I find that there is an alarming incomprehension of basic Bible facts in our churches today. What use to be common place-knowing the books of the Bible, having a general knowledge of books, etc.- is now obsolete. I hope this little guide to teaching kids about the Bible is useful and inspiring to parents at home to make sure their children have adequate Bible knowledge.
Importance of Knowing the Bible
“I seek you with all my heart;Psalm 119:10-11 NIV
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.”
The number one reason to know the Bible is that it’s God’s word and through it, we get to know God more. Second, it helps us live God’s way and avoid sin. Third, it gives us a desire to study it and learn more. Finally, we cannot teach or share with others until we know it for ourselves.
What To Teach Kids About the Bible
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16 NIV
The first thing that we should explain to our children about the Bible is that it is God’s word. Yes, it was written by men but they were inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The second is that it is useful to train us in God’s righteousness so we can obey and live life according to His will.
Finally, we should teach them memorization, the layout, and define Biblical terms. The rest of our discussion will center around this idea.
The Books of the Bible
The most basic thing you can teach your children is the order of the books of the Bible and a little background on each book. The Bible is divided into two sections, The Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament is before Christ and the new testament is Christ’s birth, life, death, resurrection, and the church. We can also think of them as the old covenant and new covenant.
Knowing the books of the Bible in order helps them more quickly find what they are searching for in the scriptures in personal and corporate Bible study. The desire is that this is a leaping off point to further memorization of scripture.
Since there are so many resources out there, I will not reinvent the wheel but share with you my favorites. like to use songs to teach books of the Bible. Here are some that are great:
Background of Each Book of the Bible
For example, Genesis means beginning and it is the first book which gives the story of our beginnings, creation and forefathers of the faith. Having a general idea of what each book is about helps the bigger picture of God’s story and encourages interest in studying them more deeply.
Here are some resources that you will find helpful:
One Page Cheat Sheets for each book of the Bible from Teach Sunday School (free printable)
Free Books of the Bible List Printable (Cheat Sheets and Flash Cards) from Homeschool Giveaways
Timeline of the Bible
A good timeline of the Bible helps kids put Biblical history in with world history. In addition, the goal is to help them see the overall picture of the Bible. The Bible is made up of many parts but it is one story. Teaching the timeline helps kids to identify the parts and then how understand how the parts fit together.
Resources with timelines:
Free Bible Skills Activities from Sunday School Zone (Timelines but many other Bible resources for kids)
Free Printable Bible Timeline Resources from Bible Story Printables
Biblical Terms to Define
It’s good to define Biblical terms for kids. A lot of these are words that they will hear often in Bible reading and church. They should have a good working definition for these words as it helps to inform much of their knowledge of what is taking place as God’s story unfolds.
This is not an exhaustive list. I would suggest using a kid’s Bible with a glossary at the back to help encourage a meaningful and understanding Biblical vocabulary. Also, give examples using scriptures.
I hope this gives you a good jumping off point. I did the first one for you.This would be a great activity to do during family worship time.
- Sin– Sin is when we disobey God. Anything God said to do not do in the Bible and we do it anyway is sin. Anything God said to do in the Bible and we choose not to do it is also sin.
- Example A: God tell us in Colossians 3:9,” Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” (NIV) If we speak any word that is not truth, that is sin.
- Example B: Colossians 3:13 tells us to “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (NIV) So, if we refuse to forgive, that is a sin.
- The Trinity-
The Goal of Knowing the Bible
As parents, our goal is always to raise Christ followers. So, our number one goal is for our children to fall in love with Jesus as they get to know Him through the pages of the Bible.
The second goal is for our children to have a Biblical worldview that informs how they think, feel, act, and live. That they will honor and glorify God with every part of their being.