An Overview of
The Great Adventure
Catholic Bible Timeline System
by Jeff Cavins
The Great Adventure: A Journey Through the Bible is an exciting Catholic Bible Study that teaches people the narrative story of the Bible so they can understand the plan of salvation history.
Jeff Cavins developed The Great Adventure in 1984 as a Protestant minister when he realized that many Christians did not grasp “the big picture” of the Bible. Though people knew selected stories, they were not able to connect them into a full narrative. His answer was to identify the books of the Bible that tell the story from beginning to end. By reading just those 14 “narrative” books, a chronological story emerges. His popular Bible Timeline program teaches that story in a way that is easy to remember, and helps people to continue reading Scripture on their own.
After returning to the Catholic Church in 1995, Jeff discovered that the Bible Timeline Seminar satisfied a great hunger among Catholics to know and understand the Word of God. With the basic background that the seminar provides, Catholics are able to take their own journey through Scripture. Mass readings can be put into the context of the bigger picture, and most of all, people can enter into the great adventure of hearing God through His Word more fruitfully.
Jeff Cavins has taught the Great Adventure Bible Timeline to thousands of people over the past 20 years, both through live and videotaped sessions. Recently he joined together with Tim Gray and Sarah Christmyer to launch the new Great Adventure Bible Timeline Learning System. The learning system builds on the seminar and fills a demand for programs that go deeper into the story of God’s Word. Other qualified teachers are being trained to teach the Bible Timeline Seminar, and educational materials are being developed for parishes to offer in-depth studies of the Bible.
About the Seminar
The basic goal of The Great Adventure Bible Timeline Seminar is to help you lay down the “train tracks”— to set your route through the Bible and get you prepared for a lifetime journey of discovering God in the Scriptures. In the process, the seminar will:
- Identify the “narrative books” of the Bible – fourteen books that will lead you chronologically through the story of salvation history – and show where the remaining 59 books fit into the story.
- Divide salvation history into 12 identifiable periods to help you remember the progression of the story (and include significant details from secular history to help you place Bible events in time)
- Explain how God’s plan unfolded through a series of covenants so that you can understand not just the story, but where it is headed and how YOU fit in the “Big Picture”
- Provide you with memory aids: like a band of colored beads to help you remember the 12 periods, a useful bookmark, and a colored chart of all the important information
- Give you a plan for reading through the narrative books and a step-by-step guide for continuing the Great Adventure of getting to know God in the Bible, on your own.
How to Use the Great Adventure for Bible Study
Based on the popular Great Adventure Bible Timeline Seminar, this course is designed to answer the desire expressed by many to go deeper into the Bible by exploring the “big picture” of God’s plan of salvation. The result is a 24-week journey through the 14 books of the Bible that tell the story of God’s dealings with humanity throughout history.
This series of 24 talks by Great Adventure creator Jeff Cavins is a unique approach that works well for both individual and parish Scripture study. The Great Adventure 24-Week Course is a turn-key system which includes an array of materials—including Bible Timeline Study Kit for each session and a Leader’s Manual — that help guide you on your journey through Bible history. Whether you choose to use the program as an individual study or in a group setting, we at The Great Adventure pray that God will richly bless you and meet you as you read His Word.
There are three ways you can utilize The Great Adventure 24-Week Video Course in a group setting:
- Video-Based Bible Study Group
This is an excellent option for more formal study by combining individual preparation, small group discussion, and the video lesson. Each weekly meeting should be long enough to accommodate both discussion and a 50-minute lesson: two hours is recommended, although 90 minutes would be sufficient for smaller groups. Reading assignments and questions to be done in advance are provided in the Bible Study Kit. Facilitators are needed to lead discussion; with backup from the recommended answers in the Leaders Guide (downloadable!), they need not be trained catechists.
Required materials: A copy of the 24-week video program (also available in audio CD formats), and a Great Adventure Bible Study Kit.
Recommended materials: Bible Timeline Chart, and Then and Now Bible Map Book
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