MOPS International, Inc.

Dear Leader:Welcome to Bible Basics 101 for MOPS moms and leaders.This study is designed for any woman who is curious about the Bible but may be intimidated by church, or hasnegative baggage from previous church experiences, or who can’t remember what she learned in her Christianchurch during childhood. Some moms may have become active in the church but have “holes” in their Bibleknowledge. Some come to MOPS from another faith or from no faith and have never opened a Bible before.Still others spent time running away from a Christian heritage and are now considering returning to it.All of them need to be met where they are. Their questions are legitimate, their concerns real, and theirmisconceptions generated sometimes in the heat of difficult moments from their past.But if they are willing to open God’s word and be open-minded enough to consider that it might be the truth,that is a huge step. As they read the words of scripture and wrestle through what these words might mean, GodHimself will meet them and the Holy Spirit will do the work. Each woman will have her own journey. Some willget it right away. For others, it may take months or years to process this idea that her sins are forgiven and she cancome to Him and He will walk beside her from here on.Your job is to be faithful to gently speak the truth in love, to show them what the book says, to calmly with graceanswer their questions, to love them in the midst of those questions and struggles, and to pray for their hearts toexperience Him while their minds wrestle with the questions that are barriers to their faith. Trust the Bible to speakits own truth.You should take some time to skim the entirety of the leaders notes before you offer the study so you have a senseof where we are heading and what is covered/not covered in these eight weeks. These teaching notes are extensive.Use them as much as needed to extend your own knowledge base.Each of you will do it differently and teach from your own strength. If you get stuck, seek counsel from your MOPSresources, from your own pastoral staff and from the wise women in your congregation. You know who they are.May Christ’s riches blessings be yours as you spend this time opening God’s word to those who have neverunderstood it before, and may the time you invest be multiplied back to you in ways you can’t imagine.In His Service,Cathy Penshorn and the MOPS Team3

BIBLE BASICS 101 LEADER’S GUIDEWEEK ONE.5nWhat is the Bible and what does it say about God?WEEK TWO. 14nHow do I find my way around the Bible?WEEK THREE. 18Looking at the Backstory:Are the Bible documents reliable?n Does archeology confirm Bible details?nnWEEK FOUR. 24nWho was Jesus?WEEK FIVE. 29nWhat did Jesus teach?WEEK SIX. 36nWas the resurrection real?WEEK SEVEN. 41nWhat’s the deal with the Holy Spirit?WEEK EIGHT. 47nn4Paul’s conversionHow does the Bible affect my life?

WEEK ONEnnWhat is the Bible?What does it say about God?LEADER PREPGo through the lesson on your own to become comfortable with the key points and questions that they generateand scriptures to use.WELCOMEOpen with introductions: name, kids/ages, how long in city, favorite dessert. Name tags are a good idea for the firsttwo weeks.Be sure all moms have their kids settled and that they know what time we will end, and what the protocol is fromchildcare if they are needed by their child.Have a Bible available for every person in the group. Do not assume they will bring one.PURPOSE OF THIS GROUPTo start at the very, very, very beginning of understanding the Bible and some of the basic claims of Christianity, tounderstand both better. We are going to focus on the Bible and look at what it is, how it is put together and someof the basic ideas surrounding its authenticity. For this class, we are going to assume that ALL of us in this roomare starting from scratch on what we know about Jesus and Christianity and the Bible and we are looking at it withfresh eyes and minds. So we ALL have ideas and questions, but not necessarily the answers yet. We are here to beopen-minded about what we might discover together.What this is not: This is not a “join the church” class, a “stump the band” class of trick questions or putting you onthe spot, or a “here’s how you should vote in the next election” class. None of that will happen in any of our sessionsor afterwards. So you can put any of those fears to rest.We will meet for eight weeks starting today, and our last day to meet will be .(Clarify starting time and note if there are any calendar breaks or weeks you are not meeting, let them know that too.)5

CLASS DISCUSSIONTODAY’S TOPIC: WHAT IS THE BIBLE?How is it the same/different than other books? Why are there so many different kinds?The Bible is actually a collection of documents all put together into one book, like a set of short stories. There arehistory sections, letter sections, poetry and song lyrics sections, future predictions sections, and narrative firstperson-accounts.What determined whether or not a document is included in this collection?Old Testament was generally accepted by the early Jewish culture as coming from God. So it was established alreadyas a divine group of documents.New Testament criteria was established after several hundred years, which was several generations, to sort throughthe new amount of stuff written about that era.Was it authored by someone who knew Jesus during His ministry?Was it recognized by the early church as authentic?n Was it consistent with the teaching of the early church and Jesus Himself?nnDecision made in 397 by a council to confirm the current 66 books as divinely inspired.Canon inspired by God and having His authorityAs the Bible has been translated, all translators have gone back to the original documents and brought fresh eyes tothe new version, so all versions are revised based on the original, not a revision of a revision. Rather a new knowledgeupdating the assumptions about the original language and/or a new reach into a particular cultural bent (such as theGood News Bible trying to reach those with limited literacy. Its mission was purposefully less precise in order to bemore far-reaching. A “translation” is word-for-word. A “paraphrase” just summarizes ideas with less precise language.)History of some of the English translations of the Bible:1611. King James Version (KJV) Authorized by King James of England1880s. Revised Standard Version (RSV) Written to remove obsolete words and phrases found in the KJV andcorrect mistranslations.1970. New American Standard (NASB)1971. Living Bible (LV) The paraphrase Bible was helpful for capturing overall meaning and was “easy to read”with its conversational style of writing. Is not useful or accurate for individual word study.1976. Good News Bible Written for people with limited English proficiency.1973, 1978. New International Version (NSV) Compiled by 100 scholars from around the world put together thistranslation.1982. New King James Version (NKJV) Retains much of the phraseology from 1611 minus the archaic andobsolete language.1993. The Message (MSG) A newer paraphrase using conversational tone and language. Sometimes only theNew Testament and the poetry books are included.6

Use your resources at church or the internet to find several versions to bring to class. Find a verse to compare inseveral versions.WHAT DOES THIS COLLECTION OF DOCUMENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT GOD?And why should we believe it to be true? Let’s start by looking at some of what it says this week, and we will askquestions like “Is it verifiable?” and “Is it true?” in the coming weeks.Also, we are going to start with the premise that there IS a God. We will touch on the evidence for a God inother sessions. And I am glad to set up a time to have that conversation with you one-on-one right away if thatis important to you to explore before we meet again as a group.LEARN TO LOOK UP A VERSE[In these next few weeks we will be looking up Bible verses, in a group and then on our own at home. It’s okay ifyou haven’t done this before — it’s easy.]Hand out Bibles to everyone. If anyone has brought their own, give them the choice of using the one they brought(which might be their own or might be borrowed) or the one you are supplying.The first word is the name of the book. It can be found in the table of contents in your Bible and we have listedthem below for easy access.nnThe first number is the chapter # (large print in the Bible)The second number is the verse # (small print in the Bible)Old Testament is the front 2/3 of the Bible.New Testament is the back 1/3 of the Bible.The books are arranged by genre, by type. This is why they are not in alphabetical order. Additionally, the OldTestament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek, so they were never meant to bein alphabetical order because there was no “order” until the canon was created. They are also not in chronologicalorder.7

[Make a copy of this table of contents to hand out for people to keep in their Bibles as a bookmark]8OLD TESTAMENTNEW oshuaJudgesRuthI Samuel/II SamuelI Kings/ II KingsI Chronicles/II siastesSong of ggaiZechariahMalachiMatthewMarkLukeJohnActsRomansI Corinthians/II I Thessalonians/II ThessaloniansI Timothy/II TimothyTitusPhilemonHebrewsJamesI Peter/II PeterI John/II John/III JohnJudeRevelation

So, for example, if we were asked to look up Genesis 1:1, we would look at the above list, find Genesis, see that it is at the beginning of the Old Testament, and wewould turn to the front of the front. (Have everyone turn pages of the text in front of them along with you. Do thisleisurely so that everyone has time to look around the text as they find it. Generally, don’t ask them to read aloudyet but if someone jumps in, that’s fine. )Then we might want to find Proverbs 1:8 (read this aloud)Or John 14:27 (read this one too)So, let’s practice finding verses while we get back to the question WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT GOD?(Look up these seven verses together. Guide the class to find these sections and you read yours. Ask if anyoneelse wants to read with slightly different vocabulary/version. Ask for a short answer to the above question at eachpassage. Remember, they will be slow to find these passages since they are unfamiliar with the book order. )1. Genesis 1:1 (In the beginning ) God started it.2. Psalms 19:1-6 (The heavens declare ) nature gives evidence of a creator.3. Psalms 139:1-6 (Lord, you know me )4. Mark 1:9-11 (This is my beloved Son ”) Note that this event was in a public place with a crowd around, not in aprivate place with no witnesses. Note also that your group may not agree with the idea that Jesus is God’s son, butour job is to simply point out what the Bible says and doesn’t say. We are not asking them to agree with it but toinvestigate it in its entirety and to be open-minded about that information.5. Romans 1:20 (describes God as having eternal power and a holy/perfect nature, which are two bedrocks of ourunderstanding about God. These two things are believed by many religions and reinforced all through the Bible).Note that just because something is invisible doesn’t make it untrue. Example: cell phone signals can’t be seen butwe know they are there because the phones work.6. Romans 8:38-39 (God is love )7. I John 1:5 (God is light )9

SUMMARYBible says God is (ask them to offer ideas about what they just read. If they don’t want to answer,move ahead.)n Is Creatorn Is An eternal powern Is Divine/Holyn Is Sender of Jesusn Loves usn Is Lightn Knows us each individuallyAPPLICATION STATEMENTThe Bible can give us the guidance we need as moms, such as the Proverbs verse gives us a reminder that ourchildren are to obey us, and the John verse reassures us that Jesus can give us peace when our hearts are afraid.He can help us be brave.Close by walking them through the follow up questions that are next in their book, as well as the scripturelook-ups for the week.Before you dismiss, offer a short prayer for the group and for understanding as we explore this book together.Out of class work for group:FOLLOW UP FROM GROUP DISCUSSIONWhat place did the Bible hold in your home as you were growing up?What are you most curious about in regard to the Bible?What makes the Bible feel hard to get into? Its length? Its age? Its connection with God? Other?10

Did anything in this week’s teaching surprise you?SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THIS WEEKSpend