Sunday Software is pleased to recommend the What’s in the Bible? series of Bible videos for Sunday School. We’ve sold them since they first came out and even wrote detailed outlines for each.
Though we no longer actively sell them, our Guides can be printed from Rotation.org’s Bible Video Guides Collection.
♦ These Bible videos are from the creator of VeggieTales. They take your kids through the Bible in a fun, kid-friendly, but VERY content-rich way.
♦ Stretching from Genesis to Jesus, Paul, and Revelation, each DVD is a fast-paced and humorous “show” about what’s in particular book(s) of the Bible and what they mean to us today.
♦ Each DVD has two 26 minute episodes led by a cast of fun “muppet quality” characters interacting with Phil Vischer.
My teachers and I often find ourselves laughing out loud at the jokes and puppet humor in this series. (The kids laugh too.)
♦ Each episode is full of humor, narrated animations, creative graphics, ‘live’ performers interacting with the cast, bunches of short jingly teaching songs, explanations of scripture concepts, kid-friendly Bible background, and lots of life application.
♦ The content is geared toward Sunday School and teaching (which isn’t always the case with Vischer’s previous Veggie Tales efforts).
♦ Each DVD in this series reinforces the series’ and Bible’s over-arching theme: “God’s Rescue Plan.” The characters and Phil Vischer regularly revisit this theme and show how each book’s story fits into that plan. These theological concepts are explained and repeated for effect through illustration, animation, and song.
This series is optimally for ages 7* to 12. The humor and pace keep older kids focused. The Bible content is infused with the kind of humor kids love and pay attention to. Some of the DVDs, such as The Prophets, are better for older kids and not 7 yr olds. I’ve added my age-range suggestions below in the descriptions. Our exclusive guides include age-range and theological/teaching comments for EACH section of each DVD where appropriate.
I have personally taught with 8 of the DVDs in my own Sunday School. My kids look forward to them and my teachers love the depth of content. But here’s the thing: In one lesson, I rarely use more than about 20 minutes of a DVD’s 55+ minutes of content. Why’s that? Because we’re cherry-picking the episodes and chapters in each DVD to fit our lesson plan and age group. Depending on my lesson plan and what’s in the DVD, I might use 15 minutes from the DVD or 25. I might show several chapters and then skip a section depending on my lesson needs. That’s why I wrote OUTLINES to each DVD, –to remember what’s in each DVD, how much time it will take in my lesson plan, and what to skip. These outlines are YOURS when you buy the DVDs from us.
Some DVDs really give you a lot on certain key stories, while other DVDs in the series move quickly touch on stories. DVD 1 onGenesis is a good example of this. In a 50 minute DVD you can’t cover all of Genesis’ stories in-depth. This is why I wrote TEACHING OUTLINES for each DVD, → because teachers need to know exactly what parts of each DVD will cover your particular lesson, and what to skip. They are free when you buy the CD from us.
Highlights of the 13 DVDS in the series…
Let start with the three most popular New Testament DVDs:
DVD #10: Jesus is the Good News!
Episode 1: In “God’s Perfect Timing” Buck Denver and crew learn about the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments and how Jesus arrived at just the perfect time. Your kids learn about the Pharisees and Sadducees, and how the Roman Empire set the stage for the spread of the Gospel. They’ll learn what “Gospel” means and how the Gospels came to be. DVD 10~Episode 1 is especially good at explaining “why” God promised a Messiah, and what a Messiah is. Good for Advent.
In Episode 2: “The Messiah has come!” your kids will learn about the life and ministry of Jesus, see highlights of his healing and teaching ministry, and walk through Holy Week to the cross, learning how and WHY Jesus died for us and rose again to launch the Kingdom of God in the world and in us! The DVD does a great job of explaining concepts of Sin and God’s Plan of Redemption in kid-friendly terms and fun presentations.
DVD #11: Spread the News!
The Book of Acts, Pentecost, Paul’s Conversion/Journeys, and the Early Church
Episode 1: “A Helper Arrives!” Buck Denver and friends learn about Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Then Jesus’ followers make a big splash in Jerusalem – with the Holy Spirit’s help!
Episode 2: “God Picks Paul” It will take a very special person to carry the Good News throughout the Roman world. After an amazing encounter with Jesus, a guy named Paul gets the job!
Our exclusive guide to DVD 11 tells you which chapters to “skip” if you need to fit both episodes into one Video class time, …without messing with the message of the DVD. This DVD is particularly good at teaching about Pentecost and Paul’s conversion story.
DVD #12: Letters of Paul!
This wonderful DVD makes Paul, his writings, and his key theological ideas understandable to our kids. (Shoot, I think ADULTS could learn a lot from this DVD!)
Overview of the segments included on this DVD:
- 1 & 2 Corinthians –Paul’s advice to the Church. What does it mean to have faith? What is “Grace”?
- Paul’s 13 Letters
- Fruit of the Spirit
- The meaning of Sanctification
- Overview of Paul’s letter to the Romans
- Phil Vischer explains “Justification by Faith through Grace” in a kid-friendly way.
- Phil explains what it means to be a Christian… according to Paul.
Our exclusive guide to DVD 12 includes age-appropriate notes, and comments on Phil’s explanations of key Pauline theology. The Fruits of the Spirit section is particularly good.
Overview of the other 10 DVDs in the series:
What’s in the Bible #1, In the Beginning
Kids will learn about the key people in Genesis and the important lessons their stories teach. ● Begins with an overview of the importance of the Bible in history and in people’s lives. ● Describes the “One Big Story” of God and what he’s done for us. ● Introduces the Books of the Bible ● What’s a Testament? ● Who wrote it? ● Adam and Eve teaches us that love is a choice, God gave us freedom to choose. ● Genesis doesn’t teach us ‘how’ but ‘who’. ● Stories from the first 11 chapters. This DVD is more of an “overview” of what the Bible is, and how God’s plan is going to be revealed. It doesn’t concentrate too much on individual stories.
What’s in the Bible #2, Let My People Go
Kids are introduced to the book of Exodus: the oppression of the Israelites and the birth and rise of God’s chosen leader, Moses. The DVD also answers the question, who wrote the Bible? in a way kids can grasp. ● Who picked the books to be in the Bible? ● Genesis defines “sin” and begins the story of redemption. ● What is faith? ● Second part of Genesis begins the story of God’s rescue plan. Exodus continues it. ● Moses and the Exodus ● Explanation of Old Covenant vs New Covenant ● Ten Commandments explained ● Building of the Tabernacle, Day of Atonement
What’s In the Bible #3, Wanderin’ in the Desert
Buck Denver and his cast of friends take us through the next three books of the Bible—Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—helping kids understand how these books fit in with Genesis and Exodus to make up the Pentateuch and to set the stage for the trials and victories of God’s people. ● Summary of the story of Genesis and Exodus ● Leviticus: Definition & How to be Holy ● About God’s Rules ● What about the ‘wacky’ rules in Leviticus? ● Story of Numbers ● Deuteronomy = “Give God your best and you’ll be blessed” ● What it means to say God is “Holy” ● Pentateuch: The Musical!
What’s in the Bible #4, Battle for the Promised Land
The stories of Joshua, Judges and Ruth are told, –helping children understand God’s desire for a special people to bring his special message. The issue of “violence” in the Old Testament is delicately and appropriately addressed. ● Recap of the story of Redemption which the other DVDs have been building up to ● Overview of the “historical” books ● Why they fought for the land ● Overview of the battles for the Promised Land ● God’s plan to raise up a nation ● The story of the Judges ● The story of Ruth …redemption and how God established a godly family to bring Israel a godly king.
What’s in the Bible #5, Israel Gets a King!
The stories of Samuel, Saul, David and Goliath, and Solomon. A good overview of all their stories, and emphasizing that even Kings can make mistakes, …and how David responded to God. ● Recap of the story of redemption, and Israel’s cry for a king. ● Overview of 1st and 2nd Samuel, the story of Saul, Samuel, and David ● Even Kings make mistakes! What made David different than Saul. The gift that Solomon asked God for. ● The Trinity. ●The “Davidic Promise”
What’s in the Bible #6, Israel Divided!
The stories from Kings and Chronicles. Including Elijah. It’s refreshing to see how they made Kings and Chronicles UNDERSTANDABLE for kid (and adults). Includes: The Big Split: Israel is split in two, and the prophet Elijah faces off with 450 prophets of Baal to prove that Israel’s God is the true God! The End of Israel: A bunch of unfaithful kings lead to the end of Israel and Judah, but Isaiah has an amazing message in Israel’s darkest hour.
What’s in the Bible #7, Exile and Return
-Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther. Part One: “Ezra & Nehemiah” The exile is over, but the Israelites face BIG challenges back home in Judah! The Israelites return home to Judah to rebuild God’s temple – a task full of unexpected challenges. Part Two: “Brave Queen Esther” A brave young Jewish girl risks everything to save her people from doom at the hands of the evil Haman. Really good for teaching Esther.
What’s in the Bible #8: Words to Make Us Wise
-Psalms, Proverbs & The Writings, including Job. Part One: “Poems in the Bible?” Learn about the Bible’s poetry, the amazing story of Job, and Psalms – the Bible’s song book! Part Two: “Wisdom from Above” Solomon shares his wisdom in the book of Proverbs, then Sunday School Lady finds the meaning in Ecclesiastes and explains how the Song of Solomon – a book of love songs – ended up in the Bible!
What’s in the Bible #9: God Speaks!
-Isaiah, Jeremiah & the Prophets, Daniel and Jonah
Volume 9 introduces God’s prophets in the Old Testament – from Isaiah and his hope-filled prophecies to Daniel in the lion’s den and Jonah and the whale. “God Speaks!” contains two 25-minute episodes…. 1: “Prophets, Prophets Everywhere!” What’s a prophet? And where do these 17 books fit in the history of Israel? Episode 2: “Messages of the Prophets” Meet the prophets that wrote these books and see what they tell us about God’s rescue plan.
Age Range and content note: This particular DVD in the series moves very fast through the 17 books of the Prophets. It doesn’t stop to spend much time on individual stories but is an excellent overview. As we note in our exclusive outline to this CD, some section could be skipped with younger children.
What’s in the Bible #10: Jesus Is The Good News! (Jesus in the Gospels)
Already described above at the top of this page!
What’s in the Bible #11: Spreading the Good News! (Book of Acts)
Already described above at the top of this page!
What’s in the Bible #12: Letter of Paul
Already described above at the top of this page!
DVD #13: God’s Kingdom Comes! General Epistles & Revelation
Episode 1: Buck Denver and friends take students through the remaining letters in the Bible – Hebrews, James, and the rest of the General Epistles – and what they teach us about following Jesus. In Episode 2: Kids learn that the last book of the Bible – Revelation – paints an amazing picture of God’s Kingdom coming to life! As a special feature, at the end of DVD 13, the whole cast of What’s in the Bible? wraps up the WHOLE Bible – the story of God, and what He’s done for us.
As a PCUSA minister, I was particularly happy with the way this DVD avoids apocalyptic “speculation” and scary-ness when dealing with Revelation. It does a good job of explaining many things in both the General Epistles and Revelation. I would use it for grades 3 and up. My exclusive outline contains numerous teaching comments.