How NOT to teach Genesis to Kids

5 mistakes to avoid in your teaching

By Dana Wilkerson — Former Curriculum Development Director

Genesis is full of exciting stories: Creation, Noah’s ark, Abraham (almost) sacrificing Isaac, Jacob tricking Isaac, Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery, and much more. It seems so much easier to teach these stories to little people than to teach them the prophets, the epistles, and other books that are full of abstract concepts and imagery. Yet in our eagerness to bring the intriguing stories of Genesis to life, we often get it wrong.

Oh, we might get the literal facts right, but we can easily miss the mark on interpretation and application. Here are five mistakes to avoid in teaching Genesis to children.

1. Make the Patriarchs out to be Heroes

How many times have we seen children’s curriculum create a “heroes” theme around Genesis or the Old Testament in general? Many studies and churches embrace this idea without thinking much about it. But we do need to think about it, because these men were truly not the superheroes we often make them out to be.

Abraham passed his wife off as his sister – twice. Granted, she was his half-sister, but that’s not the point. He failed to identify her as his wife and, as a result, he put her in a very precarious position. Abraham also slept with his wife’s maid in an attempt to produce the child God had promised.

Isaac, like his father, claimed his wife was his sister. He also played favorites with his twin boys. He tried to give the blessing to Esau even though God had said Esau would serve Jacob.

Jacob manipulated his brother to get his birthright. He lied and tricked his father to get the blessing. And, like his father, he played favorites with his sons.

There is much more, but you get the point. Did these men do some great, faithful things? Of course. Can they be role models in some ways? Yes. But they were sinners just like we are. They were not on some higher level of spirituality than we are. So let’s not make them out to be something they are not.

2. Focus on the Animals in Noah’s Story

Ask a child what the story of Noah’s ark is about, and almost every time the answer will have something to do with animals. But that’s not the point of the story. It’s about God’s judgment of sin and wickedness. And it’s about His grace toward those who seek and follow Him.

This is not a cute, happy story. All but a handful of humans were killed. And all but two of each species of land animal and bird drowned. It is a story full of death and darkness, but it is also a story full of grace and God’s light. That should be the focus of this story when we teach it to anyone – including children.

3. Avoid the Hard Topics

 We all know Genesis isn’t full of rainbows and roses. It has its high points, sure, but it also contains stories of mass murder, rape, incest, slavery, unjust incarceration and more. It is in a child’s nature to be curious and they will comment on these things when they read them in the Bible or hear about them.

You may not know how to answer their questions or respond to their comments about these topics in the moment. That’s okay. The important thing is to let the child know you hear them and that their comments, questions or concerns are valid. Then you can explore the topic together in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the child.

It may be tempting to gloss over or even avoid some of these topics. And, frankly, some of them should be adjusted appropriately for most 5-year-olds or even 11-year-olds. But the reality of our world is that some 5-year-olds have experienced these things in their own lives, families or cultures. They may need understanding, love and care when it comes to the hard topics. We can approach these topics with care and discernment.

4. Give the People Thoughts or Motives We Can’t Know

 It’s common for us to give the people in the Bible the motives or thoughts we would have in their situation. Or we might even think we know their motives because of the other things we do know about them. But there is often no way to know.

When teaching Genesis, we might say that Jacob had been plotting for years to manipulate Esau into giving him the birthright. But we know no such thing, even though that would not be surprising given what else we know about Jacob (who, as we have already noted , was no superhero).

Or we might want to say that Joseph tested his brothers in Egypt in an effort to find out if God had changed their hearts. Maybe He did. Maybe He didn’t. We don’t know. Scripture doesn’t tell us why Joseph made that choice.

Can we ever speculate about the thoughts or motives of someone in the Bible? Yes, it can sometimes be helpful to do so. But we should also make it clear that we are just guessing.

5. Fail to Connect it to Jesus

In the midst of all the action and excitement of Genesis it can be easy to forget it is all part of a much larger story – God’s big story of redemption. From the moment Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, all of history was moving toward the day when God’s Son, Jesus, would come to earth and die for the sins of humanity so that we can be restored to a relationship with God. This theme runs throughout the book of Genesis as we see God reiterate His covenant with Abraham again and again.

Genesis is not just about Creation, the flood and the patriarchs. It is also about Jesus. Let’s make sure to communicate that to our children!

342 Comments

  1. I tried to submit a comment on the other blogs, but was not able to.
    I am very confused about all the MANY ways to connect and/or participate in BSF.
    Is there a comprehensive list that describes everything, along with links or websites.
    I do not know HOW TO direct any new comers.
    There is bsfinternational.org
    There is bsf blogs
    There is BSF podcasts?
    There is WordGo
    There is mybsf.org
    There is Google classrooms
    There is WhatsApp
    There is email.
    I am just shaking my head on all the different ways.
    Very confusing.
    Most online churches just have 1 website where you hear their sermons and download materials and read their news and announcements
    I am very confused on all the many ways in BSF.
    Please outline them, their function or purpose so I can direct people.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dear Marc, we are working to consolidate all of our technology. Thank you for your continued prayers in this effort. For anyone new to BSF, please direct them to bsfinternational.org for general information. If they join a class, they can access materials through mybsf.org

      Reply
  2. Excellent Points, just on time for gathering my grandchildren and great grandchildren on a day to celebrate.
    Thank you,

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  3. Gracias por las galería de imágenes de genesis me ayudó mucho para mi lección

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  4. I love this! I have taught children at church for many years. After reading this article, I will never teach it the same way again. Thank you so much for this tool.

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  5. This is indeed very helpful as we look forward to these great stories in Genesis.

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  6. Making God the ultimate Hero of the Bible stories (or any of our own life stories as He works in and through us today) gives the glory to God, for enabling sinful people to trust and obey Him.
    If we put Noah on a pedestal, what do we tell the child when we get to Chapter 9:21…

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  7. I don’t agree with your analysis.

    Who are the heroes of the faith then, by your definition?

    Kids these days have heroes from pop culture, rock bands, from Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc. I’d rather my son have Noah as a hero than Russell Wilson. I’d rather my daughter have Rahab as a hero rather than Oprah!

    I think Hebrews 11 gives you a list of people that I hope and pray my family and friends can hold up as hero’s of the faith.

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  8. Thank you so much for reminding of these! It’s a great reminder for adults, too!

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  9. Excellent article !!!!
    I grew up in a bible believing church & didn’t realize until later in life these truths presented here
    Thank you for sharing the truth always

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  10. Thank you very much for reminding us about the truth behind these stories!

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    • The Heroes of faith in Hebrews are mentioned because of their FAITH. That’s the distinction. We see in Genesis, and throughout, that they by themselves are sinners just like us regular folk. God chose these guys and gals for His purposes, because He is in charge.

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  11. How do I join into a class during covid 19? Do I join a Zoom meeting? I want to join a local class. What is the closest class to me? I live in Hesperia, California! Is there a class in nearby Victorville, California?

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  12. Very good insight. Gave me a perspective & overall understanding of the Book of Genesis.
    We usually don’t study Genesis often. But more important ideas to think about than I realized
    Thanks for writing.

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    • Thank you for the “warning”: I’m a preschool Life Group teacher. This article is very helpful. Appreciate it. God bless.

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  13. Very good insight. Gave me a perspective & overall understanding of the Book of Genesis.
    We usually don’t study Genesis often. But more important ideas to think about than I realized
    Thanks for writing.

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  14. I love this. It brings attention to me that before I teach the story I have to first find God’s lesson in each story.

    Ie, I recently heard a sermon about Jonah.
    God commanded Jonah, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah disobeyed by leaving on a sea voyage instead.

    Lessons:
    . God’s commands are for good reasons. The Ninevites were in danger of destruction if they didn’t repent.
    . God expects obedience.
    . Jonah disobeyed. God caused the storm. When Jonah was thrown off the ship, God sent a fish to swallow him for 3 days and 3 nights.
    . While in the belly of the fish, Jonah prayed, accepting he was wrong and praised God, “What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.'”
    . God brought him back to dry land and gave Jonah another command. This time Jonah obeyed and the Ninevites were saved from destruction.
    . Obedience is effective and benefits God’s plan.

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  15. Thankyou so much for that guidance that God is the hero of the whole bible and the redemption of mankind is the whole purpose of it through Jesus.

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  16. No one in this world is righteous but the grace of God is sufficient to bring redemption to all.

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  17. Noted, the information is very helpful.

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  18. Good insights for adults as well! Thank you for this post.

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    • Amen, Cathy!

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  19. Wonderful thoughts and guidance! I thank God for BSF and for corporate personnel who work so hard to produce materials, guidance, and so much more that allow us as BSF leaders to carry the Gospel to more people all over the world. God bless you for your work and dedication. One point of correction — in Genesis 7:2 God said there would be 7 pairs of all the clean animals in the ark. The overwhelmingly propagated error that there were only 1 pair of each animal is often passed on as fact. I believe we should be careful with details God provides.

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  20. Thanks for the warning not to give the characters motives we would feel in that situation

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  21. This was so enlightening. Thank you.

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    • Thanks alot for the information and guide lines

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  22. Very helpful and a good reminder.

    Thank you!

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  23. You are right! Exactly it is with us with kids, as you have noted. But, I’m afraid, this should be done carefully, introducing the character’s weaknesses to kids. A balance must be maintained.
    Thanks for sending this article.
    God bless you, your family and your ministry.

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  24. Good points! Thank you!

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  25. God’s work true , this commentary could not be more truthful .

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  26. Very insightful

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  27. Great insights for me as a children’s Pastor in our church!!

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  28. This is really helpful. It will help me explain or teach other bible passages to adults as well.

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  29. Thank you for this important information. Make me more carefully how to teach the kids and is very important to avoid false teaching.

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  30. Nice & useful article.

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  31. Because of how i was taught these stories as a child ,this is helpful for my “re “learning of Genesis!

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  32. I love this so so much. Valuable tid-bits to hold onto and revisit.

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  33. There’s only one true “hero” in the entire bible. The Lord Jesus Christ.

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  34. Very helpful!

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    • I’m glad to see in the school age materials that the Trinity is mentioned several times as the worked together in Creation. I think it’s important to know that our actual Creator also came to earth to be our Savior.

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  35. Thank you! This article was very helpful.

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  36. Many thanks. It would have been easier if we can help with what to focus and play down what to avoid

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  37. I have come to refer to the people in the Bible as people not Bible characters, and I talk about what we read in the Bible as events not stories. That is my attempt to separate what children learn as fiction in their daily lives and the real events that occurred to real people as brought to us through the Bible ,God’s true words.

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    • This insight was very helpful to me as well thought provoking information

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    • I like these important distinctions.

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  38. Very good truths for all ages. BSF is an excellent bible study and I love it!

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  39. I was encouraged to go back and read about Jacob, Esau, and Joseph. Thanks for sharing.

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  40. thank you so much for sharing. I totolly agree ,and I will print this for my reminder.

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  41. Thank you so much for sharing. Such good information for me as an adult as I’m learning scripture. When I share I will not forget this.

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  42. Great, thought provoking truth here! Thank you for sharing it with us!! It’s definitely a balance between portraying the Genesis characters as superheroes that children become disillusioned with later when they learn the seldom talked about flaws, versus ruining the good things they did with the bad. But with God’s leading I’m confident we can navigate that balance and promote these men as those whom God used to fulfill His all-encompassing plan for grace, God’s ability to use bad for good, and ultimately Jesus. I’m super excited for this year’s teaching! Thanks again for the great preface!!

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  43. Great information. Good to focus on each area. Reminder not only Teaching children but adults as well. It would be good to reread again during the year. Thanks for the focus.

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  44. Great explanation.Thank you

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  45. This an eye opener and a good information I’m truly bless more Grace

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  46. Such helpful truths for adults too! Such important reminders in Noah’s story – it’s not all rainbows! Thank you.

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  47. Thank you, this is really helpful

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  48. Children live in a very unfriendly environment; afraid of COVID, afraid of strangers etc. producing fearfulness. Yes, it is important always to teach the truth of scripture, but to highlight the sinfulness of people produces a lack of trust in people and fear. The truth of these stories needs to be overshadowed by equipping the children with the truth that God’s love is a powerful weapon to influence the world around us, be it the classroom bully, a abusive sibling etc. Teaching a child that God is present and available and always aware, those attributes of God, is so appreciated in the children’s lessons.

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  49. Yes, I agree that to tie those stories to Jesus and the NewTestament is good. But, I disagree that much focus if any should be placed on those heroes’ awful sins. Little children need heroes, positive influences in their lives, examples of Biblical influences in their early lives not specific negative teachings! As they grow and mature, they begin to see and learn the negative sides to people and life. They are taught from infancy, “ be a good girl or boy”, and their self images come in part from those stories and the people who tell them. We don’t want them to turn from those Biblical heroes early on. Get them on their feet religiously before filling them with too much that will make them disrespect the heroes and disregard them and possibly give up on the faith! Shakespeare said something like, “ the good is often interred with the bones”! Let’s build up the good in everything , and Give the children some time and maturity to grow up! They have enough dumped on them in today’s culture and in the public schools.

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    • We are responsible for teaching truth. God is responsible for implanting and growing truth in our children’s hearts. When they become older, they will remember and not depart from the truth. But, if they do, they will hopefully return, because God‘s word never returns void.

      These are such good reminders! Thanks for blogging them to us.

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    • I agree…you explained it better than I could
      Children need to see how God works on our hearts even if we make a mistake..forgiveness is what needs to be taught. They will be able to undetstand more details as they grow & mature….we all did

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  50. In our present world full of “super heroes” its easy to fall into that error. Lovely article as we begin this season. Thank you!

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  51. Very,very helpful indeed. Thank you very much.

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  52. Thank You, dear Light of the World, Father, God, for an answer to my prayers asking for teachers who will teach Truth to even the youngest child, from God’s Word. To make it real, not fantasy, to the child. They soon learn there is a difference! I was remarking “yes” to every sentence I read in this blog! We have a wonderful Creator God, Who calls sinners to Himself (not animals===although there was purpose in saving them.

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  53. Thank you for this article. I am guilty of this as I teach children, preschoolers in particular. We want to gloss over the hard lessons of the Old Testament because younger ones have such an innocent view of life. Thank you for this invaluable reminder.

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  54. Praise our LORD for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom behind the directives in this teaching for children. Teaching the truth to children may be difficult but it is our mandate as Christians to present all the Bible as true and that cannot be done if we omit parts of the WORD, interject our interpretation or fail to relate it to Jesus. Thank you for remaining faithful to the blessed responsibility and privilege of teaching the Bible to the next generation.
    Grateful,
    Macia

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  55. So very true! And applicable to the entirety of Scripture!

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  56. As a grandmother if 3 in this program, I really appreciate these reminders. Thinking back on the books I still have from when my children were little, I am in total agreement with this article. Definitely some things to remember. Thank you

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  57. Muy buen recordatorio, enseñar a los niños, que el único súper héroe todopoderoso y sin pecados es Dios y Jesus Cristo, que por amor a nosotros Jesus vino y a ser hombre y pudo con las tentaciones, y está vivo. Gracias

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  58. Really helpful reminders of our tendencies in teaching children and five important points to keep in mind for ourselves as well. Thank you!

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  59. Helpful suggestions I remember.

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    • Thank you for posting this. It is a great reminder and advice. I really appreciate your teaching.

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  60. I absolutely LOVED this blog, it actually had me laughing because it is so real. Thank you for being real and upfront about pitfalls we can fall into.

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  61. What a truth and it has helped even me as the parent. Thank you so much for this

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  62. very good points and good food for thought

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  63. Good article!

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  64. The story of Genesis is the story of life. In real life we are made in the image and likeness of God but sometimes fail to see that in others. We were given a Savior, Jesus Christ. Thru faith and grace we can accept Him. Through our humanity we are given a free will which allows us to be tempted to sin, just as these “heroes” were tempted and fell into sin. The good news is, we all have a chance to ask for forgiveness for our failings and our Savior is always ready to accept us back into the fold if we just ask for forgiveness and repent of our sins. We are all called to holiness and become “heroes” and saints in God’s eyes.

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    • Well said Denise.

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      • Hebrews 11

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  65. Thanks for reminding us that these people are sinners. We all are “messy” mortals! Children need to hear the truth and discuss the hard topics! We all do.

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  66. I 100% agree with you on this. I teach a Sunday school class and I have done just as you have said. I leave none of these stones unturned, I tell the whole truth of these stories. Thank you for your commentary on this, very much appreciated.

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    • Thanks as this is very helpful .

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  67. “How not to teach Genesis to Kids” is not only great for kids but amazingly inspiring for us as parents and grownups who are called to shepherd Gods entrusted sheep to have the right focus and accuracy of reading and interpreting Genesis esp with the lens of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!! Thanks!

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  68. This is a great article. Thank you.

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  69. Good guidance. Thank you.

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  70. Good clarity on common pitfalls to avoid…. especially if we want our children to “see Jesus”!
    Thank you

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  71. This is excellent advice for teaching children…and for teaching adults! Thank you

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  72. Very important advice and helpful teaching

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  73. I understand the need to properly portray the patriarchs, and the Bible certainly doesn’t sugar coat their sin and disobedience. Yet these were men of great faith and each of them are noted as such in the book of Hebrews. They are heroes to me, men who stumble and fall, but come to know the character of God and understand that He still desires relationship with them. Each of these men repented, turned to God, honored and worshiped Him. These men’s lives remind me that God is never done with me, despite my fallenness. Our heroes can never match up with the person of Jesus Christ, but men and women who persevere in faith through trials and failures are heroes to me.

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    • Agree!

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  74. THANKS FOR THIS INFORMATION‼️
    WE NEED TO CAREFULLY USE IT WHEN TEACHING GENESIS EVEN WHEN ENGAGED IN CONVERSATIONS, ALSO.

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  75. I love being given the ‘bigger picture’ of Genesis. Thank you!

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  76. Thank you so much, for your help, this will not only will help our children, but the adults as well. Stay Blessed

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  77. Thank you for age appropriate instruction guidelines. Praying for huge numbers in the program this year with genesis.

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  78. Thank you so much for the reminder that our teaching should be God focussed, Gospel Centred and age appropriate.

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  79. These tips are amazing! Thank you.

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  80. Powerful may the Lord bless you

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  81. Thanks for the clarification.

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  82. Very helpful for teaching Genesis to Primary age children in local school.

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  83. Great article. This not only applies to teaching children, but factors, we as adults need to keep in mind as we study Genesis. Thank you for pointing out some important aspects relevant to all ages.

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  84. Thank you!

    These 5 points are important reminders to be read and remembered throughout the teaching of Genesis.
    Thinking about them and rereading them, as we prepare our Bible lessons, will be helpful for everyone.

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  85. Please keep in mind, “age-appropriate.” Also do not be so negative that the stories are a downer. Many of us grew up and learned all of the stories meanings later in life and it did not hurt us. Let kids be happy. Tell all sounds like tooooooooooo much. I know we live in a time of valuing transparency but too much too early can be a turn off.

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  86. Thank you. Loved this. This is my 3rd time studying Genesis in BSF and this is why, exactly what you have said in your article, is how BSF has approached the teaching of Genesis.

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  87. Thank you. Loved this. This is my 3rd time studying Genesis in BSF and this is why. Exactly what you have said in your article is how BSF has approached the teaching of Genesis.

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  88. Thanks for putting Genesis in perspective. A timely reminder !

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  89. Thank you for this, how insightful! May I also add: When there are difficult topics, in addition to not commenting too much ourselves, sit with them in a quiet time of prayer and tell them to ask Jesus directly. Jesus says to let the little children come to Him. I have been very, very surprised at the answers my children come up with after prayers. I know they were inspired by God. Jesus is alive today and loves to interact with us, as He with the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. He knows just when and how to inspire our little ones (and us) with the scriptures.

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  90. “They were not on some higher level of spirituality than we are. So let’s not make them out to be something they are not” Hebrews 11 certainly elevated them for all of history to remember that these are men that God considered worthy of mention. Sinful as they maybe , but God did not count that against them , but choose instead to emphasize their faith. Important to teach the whole truth , but neither should we miss the big idea.

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  91. The most powerful four words to me in the bible are “in the beginning God”. We need to follow these words with the fact of God’s Infinite wisdom, love, power and purpose in creation in everything that follows these four words. I believe then that everything else that is written makes sense. It says in Gen 1:31 that “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good”. This is total truth. Every minutia of creation was perfect. We need to stress the fact that there is nothing man could have wanted or needed that was not provided by God who loved them and created them. And yet, then we come to Gen 3. How can we explain this? By the fact that God created man to obey and love Him, but he had a choice! He chose to disobey and the rest of the story follows; until Revelation 22 and the story ends – or does it begin? Perhaps, we should follow Gen 1-3 before we read any further in Genesis with Revelation 22 – no matter what the age! Tell of the everlasting hope and love Jesus offers His beloved people forever! Tell of God’s wonderful love in spite of man’s sin. Praise His Holy Name!

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  92. Children need heroes. If they cannot find them in scripture, where will they find them?
    Heroes by definition are people of courage, outstanding achievement or noble character, not necessarily all three. A man who gives his life by running into a burning building to save a child is a hero, even though he lied about his wife the week before. Not everyone appearing in Genesis is a hero, but there are many who were courageous or achieved something outstanding and a few of noble character. I believe it is our job to give an honest rendering of who they were and what they did. (I marvel at what some were able to do WITHOUT the indwelling Holy Spirit).

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  93. Very helpful to 1st year CL Thank You

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  94. This is very helpful.

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  95. Thank you for this thoughtful post. I will be aware of these thoughts as i read Genesis with my grandkids.

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  96. Then who should I tell my children are heroes of the faith by your definition?

    Then what do you do with the statement in scripture …The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

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  97. Thank you for guiding us to focus on the Essence of what God wants to teach us through the word . That creation is imperfect, however seeking him blesses us with unconditional love and Grace – through Jesus our Lord & Savior; enables us forgiveness of sins .

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  98. Very thoughtful and important points to keep in mind. Made me think more
    about my view of what happened with Noah and the flood.

    Thank you!

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  99. This is why I love studying the Bible through BSF! Wonderful!

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  100. Thank you so much for this insight. Very helpful.

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  101. This is on point! Thank you so much!

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  102. Thank you for clarifying this: we appreciate the guidance you all give to us.

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  103. I will incorporate this advice into my teaching this year.

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  104. Thank you so much for these comments. This is very helpful.

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  105. Thank you for this insightful article. I really appreciated reading it. I’m the mother of four sons and the grandmother of five children. I’ve benefited from reading this and will use it with my grandchildren and in teaching BSF classes.

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  106. Thank you for these insights Dana. Most of the children in our BSF CLASS know the stories from before. We get their attention when we, like you said connect it to Jesus and everyday living .

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  107. Thank you for these insights Dana. Most of the children in our BSF CLASS know the stories from before. We get their attention when we, like you said connect it to Jesus and everyday living .

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  108. Please provide reference for Sarai being Abram’s half-sister.

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  109. So very true and beautifully written!
    Years ago our daughter was helping write a curriculum for their church, and pointed out the importance of lifting g up Jesus, not the Bible character. THANK YOU!

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  110. So very true. Never lose the big picture that leads to the King and His coming again.

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  111. Thank you for these good reminders in teaching Bible stories to students. Hearing only the SS version of Jacob and Esau, I grew up wondering why Jacob was chosen by God. Then in BSF I understood, if God chose a scoundrel like Jacob, he could choose me as well. We are all sinners saved by God’s grace.

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  112. Hi, thanks for the article. It definitely is easy to gloss over the difficult and confusing things in any book of the Bible, but because Genesis is such a strong and familiar narrative it is important to get it right. And if you have boys, they often seem drawn to the violent parts. Not always, but I have learned not to be so surprised.
    Just one thing. I read the Bible in my own at age ten. Granted, it was a Golden Book abridgment for kids but it was not like many kids bibles today. All the awful parts where there.
    But kids are not so gullible as we think. It never occurred to me that because bad things happened or people made bad decisions that it was endorsed by God. Ultimately kids will learn more about God from how Christians act graham what they say, for good and for bad.
    Shalom, Arnold Ronning

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  113. Thank you for these great points to remember, concerning the people in the Bible. This is God’s true love for His people, Jesus the promised Savior.

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  114. Thank you for these great checks to keep in mind, even as we read scripture for ourselves!!

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  115. This is great.. but I forgot to suggest that you write another article per addendum and put positive suggestions on how you do this. I don’t know if the blogger understands that older people were brought up with alot of shame, blame and religious guilt. There has to be a balance. Also what you say to a 3 or 5 yr. old is different than what you say to a 8 or 10 yr. old. A positive approach to this and suggestions would be very helpful to this oldie but goodie!

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  116. Great reminders. Thanks.

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  117. Thank you BSF for requiring careful study with laser focus. It has been a personal treasure.
    Genesis 42 does tell us Joseph’s motivation for dealing with his brothers.
    In verse 42:11, the brothers claim to be honest men. Verse 42:16,
    “….that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you.” Verse 42:19, “If you are honest men,….. Verse 42:20, …..bring your youngest brother to me so your words may be verified, and you will not die.”

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    • What does “moderation” mean? What is required? I have submitted name and email

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  118. Good things to remember. I do notice in “hard topics” you dont offer a solution to a child’s curious nature when asking a hard question such as a question concerning incest.

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  119. Thank you for these tips.

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  120. Thank you Dana. This is especially helpful to clarify in my own mind what I think or “automatically” say!!!!!

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  121. The study of Noah and his sons as the progenitors of modern-day nations is very important. Keep it factual and keep it simple (reflecting creation of man in God’s image, the consequences of disobedience and the promise of redemption). “How to teach Genesis to kids” must be developmentally appropriate for ages 0-3,3-6,6-9,9-12,12-15, 15-18. The suggestions could be more clearly defined that way for proper instruction. Students ages 12-18 may better understand how heroes are made and developed in the image of God in spite of their sinful nature when explaining their noted acts of sin from the Bible. For the adolescents this is good preparation for independence away from home.

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  122. I enjoyed reading the blog even though I don’t have small children. Your ideas pertain to adults as well. Thank you.

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  123. This is so well written! This is not only applicable to children, but can also be tailored to discuss Genesis with other adults who know the stories of the Bible but do not realize or understand God’s purpose. Thank you for sharing this.

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  124. Excellent information as reminder to adult group leaders to consider in discussion groups also!
    Focus, focus, focus, how God is forever restoring His sinful children back to Him! History – His Story – from Genesis through Revelation!

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  125. I truly appreciate this in a time like this so many people are hurting they need to be reminded of God’s love for mankind even in midst of adversity,He’s our anchor that holds Us together.

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  126. Thank you for that message to the children’s leaders. I am grateful that it was accessible to all of us, as it makes us aware of some thoughts we may have had about the “super heroes”, or the “animals”. I love that redemption is the true message we will all embrace this year.

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  127. Thank you for sharing this! These are very great points to remember and know.

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  128. How very good of God to show us the gospel and Jesus in Genesis
    Creator
    Life from death
    Forgiveness of sin
    Restoration and hope
    The Bible is new every day

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  129. Thank you for this helpful points in teaching children about the book of Genesis.

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  130. Thank you for insightful thoughts.In fact I was doing these very things with adults.Itapplies to adult teaching too

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  131. This is good insight and wisdom. It is well noted, thank you for sharing it.

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  132. These great points are also highly relevant for adults. What struck a nerve was “give the people thoughts our motives we can’t know” – I find I might have carelessly passed judgment especially on the “baddies” like why Cain murdered Abel. Thanks for this useful point.

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  133. I love the insight it brings. I’m helped. God bless you

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  134. Thank you very much. These are good points to have in mind as we share. I will adopt them.

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  135. Thank you for the reminder of the bigger picture , Christ.

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  136. Yes,it is a very large canvas unfolding from Genesis to Revelation with high drama,action with innumerable characters who are hung on the unseen thread called Messiah,the Redeemer.

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  137. These are queit important points. We pray that we don’t miss it as we get excited about the history and the patriarchs

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  138. Thank You for presenting such truthful insights.

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  139. Very good essay. A sixth mistake is to explain with certainty that the creation narrative happened in six 24-hour days. So much evidence points to the Genesis account being a simple ancient story that tells us the ESSENCE of what happened. The Ark Encounter museum in Tennessee is impressive and I respect their efforts to make a point. But, if we read the Genesis account thru the lens of modern day precision, I believe we are making a big mistake.

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  140. This exposition is a great revelation to me .
    The explanation given has helped me to understand the big picture about Genesis is the redemption story. Its all about Jesus .
    Praise be to God who gave us His only son to die for our sins.

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  141. Thanks a lot!
    That’y really helpful. I myself made the mistakes you mention when teaching Genesis to children. I think Christian parents and those who teach God’s word to kids should read that!

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  142. Very good warning and advice on how to deal with difficult passages.

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  143. I am not a Children’s Leader, but the above information certainly opened my eyes. Thank you for sending this out in the beginning of our study on Genesis. As a Group Leader,it will be helpful when class discussion gets off course.

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  144. These reminder is very helpful.

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  145. Great advice. May the Lord give us discernment as we teach the kids

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  146. So agree. BSF lessons are very helpful to include Jesus in every part of the Bible lesson. I am excited to see how Jesus will be a part of our lesson each week. Thank you.

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  147. Good points!

    I agree to people ascribing thoughts and motives we do not know to bible figures. My personal one is preachers saying that God killed an animal and used its skin to clothe Adam and Eve but it clearly states that God made tunics of skin. Almighty GOD made everything out of nothing except people who he made out of dust of the ground. Gen. 2:19 GOD formed every beast out of the ground. If GOD made animals out of the ground will it be hard for HIM to make tunics out of the dust, I wonder!

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  148. Amen to your blog. Studying Genesis when I was a young student Christian in a Southern Baptist church in 1984 in Knoxville, Tennessee, it was very much about the history, the “heroes” and general truths that focus on man’s actions (plus woman) at that time. After more than 40 years, a bit wiser and a lot more humility, I know now that God is mighty and generous in the beginning with the creation, man continues to mess up despite our best efforts, God continues to be patient and merciful and most importantly His sacrifice of His Son Jesus so that we can go back to the garden and walk with God. So everything is about Jesus and His finished work on the cross. We must study Genesis through the lens of Jesus.

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  149. Excellent advise! Thank you!

    Very helpful reminders for all of us.

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  150. Thanks for those helpful tip.

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  151. Very good point that I will remember when I teach thanks

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  152. Proverbs 30 warns us against adding to or taking away from the word of God. This is what I love about BSF. THE Study keeps us mindful just as this Blog did. This applies not only to young children but also to young believers regardless of chronological age .
    Thanks, wonderful Anointed Advice

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  153. This is very good ! I would add one more that i found useful. Love to get your feedback.

    Be honest about what you dont know.. it often gives God the Glory.
    Example – its common for people or kids to have the following conversation:

    Child: “Did God create the universe in 7 days ? really ? ”
    Teacher : Yes the Bible says a thousand years is like a day to God. So may be it was not really one earth day.
    Child: But my school teacher said the universe is like 14 Billion years old – seems like the Bible is …….. . Does not make sense.

    Instead, as the Teacher, I often give the following reply to that type of question:
    “I dont know exactly how He did it – but the Bible said, He spoke Creation into existences. I believe with God everything is possible. He created everything with His mighty powers that I cannot fathom or understand. He is God – He can do anything He wants according to His desires. “

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  154. Very helpful, as I am a CL for Level 3!

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  155. Hi, I am the STL in the Sydney SE, Australia class. I have shared these 5 points with the School Program Leaders, & also to all the other leaders at this morning’s Fellowship.

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  156. Thank you for the prayers and thought put into this blog. I liked it very much, as we always want to point to God and the Savior, God’s Son, Jesus when teaching from God’s True Word. Thank you, for listing these five mistakes, that we don’t want to make.

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  157. Good points that may seem obvious to the seasoned children leader, but wonderful to refresh in order to avoid the pitfalls that could reel us in. Thanks.

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  158. This gives us adults much to ponder as well. Will be a great help as we travel through Genesis to keep our minds stayed on Jesus.

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  159. Thankyou for these reminders

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  160. Thank you!!! I love this! It has encouraged me and corrected at least one way I would have instinctively handled Genesis!

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  161. Thank you for these helpful things to avoid in teaching Genesis.
    This year I am a CL, so these guidelines help me better understand what I should say, by knowing what to avoid.

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  162. Found it to be such a timely reminder on how to share Genesis with my grandsons ages 6,5 and 2! Love Bsf and its goals in sharing the Word! Thank you for these tips! Really appreciate it.

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  163. A good reminder telling the truth as written, with Jesus being the center of our lives.

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  164. Wonderful points, thank you for sharing!

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  165. These are good and valid points. We need to give more recent developments than the same ole traditional securlar perspective that we didn’t have to study for.

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  166. Yes for sure. Jesus is the only Super Hero in Genesis. He never sinned and restored us to New beginnings.

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  167. Excellent reminders on establishing the right message from childhood.

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  168. I praise and thank The Triune God for giving BSF Directors the insight and foresight needed to prepare for the virtual study of God’s Word
    during this pandemic!!! Our God is Omnipotent,Omniscient,Omnipresent and much, much more!
    Thank you, Dana,for the timely warnings on ascribing “super-hero” status to the people God chose to use in His Genesis stories.As a DL,I do not have responsibilities,per se, in, teaching children in BSF,but whenever I volunteer to help in the Children’s Program,the Lord may bring my way an opportunity to shed His light.As a grand-mother,blessed with school-age grand-children,I am empowered by these warnings to ensure that I,my children and my grand-children learn and apply the lessons of the Genesis stories correctly.

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  169. Call me picky and old fashioned, but I was taught in my youth to never refer to children as kids (nor policemen as cops). Kids are baby goats, I was told, and to use that term otherwise was the equivalent of using a forbidden four-letter-word.

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  170. Excellently stated!!!

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  171. I appreciate your reminder about how Noah’s story points us to Jesus, our Savior. It’s one that most people already are familiar with.

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  172. very helpful. thank u

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  173. Just a question.
    At what point do you then let them know the full story.
    The disconnect is what introduces skepticism.
    By the time you are trying to build upon the story, they have already questioned the foundation.
    Then it becomes a myth.

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  174. I agree largely with your points and your intent(though I should not according to point four:)). I do have an issue with the orientation of point 1. Heroes of faith is a widely use term to describe many of the people mentioned and elevated in Hebrews 11. They were sinful beings like you said, but God choose to name them in Hebrews 11 and thus we are not making them “out to be something they are not”. I fully get your point that we ought not stop at Heb 11 but to direct the children to Chap 12:2 “looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith. But we don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water. We can do both.

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  175. Such great points! Thank you for sharing.

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  176. I definitely am enlightened by this blog …. even tho I’m an adult older Christian… I still am a BABY CHRISTIAN in my mind… and I appreciate this
    blog written in layman’s terms so that I may understand Genesis in the same way an 8 year old is learning about this incredible 1st book of the Bible..
    Thank you…. I’m not part of the study…. maybe soon
    Thanks for including me and not giving up on me!?♥️

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  177. I have a 6 year old who asks questions about everything! These tips will be very useful when the inevitable questions start coming. Thank you!

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  178. Great advice. I have 6 grand’s, three of them pretty young. I will remember this advice

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  179. I like the reminder of that Genesis is also about Jesus.

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  180. Amen! The only superhero in the Bible is Jesus! And it’s amazing how He shows up all over Genesis!

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  181. Thanks for your insight!

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  182. Thank you for the reminder of what not to do. It is definitely helpful Thank you for keeping us on our toes ??

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  183. And the truth shall set you free. Good work and a great reminder not to add to scripture.

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  184. So awesome! I have only recently after being a believer for 40+years had my eyes open to the whole OT pointing to Jesus! Our Saviour and now it is exciting to read and study. How did I not see before. I did not receive teaching to open my eyes to see. Blessings

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  185. Amen!!!!
    You nailed it!
    I remember my first TL saying God uses sinners because that is all he has. He used all of these sinners for His purpose and glory.
    It is about Jesus and redemption and if we and the children don’t hear that each week woe to us.

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  186. Good insight and pointing it to Jesus. Too many times people forget the whole Bible is the story of Jesus and what He did for us in the Cross.
    Thank you

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  187. While I truly appreciate the listing of things not to do – I feel that it would have been appropriate to further list ways to teach some of the “negative points” about the Patriarchs in a positive manner. Likewise Noah – & the loss of all other in the flood “God punished them is a correct statement. However ways of phrasing it in a positive manner for a youngster would be helpful – that goes for most of the other areas as well

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  188. The FATHER, SON & HOLY SPIRIT are actively involved right from the creation . The Father speaking the Words , the Son , JESUS CHRIST is the word sent forth coming into being & HOLY SPIRIT , hovering over the waters ( nation to be) . How amazing our GOD & MAKER!

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  189. Very good and helpful

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  190. Loved this! And, I might add that so many of the children’s Bible story books published make Noah’s Ark look like a fairy tale pleasure trip with a small boat and the giraffes and elephants etc. smiling as they watch a few waves slosh up the side of the boat!

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  191. Thank you so much for the reminder that the Bible is not so much about people as it is about God and His desire for reconciliation. I heard someone else say that most people think the Bible is about good people we are to emulate. But, in reality it is about bad people whom God chooses to love anyway.
    I love all the insights BSF gives me to share with my grandkids, kids in Sunday school, and anyone else who will listen.

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  192. Such good, sound guidance. Thank you

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  193. Thank you for this reminder! As the CS in our school program this definitely a training point to discuss in our leaders meeting. I am continually amazed at how God equips us to lead.

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  194. Good advice regarding Guiding Principles for all of us. It appears from my reading of the lessons and manual for understanding Genesis 1, that we teach that the Bible is not a science textbook. Agreed, but science and Scripture both have separate, diverse answers to the ‘how,’ ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions asked.

    At the end of the day, Genesis 1 becomes a test question of faith, ‘Do you believe My Word?’

    We (especially teachers) are commanded to, “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” 1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV)

    In the ‘Avoid Hard Topics’ section, the advice says, ‘Then you can explore the topic together in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the child.’ When and how would this take place?

    Thanks for your understanding,

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  195. Excellent! As a child I thought all of the people in the Bible were heroes and I could never measure up. After being in BSF, I realized all of us struggle with sin even though we believe and follow Christ. Our students need to begin to understand that we are all sinners and Jesus is our Savior.

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  196. Great points and reminders of how to stay faithful to the text and to keep the focus on Jesus and everyone’s need to know Him and put our faith in Him! Thank you.

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  197. Thank you so much for this reminder of where our focus should always be – on Jesus. And not just in teaching and talking with children but in all our sharing of the Gospel.

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  198. Great things to help keep us in the truth while sharing the Word with kids and with all people. ?

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  199. Dana, this is great guidance for teachers, parents and grandparents!! I especially like not making the patriarchs heros, because they were sinners like us and making sure that we connect the lessons to Jesus! Thank you for sharing it!

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  200. Excellent advice!

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  201. Motives have to be discerned. Thankfully God knows our hearts.
    We commonly look at a person’s words and actions, even in a court of law, to establish motives. We may even apply theories from psychology and philosophy to help us. When reading God’s word we should pray for guidance from the Holy spirit.

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  202. This is an excellent reminder and in a way permission to let God’s Word do its thing THROUGH us instead of us trying to make it FROM us.
    Many years ago, I remember reading a children’s bible story to my then four year old. He was scared by part of the story and I changed it to ease his fears. Immediately, in my spirit, I felt reprimanded by God. I felt him say to me… Who are you to change my words? Don’t you know I love your son even more than you to? My words are meant to impact and change lives!
    From that moment forward, I delivered God’s word as written and have enjoyed the conversations that come from answering those hard questions! Kids have great insight and sometimes see things more simply than we do!

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  203. Thank you for these very helpful comments. I needed this as much as the children!!!

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  204. Great insightful comments on teaching Genesis.

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  205. Good input. Never looked at Genesisbthe way it is explained in your order.

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  206. All very good points to remember. Thanks for sharing

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  207. I found this blog very helpful, knowing that at BSF we are beginning Genesis. I am hardly a child (84) but these were important insights into the Bible.

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  208. Genesis is about beginnings. Let us set right foundations for the young ones to be grounded in the true Word of God that they may not waver.

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  209. I think this is an excellent article. Too often Genesis is all about Abe, Ike, Jake and Joe, with the names reduced so that small children can remember them more easily. And, oh yes, something about the ark. and all the animals, with pictures of them all moving in a steady stream, two by two, toward the ark.

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  210. We should also point out Jesus was not a blonde blue eyed being but a middle eastern man probably with those type of features. Teaching this might help stop racial prejudices in the coming generation.

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  211. Yes! God has a plan from the beginning to the end. Redemption for His people. The good, the bad and ugly. The Lord has mercy and grace on those who Believe and trust in Him. WalkIng by faith. Thank for the tips

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  212. This is so helpful. Thanks.

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  213. Thank you. Great reminders for adults as well as children.?

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  214. Too good
    Praise the lord

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  215. very useful points

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    • Very insightful and useful. Thank you

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    • Great advices

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    • Excellent! How encouraging to know that the patriarchs were not super heroes, and yet Abraham was called a friend of God. In like manner, Jesus calls those who trust in Him His friend.

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  216. Such good advice!

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    • Insightful

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  217. Thank you for all these tips. My husband and I both grew up religiously confused due to well-meaning teachers. It wasn’t until a clear gospel message was received in 1987 at around our 40s that we joined the body of Christ Jesus! I’m in BSF since 2003. Praise God!

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    • Proverbs 30 warns us against adding to or taking away from the word of God. This is what I love about BSF. THE Study keeps us mindful just as this Blog did. This applies not only to young children but also to young believers regardless of chronological age .
      Thanks, wonderful Anointed Advice

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    • Well written & to the point
      Excellent advice

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  218. Excellent
    Thx for the help
    ??

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    • We are so fortunate to have God’s Word to study & listen to The Holy Spirits prompting ,there’s so much help& advice to each one of us .Praise God !Thank you for your blog in it’s entirety , as we as sinners saved by Grace alone reach out to the children & friends with the story of God’s Love ,Grace & Redemption in these chapters of Genises

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  219. The comment most interesting to me was “Avoiding the Hard Topics” because I have often done this. Yes, Genesis is full of sin, but, I can see God’s love, forgiveness, grace and mercy emphasized in spite of sin.

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  220. Thank you for reiterating our key goal, and proper focus … “In the beginning….” is prayerfully “a beginning” for each of our little ones to gain basic, foundational principles. May God’s Presence go before us all this year as we study and, moreover, as we lead little ones.

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  221. God used sinners just like us to accomplish his purposes. Our heroes of the Bible had to accept who God was their looking to Jesus Savour.

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  222. Love your teaching, want to teach my grandchildren , who have no Sunday School Experience, Thank You

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  223. Good “big picture” teaching overview points, especially the last one!

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    • In your first sentence, I believe you had put “Jacob tricking Issac” by mistake. Should it be “Esau”?

      Thanks for the reminder of how we should teach the children.

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    • Thank you very much. Useful tips indeed. ?

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  224. This seems fairly basic. The point of the entire Bible is Jesus. His redemption. We should make sure EVERY lesson point to Jesus.

    Sure there are interesting people in Genesis and God wanted us to know about them, flaws and all. If we look closely, we might see ourselves or shades of ourselves.

    The beauty of these patriarchs is that, like us, they are fallen people. They are all part of God’s plan to bring the Holy Seed, Jesus.

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  225. Excellent points. My 11 year old grand daughter is staying with me for awhile and we study our BSF together. Since we all know our children/grandchildren better than anyone else, it should be easier for us to communicate with them on a deeper level and discuss things that are not only biblically significant but that can, did, or will affect our own families. Thank you for highlighting a few things we who support our young “learners” should consider regarding this area of our bible-learning!

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  226. I learn that every human is a sinner.Joseph ,when he was young he was not good to his brothers,that was what we never teach about him.
    A suprising way of teaching about sin. This is what our new generation should learn.

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  227. Very thought provoking and appropriate for the times we live in.

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  228. This is in part truth yet so in error…all scriptures are inspired by ..who…God not humans….once again I detect the idea of everyone gets a blue ribbon let’s let the Rauch Hakodish do his …and will do ours..teach the Torah clearly and truthful

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  229. Dear Dana,

    Trust you’re well.

    Thank you for the profound insights. I do believe that in many instances these would be relevant even to adults.

    We look forward to this new season of Genesis.

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  230. Good points. I like getting insight from others who are teaching this material

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  231. I really appreciate the spiritual level setting here. You are right in saying it is easy to just tell the stories without paying close attention to what the Word is all about – JESUS!!!
    Thanks for reminding us of that all important perspective. I am so grateful for all our added resources these days. ??✝️?❤️???

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  232. Yes, thank you! I personally have just always cringed when even adult questions in some studies ask what we think that person’s motive was, because I don’t really have any way of knowing for sure. It’s all supposition. And yes, we shouldn’t be glossing over the plantant wrongs of supposed hereos. I’m glad I’m not alone with these feelings. We need to speak only what the Bible tells us and not go adding to it or taking away from it.

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    • The old connects with New Testament . We need to connect them through scripture.
      It’s exciting when we do!!’

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  233. Thank you I appreciate this wonderful information.

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  234. Great reminder as we begin.
    The thing that kept me from Jesus for so many years was that I was unable to recognize that I was a sinner.
    I was pretty good morally. Thank you for underscoring that we see the reality of sin and the necessity of a Savior for all people at all times. Asking God to keep that at the focus as I teach in the school program this year.

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  235. Well said. Over the past few years I have become aware that God-centered, gospel sharing children’s curriculum for VBS & Sunday schools is rare! So thankful for BSF.

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  236. This blog makes an error to say that “all but two of each species of land animal and bird drowned.” Genesis 7:2-3 specifically says “Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.”
    ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭7:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    https://www.bible.com/111/gen.7.2-3.niv
    The common visual and teaching of only two animal of each kind we’re on the Ark ignores the specific number stated in Genesis 7:2-3. Also not every species was not present – the Scripture states “kind.”
    It is correct to teach the theme of the story of Noah is to show God’s judgment of sin and His grace towards those who have faith in Him. But in the process of trying to highlight the ultimate truths, let’s not continue to teach false depictions of the visuals that kids carry with them and misunderstand most if not all their lives.

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    • Thanks for reminding us of these facts.
      I hadn’t noticed God said one of every KIND. That makes a lot of sense when you consider God created living things in KINDS – groups- Genus.

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  237. WOW!!!! This is so good!!!!! I’ve made some of these errors, and I now hope not to do them again in the future!!!!!!

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  238. All around speculations, “spin”, interpretation… are voiced, argued and preached as gospel. Commentaries published one after another as to what the Bible is saying.
    As Believers we are to be still, listen to the Holy Spirit

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    • Thank you ? this is very helpful to me.

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  239. Yes, absorbing this magnificent story in our finite minds is a challenge for adults and children alike. It’s important to learn from the beginning that our limited understanding is an act of faith. “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.”

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  240. For anyone who teaches or studies the bible – excellent points to remember. Never add or take away. Just ask for wisdom. Thank you!

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  241. Thank you so much for this article. It is so helpful. I have just started a new job with preschool children and this article gives one something to consider when teaching His little ones His Holy Word.

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  242. Great article!! So glad to see BSF address this.

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  243. Thanks for the heads up! Great thoughts I can use with the children in my life as well as those in my group!

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  244. Very good points! Thank you.

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  245. Harsh

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  246. Wonderful insights! Thank you!!

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  247. Is it really important to teach small kids Genesis first. I feel we should let their soft subtle mind know Jesus first, through our good news Gospel. Teach everything about Jesus first and once they have been taught the goodness of Christ and goodness of being a Christian that we then teach these little minds about Genesis.
    I read Genesis only at the age of 48 yrs but I knew Jesus and His sacrifice at the cross from the age of 7 or 8 yrs. Then when I read Genesis, I was able to connect all dots. Forgiveness of sins always comes before confession. Same way Gospel can always be taught before Genesis.

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  248. This is so helpful to me as I study and also as I talk about these things with my young grandchildren.

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  249. Very helpful in keeping the main thing the main thing.

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  250. I’m like a kid in some ways. I need to know that we are all sinners, that the stories we grew up with are not all sunshine and roses but also of redemption and forgiveness of sin. Appreciate your blog. Thank you!!

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  251. Very good points. Well thought out. Thanks!

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  252. Good insight, and great direction for our teaching.

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  253. Thank you for publishing this article. Although I am not a child at this point in my life; I am childlike when it comes to understanding the Bible, which is why I am a student of BSF. I can now better put things into their proper perspective since reading this article and will be able to correctly pass information on to my adult children and grandchildren.

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  254. These are great points to keep
    In mind. Thank you.

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  255. This is very helpful.

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  256. Very insightful. Thank you for always shedding light to us.

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  257. Thank you. I know you have embraced these wordS in prayer for God’s wisdom. Excellent directions for parents and grandparents. I’m a “Big Kid at heart and love the Children’s program and curriculum.

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  258. Your letter so encouraged my own heart. Thank you for the wisdom and love in your words.

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  259. Sound counsel which is much welcomed. Thanks.

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  260. Good points. Though we might know these, its good to remind us so we don’t fall into these traps and so we do stay on track.

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  261. Interesting news thoughts about teaching Genesis stories. Sometimes we forget each story Whispers God’s name.

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  262. Thank you for these reminders.

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  263. Excellent wonderful eye opener.
    Very inspiring and easy to apply.

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    • Easy to learn and apply
      Very inspiring
      It’s an eye opener.

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  264. THIS! YES! Thank You

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  265. I to was impressed by the Holy Spirit to look for Jesus in Genesis as we go thru the study this year.
    Thanks for seconding that theme for me.

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  266. Thanks very much for these advice and alerts. Yeah, pray God teach us instead of using our flawed understanding to interpret God and the motives of people in the Bible. A reminder of being humble.

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  267. This information is so helpful and greatly needed. I greatly appreciate the “warning” and direction. Thank you for your insight. This is going to be an amazing study. I’m excited.

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  268. loved this – especially the last one. As a BSF children’s leader, it can be easy to miss this in an effort to pack all the details into a limited amount of time.

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  269. Love it… Thank you so much.

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  270. Really appreciated your all your comments. Very helpful. Personally, I was especially helped by your 4th point. I do think it is helpful to guess motivation and I do that when I read the Scriptures. But I appreciate the caution not to teach others what I am speculating. The Scriptures left it out for a reason. Thanks for cautioning us in all the advice above.

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  271. So good!

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  272. don’t forget genesis 7:2-4 Take SEVEN pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep its various kinds alive throughout the earth.
    It makes for a fun trivia fact. Not just two of every kind =)

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  273. Thanks for the insight. It will surely help me as I talk to my grandsons about this.

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  274. On the section on hero’s, I agree however we do need to hold them in high regard as God holds the
    up as examples of righteousness in Hebrews 11. It is important to acknowledge the obedience they displayed and at the same time their sinful nature. They were blessed because of their obedience.

    Regarding the section on animals, the Bible doesn’t say 2 of each species, it says two of each KIND. Which would be, today, each FAMILY which is a broader category above Genus and better explains the difference in genus and species we see today.

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  275. very good reminders. teachers should keep this in mind with all books of the Bible. thank you for sending us these tools. God bless you all!

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  276. Wow this is well elaborated thank you for the enlightenment.

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    • Suzanne
      Such wonderful caution. BSF always requires careful study with laser focus. Looking at Genesis 42:11,16, 19and 20, Joseph tells us his motivation for dealing with his brothers. In verse 11, the brothers claim to be honest men. Verse 16 “Send one of you that he may get your brother, while you may remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you.” Verse 19, “If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined….. Verse 20, and bring your youngest brother to me, so your words may be verified and you will not die.”

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  277. Great points to keep in mind as we tell the True story from the Bible. Thank you for sharing!!

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  278. As usual, BSF has given us again some really honest advice regarding Biblical passages. Thank you for the maintaining the integrity of God’s Word–BSF has honored God in this and many other ways through the years. What a blessing it is to hear such sage advice–praise God!

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  279. Thank you for pointing out very possible unintended mistakes we may make in studying Genesis not only in teaching children but in our personal study (old stories can color our study today). God always has new insights for us, to stretch and grow us into the children He intends us to become.

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  280. I agree. Looking back when my kids were small and hearing these bible stories. At the end of these story telling to them, I can recall that we failed to connect these stories to enable them to see the magnificence of God’s plan of redemption thru the Savior Jesus. Very good insight. Thanks.

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  281. As usual, BSF has given us again some really honest advice regarding Biblical passages. Thank you for the maintaining the integrity of God’s Word–BSF has honored God in this and many other ways through the years. What a blessing it is to hear such sage advice–praise God!

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  282. Very helpful!

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  283. I love this it’s a rebuke to me and all these I’ve held on to especially trying to interpret the creation story as though I was there

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  284. Very good! Thank you

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  285. Thanks to BSF for the very good pointers.

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  286. Excellent!! Thank you!! I’m not a children’s leader. But I am a Grandmother. I can use these thoughts to guide me as I teach my Grandchildren.

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  287. I love this, it’s a rebuke to me all these I’ve held. Trying to live like I was in the beginning.

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  288. Thank you for these excellent tips. I was surprised to see the title “How NOT to teach …” as BSF materials are usually so positive in their approach, but I found the “tips” to be very important and so relevant. As a Children’s Leader it has become so clear that teaching the Bible with the clear focus of God’s redemptive message through Jesus needs to be remembered and acknowledged “appropriately” throughout the Bible and for all age groups. Thank you for emphasizing and equipping us to do so for His Glory and the growth of His children (of all ages).

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  289. Often overlooked is that Genesis is about the introduction of a monotheistic God into a polytheistic world.
    The Genesis account is about how GOD responded to the various actions of finite man who did NOT fully understand an infinite GOD. ,

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  290. Amen! Amazing article. Thank you!

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  291. Wonderful observation … So true … Will indeed focus on those points to the children !!!

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  292. Great points for working with adults as well as children. Thanks,

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  293. Wonderful observation … So true … Will indeed focus on those points !!!

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  294. Thank you! That helps even grown ups to keep a right, true perspective. Focus on what God is doing and His faithfulness and His promised Savior as we study Genesis.

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  295. Such good points to ponder and remember even as adults or should I say especially as adults!!! When we understand these truths our teaching and witnessing will be more on target!!! Thank you!

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  296. Thank you for keeping our perspective straight. Focus on Jesus!

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  297. Great article! Thank you

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  298. Love this!! Thank you so much for these insights and for your heart to teach our children God’s TRUTH, even when it might be difficult or even uncomfortable. Thank you!

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  299. Whether engaging my preschool and school-aged grandchildren or anyone else–child or adult, these are great points. Thank you!

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  300. What an excellent commentary for children and adults alike.
    Thank you. This could be an entire lesson for adults….actually a very important lesson for adults to broaden and mature out understanding of Genesis, our world, and our Saviour!!

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  301. Thank you! This is a very helpful guide.

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  302. Fabulous Dana. Thank You

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  303. Is there anyway Zoom classes could be done for children who live overseas?

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  304. This is really thought provoking . I am guilty of everyone of the wrong things to do when teaching and reading Bible stories to my granddaughters . Now with this new insight I can, with the Holy Spirits help , change it b/c I have a merciful, gracious and compassionate God I know He will cover my unknowing mistakes and protect & re-educate my granddaughters hearts!

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  305. This would be very useful when I’m teaching in the School Program

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  306. Great! Also a good thing to know for guiding / leading / teaching adults!

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  307. All good , I agree ! Thanks !

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  308. Wao great love this. Thanks.

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  309. This was a very good reminder for all of us, whether we are talking to children or adults: Stick to the text and what we know to be true. Don’t assign motives to people, whether their Bible personalities or family members. Focus on the truths about God and what He is doing rather than sensationalizing or embellishing the story.

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  310. Thank you for this excellent and helpful article!

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  311. These are great reminders. Thank you for helping us think through these things.

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