This is the first in a series exploring the key people and stories of the Old Testament, and how they point the way to Jesus. The aim of this session is to introduce the topic and help get your group familiar with the books of the Old Testament.
Finding our way around the Old Testament
Play a series of Bible games and activities to familiarize your group with the books of the Old Testament. Choose activities that suit your group’s understanding of the Bible. Here are some ideas you could try:
- A game show style quiz with strange and weird facts about the Old Testament
- In teams of 2 or 3, race to finish a word jumble of the book names, and reveal a hidden message. You can create your own here using Puzzlemaker.
- Play some old school ‘sword drills’
- Print out the names of the books of the Old Testament on to cards, and have teams race to 1) put them into order (as on the contents page), 2) into literary genres (History, Law, Wisdom, Prophets), or if you’ve got some real Bible scholars – 3) into chronological order. You can download and print these Old Testament Cards.
- Show a video such as “What is the Bible?” or “Word”
- Invite everyone to come dressed as a person from the Old Testament, have a prize for the best costume.
Why read the Old Testament?
Ask: Who has read the Old testament from start to finish? Invite people to comment on why or why not, how easy or hard they found it to read.
Say something like: Let’s be honest, the Old Testament is pretty long, and old, and it can be hard to read. And the Old Testament all came before Jesus so what’s so important about reading it? Maybe, you have wondered, why do we even need to bother with it at all?
Explain: that the Old Testament is part of God’s big story, paving the way for Jesus to come, and pointing us to him. If we read it from this perspective, it gets really exciting as we discover that throughout the Old Testament God is pointing us to Jesus.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be looking at the big picture of the Bible: the people and ideas in the Old Testament that point us to Jesus.
Bible Reading Challenge
You may like to issue your group an Old Testament Bible reading challenge to complete over the coming weeks, e.g. read one Psalm every morning and another Psalm every night; read one chapter of Proverbs every day.