Read this bit first!
If you are taking this module for BBS credit (5 module points) you will need to do all the work specified in this article but will have a certain amount of choice as to the order in which you do it. Please do not rush at this in your enthusiasm to get started. You have a long journey ahead – we estimate about 50 hours – and a few moments of preparation before you start will save much trouble later. So if you spend a little time in preparation you may be able to avoid wasting time later. For example, as you read through these instructions you may find something you do not understand. You can contact us for clarification straightaway and get on with another assignment while you wait, instead of coming to a total standstill later. “Us” in this context means your mentor if you have one or the module tutor if he has made contact. This should happen upon your enrolment but the paperwork can take a little time to process, even when done electronically, and if your tutor happens to be away or otherwise unavailable you will need to be patient. If you urgently require help contact us here.
The article: Advice on Studying by Distance Learning is intended to help you make a good start on what may be a journey through what is for you unfamiliar territory. It will take you 20 minutes or so to read through and we hope you do so fairly soon. You may not have 20 minutes to spare at this moment so make a note and plan to read it at your earliest opportunity. It should be self-explanatory and some of the matters discussed, essay writing for example, can safely be left until you need them.
Sections 4 to 12 cover resources. Some of this is important from the outset and you must read articles 3 to 6 (From Scrolls to e-books, Resources: Introduction, Bible in English, and English Dictionary and Grammar Guide) sooner rather than later. You must have access to an accurate Bible in English, suitable for detailed study, and an English Bible that you find clear and easy to follow. Also you will need access to an English dictionary. The other resources can wait until you need them but if you think you might be taking your studies beyond the introductory level it would not hurt to start to build up your own reference library and these articles are intended to help you do just that.
Although it goes without saying we will say it anyway: keep asking God to help you in your studies. Find a place where you can work without distraction, have a notebook open (or a new document on your word processor) so you can jot down things as you come to them, and try your utmost to find a time to study that suits you and then keep it sacrosanct. Or, to put it more simply, do your best, and ask for help if you need it.
Looking ahead at your Orientation Assignment (Section 13)
In your Christian walk you have almost certainly been a regular Bible reader. If you are a typical Christian you have read some parts many times (usually from the New Testament) and other parts probably never (Leviticus, for example). As a student of the British Bible School you should expect to read the Bible even more; it is, after all, the most important way of learning more about God. However, you will likely still find yourself in the New Testament much more than the Old.
This reading assignment is designed to get you used to reading the Bible regularly as a part of your studies, so it makes sense to begin with it right away. It is also meant to help you increase your familiarity with the overall Bible picture, so please read in the order given.
Here’s what to do:
- We are sure that you have read many if not all of these passages before but please resist the temptation to skim them as you hurry on to your comments.
- Pray, read the passage carefully (aloud is allowed) and then meditate on its meaning before writing anything.
- As you read we want you to reflect upon God’s word. To show us that you have done this we want you to write a brief response to or summary of each passage. Please do this in a separate document to be submitted in Plain Text or as a PDF for assessment later.
- The important parts of the exercise are the reading and reflecting, not the writing, so do not allow your responses to become longer than the passage. To link each passage and give a context we supply a running commentary in italics.
- To start you off we have included an example of what we are looking for in your comments but if you wish to disagree with what we have said please do so – always remembering to give your reasons.
There are thirty passages. After you have completed the first seven passages, please submit your responses to your tutor. This will help you to get started and let us know that we are all on the right track, so to speak. If you have any uncertainties, please get in touch with your tutor. You may submit the remaining twenty-three responses either altogether or in two batches.
- “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:1 – 2:3). God creates the heavens and the earth in six steps. The description of each day’s work follows the same pattern – not unlike a poem – with the refrain “And God saw that it was good”.
Please state the passage on which you are commenting and do not forget to name all work that is being submitted. And now it is your turn: read and comment on passages 2 – 7 (and if you have anything different to say about Genesis 1:1 – 2:3, now is the time to say it).
There are three DVD/video Presentations available to watch as part of Unit One. Each lasts about thirty minutes although there are points at which you will be told to press pause and go and do something, so either allow more than thirty minutes each or be prepared to make a note and return later. These presentations are for your benefit and, hopefully, your enjoyment. Find the right time to watch and find the best way to watch actively. Get in the (good) habit of praying before you start and asking God to bless your studies. It is also helpful to spend some time in personal reflection at the end and ask God to tell you what He wants you to do with these lessons. Unlike a traditional lecture when once the words are spoken they are lost forever (unless your lecturer has written a book) these classes can be watched again and again.
You may still find it helpful to take notes as an aid to concentration although there seems to be little point in taking down every word as you can always watch again later. You will find it helpful to have an outline or index of what you have seen. We are sure you will have a vivid recollection of everything on the first presentation but after you have watched the second you will start to forget or get muddled so find a way of recording what you have seen so you can find it again later.
Watch and listen for key facts, the things you really need to know. There is plenty of interesting material that is nice to know but which is of lesser importance. Where you are given instructions please follow them. There are points where you are told to stop watching and go and do something else. When this happens please do as you have been told. It may take longer than you had anticipated but the end result – the increase in your knowledge – makes it worthwhile. Read the précis of each of the programmes and then decide whether you need to watch any or all of them. If you are confident that you can pass the assessments without viewing then praise the Lord and pass but if you might perhaps, possibly need a little reminder first that is what the videos are for.
Your assessment target is to know the 66 books of the Bible in the correct order 1 and with the correct English spellings. You might start the course knowing this already, in which case praise the Lord and keep going. Or you may have to struggle for quite some time before you are ready to face an assessment. Please make the effort to get this right before you move on to the next DVD. Hopefully you have picked up lots of other pieces of information well. If you remember them, all well and good. If not, come back and watch the presentation again at a later date.
“The Right Place”
This DVD reviews and builds upon the first presentation so it is best to watch them in the correct sequence unless you are totally confident that you know the names and order of the 66 books. Having learned the names and spellings of the 66 books we need to place them in the correct categories of writings and understand what these categories are. Again, you may know much of this before you start in which case watch the presentation and press on. However, if much of this is new to you it will be a sound investment to spend as long as you need to master the facts before moving on.
“The Right Time”
This presentation introduces some technical material on time and how it is measured and recorded or, to use a technical term that is explained in the programme, chronology. Much of this presentation is spent in the Old Testament as these thirty-nine books cover many more centuries than the single century of the twenty-seven New Testament books. The content here is closer to nice to know than need to know so there is no assessment. However we do ask you to view the material.
Memorising the books
As you will have seen above, we would like you to be confident in knowing the common order and spellings of the 66 books found in our Bibles today. In addition to the video presentation, you might find the following links useful:
A somewhat variable collection at http://www.jetpunk.com/tags/bible
If you enjoy this type of quiz have fun and if you do not then find a better way to test yourself.
A Final Check
Make sure you have done everything you have been asked to do and then prepare to send in your assignment and Self Assessment Form.