Your Bible Survey Class

Tips for Enlisting Students

How to Lead a Survey Class

Grading Information

List of DVD Old Testament Chapter Markers

Testimonies of Students of the OT and NT Courses



Too Hard and Too Busy!

Sometimes many good people who would do well and thrive on a study course such as this probably need some special encouragement to commit. They are a bit hesitant whether or not they can make the commitment of time and study.

Here’s an excellent way to get them over that hurdle. If it is impossible to use the Previews of this demo on, then you could request the DVD Demo and listen to it first so as to decide what chapters you want to use, depending on the time available. Then maybe after some evening service or whatever appropriate time, organize a short time to show the chapters of the DVD you’ve selected to as large an audience as possible whether they’re interested in studying or not.

It can do wonders, and some people whom you weren’t even considering as prospects may decide to commit! Give it a try! At the least, it can be billed as an interesting and exciting missionary report!

Once I preached at an Australian church which had run the old Bible History course some eight years ago. I noticed that most of the leaders and responsible ones had been in that old class! Now they are excited about running the new OT Bible History Illustrated course. First they arranged for the use of a data projector to show the DVD Demo to the people on a Sunday night in order to get people to thinking and praying about participating in the course. They also worked with those who were afraid of the quizzes and encouraged them to go ahead, enrol and if they found the testing program too difficult, then they could just do the weekly work and quizzes for learning purposes, but they wouldn’t have to take the final term exams, so no worry about grades. Most of the people who fit into that category will, in our experience, after they start studying for the weekly work and feel the motivation of the group atmosphere, end up taking the term exams and finish off for a grade with a certificate of completion! But even those who don’t take the final exams and get a grade, will learn heaps and be so glad they did.

I remember another church in the USA which ran the Old Testament course. At first, about half (mainly older people) of the 22 interested students only wanted to audit the course and not do the work. After the first lesson they changed their minds and decided to commit to all the course work. Twenty of the twenty-two students successfully finished the year’s course and enthusiastically testify to a year of blessing for having done so!

My sending church in El Dorado, Kansas, ran the New Testament course with a great response and blessing. They promoted it before opening up the registration. People are busy and live in a busy age, but they will respond and be greatly blessed if we present it properly


A Model for the Old and New Testament Survey I CourseGuidebook or

This model is built on the principle that the student will study the Handbook assignment, fill out the Review Question in the Workbook, study the answers, and then come to class where a quiz will be administered and graded in class. Following that, the student will view the DVD lecture in class and fill out the Class Sheet while viewing. This last step of viewing will confirm and embed further what the student has already studied and bee quizzed over. So the first two weeks of study would go as follows :

Week One: History in Review – Since this is the first week, there are no review questions. The student views the DVD and fills out the Class Sheet. The Supervisor then assigns the lesson for Week Two which will be Preparation for Christ. For the next seven days the student will readPreparation for Christ in the Handbook, answer the review questions in the Workbook for this chapter and study the answers in preparation for a quiz over the review questions at the next class session.

Week Two: Preparation for Christ – The class begins with the quiz over Preparation for Christ, then the grading of the quizzes in class by the exchange of papers among the students and the leading of the Supervisor. All quiz and exam papers are to be kept by the Supervisor and destroyed after recording the grades. Then the class views the DVD lesson for Preparation for Christ and fills out the Class Sheet in the Workbook while viewing the DVD. The Supervisor then reviews the assignment on Geography in Focus for the student to begin the same process for the following class session. Once the lessons progress toMatthew, there will be weekly Bible reading assignments, so the student should be encouraged to begin reading these initial Bible readings from the beginning of the study.


All weekly tests and term tests are included in the Supervisor’s Manual. Each week the supervisor will need to photocopy the appropriate quiz or exam so as to administer it to the students. Generally, after completing the tests, the students would be asked to exchange quiz/exam papers. Then the supervisor could lead in grading the papers and then collect the quiz/exam papers. He will be asked to judge some answers which are suspect. I try to be objective as to what the student is trying to say and may in some instances give half credit if the answer had an element of relevance to the question. Wild guessing that betrays a lack of preparation in study, however, does not generally attract credit!

The first section of the Supervisor’s Manual consists of a number of pages of review questions and answers followed by a section of blank quizzes and exams. Each course has class sheets in the workbook for the student to fill in during the viewing of the DVD lecture, and the Supervisor’s Manual will contain those class sheets with the answersparticularized answers to each term test. This is provided both for the convenience of the supervisor and the variation that may occur in the way the question is asked from the original review question. The supervisor may resource these two sections for all the needed answers.

The next section contains the four terms of weekly tests which is followed by a section including all TERM tests (mid-semester and final). All tests completed by the students both weekly and term tests are to be destroyed and not returned to the student. This is the responsibility of the supervisor.

The term test completes any responsibility of the student for the questions relevant to that term. In other words, we do not test the student again over the review questions of Term One once the student has sat for that test.

Several components go into calculating the final grade for each semester:

1. Weekly test grades for the two terms of the semester – this accounts for about 55% of the final grade for the semester.

2. Final term test grades for the two terms of the semester. These account for about 30% of the final semester grade.

3. Grade on map project. Supervisor will grade these. I generally give a high or medium grade depending on the effort and quality of the work. The supervisor will use his discretion. This grade will account for about 10% of the semester’s final grade.

4. Any occasional testing over the map exercises is left to the discretion of the supervisor and is considered as practice to achieve excellence and does not figure in the grading, though we do not generally inform the students of that!  It is treated more like a fun experience.

5. Having completed answering all review questions in the spaces provided in the student’s Workbook will gain a 100% grade for that component. The supervisor asks to see if the blanks are full, not whether they are correct. It is good to check the workbooks occasionally so that the students can be encouraged to have it all done by the end of the semester, since it accounts for 10% of the semester’s final grade.

6. The four components will be put into the Excel Grade Sheet which can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. It will calculate the weightings of each component and give the final grade. Please note that there is an Excel  gradesheet page for each semester, since the first semester has a map project and the second semester does not, so the weightings differ slightly.

The weightings are as follows:  

Semester 1:

– Weekly test average = 55%

– Final Term 1 test = 13% (called Mid-T on Grade Sheet)

– Final Term 2 test = 13%

– Map Project = 10%

– Workbook review questions filled out = 9%

Semester 2:

– Weekly test average = 56%

– Final Term 3 test = 17%

– Final Term 4 test = 17%

– Workbook review questions filled out = 10%

Missiionary Outpost does not provide certificates of completion, but it is an excellent motivation for the church to do so and to present it in a public service.



These chapter markers on the menu of each DVD denote a general outline of most major subjects covered on the DVD, though not all. There is a maximum of eight chapters in each lecture, so we attempted to mention the main headings. This list may be helpful and is included here. This list will be approximate since some names may vary slightly due to last-minute revisions in editing.



– Getting Acquainted

– Orientation

– Introduction Chapter

– Why Accept Bible

– True Science

– Inspiration of the Bible

– Geography


– Jordan Rift

– Egypt

– Kingdom of Jordan

– Lebanon – Syria

– Palestine

– Book of Genesis

– Outlines


– Search for Ark

– Post-Flood World

– Abraham – Genesis 12

– Abraham’s Movements

– Abraham Outlines

– Abraham in Egypt

– Back to Bethel


– Abraham’s Big Test

– Jacob

– Joseph

– Genesis Wrap-up

– Book of Exodus

– Egyptian Kingdoms

– Religious Life in Egypt


– Egyptian Dynasties

– Egyptian Burial Places

– Moses The Hebrew

– Moses The Shepherd

– Thutmose III

– The Burning Bush

– Ten Plagues


– The Exodus from Egypt

– Location at Red Sea

– Crossing The Red Sea

– Israel’s Survival

– Sinai Geography

– Manna Provided

– Water at Rephidim

– Exam Information


– Mt Sinai Views

– Mt. Sinai Events

– Tabernacle of Israel

– Book of Leviticus

– Book of Numbers

– At the Jordan River

– Book of Deuteronomy




– Geographical Overview

– Preparation for Canaan

– Crossing The Jordan

– Jericho Campaign

– Tell Jericho

– Ai Campaign

– Joshua Summaries


– Balaam False Prophet

– Geographical Highlights

– Gibeon Deception

– Southern Campaign

– Northern Campaign

– God’s Justice

– Land Allotments


– Community Institutions

– Cities of Refuge

– Religious Education

– Religious Sacrifices

– Religious Feasts

– Religious Occasions

– Prophetic Office


– Joshua Conclusions

– Judges’ Symbolism

– Judges’ Background

– Canaanite Influence

– Judges’ Syndrome

– Lessons from Judges

– The Philistines


– Review of Judges

– Moral Dilemma

– Moral Decadence

– Othniel – Ehud – Shamgar

– Deborah –  Barak

– Gideon – Midianites

– Abimelech of Shechem


– Jephthah – Ammonites

– Samson – Philistine

– Evaluating Samson

– Judge Samuel

– Battle of Aphek

– Occasion of Mizpeh

– Return of Ark


– Ruth’s Background

– Persons and Types

– Books of Samuel

– Selected Lessons

– Request for A King

– Selecting The King

– King Saul’s Rule


– Unifying Israel

– King Saul’s Rule

– First Rejection

– The Amalekites

– Final Rejection

– An Unstable Saul

– Saul’s Sad End




–  David The Youth

– David The Fugitive

– Death of Saul

– King Ishbosheth

– King David over All Israel

– The Jebusites

– King David’s Task


– Philistine Challenge

– David’s Military

– David’s Family

– David’s Prophets

– Mephibosheth

– David’s Tragic Sin

– David Evaluated


– Background Material

– Unique Psalms

– Study Helps for Psalms

– Spiritual Progression

– Hebrew Poetry

– Acrostic Poetry

– Hebrew Poetry in Proverbs


– Ecclesiastes

– Song of Solomon

– David’s Latter Rule

– King Solomon

– Solomon’s Policies

– Solomon The Builder

– Solomon’s Apostasy


– Books of Kings and Chronicles

– Solomon Critiqued

– God’s Chastisement

– Lessons from Solomon

– Kingdom Splits

– Jereboam’s Reign

– Jereboam’s Heirs


– Worship at Dan

– King Omri

– Views of Samaria

– Ahab and Jezebel

– Elijah The prophet

– Elisha The prophet

– King Jehu


– King Jehoahaz

– King Jehoash

– King Jereboam II

– Assyrian Policy

– Samaria Besieged

– Samaritan Story

– Summary of Israel


– The Prophets

– Jonah Introduction

– Assyrian Kings

– Book of Jonah

– Book of Hosea

– Joel and Amos

– Book of Isaiah




– Geography of Judah

– King Rehoboam

– King Abijam

– King Asa

– King Jehoshaphat

– Jehoram & Athaliah

– King Ahaziah


– King Joash

– King Amaziah

– King Uzziah

– King Ahaz

– King Hezekiah

– Hezekiah’s Tunnel


– King Manasseh

– King Josiah

– Zephaniah

– Nahum

– Jeremiah

– Lamentations

– Obadiah


– Judah after 586 B.C.

– Changes in Exile

– Governor Gedeliah

– Nebuchadnezzar

– Daniel – God’s Man

– Book of Daniel

– Book of Habakkuk


– Ministry in Captivity

– Life in Babylon

– King Cyrus

– Returns from Exile

– Ezekiel The Prophet

– Tyre Prophecy

– Ezra The Scribe


– Governor Nehemiah

– Building The Wall

– Nehemiah’s Second Visit

– Queen Esther

– Elephantine Colony

– Malachi The Prophet

– Job of Antiquity


– Alexander The Great

– Grecian Empires

– Ptolemy Kings

– Seleucid Kings

– Maccabean Leaders

– Jewish Life

-Romans in Israel


Testimonies of Students

“It was a unique study experience which connected me to the NT world. I gained real insight as to how, where and why each book was written. The Words to Note brought NT words to real life f unique study experience which connected me to the NT world. I gained real insight as to how, where and why each book was written. The Words to Note brought NT words to real life in their historical and cultural context. The author’s experiences added a special flavor of interest to the course. My knowledge of the NT has been greatly increased as has my desire to apply what I have learned.”

“This was a very practical course. A highlight was the experiences from the long ministry of the au- thor which were condensed and passionately poured into the Bible teaching throughout the course and especially in the ‘Logs on the Fire.’”

“The structure of the course has been very well prepared. The great detail which is used through- out the course is fantastic. Even the quizzes were a great help in proper preparation.”

“This course truly had a great impact on my life; it has enriched my spirit and mind, and I am eager to continue my studies.”

“The New Testament Bible History course took me into an interesting educational and spiritual journey. The course provides a historical backdrop to many of the prominent New Testament events. Now I appreciate more and understand better what I read because I can perceive God’s words in their historical context. The Words to Note component of the course unpacks the treasures hidden in the Word of God. Words in the New Testament that seemed ordinary and bland to me have now a more enhanced flavor. The Handbook has become my “Google” as I prepare for Bible study and de- votions. I praise God for an additional resource that brings glory to His Name.”

“The OT came alive with real people and real places and set a background of each book for me. Now history fits! The pictures captivated my imagination. Now when I read the Bible, these images keep flashing across my mind, and I feel I’m right there where the events happened. The course put Bible events, previously jumbled in my mind, into chronological order and also gave a foundation for New Testament events. It changed how I read my Bible. Now I don’t just study the Word, rather I study the God of the Word and my amazement and love for Him grow. I have been encouraging my children, my Sunday School students, the youth of our church and every Christian I see to do this course! I appreciated the many principles and practical comments that affect my everyday life. The studies weren’t just theory. Also, I loved hearing how God dealt in Pastor Hester’s life. The historical outline put OT events into a sensible order for me instead of a mysterious jumble and revolutionized my understanding. I’m glad I made the effort to learn it! It was a challenge as I had not studied for years. But it was worth it; I learned so much though my grades weren’t the best. My quiet time was revolutionized! As I read, I think of background details and visualize people and places. Now I know my Bible more, and I know the God of my Bible in a new light. It helped me to understand the motives and actions of Old Testament characters in a way that I could really learn from their mistakes.”

“It was very informative and helped me understand the New Testament more clearly in its historical context, I have never studied so much in my life, and I even surprised myself that I could be so disci- plined to study. I have learned so much, and I will always be referring to my Handbook in the fu- ture.”

“My first impression was of the professional presentation of both the study materials and the DVDs. I think the most beneficial aspect of the course was that it enabled me to understand and empathize with the mindset and culture of the believers in that NT world and thereby better understand why each particular book was written.”

“I am grateful for the tremendous effort put in to making this course happen! It kept us captivated and made it so much easier to understand each New Testament book.”

“I enjoyed the ‘Logs on the Fire’ so much because it put God’s Word in practical perspective. I also enjoyed the test each week since it forced me to take in what I had read and really learn it.”

“This was a very practical course. A highlight was the experiences of the long ministry of the author which were condensed and passionately poured into the Bible teaching throughout the course and especially in the “Logs on the Fire!”

 “The New Testament History course is very rich and compact.  I do not get tired of hearing historical facts again and again.  Partly because I do forget and need to be reminded.  But also because they encourage and stimulate me to go on, to be courageous and brave like the saints of old were. For me it was also a great joy to have this study time with brothers and sisters from other sister churches.  I appreciate the amount of work, time and dedication Pastor Hester needed to write this course.” A working widow

“Thank you for putting together this New Testament survey course on DVD.  I have enjoyed it and am still enjoying the format whereby I am forced to read the Bible books with the Handbook to search for the answers to the Review Questions. This course had challenged me to be more disciplined in my study and especially in the review of historical dates (being my weakness).

The colourful pictues and the “The Logs on the Fire” messages make the course even more interesting.  I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to have an overview of the New Testament.” A nurse and mother

 “An essential course of study and resource for every preacher of the Word of God.  The word studies are exceptional and shine further detail upon God’s glorious Word.”

“NT Bible History Illustrated has been a blessing to study.  Apart from gaining a better understanding and knowledge of the Bible, this course makes the Bible come alive with many colourful visuals and witty comments from the lecturer which filled the sessions with interest and humour.  Thank you Pastor Hester for all your work and effort put into this course.  Your labour of love to impart knowledge to students via this course is much appreciated, and the rewards will be only fully realized in eternity.” An architect

“NT History has been a great course to study.  It expands one’s knowledge in history, culture and understanding of the times of the writing of the New Testament.  It has also been encouraging to learn of the personal lives of the prominent people of the Bible. Thank you for all your faithfulness in putting this together for us.  Than you Mrs. Hester for your support to Pastor Hester through this time.”

“New Testament History is a very profitable course that helps you to visualize the NT accounts more easily.  The Handbook is very easy to go through and is filled with pictures and interesting facts that encourage students to learn.” A Bible college student

 “The New Testament Bible History course has been a blessing to me in the way of ‘bringing to life’ the times and culture of the days of Christ.  In so doing it has helped me understand in a clearer way the life and ministry of Christ.” A Bible college student

“I found the New Testament course to be very informative.  It helped immensely to see how the New Testament books came together in their times and places.  Spiritually, there are lessons on every DVD topic that helps me as a Christian to change more into my Saviour’s imag A Bible college studente.”

“I have found New Testament History to be a blessing in two ways.  Firstly in the practical aspects of learning the history, the details, the culture of the time and even seeing with my own eyes some of the places we have only read of before. Secondly is the application.  I have enjoyed immensely the “Logs on the Fire” sessions where often we would hear of Pastor Hester’s own experiences connected with lessons for the day.” A Bible college student

“New Testament History has been quite a blessing.  I have gotten many new insights into the times and culture.  It has been interesting to study the books in the light of historical events happening at the time.  The “Words to Note” will be of great benefit in the future for further study.”

“I really do appreciate all the hard work, effort and time you spent on putting this material together. The setting up of it was really clear and easy to follow. I learned a lot about the backgrounds and insights that I was not aware of were clearly outlined in this course.  It is very useful now and will also be so useful when I read the New Testament again. It really helped knowing the years of events happening in the  Bible and how people think and why. Thank you very much.”

“I have greatly enjoyed this course.  The pictures and history have given me a greater understanding of the places and happenings of those times.” A Bible college student

“I have learned a lot and it has made it easier for me to understand each book, I have enjoyed the Logs on the Fire segment. It has encouraged me to continue to be faithful to the Lord.” A working family man

“I am grateful for the tremendous effort Pastor Hester put in to make  NT Bible History happen, It kept us captivated and made it so much easier to understand each book. We thank God for such a faithful servant and teacher. I highly recommend this course.” A working mother

“I found the course to be well structured. The dates put things into context. There was a good balance between video, class work and review questions. I also found the volume of work to be right each week.” An accountant and new Christian

“I enjoyed the “Logs on the Fire” section most as it put God’s Word into perspective. Pastor Hester’s testimony is a real blessing for me. I also enjoyed the quiz each week as it forces me to take in what I had read and to learn it.” Another accountant

“It is truly a blessing to be part of this New Testament course. The structure of the course has been very well prepared. I find it very educational  how at the commencement of every weekly lecture on DVD there is a revision of dates, maps and historical reviews. This I believe helps me understand the order of events and purpose of different writings of books. The illustrations in the weekly readings and reviews are very clear to understand and have been found to be very interesting. The explanation of the definition of certain words in verses also gives a clearer understanding of the overall verse. The great detail which is used throughout the studies we do each week is fantastic. Weekly quizzes are a great preparatory tool for the end of the term exam and also for being sure that you are prepared for the lesson being quized on. I also must include that it keeps the lecture interesting with the use of the variety of images and different displays on the screen. The in class sheet is also a great way to keep us paying attention throughout the lecture. The great detail which is used throughout the studies each week is fantastic and helps me to keep continual focus. Thank you for the material that you are providing for us.” A university student

“My very first impression of the course was that it is presented so professionally,  both the Handbook content and the DVD.   I imagined that quite a bit of money must have been invested in preparing the course.  I was really surprised when I found that Pastor Hester compiled and filmed the course himself.  I think the most beneficial aspect of the course for me is being able to better relate or empathise perhaps with the first/second generation believers having now better understood their mindset and culture.  This gives a better understanding of why the particular book was written, or why such content was given to a particular church or people.  It was challenging also. Reading Jude scared me! Such separation, devotion-it’s beyond a challenge, even frightening. So it has been good!” A radiologist technician

“This course has given me a great insight and understanding of God’s awesomeness.  It has given me a clear and precise understanding of why Jesus Christ died on the cross for us….This course truly enriched my spirit and mind and had an impact on my life during the year of study. I am eager to continue my studies in the Lord Jesus Christ.” A growing Christian

“Pastor Hester, I would like to thank you for taking the time to do

such a wonderful course and allowing me to be part of it.All the information you supplied for us students was very informative and useful. It has helped me understand the NT a lot more clearly. I have never studied so much in my life! I have surprised myself that I could be so disciplined to study.  I have learned so much through this course and I will always refer to my notes for

future reference.” A working lady concerned about studying again

“It was a great blessing to get a bird’s eye view and genral overall view of the biblical historyf.  It is a tremendous help and blessing during my quiet time in devotions, when I am readying and mediatating through the OT passages and actually understand and remember “background” details of what we’ve learned in class.  The graphics in the videos and DVDs were also a great help visually in order that I may picture some of the historical places, peoples, and events in the OT passages.

“The course gave me depth I needed to make the OT lively.  In fact, it blessed me immensely to see and ‘experience’ OT life.  Thanks Pastor!

“This course has made the OT come alove for me.  Pastor Hester, you have a great way of giving the characters life and character.  This course gave me more of a thirst to search the OT and learn from its many exciting and interesting stories, and truths to learn from.

“It is a priceless and unique asset in my library. All relevant material that I need is simplified and put in one package, saving me endless hours of research. It gives me the complete picture and is easy to comprehend and use.”

“This book is a priceless treasure to which I will often refer.” Comment about the Handbook

 “It is a well-researched course that gives the student a historical and geographical perspective on Bible events. The many graphics of maps, archaeological finds and photos of Bible locations which were previously only a name in a book, break from the monotony of a lecture-only video course, and greatly enhance the learning experience.”

Testimonies of Pastors , College Teachers and Christian Leaders

“H. Richard Hester in his recent work on New Testament Bible History has compiled with great clarity a well-outlined and illustrated handbook. It will certainly hold the interest of God’s servants and will render great insight and information for any student of the Bible. This book should be in every preacher’s libray.”
Dr. Ed Pearson
Chairman of the Bible Department
Heartland Baptist Bible College

“I wish you had published this work fifty years ago when I was first involved in teaching at the Baptist Bible College. What a blessing and gift it would have been to all those students! The book is too late for me but not for the interested students and the hundreds of Bible colleges and churche institutes here and abroad that can have this excellent help for making the Word of God known and understood.”
Dr. Elij Harju
Longtime Bible College Professor

“This book is unique and distinctive from any book of its kind that I know about. It is wonderful and professionally done but most importantly, its correlation of Bible content with an understanding of history for today’s needs is right on target. It will help the discerning Bible student to dive deep for historical perspective against today’s problems.”
The Late Dr. Clifford Clark
Pastor and Servant to World Missions

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