Program Approach for Elementary Bible
The BJU Press elementary Bible program helps to bridge the gap between head knowledge and heart knowledge by guiding students as they study, interpret, and apply a biblical worldview. Elementary Bible builds on 147 foundational Bible truths that present the Bible as a complex yet coherent story that is relevant to all people for all time. Our sequential approach to Scripture’s story and fundamental doctrines gives students a foundational understanding of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation and offers opportunities to practice comparing worldviews. When students know God’s Word, their hearts can change to love and worship God and, in turn, love others as themselves. When the Word of God changes students’ minds, hearts, and actions, they can live like Christ and share the truth of the gospel with others.
Knowing God’s Word
The Bible, the source of all knowledge and wisdom, is the heart of this course. Each lesson assigns Bible reading and recommends memory verses. By personally interacting with their Bibles in class, students will understand how biblical truths apply to daily life. Instead of emphasizing simple fact memorization, critical-thinking questions encourage students to internalize Scripture. The teacher editions have additional information to help teachers guide students to understanding. This additional information gives clarity about cultural context, church history, and intertextual relationships.
Bible Study Skills
Students learn Bible study skills effectively through modeling, which makes Bible study more manageable for students to incorporate in their own lives. In our student worktexts, the first activity page is teacher guided, and then students work independently on the second page. We use a study, interpret, apply approach to guide students in Bible study. This approach equips them for inductive Bible study. Students will practice observing biblical texts, interpreting their meaning, and applying the text to their context. Bible Tools Lessons introduce students to different approaches, techniques, and tools to help them understand God’s Word at a deeper and more contextual level. The student worktext encourages reading and interpretive skills through assessment questions about the students’ Bible reading. Students practice to understand the physical context of events in the Bible. Students learn how journaling, digital Bibles, glossaries, dictionaries, and concordances enhance Bible study. The H.A.B.I.T. sections have Bible reading schedules that help students make Scripture reading and application a habit.
Teaching Bible Doctrines
Our elementary Bible program teaches basic Bible doctrines to create a strong foundation for more complex doctrines to build on. Grades 1–3 emphasize Bible doctrines by systematically teaching and reinforcing fundamental truths of Scripture. The Bible Truths section in the back of the student and teacher editions contains nondenominational catechisms of Bible doctrines for study purposes. Each week of lessons recommends going through five catechism questions to prepare students for deeper theological study. We also teach doctrines within the context of the whole Bible through our chronological study in Grades 4–5. Socratic questioning, teacher modeling, guided formative assessments, and independent study expand and reinforce students’ understanding of doctrine.
Authority of God’s Word
Students learn that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God. We desire that students develop confidence in the authority of God’s Word. In our Bible program, students learn that because God authored the Bible, it is the source of wisdom and truth. God’s inspiration of Scripture is a miracle. The structure of our program emphasizes the unity and cohesion of God’s Word in order to encourage faith in its truthfulness. Our presentation of God’s Word as the ultimate authority is not reliant on historical facts or logical arguments. It is based on faith and commitment to God and His Word as the standard.
Emphasis on the Gospel
It is essential for students to understand the gospel before they can develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Students must acknowledge their personal sin and recognize their need of a savior. We emphasize God’s dealings with His people through both the Old and New Testaments, showing God’s faithfulness and mercy to offer salvation to His sinful people. Our student texts provide daily journaling opportunities for students to evaluate their personal relationship with God. Students will also develop the skills to share the gospel with others. By developing 21st century skills like collaboration and communication, students practice sharing Bible truths with others. The teacher editions contain activities in the lessons for students to work together and solve problems related to spreading the message of the gospel.
The Creation, Fall, Redemption Model
Our Bible products consistently model the Creation, Fall, Redemption metanarrative of Scripture. The worktexts trace the metanarrative from Genesis to Revelation in the Scriptures and explain the profound implications it has for all of life. They also trace how individual accounts fit into the Scripture’s metanarrative. Bible 4, The Pathway of Promise, follows this model through the whole Old Testament, pointing toward Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. And Bible 5, The Fullness of Time, shows how Jesus redeems His people and ultimately the whole of creation. This model can answer all major worldview questions and is the distinction between the Christian worldview and other worldviews. A chronological approach to the Bible helps students grasp the depth of mankind’s failure to fulfill God’s design and the wonder of God’s redemption. Beautiful expandable timelines, available in the back of Bible 4 and 5, help students visualize the arc of Scripture.
Our elementary program is designed to change the way students interpret the world, and not to simply give them a list of facts about God or the Bible. We focus biblical worldview development around the themes of glory, kingdom, covenants, divine presence, law and wisdom, and the atonement in the biblical metanarrative. We shape a biblical worldview by laying a foundational understanding of the whole story of the Bible, and then in that context we encourage students to think deeply about how that applies to their life. That’s why we follow a comprehensive study of the arc of Scripture with a comparative, age-appropriate study of a biblical worldview and other worldviews. These questions help students understand their own actions from a biblical perspective. Our Bible 6 textbook, Basics of a Biblical Worldview, helps students practice applying their foundation of biblical worldview from Bible 1–5 by comparing a biblical worldview with other religions. The teacher editions contain questions to help shape worldview. Case studies, worldview dilemmas, webquests, and collaborative activities enforce the student’s understanding of the biblical worldview.