Learn the Bible in 26 sessions

 September 24. Arrangement and Beginning.

The Bible books are arranged in 6 categories, like bookshelves.
On a Bible “table of contents,” draw a line after the last book of each section. The last book on shelf 1 is Esther, on shelf 2, Song of Solomon, on shelf 4 Acts, and onshelf 5: Jude

The words testament and covenant are two English ways to translate one original word, which means “agreement”.  The Old Testament covenant was that sin is to be forgiven through the sacrifice of an animal, and is explained in the Old Testament. The new covenant is that sins are forgiven once and for all by the sacrifice of Jesus, and this is explained in the in the new testament).  The two covenants are compared in Hebrews 9:15. You may look this up in a printed Bible, or you may type Hebrews 9:15 into the search box at this online Bible: Go to Bible

The purpose of our Bible study is in John 20:31.

The Bible’s first sentence shows that all of space/time started with God.
What are some neat things you know about what God has created?
These responses were typed by class members: “You can do things without thinking about it! We are made so complex.The human body has more than 300 bones.”

It is amazing that each measurement in creation is exactly right   —
See video about the “physical constants.”

These other verses talk about creation:
This verse from shelf 4 shows that Jesus was there: John 1:1-2
This verse from shelf 5 shows nothing came before it: Hebrews 11:3
This verse praises God for making it: Revelation 4:1-11.  Song

Session 2: October 1. Creation and our life today.

People will make different decisions based on whether they think life happened by chance or whether life is a gift of God. What would each kind of person say about these questions:

I sometimes feel like my life has no value.
I wonder whether we should kill babies before they are born.

I decide to harm my body, that is my business; I’m not hurting anyone else.
It doesn’t matter if we pollute the world or not.

Look at the details of the first five Bible books

Genesis is about beginnings, including:
Beginning of people: research meaning of “image of God.”
Go to Bible
He made us able to think for ourselves, gives us unique qualities, he gave us emotions, He gave us our own qualities to do what we want, He made us all different.
When mankind sinned (disobeyed God), the image of God in us was Brokem, but Colossians 3:10 says God is restoring us to His image.

October 8.   More “Beginnings” from Genesis

Beginning of sin:
Genesis 3:1-8 shows Satan’s methods for tempting us; “did God really say” and “What God said is not true.”. Go to Bible

Common temptations of today, written by class members: popularity, junk food, electronics, drugs, alcohol, binge eating, good grades prevented by laziness

Genesis 4:3-7 shows our challenge is to conquer temptation.
Luke 4:1-4 shows how Jesus fights satan: by using Bible verses. view youtube
1 Peter 5:8-9 warns us that Satan actively tempts us.
James 4:7 is our promise that we can combat Satan.
Revelation 20:10 shows the future of Satan

Genesis 3:15 is the first promise of a savior
Genesis 3:17-19 tells why life is hard
Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells more about death

Genesis 2:24 is the beginning of marriage.
and see what Jesus says: Matthew 19:4-6.

Meanings of more Bible books: Joshua took over from Moses; Judges were temporary leaders; Ruth is a girl who lived at that time; Samuel poured oil on David; The people had kings for 400 years; Chronicles means “news” and repeats the stories of the kings.

October 15.  More about Genesis: the Covenant

Construct Bible time-line on sheet divided into creases for 500 year periods. 2000 BC Abraham, 1000 BC David, 1 AD Paul. At far left, write the people before Abraham: Adam and Eve, Cain, Abel and Seth, and  Noah.  Put Moses between 2000 and 1000, and at 500 BC write the people new for today: Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. This completes the books of history.

Meanings of Bible books: Ezra and Nehemiah were Jewish leaders who lead the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem after the people were allowed to return after living for 70 years in Babylon. Esther was a queen of Persia, which was the next empire after the Babylonians.

Genesis 17:1-8 shows the parts of the covenant. God will be our God. Go to Bible

Jeremiah 31:31-34 tells about the new covenant — God will still be our God.

Matthew 26:28 shows that Jesus gave us the new covenant.

Hebrews 9:22 explains that forgiveness requires a sacrifice of blood.

Genesis 15:6 shows that Abraham was accepted by faith

In Galatians 3:7-14, paul says we are accepted that same as Abraham.

Meanings of Bible books: Ezra and Nehemiah were Jewish leaders who lead the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem after the people were allowed to return after living for 70 years in Babylon. Esther was a queen of Persia, which was the next empire after the Babylonians.

October 22  More in Genesis: Abraham and Isaac, and the Book of Job

Abraham being willing to sacrifice Isaac is in Genesis 22:1-13.  Go to Bible
Think about the feelings of each person in the video.

Student comments about feelings:
Abraham: probably felt hopeless and lost, He most likely was hurt that God wanted him to kill his son.
Isaac:  He probably felt fear and trust in his father.
Sarah: probably felt overwhelmed with feelings and questioning God about how much he loved Isaac.

The life of Abraham shows that:

Love shows itself in action (not just words)
Just like Abraham gave his son, God gave his son
just like God gave a ram as a substitute for Isaac, Jesus is a substitute for us.
Abraham started the people of God (People of Israel, Jews)
Abraham started the covenant — and we are part of it.
Abraham believed God and was counted righteous (not guilty); same for us

God showed love in action by sacrificing His son. 1 John 4:10.

About the book of Job:
Job lived about the same time as Abraham.

His faith is shown in Job 1:18-22 and Job19:25-27.
(make game card for 19:25)

More for Time Line

To time line, add Job, and writers of final  New Testament books John, Jude, James, Peter. Refer to Revelation 1:1, Matthew 13:55.

October 29  Finishing Genesis

Trace the Bible story on the map of the Middle east.

Add names to timeline: Isaac, Jacob and Esau, 12 sons including Joseph.

Bible verse for today: Genesis 50:20          Go to Bible

Show video of Genesis. (watch the 2nd video, Genesis 12-50)

Martin Luther video.  (scroll down to find Luther -Why, then watch the power-point “Standing for Truth”)

November 5 Moses and The escape from Egypt

Remember how each story helps us understand Jesus:
Joseph: God turns evil into good, also for Jesus
Isaac: God shows love by sacrifice, and provides a substitute
Abraham: God gave him Old Covenant, Jesus gives us New

To timeline, add Moses-Aaron-Miriam
Next to Genesis bracket, add bracket for the rest of the Pentateuch.

Highlights of Moses’ life
The burning bush. video. Exodus 3:14. Go to Bible God’s name Yahweh (Jehovah)
The passover. Exodus 12:21-17. Compare to Jesus: 1 Cor 5:7
crossing the red sea. Redeem, redemption. Song of Miriam Exodus 15 sing
the ten commandments. Exodus 20. Jesus makes them stricter. Matt 5:21-22

November 12  Stories in the Wilderness.

More on purpose of Bible: the sins of the people of Israel while wandering in the wilderness for 40 years were written down so that we could learn not to follow their example, according to 1 Cor 10:5-11.    Go to Bible


  1. manna Exodus 16:14-15.  Jesus compared it to himself when He said “I am the bread of life.” John 6:30-35

2. Leviticus 16:15-17.  The word Atonement translates the Hebrew word about sins being forgiven when blood was poured on the cover of the Ark of the Covenant (the box in the temple that had the ten commandments in it). The English word “atonement” means “becoming at-one with God,” that is, in a good relationship with God. The English word Redeem means “buying a slave.” The Israelites were redeemed from slavery in Egypt. Jesus redeemed us from being slaves to sin, and that is why we call him our “Redeemer.”
See Ark of the Covenant at Google images
Blood brings forgiveness: Hebrews 9:22. Use this verse for today’s card

November 19    Joshua and Judges

1.Add to timeline: Joshua, Gideon, Samson.

2. Read about the Most Holy Place in Hebrews 10:19-21. Go to Bible

3. the snake on the pole. Numbers 21:5-9. Compare Jesus:  John 3:14-15

4. the prophecy of a greater prophet. Deuteronomy 18:15.
Fulfilled in Jesus: John 6:14, John 5:46.
Compare Moses and Jesus: grace and truth. John 1:17

5. New card for today: Joshua 1:9

December 3. King David

Show the changing boundaries of the promised land.  Add Saul and David to timeline.

Video of David being anointed (start at 6:42)

The word for anointed is Messiah. 1 Samuel 16:13

December 10. Promise of Messiah

Today’s verse 1 Samuel 16:7    Go to Bible

God promises that the eternal king will come from David’s family in 2 Samuel 7:12  Go to Bible

This came true in Luke 1:67-75

Psalms teach us about Praise
Praise God for what He IS and for what He DOES.

Psalm 2 is fulfilled by Jesus
The rod of iron is in Revelation 19:11-16

Today’s verse: Psalm 119:11

December 17. Solomon and Kings

Create shapes on Timeline. Add Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Kings, Chronicles, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia.

Today’s verse is Isaiah 7:14

January 7  Kings and Prophets

Read Handout comparing names.
Today’s Bible verse was Jeremiah 31:31

February 11    Prophets and Story-line

Read Hebrews chapter 11 to get a reminder of the Old Testament content.

Read Hebrews 12:7 to 11, to get a reminder that the way God’s treated His Old Testament people is the same way He still treats us. Here are insights about God’s treatment from students:
God is kind a forgiving. God can push us through what other people do to us, but can make it turn out for our good. No matter what we have done wrong, God never stops loving us, and never gives up on us.

Verse to add to card-game: Micah 5:1-5
“The Lord says, Bethlehem, out of you I will bring a ruler … and he will bring peace.”

February 18. From Old to New

See the one-sentence description of each prophet.

See the youtube of the empires.

During the 400 years after the Old Testament:
Greek became the language for crossing cultures
Read Acts 21:37-40   Go to Bible

The Jews were free for 100 years (Hasmoneans)
The books written then are called the Apocrypha.
(they are in the Catholic Bible)
Then the Romans took over.

Jews met every Saturday in the synagogue.  Acts 13:14-15.  Our worship follows their pattern:
singing, readings, sermon, prayers, blessing.

People were watching for the coming Messiah. John 4:25-26

February 25. People in the Gospels

The Jews divided into many different groups:
Acts 23:6-8 Go to Bible
Luke 10:31-33
Luke 22:66
Matthew 10:4
Mark 14:45
Mark 3:6
John 18:3
Acts 23:23

About the Gospel writers:
2 were disciples
Mark got information from Peter
Luke wrote Luke and Acts
John has stories not in the other 3

All have cross and resurrection
Birth told in Matthew and Luke

March 4. Jesus uses miracles to show He is God

In this miracle story, Jesus calls himself “the Son of Man.”  (the Old Testament had prophesied about this name)  See video

Only God can forgive sins  — and Jesus proved He could forgive sins. This story is in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

April 8. More about Jesus

Jesus’ names show Who He is:
Immanuel = God with us
Christ = Anointed One,  Messiah,  King,
Jesus = God saves,
Son of God = comes from God
Messiah, God saves, Anointed One, God with us, King, comes from God

son of man = a figure that Daniel saw in a vision in Daniel 7:13-14  Go to Bible
In John 1:1-3, Jesus is called “The Word.” 


Jesus was born in Bethlehem, city (B), just left of the Dead Sea g. Luke 2:22 says the baby was brought to the temple in Jerusalem (A) when he was just a few days old. After the wise men visited the family, they escaped to Egypt (off the map, to the left). Later, after King Herod died, the family went to Mary’s home town, Nazareth, (C) which was in the region called Galilee. A

At the age of 12, the family came to Jerusalem again.

No other stories are mentioned until he begins to speak in public around the age of 30. Here are the main events of those 3 years, which ended with his death on the cross:


When Jesus was about 30 years old, he was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan river (at L), and then went into the wilderness (W, left of the Dead Sea).

For the next 3 years, Jesus spent most of his time in the region of the Sea of Galilee e. His first miracle, turning water into wine, was done at Cana (D), (John chapter 2).  He raised a young man from the dead at Nain (J) (Luke 7:11). A lot of time was spent in the cities along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, cities like Tiberias (E), Capernaum (F), and Bethsaida (G). He picked his 12 disciples, many of whom were fishermen. He caused a storm to stop, and walked on the water. On the nearby hills he taught the people, then created food for 5000 people; later, again, for 4000.

In Mark 5:1, Jesus crosses the Sea of Galilee and goes to a region that was not part of Israel, to the right of the Jordan River f. Verse one says that the people who lived there were called Gerasenes, and verse 20 tells us that the area was called Decapolis. (M) (This is a Greek word that means “ten cities,” so it means that the Greeks had built ten cities on the right side of the Jordan River.)

Mark 7:24 tells us that Jesus left Israel and traveled to the cities of Tyre (J) and Sidon (K), where he healed a woman called a Syrophoenician, which simply means that she lived in the part of Syria that is called Phoenicia.

In Mark 8:27, Jesus is again outside of Israel, up at Caesarea Philippi (H). The mountain on which Jesus spoke to Moses and Elijah then was probably Mount Hermon (the triangle under the word Syria), though some people think it was Mount Tabor (the triangle under the letter E).

John 4:3-5 mentions all three of the provinces: Judea C, Samaria B, and Galilee A . Jesus talked to a Samaritan woman at a well in the town of Sychar, in the region of Samaria, is at (I).

Jesus went to Jerusalem, even though he knew he would be arrested there.

THE LAST WEEK:  (Events leading up to his death in Jerusalem)

On Sunday, Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem, with many people praising him.

Later that week he raised Lazarus from the dead, in Bethany (near Jerusalem)

He drove the businessmen out of the temple.

On Thursday, he ate a meal with his disciples for the last time. (the “last supper.”
During that meal he began the custom we call “‘Holy Communion” (eating bread & wine to
remember the meaning of Jesus’ death)

He took his disciples with him to a placed called the “Garden of Gethsemane” where he prayed for strength.

He was arrested on Thursday night

He was put on trial before Jewish leaders

On Friday, he was  put on trial before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate

He also was taken for questioning to Herod, King of Galilee

At the command of Pontius Pilate, he was killed on a cross, and was placed in a grave.

On Sunday, he rose from the dead. He appeared to Mary, then to the disciples. Later he appeared to 500 believers, all at the same time

40  days after rising from the dead, his body left the earth, but he promised “I am with you always.”

How do we know Jesus is God? go to Describing Jesus

April 15  Paul’s letters

The official name for “letters” in the Bible is “epistles.” The letters “stl” tell us that the word is about a message. The word epi means on. So an epistle is a message that is written “on” something, like paper. You can compare this to the word “apostle.” The stl is in there, so it has something to do with a message. The word “apo” means “out from,” so an apostle means a person who is sent out with a message. The Book of Acts chapter 13 tells us that a church sent Paul out to spread the message of the gospel. That is why he is called the apostle Paul.

See the letters of the New Testament (keep scrolling on that page — the most detail is near the bottom)

April 21.  Book of Acts, part 1

The Book of Acts encourages us to be brave. Please watch the video of Peter being arrested and beaten, and ask yourself if you would have denied your faith. (Acts chapter 5)

Acts chapter 6 shows how the Gospel spread to Africa because a disciple named Philip talked to an official from   Ethiopia.

Ethiopia became a Christian country, and today has 60 million Christians, including 8 million Lutherans. Here is a video of the Ethiopian church today

Please read this list of what happened in each chapter of the Book of Acts:

1    Jesus’ body goes up into a cloud‑‑around 33 AD

2    Ten days later, the Holy Spirit gives special power to the disciples, and they preach about Jesus for the first time. 3000 people become Christians on that one day.

3    Peter & John heal a crippled beggar in the name of Jesus.

4     Peter & John are put in jail and warned not to speak about Jesus.

5     The disciples are put in jail, but escape through a miracle

6‑7  The first Christian to be killed for his faith: Stephen.

8      Philip leads an African official to believe in Jesus.

9     Saul becomes a Christian, at the age of 30 (around 35 AD).   Better known by his Roman name, Paul, he later went to many countries to preach the gospel, and wrote most of the letters which are in the New Testament.

10‑11 Peter leads a Roman army officer to believe in Jesus, and Peter also discovers that Christians no longer need to observe the Jewish food laws.

12   Peter is put in prison, but escapes through a miracle.

April 29. The adventures of Paul

Paul suffered for telling people about Jesus. Examples:
2 Corinthians 11 (then start at verse 23) Go to Bible

The priests are angry at Paul because he says that Jesus is the savior. See video

Here are the chapters about Paul in the book of Acts:

13‑14   First journey of Paul (around 48 AD) Traveling around Turkey.

15   Important conference in Jerusalem, with Paul and the disciples, where they realize that non‑Jews who believe in Jesus do not need to observe the Jewish ceremonial laws.

15‑18     Second journey of Paul, to Turkey and Greece.

(Paul writes letters to Galatians and Thessalonians. His letters mentioned on this page are all included in the New Testament)

18‑21 Third journey of Paul, to Turkey and Greece.

(Paul writes to Corinthians and Romans)

22 Paul is arrested in Jerusalem.

23‑26 Paul is in prison in Caesarea, on the coast of Israel

27‑28  While being sent to Rome, Paul is shipwrecked

28 Paul is in prison in Rome, around 59 AD

(From prison, Paul writes to Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and to his friend Philemon.)

THAT IS THE END OF THE BOOK OF ACTS. Here are events in Paul’s life after the book of Acts:

Paul is released from prison in Rome, around 62 AD.

Fourth journey of Paul, possibly to Spain.

Paul writes to his co‑workers Timothy and Titus

Paul is put in prison again in Rome, and then killed around 68 AD, at the time of the Emperor Nero.

May 6. Book of Revelation Part 1

Read Revelation 1:1. This shows us why the book is called revelation, and who the author was. This may be a different John from the one who wrote the gospel.  Go to Bible

Find where the author was, and why he was there. That island is near the west coast of Turkey. Revelation 1.9

Read descriptions of Jesus in chapter 1 verses 5, 6, 7, and 14 to 18.

The book was meant to be sent to 7 churches, all of which are in Turkey. Read Revelation 3:14-16 to see what God says to one of the churches. God wants us to be hot. If we are cold, we are far from him, so there is hope we will see our mistake and our need for him. But if we are lukewarm, it means we don’t think we need Him.

Worship to God the Father. Read Revelation 4:1-2, and 11.

Revelation chapter 5:6.  The Lamb of God is Jesus. Read the worship that the angels give to Jesus in Revelation 5:9 to 14. These songs were put to music in 1740 by composer George Frederick Handel, the same composer that wrote the Hallelujah chorus. The song begins with verse 12. Click here to hear the  song

May 13. Book of Revelation Part Two

The seven seals. Read Rev chapter 6 to chapter 8. This shows there will be many calamities but in the end God will be the winner and will punish evil.
The White horse. Read Rev 19:11 ff  Go to Bible

The song to Jesus. First read the words:
Rev 19:6 says “Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Rev 11:15 says “the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.

The thousand years. Rev 20:1-3.  Go to Bible
The defeat of satan. Rev 20:10

The view of Heaven. Rev 21:3-4 and Rev 22:1-5

Overview entire Bible in four minutes!

Praise to Jesus after evil is defeated. Rev 19:6 song













You Bethlehem — out of you will come a king who will rule forever.


Micah 5:25


Don’t you know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?


1 Corinthians 6:19


As for me, I know that my redeemer lives


Job 19:25


I’ll give you a new covenant — I’ll write it in your hearts.


Jeremiah 31:31


I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your bed, and go home.”


Matthew 9:6


Thou shalt have no other gods before me.


Exodus 20:3


Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.


Joshua 1:9


Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.


James 4:7


The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call him Immanuel.


Isaiah 7:14


Abraham believed the Lord, and it was counted to him as righteousness.


Genesis 15:16










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