Jenny's blog

Teach the New Testament in book order or chronologically…..

The last few days I’ve been second guessing myself about what order to teach the books of the New Testament. I had decided to teach in book order, but now I’m not sure. Both of the teachers I’ve talked to teach it as the Life of Christ in chronological order using whichever book has the main story. Then they teach epistles. There are several different pacing guides in the New Testament found on pages 277-278 of the teacher manual. I am leaning toward teaching the books in order myself so that it’s easier for my students to follow along with the assigned reading. If I weren’t using assigned reading, teaching the scriptures like the options in the manual or even Linda D’s version would be more appealing. Here’s what the manual says:

“In the CES weekday setting, . . . the scriptures should be taught in a sequential manner” ( Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook for CES Teachers and Leaders [1994], 20 ). However, because the Gospels treat the same events from the perspective of the four different writers, teachers who wish are authorized to make an exception. The following options can help you teach the Gospels as a harmony. Use these tables to identify the scripture blocks to teach. Teaching ideas for the various blocks can be found in the teacher resource manual and the video guide. Note: Students should be encouraged to read the four Gospels straight through. (Seminary NT Manual p 277)

Now, I did home study Seminary, but my husband did released time. I asked him how he did New Testament. His teacher taught it as the life of Christ chronology and students read the New Testament at their own pace. Jared says he finished the New Testament sometime during early spring. I asked him if it was awkward to have either read ahead or have not read material covered in class. He said it was weird. I was home study, and I really don’t remember too much about New (or Old) Testament Seminary. I did do the work on my own, but I was inconsistent and I was constantly falling behind. My teacher was inexperienced, and I think that did have play a role, but my own lack of commitment surely affected my experience. Anyway — I just don’t remember if we read in order or did the Life of Christ. I suspect we the did Life of Christ chronologically. I do remember being really confused about the reading assignments for both Old and New Testaments. It felt like we were really skipping lots and skipping around. Anyway, I still think I’m going to teach in book order. That’s the way most students will study the New Testament when they read on their own. Following along with us will be much easier. Yes, there will be repetition, but I don’t think it will be too bad. I’ve read the BoM dozens of times and each time I get something new, regardless of the amount of repetition. I’ve read the New Testament lid to lid a few times and the Gospels several times in order. I don’t remember being particularly bothered by repeating stories. If students are being encouraged to read everything in order, I feel that it would be best for me to also teach in the order they are reading. How are you teaching New Testament? Which pacing guide are you using? How did you make your choice?

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.