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This topic is for posting Music Workshop lessons and ideas and resources for teaching "About" the Bible, for teaching general Bible content, and books of the Bible, "The Gospel," etc.

Please include the FULL name of any music, and the original publisher.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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In the New Adventure Bible for Kids there is a page called "The Books of the Bible" with all the books listed in a sort of rhyming rhythm. While it is not a song it could certainly be done is a "rap" kind of recitation that might be fun.

Jan Snell

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Music Ideas

<Posted by Doris Johnson>

We have used two songs to learn the books of the Bible. The Old Testament books were the most popular, sung to the folk tune TZENA TZENA (also sometimes used for Miriam's song) and rendered Spike Jones style with meaningful slappers, slidewhistle and cowbell embellishment in the rests. All of the children DO know the books in order, however! We learned the song before using the book blocks (color coded for law, history, prophets, etc.) and sometimes raced one group against another to assemble the book-shaped blocks in order (we have two sets) so they can consult the 'song' in their heads. I set the New Testament books to 'Ode to Joy" simply to latch onto a tune they already knew.

<Posted by Diana Oppedal Russell>

There is a Books of bible song (rap version) from "Learning to Use My Bible" (Abingdon Press, CD version: ISBN-10: 0687025486, ISBN-13: 9780687025480.) Do an on-line search. It's been a good resource for us (kids grades 2-6).

<Posted by Kate>

James Ward - The Holy Books Song

Part of the problem I have with many of the Bible Book Songs is that they sound way too corny or babyish. James Ward composed a song a number of years ago called, The Holy Books Song. I've used it for years in my Children's Choirs and during worship time to teach the books of the Bible to kids. It's done in a kind of jazzy rap style that resonates with the kids. I was put off by it at first, but after listening to it for awhile, it grew on me. Putting some choreography with it helps keep the kids engaged. I even let them come up with some of the motions. We performed the song for the families, and it was a huge hit. The kids all wore baseball caps & sunglasses. Best of all... the kids learned the names and order of the books. Even the Pastoral Interns from our church use this song to prepare for their licensing exams. Group Publishing puts this out. I highly recommend it.

Moderator adds, hear the song and see lyrics here

We've been using "The Holy Books" by James Ward and I just found a version on YouTube. It's a tad jazzier than we do, but you can adjust it to suit your style. What an amazing resource YouTube can be!

I see that the right hand column also suggests other learning the books of the Bible in song, but I don't know any of them.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

The Bible in 50 Words Music (Rap) Lesson Idea

Posted by a "former member" (moved here to consolidate posts)

Summary of Lesson Activities:

To provide a review of the timeline of the Bible

Lesson Plan

Opening: 15 minutes

Introduce the timeline on the wall. Discuss the sections into which it is divided:

  • God Creates
  • God calls a people
  • God judges and redeems a nation
  • God sends a Son
  • God empowers a church

Mention some of the stories that we have covered in Faith Challenge or Faith Quest and where they fit into the timeline.


Discuss: one purpose of Faith Challenge is to take the stories that we have learned and put them into chronological order so that we can see the entire story that is the Bible

Display the Bible in 50 words on chart paper or poster board. Say it first all the way through.

Then review it with the commentary. Ask the kids first what each couplet means to see if they know the story to which it relates.

Rap – 10 minutes

Divide into small groups of 3-5 kids. No more than 5 groups.

Ask each group to interpret the 50 words in rap language and actions.

Presentations – 10 minutes

Present the groups’ interpretations. You may ask the audience to clap or tap a rhythm. Cheer for each interpretation.

Younger Kids - Instead of making a rap, the younger children might enjoy making a tiny book. Take a strip of paper and fold it accordian style so that there are 26 pages. Put a title "The Bible" on the front and let the kids write the 50 words - a couplet to each page. Ask them to take their books home to share with parents.

Another exercise is to hand out the couplets and let the kids put them in order. Older kids can use the Bible, younger kids might use a Bible story book. (Younger kids will need significant help) See if you high school and middle school classes can do this.

Cliffs Notes on the Bible

The Bible in 50 words -------(and commentary)

God made -------the world.
Adam bit ------- the fruit of the tree of knowledge;God sent him out of Eden.
Noah arked ------- when the floods came. God made a covenant.
Abraham split------- the land with Lot. His descendants would number the stars.
Jacob fooled ------- Esau out of his birthright & Isaac into blessing him.
Joseph ruled ------- in Egypt. Many Israelites settled there & became slaves.
Bush talked ------- Moses was called to free the Israelite slaves.
Pharaoh plagued ------- 10 times because he would not let God’s people go.
Sea divided ------- saving the Israelites when Pharaoh’s men chased them.
Tablets guided ------- the Israelites with the Law of Moses.
Promise landed ------- the people in Canaan after 40 years of wandering.
Judges led -------- the Israelite people. It was a rough & violent time.
Saul freaked ------- as the first king. The people had wanted a real live king.
David peeked ------- at Bathsheeba. God loved David in spite of his weakness & sin.
Kingdom divided ------- into Judah & Israel. Warring, fighting & sinning prevailed.
Prophets warned ------- the kings and people about their evil ways.
People exiled -------from Judah into Babylon. Israel had already fallen.What a mess!
Hope rose ------- as prophets spoke of a messiah who would save the people.
Jesus born ------- in a stable. Angels proclaim the news. Shepherds & kings visit.
God walked ------- in human form as Jesus, preaching about the Kingdom of God.
Anger crucified ------- Jesus. He upset the Jewish leadership. He died for our sins.
Love rose ------- when Jesus was resurrected after 3 days conquering sin & death.
Spirit flamed ------- the disciples at Pentecost after Jesus' ascension.
Word spread ------- the Good news in the early church. Paul preached to Gentiles.
God remained.------- then, now and always

This message was edited by member Catherine

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Art Idea using above Rap

Posted by another "former member"
We had the children choose one of the word phrases and draw a picture to represent that story. Then we placed each one in order on a large piece of paper and put dowel rods on each end to make a scroll. The kids did a great job!
Last edited by Luanne Payne

What is the Gospel? 

Here's contemporary Christian artist Ryan Stevenson's popular 2017 song and YouTube music video titled, "The Gospel."

To the captive, it looks like freedom
To the orphan, it feels like home
To the skeptic, it might sound crazy
To believe in a God who loves
In a world, where our hearts are breaking
And we're lost in the mess we've made
Like a blinding light, in the dead of night
It's the Gospel
The Gospel that makes a way
It's the Gospel that makes a way
It's the cure for our condition
It's the good news for us all
It's greater than religion
It's the power of the Cross

Lesson Idea:

Using the artist's riff --"to the captive it looks like..."

What does the Gospel "look like" to a depressed person?
To someone in jail?
To someone who is grieving?
To someone who wants to change the world for the better?
To a kid from a broken home?
To a millionaire wondering what to do with their money?
To a student deciding which major to focus on in school?

Here's another great song that summarizes "what the Good News is" in an almost creed-like fashion. See the "shadow" presentation idea below the video clip.

O Glorious Day by Casting Crowns

This song is a Gospel creed set to music, a great lyrical summation of the Gospel.  The following YouTube music video is a mashup created by a fan -combining the song with scenes from the Son of God movie.

I can immediately see using this during Holy Week when classes grow with kids who don't know the Gospel. This song and video summarize Jesus' mission to them in the coolest way. Can also imagine Peter "showing" this video the crowd gathered for Pentecost.

Lyric Excerpt:

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me
Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

Each line of the lyrics is packed with meaning. I haven't used this one yet, but I can also imagine using it on Pentecost to summarize "What is the Good News?" that Peter announces in Acts 2.

Using the video in a drama workshop, we could project it behind the kids who re-enact Pentecost day and lip-sync the lyrics as if they were Peter's speech. Definitely would videotape it with my cell phone.

Another way to use this song would be to create a series of POSES for key lines/lyrics, and have students "pose" them behind a shadow screen. (Students stand behind a white sheet with a single spotlight behind them pointed towards the sheet. It turns them into a "shadow" to those viewing from the front of the sheet. Very effective and gives the kids a degree of anonymity so they don't feel self-conscious.)

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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