unfoldingWord® Open Bible Stories Study Notes
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unfoldingWord® Open Bible Stories Study Notes


unfoldingWord® Open Bible Stories Study Notes provides readers of the unfoldingWord® Open Bible Stories with additional information to expand the content of the stories, and to facilitate understanding of the issues and themes presented in them. The notes include historical, cultural, and linguistic information, as well as biblical background and major theological themes. These notes will help both readers and students of the stories to gain a fuller understanding of the bibical truths that the stories present.

This resource was developed by unfoldingWord® and the Door43 World Missions Community. The entire project is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, see the LICENSE file for more information.

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A Guide to Using the Stories in the OBS

The Reason for the Stories

The stories in the OBS tell about things that happened in the Bible. However, the stories are shorter than the Bible accounts, and the language is often easier to understand. The stories can help people learn about who God is and about what he has done. Also, each paragraph of a story has an image that can help people understand what happened in Bible times when clothing, houses, and culture were very different than they are today.

The Parts of the Stories

The stories in the OBS can be used by individuals or groups of people who want to learn about God. The OBS includes several things to help people use the stories:

  • The text of the stories
  • The images in the stories
  • The study notes in the stories
  • The questions for the stories

How to Use the Stories

We suggest you use the stories in the following way:

  1. Choose a story to read. The stories will be easier to understand if you read the stories in order, beginning with the first story.
  2. Read the story. In a group, one person may read the story aloud, or the people may take turns reading portions.
  3. Look at the images. Use the images to help you understand what happened in the time of the story. Try to identify the people in the images.
  4. Refer to the Notes. Read the study notes whenever there is a word or something else in the story that you do not understand.
  5. Discuss the Questions. Read each question and think about the answer. The first set of questions helps you see what the story says. The next set of questions helps you think about what the story means to you. If you are in a group, allow different people to offer answers to the questions. Look at the answer to each question and see how it is the same as your answer, or different from it.
  6. Read the Summary. Read the story summary at the end of the questions. Think about what you have learned about God in the story. If you are in a group, ask the group members what they have learned from the story.