The Noble Bereans

Here I am today in Berea, Greece which is now known as Veria. We viewed a mosaic which was made to commemorate the Apostle Paul’s visit as recorded in the Bible.

Below one mosaic were some ancient steps that were part of the raised area where people used to gather to hear important people talk. Perhaps he spoke there but we do know he spoke in the synagogue.

I thought about the Jews in Berea heard the message of Christ from Paul and were willing to examine what he said. No wonder they are referred to in Acts 17:10-15 as the Noble Bereans!

As I was looking at the mosaics and a statue an artist formed of Paul, I could hear children playing in the coutyard next door. I wonder if children were nearby when Paul was speaking.

Say it With a Scroll

Scrolls can be adapted to almost any lesson using a message or the Scripture you are studying and children love making them.

One teacher used them in this way:  The children in our Bible classes recently learned about how our modern-day Bibles came about.  First they talked about original languages of Hebrew and Greek.  Then they talked about how the Bible has been translated into many languages so that everyone has the opportunity to learn about God.

They created “ancient” scrolls and copied scripture onto them.

Here’s how to make the scrolls:

Supplies:

  1. Paper cut into a long rectangular strip.  Tan or brown paper looks great but it is not necessary.
  2. Brown paint and a wiping cloth or brown crayon with paper removed.
  3. Two sticks of some kind (purchased dowel sticks, sticks you find on the ground outside, pencils…)
  4. Tape or glue to attach the sticks to the paper.
  5. Pen or crayon to write with.

Instructions:

  1. You or the children write a scripture or message on the scroll (alternatively, prepare scroll first and then write).
  2. Crunch or wad the paper up into a ball.  Then smooth it out and wad it up again.  Do this a number of times until the paper is soft and looks old and worn.
  3. If using a crayon then turn it on its side and gently rub over the paper.  The colour will be uneven and will make the “wrinkles” of the paper stand out better.
  4. If using the paint then use a small amount on a cloth.  Rub the cloth over the paper so the wrinkles will stand out and the paper look old.
  5. Use the glue or tape to attach the sticks at each end.
  6. To close the scroll just roll up the ends.  Tie it off with twine or ribbon if you wish.

Stories Suggestions for Scrolls:

  1. Jeremiah and the Scroll
  2. The Story of Timothy (All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16, NIV)
  3. Paul in Ephesus
  4. Philip Teaches the Ethiopian
  5. Or use for the memory or important verse in any lesson.  Here are some examples:
    1. The Birth of Jesus “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6-7, NIV
    1. Wise Men and a Star “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16, NIV
    2. Wise King Solomon “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalm 111:10a, NIV
    3. Meaning of the Lord’s Supper  “Do this in remembrance of me.”  1 Corinthians 11:24b, NIV
    4. The Noble Bereans  “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15, NIV
    5. Great Commission and Ascension of Christ “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20), NIV