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Non literalist Bible curriculum?


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I've found for little ones, a combination of reading through Bible story books and the actual Bible and discussing it works best, but as the kids get towards upper elementary, I'd like to add in more of a study element. We aren't Biblical literalists, though we do take the Bible as the Word of God. I don't want my kids working through a study, for example, that implies to them that one must either believe God created the world in 7 days or else be a heathen atheist. That might be an exaggeration, but when we were trying to work through Long Story Short I did a lot of editing on the fly. Does anyone know of a good study? I'd like it to give historical context, information about genres, different ways passages have been interpreted, and interesting questions to ponder. It could be for elementary or upper elementary ages, or I could keep it in my pocket for the future if there is something awesome that is suitable for older kids.

I'm not very hopeful such a thing exists, so I'll be extra grateful to anyone who can help me out. 

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8 hours ago, LadyLemon said:

I am looking at Museum of the bible, four book set on the bible and it say that curriculum focuses on the history, narrative and impact of the Bible. I have not purchased the program yet.

 

https://shop.museumofthebible.org/collections/student-edition-textbooks

My understanding is that the Museum of the Bible takes a very literalist YEC interpretation.  I don't know that it would sell something that didn't align with that interpretation.  

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Ascension Press is Catholic and has a few options.  Fr. Mike Schmitz is doing a Bible in a Year daily podcasts for free: https://media.ascensionpress.com/podcast/all-bible-in-a-year-episodes/

They also have the Great Adventure: Journey through the Bible: https://ascensionpress.com/collections/the-bible-timeline-the-story-of-salvation  I did this yrs ago.  Since then they have also developed children's materials to accompany it. 

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Sorry if this is a ridiculous comment, but if you have a particular affiliation, are there any resources put out by your denomination that you could pursue? Or any more well known ones you might be comfortable with?

As an example of things that are not literalist interpretations:

The Episcopal Church’s Bible Study

Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals

(Also, not sure of any particular titles, but in the UK (among other countries) students seem to take fairly advanced religion classes in high school and there are definitely some textbooks that explain religions including Christianity, both Catholic and not. These are not Bible study, though, but I wanted to mention it.)

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45 minutes ago, stripe said:

Sorry if this is a ridiculous comment, but if you have a particular affiliation, are there any resources put out by your denomination that you could pursue? Or any more well known ones you might be comfortable with?

As an example of things that are not literalist interpretations:

The Episcopal Church’s Bible Study

Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals

(Also, not sure of any particular titles, but in the UK (among other countries) students seem to take fairly advanced religion classes in high school and there are definitely some textbooks that explain religions including Christianity, both Catholic and not. These are not Bible study, though, but I wanted to mention it.)

We're members of a Methodist church now. We grew up conservative Presbyterian and only in the last few years had to leave that. I should do more looking to see what the Methodists have.

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The Story of the Bible-Old Testament from Tan Homeschool might work for you.  I don't think there would be any issues with the Old Testament book for a Methodist.  The New Testament book would present issues for you (sacraments and papacy), but you might be able to switch to something else at that point.

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A few years ago I looked to see if Cokesbury had something good for kids but mostly found youth or VBS stuff.  We did some years of Kay Arthur's Inductive Bible Studies for kids in late elementary.  Because they are detailed looks at specific stories, you can pick and choose if you aren't comfortable with how they might cover some of them. 

On another note and not what you asked for, I'm doing themed years for my high schooler, and this year we're doing CS Lewis.  We've done Mere Christianity and Screwtape Letters.  Because this time of year is crazy busy with extracurriculars, I wanted to end with something a little easier, so I found a guide to the Narnia series as allegory and kid is using this as excuse to re-read the series.  You might find something along those lines for a change of pace.  

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On 2/26/2021 at 10:00 PM, Helpdesk said:

What about Telling God's Story?  Take a look at the samples (purple button for now) on the product pages--you can get a good idea of whether this meets the need.  Also there are some FAQs on the Help Center.  

I looked more into this and ordered the first set. I'm curious to see whether we will get to very many of the activities, but it all looked really good for our immediate needs.

On 2/28/2021 at 9:57 AM, Syllieann said:

The Story of the Bible-Old Testament from Tan Homeschool might work for you.  I don't think there would be any issues with the Old Testament book for a Methodist.  The New Testament book would present issues for you (sacraments and papacy), but you might be able to switch to something else at that point.

Since Telling God's Story just covers New Testament, I'll be looking into The Story of the Bible for Old Testament later, thanks!

On 2/28/2021 at 12:33 PM, Clemsondana said:

A few years ago I looked to see if Cokesbury had something good for kids but mostly found youth or VBS stuff.  We did some years of Kay Arthur's Inductive Bible Studies for kids in late elementary.  Because they are detailed looks at specific stories, you can pick and choose if you aren't comfortable with how they might cover some of them. 

On another note and not what you asked for, I'm doing themed years for my high schooler, and this year we're doing CS Lewis.  We've done Mere Christianity and Screwtape Letters.  Because this time of year is crazy busy with extracurriculars, I wanted to end with something a little easier, so I found a guide to the Narnia series as allegory and kid is using this as excuse to re-read the series.  You might find something along those lines for a change of pace.  

I'm really looking forward to when I can do a CS Lewis study. We've read The Chronicles of Narnia, of course, but I think it'll be really fun to get to do more as my kids get bigger.

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I know this isn't probably terribly helpful for you, but I immediately think of all sorts of places in the Catholic world where this is the obvious, default position because that is how Catholicism reads the Bible -- not as non-literalist, because many parts of the Bible ARE literal in nature, but as genres of books that must be interpreted in light of that genre.

Bishop Barron has a helpful short article on the subject of the "Genesis problem." https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/the-genesis-problem-2-2/22334/ And he also did videos on this sort of thing a lot.

As to curricula, I haven't done Great Adventure Bible but that's what I would look at, but I don't know how Catholic it might be. I have really enjoyed being able to explain this position to my son -- he was very happy to hear that faith and reason, science and the Bible are not in conflict.

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44 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

I know this isn't probably terribly helpful for you, but I immediately think of all sorts of places in the Catholic world where this is the obvious, default position because that is how Catholicism reads the Bible -- not as non-literalist, because many parts of the Bible ARE literal in nature, but as genres of books that must be interpreted in light of that genre.

Bishop Barron has a helpful short article on the subject of the "Genesis problem." https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/the-genesis-problem-2-2/22334/ And he also did videos on this sort of thing a lot.

As to curricula, I haven't done Great Adventure Bible but that's what I would look at, but I don't know how Catholic it might be. I have really enjoyed being able to explain this position to my son -- he was very happy to hear that faith and reason, science and the Bible are not in conflict.

Thanks!  I'd much rather explain theological differences of opinion than have my kids feed false dichotomies. They'll know, of course, that some people hold those views, but I don't want it to seem like the default opinion. Our church Sunday School is nice, but currently virtual only and the kids don't really participate. I understand why, but it's still tough!

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