My kids are always thrilled when we can take a break from book work to instead watch some videos and count it as school! They were happy to see me pull out my review copy of Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation”, which is a 3 DVD set of 18 episodes that takes them to the historic Biblical places and teaches about what happened AFTER the Gospels.
My older kids love Drive Thru History® because Dave Stotts makes learning a real adventure. In his quirky kind of way, they’ve been taught so much about the times and places of Christ and beyond. It is appropriate for grades 6 and up, but we’ve watched it as a whole family.
The episodes include:
- The Gospel Shared at Pentecost
- The Church Grows in Jerusalem
- The Gospel Spreads to the Gentiles
- Saul of Tarsus and the Road to Damascus
- Paul’s First Missionary Journey – The Island of Cyprus
- The Journey Continues – Pamphylia, Galatia, and Asia Minor
- The Jerusalem Council and Paul’s Second Missionary Journey
- The Second Journey Continues – Philippi and Thessalonica
- A Road Trip to Athens
- Ancient Corinth
- Paul’s Third Missionary Journey – Ephesus
- Paul’s Final Trip to Jerusalem and Caesarea
- Adventures at Sea – The Island of Malta
- A Final Journey to Rome
- The Martyrdom of Paul and Peter
- John and the Island of Patmos
- The Seven Churches of Revelation
- The Book Closes on the New Testament Period
We have been watching one episode a week and using the Study Guide to further enrich our understanding of the material. If you wanted, you could easily turn this series into a one semester Bible course for your middle school or high school student by completing all of the suggested activities and using it as a stepping stone into deeper study. Assigning a project or paper per week, relying on further research, would definitely be able to fulfill any hour requirements for a course.
Each episode runs about 30 minutes, and they are shot on location in places such as Rome, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, and Malta. Dave Stotts visits places that we’ll likely never see and gives more information about the location and its rich history in the DVDs and the study guide, including the Ruins in Corinth, the Theater of Ephesus, the Damascus Gate, St. Barnabas Monastery, the ruins at Sebaste, Mosta Dome, and more.
I watched alongside my kids and truly enjoyed each episode. We’ve gotten through several, and we’ve been using the study guide as we have gone along as well. The study guide is attached inside the DVD case and is in full color. It includes an episode guide, as well as content for every single episode.
Included for each individual episode is a Bible verse, a summary of the episode, 5 discussion questions (with answers in the back), suggested follow up reading from the Bible, and a “Side Road” section with a few more tidbits of information. Also included are beautiful full-color photographs and copies of some amazing artwork.
As I mentioned, this would work well as a starting point for a Bible course for older kids. While we have been reading the information together and answering the questions orally, you could certainly use them as short answer or essay questions. A few sample questions from episode 6 includes, “What was the capital city of the Roman Province of Pamphylia?” and “After God used Paul to heal a crippled man at Lystra, who did the people think Paul and Barnabas were?”
We just finished the first DVD, but I am actually watching ahead so that I know what is coming up for the kids – and because I really find the videos interesting! I am a very visual learner, and the way that this is presented appeals to me and is helping me to make connections about things that I didn’t realize I was confused on. It’s filling in some gaps for me and truly combining history, geography, the Bible, and helping me to understand the way that the different countries and governments worked and related to one another at the time, and about the cultures.
As an example, in episode 13, we learn how Paul’s ship might have sailed, according to the account in the Bible in Acts 28. This kind of geography speaks to me, because we not only see a map, but the little line of how he might have sailed moves on the screen while it is being talked about. Then the episode includes information about the type of ship it was, the names of cities then versus now, and Mr. Stotts even drives through Italy so we can see the country come to life.
I love the imagery and the Bible references throughout the full episode and the study guide. It is so much easier to imagine being back in that time period and to better understand the events and their significance.
The special extras that are included as information really connect us to the past! I had never heard of pyroclastic aggregate concrete, but apparently it was concrete that hardened in water and got stronger over time and was used by the Romans. Who knew? Well now I do, and I am better able to understand the there construction during that time period.
My kids are picking up on what they are learning, as well. I’ve caught them talking about the episodes long after we were done watching them!
I recommend this set of DVDs to others searching for an engaging, interesting, colorful, and historical Bible resource. It could be a great class for a homeschool co-op, a Bible study group, or for individuals and/or their families. The content of the DVDs is great as a standalone program, but enhancing it with the study guide really helps to bring it all home.
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