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Big Picture of the Bible: Old Testament / Big Picture of the Bible: New Testament Review by Whitney Dunahee

By Lorna Daniels Nichols
Big Picture Ministries, LLC
132 Brighthurst Drive
Chesterfield, MO 63005

Big Picture of the Bible is a Bible study guide. It is two volumes (available for purchase separately)--Big Picture of the Bible: Old Testament and Big Picture of the Bible: New Testament. The information is arranged in bullet points, which makes it easy to read and understand. Included in the books are beautiful full-color illustrations, maps, charts, timelines, historical and cultural background information, review questions (with answers!), and a glossary. The material is appropriate for individual study or group study as well as homeschool or classroom use.

Big Picture of the Bible: Old Testament summarizes the stories and events of the Old Testament. God's plan for redemption and salvation is made clear, and the reader can easily see how this plan is fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Eight lessons are found in this book.

Big Picture of the Bible: New Testament offers a summary of Jesus' life on earth and of the work of the apostles after Jesus' death and resurrection. There are six lessons (chapters) in this volume. The events are arranged in historical sequence. Working through the books from start to finish will give the reader a sense of continuity and an understanding of the overall message of the Old and New Testaments.

Each book also contains an appendix with even more information in an easy to use format. My favorite is the chart of "Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth." Such an easy-to-reference compilation of this information! The easy-to-use format and detailed table of contents make these books an excellent reference to enhance other Bible studies.

I would like to share an example of the depth of information contained in these books. Let's say I am reading about the tabernacle in my daily Bible reading and I would like to have more background information to enhance my Bible study. I can easily check the table of contents in Big Picture of the Bible: Old Testament and find that the tabernacle is covered in Chapter 4, Section 1, beginning on page 104. When I turn to this section I find a timeline, a map of relevant locations, an illustration, and a chart showing the layout of the tabernacle. Also I will find a valuable chart comparing the Old Testament definition with the New Testament application of various elements of the tabernacle. There is so much information presented in such an accessible format!

The text is appropriate for high school students through adults. Younger students may benefit from going through the studies with their parents but are unlikely to be ready to cover the material on their own. The material is deep enough that it could certainly be used toward Bible or History credits for high school students.

It gets even better. Semester timelines and lesson plans are available as free resources on the author's website: Using the lesson plans, you could complete one book as an eight-week Bible study or both books as a sixteen-week (one-semester) course. The lesson plans include lesson objectives, memory verses, reading assignments, recommended Bible readings, and vocabulary words. Whether you choose to use the books in a homeschool, classroom or a group Bible study setting, these lesson plans make the job of the teacher much easier. I believe these studies with the accompanying lesson plans would be a great choice for a one-semester homeschool co-op class setting.

I appreciate that Big Picture of the Bible is intended to supplement and enhance reading of the Word. It is not intended to replace time spent studying the Bible. Families who read the KJV exclusively will want to be aware that several translations are used in the studies.

I found these books to be both enjoyable and informative. They would make an excellent addition to any family library. Work the study through start to finish and then keep the books to use as references in the future!

Product review by Whitney Dunahee, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, March 2010