In this DVD series Jeff Cavins provides comprehensive teaching and commentary on the fourteen narrative books of the Bible. Each 50-55 minute talk is designed to accompany a lesson in The Great Adventure 24-Week Course - Study Kit.
The Great Adventure: A Journey Through the Bible
The Great Adventure is a Catholic Bible learning system that makes things simple by teaching the story (the narrative) of the Bible. Great Adventure studies are in thousands of Parishes in all fifty states and on five continents. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have learned to read the bible through this system, which provides a solid foundation for all Scripture reading and study.
The Bible Timeline
The Bible Timeline is the introductory study of the The Great Adventure. This remarkable journey through the Bible gives participants the "big picture" they need to put the entire story into context. Salvation history is covered from its beginning in Genesis through the coming of Christ and the establishment of the Catholic Church.
A clear understanding of the underlying Scriptural narrative is essential to all Bible reading and study, and for this reason The Bible Timeline is the first foundational study in The Great Adventure Bible Study Series. A combination of individual reading and study, group discussion, and lecture commentary guides participants as they read through the 14 narrative books of the Bible and discover the meaning of each in light of the whole. The Bible Timeline is an immensely rich study, diving deep into each time period of salvation history.
The Bible Timeline is basic enough to suit those who haven't studied the Bible before while at the same time offering ways to go deeper that will challenge the Bible study veteran. Salvation history is covered from its beginning in Genesis through the coming of Christ and the establishment of the Catholic Church.
The Bible Timeline has been granted the Imprimatur by Justin Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia.
Available as 12 DVDs approximately 110 minutes long each. Each DVD contains 2 lessons. See contents of each session below.
If you are planning to conduct a Great Adventure Course please consider the following information...
CD Session Contents
Session #1 Introduction
In this introduction to The Great Adventure, Jeff Cavins makes the complex simple by showing the student how to read the books of the Bible in historical sequence. First, he divides salvation history into twelve periods and provides an easy memory device to help the student organize the events of the Scriptures. Next, Jeff explains how just fourteen books of the Bible keep the narrative moving. He then shows where the remaining fifty-nine books fit in. We are given a structure on which the biblical drama is organized and a method we can use to read through it.
Session #2 Early World (Creation and Fall)
In the first period of Bible history, the Early World, Jeff outlines the nine points Catholic are required to believe regarding the creation story. In a nutshell, creation demonstrates that God has made a place suitable for man to dwell. The fall of man becomes the focal point that sets the stage for the need of a savior. Jeff sheds light on this significant story by explaining where Adam went wrong, how the serpent was able to threaten Eve, and why suffering came into the world. The importance of reading the Bible on different levels, in light of its literal and spiritual senses, is also discussed.
Session #3 Early World
Have you ever skipped the genealogies when reading the Bible? In session three, Jeff explains the importance of the genealogy as an aid to following the biblical narrative. He contrasts the lines of Cain and Seth, showing how one group followed their own path by building cities and industry, while the other called upon God. Jeff also discusses the Flood, its foreshadowing of the sacrament of baptism, and how Noah’s three sons spread out to populate different areas of the earth. The focus here is on Shem; from his name is derived the term Semite. Concluding this talk, Jeff explains the phenomenon of the Tower of Babel and the reason for the dispersal of people throughout the earth.
Session #4 Patriarchs (Part 1)
Next we enter the Patriarchal period. Here Jeff explains the importance of Abraham and how God’s promises of land, royal dynasty, and worldwide blessing given to him in Genesis 12 are later upgraded to covenant status. Jeff discusses the reasons for covenants and how they were performed during this time period. We learn that the covenant of circumcision is a sign of belonging to the family God – as is Christian baptism. The mysterious figure of Melchizedek is explained, as is the story of the binding of Isaac as a foreshadowing of the coming of Christ, the Lamb of God.
Session #5 Patriarchs (Part 2)
Continuing with the period of the Patriarchs, Jeff follows the promise of God through the lives of Jacob and Joseph. He discusses how God changes Jacob’s name to Israel and blesses him with 12 sons whose families became the root stock of the 12 tribes of Israel. Jeff contrasts the lives of two of the sons, Judah and Joseph, and tells how God used the brothers’ act of hatred toward Joseph to save the world from famine. In doing so, he highlights the many parallels between Joseph and our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Patriarchal period concludes with Israel’s family living and prospering in Egypt, where the will remain for the next 400 years.
Session #6 Egypt & Exodus (Part 1)
Israel’s fortune in Egypt declines as a new Pharaoh finds God’s people a threat and enslaves them. They cry out to God and He answers by rising up Moses to redeem them. In this lesson, Jeff explains the reasons for the 10 plagues against Egypt and the significance of the first Passover and the Crossing of the Red Sea. This dramatic finale becomes the central redemptive event in the history of Israel and points ahead to the Lamb of God, the One who would take away the world’s sins.
Session #7 Egypt & Exodus (Part 2)
The children of Israel may have been taken out of Egypt, but a whole lot of Egypt remains to be taken out of them. Jeff explains how the children of Israel enter a spiritual “boot camp” aimed at helping them grow and mature as children of God. He picks up the threads of the story to show how God forms the 12 tribes into a nation, establishing them in a covenant relationship with Himself and giving them the law (the Ten Commandments), a house of worship (the Tabernacle), and the Levitical priesthood. For the first time since the Garden of Eden, there is a place where God comes down to meet with His people. The family that is started as one holy couple and grew to be one holy family is now one holy nation.
Session #8 Desert Wanderings
This lesion covers the period of Israel’s Desert Wanderings. After spending a year at Mt. Sinai, the children of Israel head north to take the land that was promised to Abraham by God in Genesis 15. Because the repeatedly fail to trust God, they must wander in the desert for 40 years until that generation died off. Jeff teaches on the issues of struggling with trust and authority, and making spiritual progress.
Session #9 Conquest & Judges (Part 1: Conquest)
After 40 years of wandering in the desert, the children of Israel are ready to enter the Promised Land. In this lesson we hear how God raised up Joshua to lead them across the Jordan and into battle – starting with the dramatic, supernatural victory at Jericho. Jeff explains the keys to Joshua’s success and describes how the Israelites divided the land and settled in Canaan. He also discusses the significance of the Ark of the Covenant and the way in which Joshua’s conquest of the Promised Land is a type of Jesus’ spiritual conquest of the world.
Session #10Conquest & Judges (Part 2: Judges)
Israel found itself leaderless after the death of Joshua and sank into chaos and repeated defeat. Surrounded by pagan influences, the children of Israel had trouble remembering God’s will and putting it into practice. During the period of the Judges, God raised up a series of judges (both male and female) to teach about God’s ways and lead the people to victory. The stories of Samson and Gideon fall in this time period. Jeff explains how Israel fell into a repeated cycle of sin, servitude, supplication, salvation, and silence, and discusses how we can be reconciled with the Lord when we, too, find ourselves caught in this all-too-familiar cycle.
Session #11 Royal Kingdom (Part 1)
Jeff traces the expansion of God’s holy nation to the point where it is ready to become a kingdom. By the end of the era of Judges, Israel longed for a king to lead them. Jeff explains how that desire – not bad in itself – was corrupted by a determination to have a king just like the other nations. God gave them what they wanted, and them gave them what He wanted as He had the prophet Samuel anoint first Saul and then David as king of Israel.
Session #12 Royal Kingdom (Part 2)
In this session, the period of the Royal Kingdom continues and concludes in the reigns of David and his son, Solomon. David becomes a conquering king and builds Israel to its strongest in terms of power and size. Given rest from his enemies, he wanted more than anything to build God a permanent dwelling-place for the Ark of the Covenant. Jeff shows how God’s answer to David’s desire was to establish a house not for Himself, but for David – to promise him an everlasting throne and kingdom, a royal dynasty. The task of building the Temple falls to David’s son, Solomon. Jeff looks at the relation between the Temple, Christ, and the church, and then discusses the position in the kingdom of Queen Mother and its relevance to our understanding of Mary, the Mother of God.
Session#13 Divided Kingdom: Israel (Northern Kingdom)
Just two generations after God established the Kingdom of Israel under David, it split tragically into two: a southern kingdom – Judah – and a northern kingdom – Israel. In this session, Jeff explains the split and the dilemma that led the northern king to set up a new religion for his people. He then traces the fruit of that decision in the north through a succession of dynasties and kings who do not follow God. Elijah’s ministry is also brought out, and Jeff looks at God’s message to Assyria – the new world power – through Jonah.
Session #14 Divided Kingdom: Judah (Southern Kingdom)
In this lesion, Jeff focuses on Judah, the southern kingdom, which continued to be ruled by kings in the Davidic Dynasty. While things were more stable here than in the North, the people did not follow God as faithfully as they should have. Jeff looks at the sins that led ultimately to a prophecy of exile, and at the prophets God sent with messages to His people. He also discusses the position and authority of the prime minister and its significance to our understanding of the papacy.
Session #15 Exile
Despite warnings from the prophets, neither Israel nor Judah kept faith with God. Both kingdoms were ultimately punished with exile: Israel (the North) fell to Assyria in 722 BC, and Judah (the South) was carried off into Babylon and the Temple was destroyed in 587 BC. In this lesson on the Exile, Jeff explores the reasons God’s people were scattered and looks at the signs of hope for the future and the prediction of a new covenant in the visions of Daniel and the messages of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. He also discusses the future significance of a group of foreigners sent to live in the Promised Land, in Samaria.
Session #16 Return
The 70-year Babylonian Captivity came to an end with the rise of Persia. Just as Isaiah had prophesied centuries earlier, King Cyrus sent the exiles home to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. In Return, Jeff shows that a physical return to the land was not enough. The people needed to return to God in their hearts and undergo a restoration of their own as well. Jeff also brings in the story of Esther to show how God watched over even those exiles who chose to remain in Persia rather than return.
Session #17 Maccabean Revolt
This lesson covers the time at the end of the Old Testament period, when forced Hellenization threatened to wipe out Judaism altogether. The courageous revolt lead by Mattathias and his sons against Antiochus Epephanes, and the subsequent victories of the Maccabees over the repressive Greek armies, show the power of God to work through those faithful to Him. Jeff explains the turbulent period of the Maccabean Revolt and shows how these stories can strengthen anyone whose faith is endangered by secularism.
Session #18 Messianic Fulfillment (Part 1)
Jeff begins to tie the threads of the story together in Messianic Fulfillment as he shows how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises. In Part One, he looks at Jesus the man: who He was and what He taught during His ministry in Galilee. In particular, Jeff brings out the importance of the Jubilee and the significance of Jesus’ message of deliverance.
Session #19 Messianic Fulfillment (Part 2)
Part 2 of the Messianic Fulfillment period looks at Jesus’ preparation for His departure as He leaves Galilee and sets out for Jerusalem. Jeff takes a look at some of the Parables Jesus told and at what they reveal about Him. He looks particularly at the Kingdom of God on Earth – the Church- and shows how Jesus trained His apostles and invested them with authority so they could carry on and rule in His place.
Session #20 Messianic Fulfillment (Part 3)
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the events of Passion Week are the focus of this session. “Can you trust God?” has been asked since we started with Genesis. In Session #20, Jeff takes us back to the Garden of Eden and shows step-by-step how Jesus did what Adam failed to do. The institution of the Eucharist and the meaning of the Resurrection are also part of this powerful lesson that sums up the period of the Messianic Fulfillment.
Session #21 The Church (Part 1)
The Book of Acts forms the backbone of three lessons on The Church. The sessions are divided along the three “waves of witness” outlined at the beginning of Acts. In Part I, Jeff looks in on the apostles as they spend time with the Risen Lord before His Ascension and then are transformed by the Holy Spirit into bold witnesses of the Resurrection at Pentecost.
Session #22 The Church (Part 2)
Part 2 covers the witness in Judea and Samarian and the Paul’s first missionary journey and the Council of Jerusalem. Saul is miraculously converted, and God gives Peter a dream in which He makes clear His intention to open the Church to all believers, Jew and Gentile alike. God’s final promise to Abraham is finally being fulfilled. As Paul and others take the news of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, the way these new members should be integrated into the community comes under debate. Jeff shows how the way in which these issues were settled reveal apostolic authority in the early church.
Session #23 The Church (Part 3)
Paul’s second and third missionary journeys are the focus of this session. In spite of continual and often severe persecution, the Gospel took root across the Middle East and reached as far as Rome, the epicenter of the world at the time. Jeff weaves in letters Paul wrote to the fledgling churches to strengthen, instruct, and encourage them, and draws parallels to our lives that can strengthen us all.
Session #24 Conclusion
The people of God formed first from a couple, then a family, then a tribe, nation, and kingdom, is found today in the Church. In this Conclusion, Jeff looks at the kingdom of God today and asks, “Where are you in the story?”
|By:||Shorty (Marine City Mi, May 29, 2009)|
|Review:||Love it for true study of the word of God. Jeff Cavins is very easy to understand and humorous. Best Uses: Church organizers, Groups; Cons: Expensive; Pros: Any Christian, Great for true study, Story of Salvation|
|By:||John (Musselshell, Montana, June 12, 2012)|
|Review:||I was invited to overview the series and ended up driving 40 miles for twenty four weeks because I couldn't put it down. It is formatted to work in small to large group settings. I live in rural Montana and bought it to share with our remote rural parish as a continuing educational tool. By it's very nature it causes a person to grow in their faith.|