This topic shares a number of programs that are technically out of print, but may still be found in church resource closets, resource centers, Ebay, and other places where older software is shared or sold.
Some of these notes come from Neil MacQueen, the former head of Sunday Software Inc. which carried a number of the following titles in their catalog.
Life of Christ Software (LoC)
"Discovery Interactive’s Life of Christ" CD, a hugely popular interactive program for kids about Jesus' life and ministry, went out of print in 2019. Its material was turned into a free and rather static online course for adults by Sky Media at http://www.lifeofchristweb.com/#/lessons (not recommended).
It came out in four different versions -each a technical improvement. If you have Windows 7, 8, 10, or 11 you only want version 4.0 or 4.1 and will probably need to download the latest/last version of Quicktime 7.7.9 to get LOC's videos to run.
The much better interactive software version for kids was purchased by thousands of Sunday Schools over the years through Sunday Software which also produced a teaching guide and lesson plans that use the software. A number of the computer workshop lesson plans here at Rotation.org reference the Life of Christ software as well as possible alternatives.
I have attached a PDF version of Sunday Software's guide for those who still own the CD. Some of the graphics were no longer available when I made the page into a PDF but the full text of the guide is all there and very helpful!
Below is an outline of the program's content --which also corresponds to the free "online" course.
All 40 "Online" Life of Christ lessons include:
- full text of each lessons slideshow, including discussion question, as well as hyperlinks to words found in the Glossary and activities.
- slideshow -- click on >Play Slideshow (upper right corner of lesson).
Note: the online slideshows do not include the 6 interactive questions that were at the end of each lesson on the CD.
- Practice Activities (Key Places and Images, Activities, Additional Reading)
Such as “drag and drop” matching activities, animated maps and timelines, photo tours of Bible lands, and more that were found on the CD are for the most part included (Key Map below).
The "online" Life of Christ course does not include the following items that were part of the CD version:
- the 6 interactive questions that were at the end of each lesson on the CD.
- The Castle Game that you accessed through the Professor's office window, where you had to put the books of the bible in order to enter, then answer quizzes as you wondered throughout the castle.
- The Clue game/scorebook, where completion of certain activities (quizzes, etc.) once completed would provide you with a clue for your clue book. Collecting all the clues made you a Master Explorer with a printable certificate.
- None of the Bible Facts Books quiz games and a couple of other activities as noted in the below chart.
- The CD version had a more kid friendly and colorful looking interface on it's games.
Online "Age range" and "usage suggestion" note.
We don't think this online version is as "kid & class-friendly" without the quizzes at the end of each lesson, but would work "okay" as a "presentation" resource program in the hands of an upper-elementary teacher.
How the original Life of Christ CD has been traditionally used by our rotation.org members:
The Life of Christ (LoC) has been a staple in rotation.org Sunday School's computer labs since it was first introduced back in 1997.
Generally Sunday Schools, teachers ‘cherry pick” a lesson or two from the presentations that match up to their lesson for the day. After viewing the presentation we usually discuss the question posed at the end of the lesson, followed by the 6 interactive quiz questions (unfortunately the quiz questions are not provided in the online version).
Then we follow-up with one or more of the activities provided—media/map/matching quiz that matches the lesson for the day (previewed and chosen by teacher ahead of time—for example, if you are using the Road to the Cross lesson, you might also pick the MAP of Jesus’ last two days in Jerusalem. Or, if you’re studying Jesus’ call to the Disciples, you’ll find a link to photos of the Sea of Galilee where the call happened.)
This all will take about 15 minutes. At this point, you'll usually follow up LoC with other activities, including other software-based activities. These software activities might include: working on the lesson’s memory verse in Cal & Marty’s Scripture Memory Game, or using Let’s Talk to create some computer-spoken responses to questions the teacher has about the LoC lesson. By the time we’re done doing LoC and the follow-up activities, we’ve been at the computer about 30 minutes.
"Cal & Marty" and "Let's Talk" software programs are now available FREE OF CHARGE to download here at Rotation.org to the supporting members of Rotation.org. Learn more!
If you are using the online version, but using a lesson here at rotation.org that was written using the CD, the below chart will assist you in terminology between the two platforms.
The online lessons include the lesson text and links to Glossary words and Activities. We suggest you preview links to see which ones work best with your lesson objectives, as we noted above in how our members use the Life of Christ CD.
Where is what?
Life of Christ CD
Life of Christ
Note: 6 quiz questions at end of each lesson are not included.
Book - Practice
Passion Week in Jerusalem Tour (online version it's been moved to Geography: Maps ~ Life Of Christ subheading)
*Interactive Map of the New Testament World
*Interactive Map of Jerusalem
Book – Study
Book – Bible Books
Book – Bible Time Line
Book – Bible Words
Book – Bible Facts
GLOBE – Geography (Maps)
Passion Week in Jerusalem Tour now found here (under Life of Christ subheading).
DRAWER – Film & Slideshows
Geography: Pictures and Videos
List of the 40 Lessons in LoC
This list was created by Neil MacQueen and originally posted at Sunday Software (posted with permission.)
Getting to Know Who’s Who
Lesson 1. Getting to Know Jesus (John 5:31-47)
What Jesus accomplished, What are Gospels, Why they wrote them, Do you know Jesus is your Savior?
Lesson 2. Getting to Know Matthew (Matthew 9:9-10, 10:1-3)
Who he was, what were taxes, Jesus parties with sinners, Why Jesus chose Matthew, Matthew wanted to prove Jesus fulfilled prophecy, Do you think God only likes good people?
Lesson 3. Getting to Know Mark (Acts 13:4-5, 13; Acts 15:36-39)
The tradition of who Mark was and how he came to be with Paul, Mark focused on what Jesus did –action and power. Have you ever tried to run away from something God wanted you to do?
Lesson 4. Getting to Know Luke (Luke 1:1-4)
Who he was, he was like a news reporter, Luke took great care….what can you do to know you know the truth about Jesus?
Lesson 5. Getting to Know John (John, all chapters)
John was one of Jesus’ best friend, why John’s gospel is different, John’s use of “I Am,” Do you believe that Jesus is God’s Son?
NOTE: Strangely, for the most part it is only the first four or five lessons in Life of Christ that might stir controversy from a biblical point of view. Lesson 5 takes the traditional view that the gospel writer John and the Book of Revelation’s John as the same person. Many scholars don’t think that’s correct.
Beginnings to Baptism
Lesson 6. An Angel Brings Good News (Luke 1:11-22)
About Mary, Gabriel, Zechariah & Elizabeth. Zechariah at first didn’t believe what he had been told. Do your eally believe that God will do all he promises?
Lesson 7. The Savior is Born (Luke 2:1-20)
The essential Christmas story here. Can you imagine what the shepherds thought and felt?
Lesson 8. Visitors for the Newborn King (Matthew 2:1-12)
All about the Magi and Herod. How do you worship Jesus? What gifts can you give him?
Lesson 9. Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:21-52)
As a baby and as a boy his parents brought him to the Temple. Jesus was being obedient to God. How do you do it?
Lesson 10. The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17, Luke 3, John 1)
All about John the Baptist and the baptism. Our baptism is a symbol of new life in Jesus.
Introducing the Son of God!
Lesson 11. The Lamb of God (John 1:15-34)
What John the Baptist meant when he called Jesus the “Lamb of God” (the one who takes away sin). Have you asked God to pass over your sins?
Lesson 12. Three Temptations (Matthew 4:1-11)
Jesus is tempted by Satan in the wilderness and what those temptations meant. How do you prepare yourself to fight off temptation?
Lesson 13. New Wine out of Water (John 2:1-11)
The Wedding at Cana story. When you pray, do you try to tell God what you want, or do you present your needs and trust him to do what is best?
Lesson 14. Jesus Tells His Secret to a Lonely Woman (John 4:4-42)
The story of the Samaritan woman by the well. Do you reject people who are loved by God? How do you introduce others to God?
Lesson 15. Jesus Tells His Secret in His Hometown (Luke 4:14-30)
Jesus is thrown out of Nazareth. What would you have said after Jesus’ sermon?
Ministry with His Disciples
Lesson 16. Four Fisherman (Luke 5:1-11)
Jesus calls his first disciples. Are you just interested in Jesus, or do you want to follow him?
Lesson 17. Faith That Goes Through the Roof (Mark 2:1-12)
The healing of the paralytic let down through the roof. Jesus claims to be able to forgive sin (which got him in trouble). What do you do to get close to Jesus?
Lesson 18. Jesus’ Power Over a Storm ( Mark 4: 35-41)
Jesus wakes up and rebukes the storm. Do you think Jesus has the power to comfort you when you are frightened?
Lesson 19. One Boy’s Lunch Feeds 5000 (John 6:1-14)
The basic story. What do you have that you could offer to Jesus?
Lesson 20. Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-32)
Peter also tries to walk. When you pray do you focus your attention more on Jesus’ power or on your problem?
Lessons About Life and Death
Lesson 21. A Glimpse of Glory on a Mountaintop (Luke 9: 28-36)
The Transfiguration story. Have you taken time to pray to God?
Lesson 22. Who Will Throw the First Stone? (John 8: 1-11)
Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. Background info of the law concerning adultery. How would you have felt?
Lesson 23. Jesus Blesses the Little Children (Mark 10:13-16)
Background on “blessing.” Thoughts about children. How does the story make you feel about Jesus’ love?
Lesson 24. Some People Will Do Anything to See Jesus –Zaccheus and The Blind Man (Luke 18:35-19:10)
A full telling of the Zaccheus story. If you were in the crowd, what would you have done to see Jesus? How eagerly to you seek him now?
Lesson 25. A Rich Young Ruler Wants Eternal Life (Mark 10:17-27)
The man didn’t ask for eternal life, he assumed he had to do something to earn it. Would you choose riches in heaven or on earth?
Lesson 26. Learning About Life After Death –Lazarus (John 11:1-44)
An explanation of the meaning of the Lazarus story. How would you feel seeing some come back to life?
The Road to the Cross
Lesson 27. Mary Prepares Jesus Body for Burial –with perfume (Matthew 26:6-13)
Mary believed Jesus when he said he would be crucified and wanted to show she loved him. What can you do to show your love for Jesus?
Lesson 28. The Plot to Catch and Kill Jesus (Matthew 26:1-16)
Why the Jews and Caiaphas plotted to get rid of Jesus. Has jealousy ever made you say something that hurt others?
Lesson 29. A Grand Entry Into Jerusalem –Palm Sunday (Luke 19:28-46)
The prophetic prediction behind the act. Jesus sobs over Jerusalem (and why). Do you honor Jesus as your king? If so, how?
Lesson 30. Disruption at the Temple (Matthew 21:12-17)
Why people needed their money changed. People misuing the Temple. Children sang praises. When and how do you praise the Lord?
Lesson 31. New Meaning to the Passover Meal (Luke 22:14-23)
An excellent presentation on the history and practice of the Passover meal and how Jesus redefined it. Have you ever taken Communion to remember Jesus’ death?
Lesson 32. Arrested, Tried, and Tortured (Luke 22:47-23:45)
Jesus, the crowds, the priests, the soldiers, and Pilate. Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do?
Lesson 33. Jesus Goes to the Cross (Luke 23:26-49)
Explanation of cross, calvary, the sign, meaning of some of his last words. How would you have felt watching Jesus die?
Jesus is Alive Forever and Ever
Lesson 34. The Burial and Resurrection (Matthew 27:57-28:15, Luke 24:1-7)
The women discover the empty tomb. How would you have reacted?
Lesson 35. Resurrected Messiah Visits Friends and Followers (Luke 24:13-44)
The road to Emmaus story. Why shouldn’t the disciples have been surprised at Jesus’ resurrection? How would you have acted?
Lesson 36. Saying Good-bye and Spreading the Good News (Matthew 28:19,20)
Jesus’ Great Commission to his disciples, his ascension. What is the good news about Jesus?
Lesson 37. Jesus Selects An Apostle (Acts 8:1-4, 9:1-31)
The story of Pentecost, the selection of Stephen and his stoning, plus the conversion of Saul to Paul. Would you still follow Jesus if you could be arrested for being a Christian?
Lesson 38. The Devil’s Destruction (Ephesians 6:10-18, Revelation 20:10)
All about the devil and the origins of evil. (NOTE: Check your theological needs here.) The devil is defeated and thrown in a lake of fire in John’s vision. Do you ever feel that you’re in a war with the devil and his evil forces?
NOTE: Some teachers may find this material out of step with their own theology. This should not deter you, however, from needing to deal with the subject matter of the devil and nature of evil. It IS important (whatever your opinion is) and the kids find the subject fascinating.
Lesson 39. God Makes All Things New (Revelation 21:1-22:6)
John’s vision of the future: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth….” What is heaven all about. How is John’s description of heaven different from what you thought heaven would be like?
Lesson 40. The Teachings of Jesus –Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7)
What he taught and why some people didn’t understand it. Become wise by learning the teachings of Jesus, that’s what disciple means. How can you learn his teachings?