Our Bible – A God breathed book

September started off with some good old-fashioned memory work for the boys and girls of Gospel Tabernacle. We’ve been memorizing the books of the Bible using this song:

Today we talked about how we got our written version of the Bible.

Story:
If I told you to make a copy of this paper, what would you do? (Hold up a paper with writing on it)

Of course you would go to a copier machine and make a copy. It would be exact in every way, right? But what did people do before copier machines to make copies of the Bible?

Review question from last week – who wrote the first 5 books of the Bible? (Moses!)

Do you remember the story of how he got the 10 commandments?  The Israelites had just escaped from Egypt through the red sea. Moses went up to the mountain to get the 10 Commandments. God himself had carved them in the stone tablets.

When Moses came down the mountain, the people were worshipping idols. Moses smashed the stone tablets that God had carved because he was so angry with the people.

Then he had to go back up the mountain and ask God for a new copy.

This time God made Moses carve them himself

(Hold up a railroad spike and a rock to simulate chiseling  away on a stone or actually have the children try to chisel a rock.)

After the first 5 books of the law were written (called the Torah, the Israelites began to make copies of them. They were done on scrolls, copied by men called scribes. A scribe’s job was to copy the bible. Each copy had to be exact! If there was one wrong pen stroke the  scroll was destroyed and he had to start again.

These men were highly trained artists of calligraphy. One scroll could take years to complete. After they were written, it was kept in a cloth cover in a sealed container so the weather elements couldn’t  break down the paper as quickly.

So you can imagine there weren’t many copies of the Bible books available. It wasn’t in the form you see now – hold up the Bible. Each book was copied separately and it was just the Old Testament at the time.

When the New Testament was written, each book was written as a  letter to believers in the newly established churches. Who wrote most of these letters? Paul. Matthew Mark Luke and John, James, Peter. They did the same thing – people copied the letters by hand to share with the other churches which was a long and tiring job.

After many years, the church founders got together and chose which books to include in the Bible and began copying whole Bibles and not just parts of it. But the still did it by had which was a long and tedious process.

In the 15th century, a man by the name of Gutenberg created the first printing press in Germany and the first book he printed on it was the Bible! I found a drawing of Gutenberg and his press on this site: http://www.poorwilliam.net/al-020305.html and enlarged it so the children could see it.

Today we print books digitally using computer technology which allows a whole book to be printed in about a minute! It is possible for almost everyone to have a copy of the scriptures now as missionaries translate the scriptures into the language of the people around the world.

Craft suggestions to go along with this lesson –
1. Use rubber stamps to print a Scripture verse.
2. Create potato stamps and use paint to print on paper.

Since we are memorizing Scripture, we played a memory game at the end. Instead of using the electronic “Simon” game which lights up and uses tones which the children must imitate, we used 5 differenc musical instruments. The children took turns making noise with each instrument in a pattern, they the other childrens took turns trying to remember the pattern.

Throughout the lesson, we stopped to reciite the 20 books of the Bible we have learned already.

We are also offering incentives for those who remember the books in the next class.

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