One of the wonderful times in education is when a light bulb goes off, a concept is understood, and things comes to life. Drive Thru History® is a company that does this well; they bring history to life. Utilizing video, history, geography, archaeology, artwork, computer graphics, and in depth research and commentary, the Bible comes to life in their newest DVD release – Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation”: The World of the First Christians.
Drive Thru History® is not new to the scene. They have been around for a while, bringing us through ancient history, American History, historical Bible lands, and the Gospels. You have likely read a couple of our reviews for some of their other products, including The Gospels and their online curriculum site Drive Thru History Adventures. This is one more product in their line that helps us see and understand history.
Acts to Revelation is an 18 part mini-series. Dave Stotts is the on camera personality, and boy does he have one. He keeps things interesting with his quirky sense of humor. His witty commentary combined with the video is fast-paced and intriguing. Through it all, he brings the word of God, the Bible, to life. In this series, he travels throughout the Mediterranean region to show us the places and sites of the Bible, particularly Acts to Revelation. He visits the places where churches spread the Christian faith and influenced history.
Using the book of Acts as his road map, David visits places such as Ephesus, Corinth, Berea, Philippi, Jerusalem and finally, Rome. These are the places Paul and his companions visited during his three missionary routes. Traveling the paths of Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Luke, Timothy, and others as they visited churches and encouraged new followers of The Way shows us much about the way these men would have traveled and the people would have lived, including the challenges and dangers they faced. We visit the place where Demetrius the silversmith and his fellow craftsmen took Paul to put him on trial in Ephesus and to Philipi where Paul and his fellow missionaries met and taught Lydia, baptizing her and her family. The episodes take us all the way from Israel and the close of the Gospel accounts of Jesus through to the isle of Patmos and John writing about the seven churches in Revelation.
Acts to Revelation uses archaeological sites, historical accounts, and geography to illustrate the Bible and to show the accuracy of God’s Word. These visits along with quotes from primary source documents, such as the Bible and the history written by Josephus, help us understand more about the life and times of the early Christians. We get to walk the way the disciples and early Christians did as the Good News of Jesus spread far and wide. This is a beautiful thing because the more we understand the Bible, the better we know God.
The three discs arrived in a nice hard-back booklet style DVD case. There are three separate places for the DVDs, which is nice so they aren’t stacked and getting scratched. This case includes a full-color, glossy paged study guide that contains over 115 pages right in the case. There are six pages for each episode. For each episode there is a beautiful two-page picture related to the episode, a summary of the episode, a “side road” informational paragraph that covers an interesting place or person from the episode, a quote from the Bible, a few questions, and some additional readings from the Bible that will illuminate even further what is shown in the episode. This study guide also includes answers for the questions in each episode.
There are many ways Acts to Revelation can be viewed. As a family, we are watching one episode each morning to start our school day and are most of the way finished. We watch the video, use the study guide to ask a few questions, and then read the passages from the Bible that are suggested. This gets us through the series in about a month, as we have a four day school week. It is possible to use this as a personal Bible study, taking notes about personal thoughts related to the episode and then reading the suggested passages.
We also have used a portion of one episode for a small group Bible study that included children, knowing the video aspect would really bring alive the study. In that episode, Dave visited a grotto that the ancients believed to be the entrance to the underworld. He tied it in with Paul’s visit and preaching and it was a startling way to really bring into focus on how the people would have viewed Paul’s teachings. This was a great example and did just what was expected – it pulled the children right into God’s word. We were contacted by one of the children’s mother later to get the information on where to order the DVDs because her five year old son had not stopped talking about it. He gained a lot of understanding and he is five!
We are thankful to have access to powerful teaching tools such as Drive Thru History® and the series Acts to Revelation. It brings to life places that we are not able to travel to and helps us all relate more to the life and struggles of the first century Christians who believed in spite of all of the dangers and challenges they faced. What an encouragement to us today.
Lori, At Home.
Visit the Homeschool Review Crew by clicking on the link below so that you can read more reviews from other families who have been viewing Drive Thru History®‘s Acts to Revelation series for the past few weeks.