Do you like history books? Do you sometimes imagine that you are there, where history took place? Do you ever imagine yourself in those historic settings and events?
The DVD miniseries Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” allows the viewer to see the actual locations where much of Jesus' history on earth took place! Some of you may have had the privilege to visit Israel and experience these historic sites, but for those of us who have not, we can visually experience it by way of the teacher on this series, Dave Stotts. Stotts narrates the Gospel story as he travels from place to place in his trusty vehicle (you'll enjoy that vehicle!), allowing the viewer to see the sites that accompany the story. If you are familiar with other Drive Thru History® series, you will recognize the humor that Stotts interjects which does not take away from the facts but rather enhances one's enjoyment of the narration.
This 18-episode miniseries is held on three discs. Each episode is about half an hour long. The DVDs in this special edition set are accompanied by a discussion/study guide. Each lesson has a summary, suggested Bible readings to accompany it, as well as a set of discussion questions and a "side road" which is a little more information. The discussion questions allow for further exploration of the ideas as you process them by talking about it. The episodes take you through sites in the Holy Land which are viewable today as well as locations which are the supposed settings for some of the events of Christ's life. The narrator helps the viewer to see and understand how what is there now reflects what was once there. For instance, he shows an excavation of a house that is possibly/probably Peter's mother's house! Pretty amazing. He adds in other historic facts and other historical things from the time that the Scriptural accounts were taking place, which helps with context. He walks (and drives!) the viewer through the life of Christ, from before His birth to His death and resurrection.
I was happy to have this opportunity to review this series of DVDs. I had intended to just use it with my kids, but my husband actually watched the first one with us and after that he wanted us to wait and watch them when he was home from work so that he could see them too :)
So what did we think? All of my family members really enjoyed this series and wanted to share about it. From my husband, "I liked that it takes the Bible stories of Christ's life that you're familiar with and adds other historic facts to give the historic perspective. Very interesting and informative--brings the Bible to life." My 16 year old daughter said, "It is very cool to learn different facts and put it all together. It is very interesting to see the actual places where the Bible happened!" My 15 yr old son said, "It lets you know what was going on in all the known world at the time that Jesus was on earth and shows you the actual locations where it took place. Very interesting." And from my 12-year old daughter, "I like it a lot. It was really cool to see that places that were told of in the Bible. I liked putting a place to the different Bible stories."
And me? It was good information. At times I felt overwhelmed by the huge amount of information plus the visual sites; I didn't love all the religious artwork and stained glass windows, etc. I know I'm in the minority, but truthfully I'd have liked this just as well, maybe better, if it had just been an audio rather than a video. My family thinks that's weird :) they loved seeing and hearing it all together!
It really encouraged a lot of family discussions, usually starting with a phrase like, "Wow, did you catch that..." or "Did you see that..." and one long discussion about how we had thought that it was amazing to walk where George Washington had walked...how much more it must have been to walk where Jesus and the disciples had walked! The enclosed discussion guide gives more specific questions that your family or group can use to review and extend the lessons you have just learned/heard.
I would recommend this series, Drive Thru History®--"The Gospels". It is good not only for homeschooling (as I had originally thought we would use it!) but also for family viewing and discussion. I'm sure it would be great as a Sunday School lessons or Bible study lessons, etc. for youth as well as for adults.
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