Last year I served in a unique ministry at my church. They wanted to work on the kids’ knowledge of the Bible and everything that has to do with that as part of the Bible lessons. They wanted games that would be easy to play, and wouldn’t really require much training of their volunteers. So I sat down and brainstormed some new Sunday School lessons. This books of the Bible game was one of the first ones I came up with.
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Why teach the books of the Bible?
In this modern age of electronic books and having 20 different translations of the Bible at the tap of a finger, why learn the books of the Bible?
With this game, I have a different goal than a straight memorization of books of the Bible. That has some use, but this game was to familiarize yourself with the types of books of the Bible.
Let’s say I give you a book and it starts off:
Once upon a time, there was a princess…..
What kind of story would you say it was? Would you expect the events of the story to be true?
You say, “That’s a fairy tale. I expect to see magic, unicorns or other magical creatures, and there’s probably going to be a fairy godmother. I know that is fiction.”
Similarly, when you read the Bible there are different types of books. You can find books of history, letters, prophecy, and poetry. Each of those types needs to be read in a different way.
If you read a book of history that is describing what happened to the people in the Bible. King David stayed behind one day and saw another man’s wife and said, “She’s hot. I want to sleep with her!” He then proceeded to get himself into a lot of trouble as he tried to cover up his bad decisions (teach David and Bathsheba to kids).
Anybody with an ounce of common sense is going to read those chapters and say, “This is a description of what David did, this is not a recommendation I do what David did.” HOWEVER, there is more than one sermon (or bad Christian advice book) taking a historical event and saying “This is what God wants you to do” after reading a historical event.
Those books are in there to learn from, and to show us how God acted in history.
It’s helpful to know what type of book you’re reading as you look over the Bible, and that’s where this books of the Bible game comes into play.
Setting up the Books of the Bible go fish game
I put together a Books of the Bible card game, you can pick it up over in my store, it’s a couple of dollars.
The Books of the Bible card game has nine different cards: Law, Histories, Poetry, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Gospels, History (New Testament), Letters, and Prophecy. There are six different suits: blue, green, red, yellow, pink, and black.
Once you’ve downloaded the file, print it out on cardstock, that’s very important, while you could print it on normal paper, it’s not going to stand out.
If you’re printing this out for an entire church, or if your church is like mine and you’re going to have enough kids that you’ll have several decks of the books of the Bible card game in the same room. I tried printing copies off on different colors of cardstock and it muddied the colors of the cards too much. Instead, I had a large crowd of volunteers (Princess’ American Heritage Girl troop getting service hours) draw different backs on the cards. This led to an interesting grouping of cards. Some were super complicated with symbols and shapes, while others were just plain colors for the backs.
Once your cards are all cut out, I like to use my Fiskars paper cutter to get it all cut out quickly, shuffle the cards.
When I’m storing the decks of the Books of the Bible card game I wrap them up in rubber bands and throw them in a pencil box (WOW! I guess this is why I buy my pencil boxes during back to school sales) with my books of the Bible cards (if you join my mailing list you’ll get a coupon to get those free) and a bunch of index cards that we use for prayer requests.
More generic Bible skills to go with the Books of the Bible Go Fish game
- Time for a Sword Drill
- Teaching Your Kids How to Pray for Others
- Natural Disasters Prayer Stations
- Teaching kids how to serve others
It’s time to play game
While you can play this Books of the Bible Go Fish Game with more people, for the best experience you don’t really want more than four or five players per deck.
Pass out six cards per player, and put the rest of the cards in the middle.
While I assume you know how to play a normal round of Go Fish, just in case I’m gonna tell you our house rules.
First, look at your cards to see if you have any matches if you do put them down on the table. A match for this game is two of a particular card, so a red and a blue Major Prophets card is a match.
That random extra card is a reference card so you can know the different card types you’re looking for and can ask about.
Once everyone’s done that, it’s time to start. The first player picks a random victim, I mean the first player picks another player and asks if they have something. In my case, I asked Batman if he had any Minor Prophets.
He didn’t so I drew a card, and it was the next person’s turn. If he’d had the card, I would have put the matched cards down and it would have been the next person’s turn.
Side note, my commentary on Go Fish
Now, I know some house rules say if you got a match you get to go again. I’m not a fan of that house rule personally, so I don’t tend to play with it.
Continuing on, at some point one of your players is going to run out of cards. If that happens they draw a new hand and continue playing.
Once all of the cards are matched up, count up who has the most matches and that’s your winner. Super simple.
Come back soon, and I’ll share with you another fun game you can play with the books of the Bible card game.