The Story of the Bible in a Nutshell

I’ve decided that, since we’ll have no class next Monday (Columbus Day) and that when we return, we jump right into a unit on Jesus Christ, tonight will be a good night to do an overview of the Bible with my 8th graders, taking them through the story of salvation history that culminates with Jesus Christ.

Click here for an outline of passages that tell the narrative of the story of salvation history in a chronological sequence and in a nutshell (very brief passages that I will elaborate on and connect one to another to tell the story). The young people will have Bibles and we’re going to get them leafing through its pages by using this outline. I plan to also use a couple of posters (from the Finding God program) that show a Bible timeline and a map of the Holy Land.

Time will be of the essence since we are supposed to have a fire drill tonight. If it looks like things are going to be too tight, I’ll limit our exploration to the Old Testament, and begin the Jesus unit by taking them through the New Testament.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. The nutshell I use while holding up the Bible & dividing it with my fingers:
    1. We were in Paradise. (Genesis)
    2. We will end up in a new Paradise. (Revelations)
    3. We are currently on a pilgrimage to get there. (the rest of the Bible between Genesis and Revelations)

  2. This is an excellant outline. The children in my class (5th) enjoy our Bible
    study part of class. This outline will help them to connect and better
    understand the entire story.

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