Bible Curriculum for Young Children

He Established a Testimony

We have begun using this Bible curriculum for the past several weeks. It is a coloring book with a picture for every story in the Old Testament. On the page next to the the picture is the Scripture reference and key themes that a child should learn. There are few questions or comments to guide discussion of the Bible with your children.

 This curriculum has been developed by Bethlehem Baptist Church, pastored by John Piper. Several years ago, I used this curriculum to teach Sunday school to 4 and 5 year olds. I was very impressed with the introduction of the teaching manual. It encouraged teachers to study the Scripture passage for themselves and strive to teach the Bible in context. It gave a list of themes and truths that run through the Old Testament and then each lesson has one or more of these truths that need to be presented. For example, truths include: man is in need of God, God is powerful, God is loving, God is just, God is creator, sin deserves punishment, etc.  The curriculum stresses the need to teach what the text is teaching in context.  For example, when Jesus feeds 5000 people with fish and loaves from a little boy, traditional Sunday school material may teach that the boy was generous and so young children can learn to share also.  If this is all that is taught, we miss talking about the power and authority of Jesus and His nature and our lessons just become moralistic.


While I have been challenged by the high standards of teaching the Bible as written, in context, with an eye on the character of God, I admit that this was a hard curriculum to teach in a Sunday school setting where I was expected to fill an hour and a half and all they gave me to go on was the Bible truth/theme sheet, the picture to color and the Bible reference. But I have found it very useful in an at-home setting, where we can go at our own pace and just spend 15 minutes talking about the Bible while the kids color the picture. On my more creative days, we add something to our coloring sheet that gives us more opportunity to talk about the lesson and the Bible truths for that day. For example, we drew and cut out a snake and added to the picture of Adam and Eve with the fruit in the garden and we talked about the conversation that went on there, that they were questioning God and his command. Or, we did star stamps and stickers on the picture of Abraham looking up at the sky, hearing the promise of God that the number of his descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.

So far, our Bible study time has been going well. The kids look forward to it. We can look back at the pictures and discuss the lessons from previous days. I like the chronological building of the lessons and I hope that it gives them a foundation of how things fit together in the Old Testament. It gives us something structured to go through, as well as a visual reminder of the story. This also doesn’t skip stories and hard lessons that many children’s Bibles skip.

So, check out He Established a Testimony. The coloring books are not that expensive and you can even just buy a digital copy to print yourself. I do recommend the teacher manual for its insight on teaching the Bible in context, but it is more pricey, if you are not using it in a church setting. You may also want to check out some of the other curriculum from Bethlehem Baptist Church – other foundational teachings, those on the New Testament and the ABCs of God.

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