If you have taken a look at the Bible lessons on the Teach One Reach One website, you may have noticed the section called “Interesting Facts”. Interesting facts can help you add not only a new layer of understanding, but at times a new layer of faith to your lessons for your students.
Our interesting facts have been gathered from a variety of sources. They range from common knowledge about aspects of culture and geography to recent archaeological finds confirming the existence of certain people, places or things. Depending upon the age of your students, you may want to share all of the facts or none at all. Most are appropriate to share for all ages, they may just be too difficult for the very youngest of children to understand.
Often Bible stories confuse children because the customs have changed so drastically, what the person did in the story doesn’t make sense in the context of our culture. Explaining these cultural facts will prevent your students from assuming everybody in the Bible was a little off in their decision making process. Understanding that the decisions made were appropriate for that time will not only increase Bible understanding, but also help your students begin to understand there are parts of culture God allows us to change and parts which must conform to His commands.
Other interesting facts will allow your student to begin to see the “awesome” factor of the Bible. It sounds a little strange if you haven’t taught children for very long, but knowing Jacob and Joseph’s bodies were made into Egyptian mummies makes the Bible exciting to them. To teens, understanding Pentecost had become the day to celebrate Moses receiving the Old Law was the same day God chose to start the Church, makes the whole picture of the Bible come together in a new way.
Some interesting facts are merely to underscore the Bible is a book about real people, places and events. Children and teens will have many people try to convince them the Bible is a book of fictional myths. While archaeology is somewhat open to interpretation, knowing Balaam was mentioned in a text found in another country who didn’t believe in God, will help your students understand the historicity of what you teach. (Note:Caution your students that just because archaeologists have yet to find something, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or exist. The Middle East is an extremely large area – much of it covered in desert and shifting sands. Place names have changed over the centuries yet every season archaeological digs uncover new things to help us understand what things looked like in those times and even actual places and things mentioned in the Bible.)
The next time you look at one of our lessons, take some time to read the interesting facts. Sharing them with your students may add that little something extra to the lesson your students need to help them grow spiritually.