A handbook for teaching the Bible to young students.
The Old and New Testaments can be daunting reads, especially for youngsters, given their length, historical breadth, and theological complexity, but here, debut author Hurst distills its essential teachings into an accessible instructional guide. It’s specifically designed to be a teaching aid, and it’s split into 52 weekly lesson plans covering the entire Bible—from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation—over the course of one year. The author structures each section around key concepts and central teachings (such as, for example, the difference between omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence) and provides impressively lucid synopses. The book includes key vocabulary terms and various pedagogical tools, including crossword puzzles constructed around biblical trivia, that will help students review the material. Toward the end, the author furnishes a lengthy catalog of “memorization activities and tools”—fun games crafted to help students retain information. A helpful appendix offers student “take-home sheets” that summarize lessons learned. Hurst’s primary focus throughout the text is on the centrality of Jesus to the Bible, whom she depicts as the linchpin of human salvation. The author is a parochial middle school counselor who’s taught the Bible for more than 25 years, and it shows here—her command of the material is confident, and she has a gift for simple, clear exposition. Throughout, she offers instructive advice for teachers on how to clarify difficult concepts while also maintaining a spirit of joy and enthusiasm. The book isn’t intended as a scholarly exegesis; for example, Paul’s epistle to the Romans gets barely a paragraph of explanation. Also, the overall level of sophistication likely won’t satisfy older students—even those at the high school level. However, this well-organized book is clearly meant for younger kids who are reading the Bible for the very first time, and for that purpose, it’s an excellent tool.
A comprehensive and notably crystalline biblical education guide.