Bible study is a core part of our homeschool and family life and we enjoy using a variety of tools to help us as we study the Bible together. We have recently had the opportunity to review some really helpful Printable Books of the Bible “Summary Sheets” by Teach Sunday School. This was a simple tool to assist our Bible study.
The Printable Books of the Bible “Summary Sheets” are one page sheet information sheets about each book of the Bible. The sheets include background information on each book, including the author, when it was written and where it is in the Bible. It also includes the ‘claims to fame’ which is something unique or spectacular about that book. For example, for the book of Ruth, ” Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David after a good deed of refusing to desert her mother-in-law, who was from Israel. Her story takes place mostly in Bethlehem, the future birthplace of Jesus.”
Each page also includes a summary of the famous stories that are included in that book. For the book of Jonah that would be, “Jonah is swallowed by the giant fish.” and “Jonah prophesies to Nineveh and the nation repents.” In the New Testament Epistles this category changes a bit and becomes, “Problems or Issues this Book is Addressing” since they were mostly penned in response to issues that the churches were having.
The next section is famous verses. This section includes two or three verses from that book that either are the most looked up verses or verses that are known to be loved by the American people. Jeremiah included one of my personal favorites, ” For I know the Plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
The pages end with important points about the book. Some of these were simple facts like the fact that Matthew was famous for including the Great Commission, but others were more background information. For example, “Matthew was writing to the Jews as opposed to Gentiles, which is why his gospel often quotes the Old Testament to show how prophecy was fulfilled.”
If I had to pick my favorite part of these sheets it would probably be that they tell what time period each book covers. I think that really helps me understand how the events in the Bible relate to the other events in history. As someone who was raised in the church and been a Christian since I was a child, I knew many of the facts on the pages but I still learned something new with each one we studied.
We chose to start at the beginning and look at one summary sheet each week during our morning time to learn more about that book of the Bible. However, I think there are many wonderful ways this tool could be used to supplement your Bible study. You could use them to get a better understanding of the background and scope of a the book of the Bible that you were currently studying or you could match them up with a memory verse or other study. Another idea that I would like to try is matching up the books timeline with our history study. For example, Esther covers the time period of 480-475 BC. When we study that time in history we could include the book of Esther in our reading and have a better understanding of what was going on throughout the world at that time, like the Greco-Persian war and the Battle of Thermopylae.
While these do not replace Bible reading, Printable Books of the Bible “Summary Sheets” are a great tool for gaining more insight into the Bible and better understanding the background of each individual book. I think these could be used with elementary age students all the way up to adults both at home and in a church or Sunday school class setting.
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