The kind people at What’s in the Bible are super excited because they are releasing volume 9 which completes the Old Testament!
As part of their celebration, I have the opportunity to review Volume 7: Exile and Return. You can read reviews of the other volumes here.
What’s in the Bible is a curriculum created by Phil Vischer, the brain behind Veggie Tales. He takes the same silly humor, but uses it to help kids really learn about the Bible. It is different than most curriculum you might see because it does not go in-depth, story-by-story but rather gives the big picture. However, it gives the WHOLE big picture.
Volume 7 is a great example of that. This volume covers:
- Empires (Assyria and Babylon)
- Ezra & Nehemiah
- Purim & Historical Books
I love that kids get the big picture history. I remember being in seminary and having never really understood what the exile is. If our kids don’t get an understanding of the big picture of the Bible, when will they? This is the age group where they pack away information like crazy. What’s in the Bible is a great resource for providing kids with that foundation. It may have been seminary before I ever really got what the exile was all about.
I also loved that tough questions are asked and answered. In one of these videos, the characters discuss how Nebachadnezzer’s name is spelled differently in different places in the Bible and asks how can the Bible be trusted if words are spelled differently. I thought this was an interesting point that they addressed. Typically we would either skip over such a thing, or if a kid asked we would try to avoid the question. Right? This curriculum uses these situations to explain how we can trust God’s Word even when we encounter such questions in a way that is not trite or patronizing or “just because”.
I like that the activities focus on reviewing what has been learned and reinforcing the information. There is not a lot of life application, but is it possible that we have focused too much on application to the detriment of Biblical literacy? The application that is taught is very gospel focused – God always keeps His promises, all of this is a part of God’s rescue plan, we can’t live up to God’s standard….
Some older kids may balk at the puppet/silliness, however, feedback I’ve gotten is that while they may groan a little, they know every character and remember all the facts. My little girl asked out of nowhere when she could watch Buck Denver again.
I would encourage you to try out this curriculum for yourself and see if there is a place for it in your ministry! In fact you can win a copy of volume 6 right here by commenting below. Share your thoughts on how we balance teaching life application and teaching for Bible literacy. You can also tweet: “Win curriculum from What’s in the Bible at http://jennyfunderburke.com” You can also go here to enter to win a whole set of the Old Testament curriculum, plus a dvd player (altogether a value of $800!!)
If you are ready to buy, check out the ad on the right hand side. Click there to go buy!
Here is a final word from Phil Vischer himself: