“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”-Hosea 4:6
We have all been in “that kind” of Bible class. No one has a book. There is no scheduled section of the Bible which everyone has studied and from which thoughtful questions have been prepared. Someone stands up and reads through a verse or two. A few members make the same old comments and bring up the same old personal scruples (whether today’s text touches on it or not!). If a book is used, they are in no hurry to complete it.
I once had a fellow Christian show me a book he recommended for our Bible classes. It covered the book of Genesis chapter-by-chapter (50 lessons). He showed me his completed book and pointed out the markings indicating how far they had gotten during each class period. Their average was four class periods per chapter of the book. In other words, it took them two, full years to cover one book of the Bible.
At this point, someone might say, “Who cares?!?! If we are studying the word of God, why does it matter how long it takes?” Good question. There are roughly 1,100 chapters in the Bible (1,189 to be exact). If a congregation set out to teach the Bible and maintained the pace of four class periods per chapter, can you guess how long it would take to read through the Bible one time? A congregation would finally turn to Revelation 22 after 48-years*. Nearly half a century!
So, what is the point of this article? We, as a congregation, have always valued the idea of covering as much of the Bible as possible in a four to five-year period. The curriculum used in our classes for toddlers to middle schoolers (Shaping Hearts For God), covers the Bible in 36-months. That means a young person who comes to North Second Street at four-years-old, will study through the Scriptures four times before they graduate high school. What a blessing our Bible class teachers shower on our young people!
Our shepherds are in the process of evaluating the curriculum we use for our high school, young adult, and adult classes. We will finish year six of our current system in December. We have covered every book of the New Testament and nearly every on in the Old Testament. This quarter, we are studying using Heath Rogers’ book Overcoming Sin on Sundays and following the Inductive Bible Study Method to study selected readings from the Law of Moses at mid-week.
2023 will most likely be a transition year. We will use the IBSM to study the text of God’s word during both weekly studies. I am personally excited to start the new year in the book of Romans. During the second quarter of the year, we will have a topical study to add some variety to our material.
The goal is to continue on a path to study all 66-books by the end of no more than five years. The elders have asked for suggestions if you have used material of which you are very fond. Plus, ideas for topical studies are welcome as well.
Come study the Bible with us at North Second Street. We believe God speaks to his people and rebellious sinners through the words given to the Bible authors by the Holy Spirit! Let us come together and listen.