The Bible Overview

  • 5 December 2014

Would you like to be able to present a clear and memorable overview of the Bible to others?

Would you like to be able to demonstrate that the Bible isn't just a collection of random documents, but the unfolding story of God's relationship with the world?

Are you looking for an evangelistic resource that can be used in a variety of situations, and introduces people of all ages to the Bible?

Do you run a youth group or Sunday school class, and want to be able to introduce young people to the flow of the whole Bible?

Would you like to make use of a memorable framework of the Bible, which can be briefly used to introduce the context of sermons or Bible studies?

Are you involved with primary or high school education and would like to equip students with the skills to examine Bible passages in context?

The Bible Overview is designed to meet all of these uses and more.

The Bible is God's word. If people are to know God truly, and understand their world and themselves, they must have an understanding of the message of the Bible. The Bible Overview was created because of a perception that many people, Christian and non-Christian, find the Bible daunting and hard to understand. The aim of The Bible Overview is to equip each other to better read, understand, and apply the Bible.

So what is The Bible Overview?

The Bible Overview consists of four parts:

  • An overview of the story of the whole Bible (known as the General Presentation). This includes 15 pictures with name cards, each representing a stage in the unfolding story of the Bible.
  • A way of summarizing the message of the Old Testament (the Old Testament Presentation).
  • A way of summarizing the message of the New Testament (the New Testament Presentation).
  • A straightforward process for understanding passages of the Bible. This process is called the COMA method (Context, Observation, Meaning, Application). 

One person presents the material, using the The Bible Overview Leader's Manual. The four parts are all summarized in the The Bible Overview booklet. The course participants each have their own copy of The Bible Overview booklet, which is designed to serve as a reminder of The Bible Overview presentation and a reference for personal Bible study.

The Bible Overview presentations can differ enormously depending on the situations in which they are to be used. The purpose of a Bible Overview presentation is to show a group or individual the significance of each stage of the Bible story, the coherence of the Bible as a whole, and how to understand particular Bible passages in light of the bigger picture of the whole book.

Once The Bible Overview has been presented, the framework of the Bible that it introduces can be usefully referred to in an ongoing way. For example, a banner or slide of the 15 pictures and name cards could be referred to in the course of a Bible study or sermon, to demonstrate how the message being preached fits within the story of the Bible as a whole.

Who is The Bible Overview for?

Because in its essence The Bible Overview is very simple, its presentation can be adapted to suit a wide range of people. It can be used with those of primary school age (focusing on the story and emphasizing the pictures) through to those at a tertiary level (looking in more detail at each stage of the story and grappling with its implications for Bible study).