How Did We Get Our Bible?

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 36 - Learning About Our Bible

TEXT: Jeremiah 36:1-32; Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21


The students will be able to explain that over a period of many years, men who were inspired by God wrote the Bible so all people could know about Him. They will know that it is divided into two sections consisting of sixty-six books.


Introduction: Take a large stack of books to class. Include a songbook, a dictionary, a cookbook, a textbook, a storybook, etc. Talk about the uses for each of these kinds of books. Then bring out your Bible. Explain that today's lesson is going to help them discover why the Bible is the most important book of all.

  1. The Bible has two sections: the Old Testament and the New.
  2. Jeremiah was one of the Old Testament writers who faithfully recorded God's messages for Israel and for us, even though men tried to destroy him and his writings.
  3. In the New Testament, Jesus' disciple named Luke wrote the books of Luke and the Acts. He had perfect understanding of what the Apostles had seen and learned of Christ, and had traveled with Paul.
  4. Paul declared that all Scripture is inspired of God. Peter tells us that it was recorded for us by holy men who were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Climax: God inspired holy men of old to write the books included in our Bible.

Conclusion: All men can know God and learn how to please Him because He gave us the Bible.

Response: The students will be able to explain that the Bible is inspired by God. They will know that it is divided into two sections that are made up of many books which tell what God has done and will do.


The word Bible comes from the Greek word biblia which in turn was derived from byblos (papyrus) or the parchment of which books were made. It was not used with reference to all the books of the New and Old Testament until the fifth century AD. Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Following the return of the Jews after the Babylonian Captivity some were written in Aramaic. The New Testament, was for the most part, written in Greek.

The first and most important of the ancient translations was from Hebrew into Greek and was called the Septuagint. The name was derived from the number of men (actually seventy-two) doing the translation and was usually designated by the Roman numerals LXX. The translation was completed around three hundred years before Christ. Scholars differ in their opinion why the translation was made, but most think it was for the benefit of the Jews in Alexandria, Egypt, who for the most part spoke Greek. However, the seventy-two Hebrew scholars were sent by the high priest to Alexandria at the request of the Egyptian monarch.

The Bible is composed of sixty-six books, thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New. When we consider that it was written over a period of fourteen hundred years, and by at least thirty-six different authors, we can readily understand that it had to be inspired by the Spirit of God to maintain its cohesive theme—the redemption of mankind. The Bible was copied laboriously by scribes until 1455 AD. when it became the first major book to be printed on the newly designed press that Gutenberg built.

The books of the Bible originally had no chapters or verses. It was first divided into chapters in the 13th century. Later the chapters were divided into verses. In 1560 the first English Bible was printed with chapters and verses.


  • This activity can be used for the entire unit and can be for pre-class time, etc. Make a copy of the Old and New Testament smiley faces and also make sixty-six of the small smiley faces (see Patterns). To help keep them separate, copy the Old Testament books onto one color and the New Testament books onto another. On each of the small smiley faces write the name of a book of the Bible. Let the children use them to place the Old or New Testament books in the correct order. The large smiley faces are for them to refer to if they have a problem remembering the correct order. Store the smiley faces in Ziploc bags.
  • Fill a bag with objects such as a road map, a cookbook, a dictionary, and a Bible. Take out one object at a time, saving the Bible until last. Show the children how each object was prepared for a specific function. For example, when you show the road map tell the children the map shows you the way from point A to point B. Let them know you are thankful someone put this information together. Tell them the cookbook has directions in it to help you make a certain meal. Bring out the same ideas for each item. When you take the Bible from the sack, tell the children that this has the most important information you will ever need. Explain that you are thankful to all the people in history who recorded God's words so we could read them today.
  • Start off this unit by giving each of your students the Find a Book project to put together (see Patterns). Help each child fill in the blank lines with the necessary names. (You may choose a book of the Bible for him to look up or ask if he has a special one he would like to find.) Also, each child will need a book marker. When the students have completed their projects, help them cut the page apart and put it together to make a book that will be their very own story of how they found a book in the Bible.


  1. How was the Bible written?
  2. Name the two main parts of the Bible.
  3. Our memory verse is found in Psalm 102:18. What is Psalms? What is 102? What is 18?
  4. Why do you think the Bible is the most popular book in the world? How did people know what to write?
  5. How many people had a part in writing the Bible? How many books make up the Bible?
  6. How do we know that the whole Bible is true?
  7. How does the Bible, which was written many years ago, affect our life today?
  8. If all the Bibles were destroyed, how would we still have God's Word with us?
  9. What is your favorite part or story in the Bible?
  10. How should we take care of our Bibles?


  • Use of a picture cube will encourage recall of Bible facts. Choose six stories or happenings from the Old and New Testaments and illustrate them in some way on the six sides of a picture cube or small box. For example, Noah—ark; Moses—baby in basket; Jonah—whale; Jesus' birth—manger; Lost sheep—lamb; Jesus' death—cross. Let the children take turns tossing the cube in the air. The child who tossed the cube gets first chance at guessing which story the illustration on top represents. Ask the children if they know whether that story is in the Old or New Testament. They probably won't, so ask your questions in such a way that will give them the answer. Such as, "Moses was born such a long time ago. Do you suppose his story is in the Old Testament?" or "Jesus told the story of the little lost sheep. Should we look in the New Testament to find that story?"
  • Take some storybooks to class which your little ones would be familiar with. Talk about whether we believe that such characters as Little Red Riding Hood or the Three Little Pigs are real. Help them understand that the Bible is special because all the stories in it are true or had special truths to relate.
  • Copy the set of simple pictures illustrating the main points in the Bible (see Patterns). Pictures include: a world, Jesus in manger, a white heart, a cross, simple sketch of Heaven. Insert them here and there in your Bible. Let your little ones take turns pulling one picture out and then you explain what the picture is about. As an alternative suggestion, you might want to insert purchased pictures of well-known Bible stories such as Noah, Jonah, Baby Moses, Jesus walking on the water.


Use the "sack filled with objects" idea given under In-Class Activities.

Have four people sit in front of your group with pencils and paper. Tell a story to everyone, and ask the four people to write in their own words what they heard. Afterwards, have each of the four people read what they wrote. No doubt there will be some differences in how the story is retold. But the point should be made that though each person said it differently, the message is the same because it originated with one person. Just so, the Bible was all inspired by God, even though different people actually wrote the words.

Dramatize the wicked king burning the pages from the Book of God, as recorded in our Jeremiah text. Explain to your group that even though this king perhaps thought that would be the end of it, God's Word cannot be destroyed. It will live on eternally.