Biblical Studies




At Curriculum Level Five we blend the Social Studies Curriculum with knowledge of the Bible and the Historical events and issues of those Ancient times.


Here are a some of the assignments we have done (somewhat truncated):




Disagreement in the Church – how is it resolved?


The Church in Acts chapter 15 made their decision based on:

  What God had done in the past

  What God was doing at that time

  What the scriptures said.


We have some unresolved issues in the church today.


Here are three:

  1. Is it OK for Christians to smoke marijuana?
  2. Should Christians be allowed to divorce?  If they do divorce, or they allowed to get remarried?
  3. Should Christian go to dole?



    Pretend you are the council of the church in Jerusalem and some people have come with one of the above problems.  The church leaders are to come up with a solution then they are going to write a letter explaining their reasons.

    Should Christians go on the dole?



This is going to be a group assignment 3-5 people.

TASK: Create a centre page spread for a local newspaper.


Newspapers sometimes decide on a current theme and they do a whole range of articles around that theme.  For example a paper might decide to do a spread on the Olympics – if it was Olympics time.  The articles would include such things as; A review of likely medal winners, an interview with two of the leading medal contenders , an article looking at the development of doping in the Olympics, an article of funding for athletes, an article of the sweethearts of the athletes, some photos of the sports gear that the athletes are wearing, photos of the athletes village, some graphics on how the speeds that athletes are running at are changing over time, some of the costing's associated with the different sports etc.


You are creating a centre page spread for the local newspaper in Malta shortly after the time that Paul’s boat got ship wrecked there.  The focus of the page is: The shipwreck, Paul not dying when the snake bit him, Publius’ father in Law getting better, and the many other people that got healed when Paul prayed for them.

IDEA’s FOR THE SPREAD. (You may add your own, no need to stick with these.) Where possible stick to the truth(!).  Only make up data if the information is not available and always try and make the information sound reasonable.

  • A list of the deadly snakes on the island, the varying level of poisons they had, then number of people that had died from them in the last 10 years.
  • A description of the boat that had smashed into the rocks.  Where it had been going, what it had been doing, the people that had been on board.  The person who had owned it and the plans of the owners/Romans, now that they had been shipwrecked.
  • An interview with the Roman; Julius.  Who he was, what his charge was, what he thought of Paul.
  • A discussion on the various predictions Paul had made on the voyage to that point, how the ship’s captain had reacted to them and the results of both ignoring and taking Pauls advice.
  • An interview with Publius’ father in law.
  • A survey of people that had been healed due to Paul’s prayers.
  • An in depth discussion with Paul about the source of his power, about why he is a prisoner, why he has such a good relationship with his captors, what he thinks is waiting for him once he gets to Rome.
  • A quick overview of the Jewish religion. 
  • A compare and contrast between Judaism and the teachings of the Christians.
  • An interview with Luke who gives an overview of his travels with Paul and some of the strange and miraculous situations that Paul had been in.
  • Photos/sketches of Paul, Publius, Julius, Luke, ships captain etc.  Photos of the ship, of the snake . . .





Each group must had in an A3 sheet with

·         a clear major heading. 

·         Lots of catchy subheadings

·         A scattering of major and minor articles

·         It can be done by hand or machine – I do not mind, but it must  be easy to read.

·         It should look good – inviting to people to read.  It should look like a newspaper centre page.

·         There should be list stating who did what within the group. (Concerns about slackers need to be given to me early.)




The story about Saul, David and Absalom is a story about Power and how easily people can be corrupted.


There is a quote from Lord of the Rings;

“9 rings are gifted to the race of man who above all desire power . . . . . . . but the hearts of men are easily corrupted.”

Lord of the Rings was written at the time of World War Two (at the time of the great dictators; Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin) – the Ring is a metaphor for power – the story is about the temptation of power – those who succumb and become evil, and those who resist and remain humble.


Saul, David and Absalom all get Power – the kingship of Israel.  Only David passes the “test” of power – but not without giving into its temptation!


At the end of watching the movie you are going to write an essay . . .


“What were the different ways that Saul, David and Absalom responded to Power.”


As you watch the movie, answer the following questions – you will be given time to write the answers as the film is being watched. Bible references to the different parts of the story are also given.


SAUL;  1 Samuel ch9 - ch31

  1. What was Saul’s character and relationship to God before he gets anointed as king and in the early stages of his reign? (1 Sam ch9 – 11)
  2. What were the early signs that he was losing his pure heart? (1 Sam ch13 – ch18).
  3. At some point Saul becomes an evil king.  What were some of the things he did in this stage?  (1 Sam ch19 – 31).


DAVID; 1 Samuel ch16 – 2 Samuel ch24

  1. What is David’s character like, up to the point he gets married to Michal? (1 Sam ch16 – ch19)

David was anointed king but did not try and become king – he waited for God to make him King – even though he spent most of his time running from Saul and had the chance to kill Saul more than once.


  1. What were some of the events that happened in David’s life during this time of running from Saul? (1Sam ch19 – 31). 

                                                                                                                                                                Once David became king he begins the same slide into abusing power as Saul; He seduces Bathsheba and when she becomes pregnant he has her husband killed.


  1. From this point on David takes a different path to the one taken by Saul – what were some of David’s actions that made him such a good king in God’s eyes? (2 Samuel)


ABSALOM (2 Samuel ch13 – ch18)

  1. What was Absalom like before he began to seek to be king? (2 Samuel ch13 – ch14)
  2. How does Absalom obtain power? (2 Samuel ch15 – ch18)

 Writing the essay . . .


     One paragraph on each of the three kings.

     With Saul, discuss how he became corrupted by power.

     With Absalom focus on how his desire for power corrupted him. 

     With David discuss how he showed the same tendency to be corrupted but resisted it, explain how he resisted it despite on-going temptation and difficulties.

     For your introduction

     For your conclusion give a summing up of the qualities that are required if a person is to resist the corruption that comes from obtaining (or desiring to) obtain power.



Biblical studies at NCEA LEVEL ONE


We teach three of the Religious Education Achievement Standards:

1.1 Describe key features of a Sacred Text, (We look at the Bible)

1.2 Describe a significant aspect within the development of a religious tradition (We look at the Protestant Reformation)

1.4  Describe key beliefs of a religious tradition (We look at why Christ is central to our Faith)


We also do an external History Achievement Standard; “The causes and consequences of the Reformation”.


This is an academic course that some students find very difficult.  The course covers theology, history some anthropology some archaeology and lots of literacy skills!

It provides a foundation for students who want to do History at Level Two.


I hope that throughout the course the students realise that Christianity is a religion that is true on many different levels and that the Bible is internally consistent and also consistent with historical events.

We also cover such philosophical questions as “Why does God allow suffering in the World.”   




Ms Beverley Baines teaches Curriculum Level Three and Four

Ms Sharon Thomson teaches Curriculum Level Five and NCEA Level One.