-its-our-problem-4/
How to turn you fast food Bible into a feast. https://www.premierchristianity.com/Past-Issues/2017/July-2017/How-to-turn-your-fast-food-Bible-into-a-feast
Five great ways to engage with the Bible. https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/5-great-ways-to-engage-with-the-Bible-in-2017