Finding your way around the Bible
If you’ve never read or used a Bible before it can seem a bit overwhelming and tricky to know where to start. Here’s some basic information which should help you as you find the Bible stories to read and teach your class.
The Bible is split into two main sections. The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the first part, starting right at the beginning with the account of God making the world. It then follows the history of God’s people with stories about characters like Noah, Joseph, Moses, King David, King Solomon and Daniel. The New Testament is the second part, beginning at the account of the birth of Jesus (Christmas story). It includes the accounts of Jesus’ life on earth, his death and resurrection and then the account of the early Christian church.
The Bible is split into 66 separate books. Each book is then split into chapters and each chapter into verses. A Bible reference might be given as John 3:16. That means the book of John, chapter 3 verse 16. In a Bible the books are all listed with page numbers on the contents page, the chapters are the big numbers through the text and the verses the small numbers.
If you know the story you want to read, a quick search on the internet will help you find the Bible passage reference.
If you don’t have a Bible you can use the website www.biblegateway.com to read the Bible passage. It allows you to search for the Bible passage or the name of the story. It will give you an option of Bible translations to use. We suggest you choose ‘New International Readers Version (NiRV)’.
Which Bibles to use with your class
It’s a great idea to let your class use Bibles for themselves. Older children may be able to use a full Bible but most children will benefit from using a children’s storybook Bible. This will allow them to access the stories much more easily, being able to read it for themselves and enjoying the pictures. There are lots of Children’s Bibles and storybook Bibles available.
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“I thought the work you did with the kids on the Prodigal son was fantastic. It got them thinking very deeply about issues they had previously probably never discussed.”
― Teacher, Middleton Primary School