Facebook Bible Stories
Suggested age range: Teenage and up.
Suitable for: Individuals or groups.
Pre-requisites for effective use of the resource: A basic knowledge of Facebook. No prior knowledge of Biblical texts is needed.
This resource aims to encourage Biblical Literacy by asking the participants to read a text in depth and to understand the text on a level that will allow them to then rewrite the story. As this activity is, understandably, much easier with texts that are mostly narrative – and also well-known – the Old Testament provides a wealth of material.
The activity proceeds thus:
- Identify and read a Bible story – a story that is heavily narrative works best. I have included three examples of possible stories: Jacob wrestling with God (Genesis 32:24-32), Elisha and the bears (2 Kings 2:22-23) and the relationship of Hosea and Gomer (Hosea 1-3).
- Take the time to read the story through a few times and in a few different translations. It is advisable to read translations that are significantly different. For example, comparing a more scholarly translation (such as the NRSV) with a Bible written in vernacular language (such as The Message). This will allow participants to grasp the diversity of biblical texts and translations.
- Consider the action within the story, including any dialogue. Think about the events which seem most important. Construct a timeline of actions and dialogues – think about the way the story would be if you saw it acted out as a play.
- Using the model of a Facebook News Feed, condense the story’s key facts and dialogue. Think about what the characters might look like and how they might speak/type. The story can utilise all available Facebook ‘apps’ – including relationships, wall posts, status messages, ‘likes’, family listings, blog posts and Places. Use time stamps if you wish. Remember that Facebook feeds read from bottom to top.
This can be done in several ways – either with each individual taking on a whole story to construct by themselves or by giving each participant a separate ‘character’ within a story and creating the story as a ‘techno-play’ of sorts.
- There are many verses that would work well for this activity, but below is a list of suggestions:
- Adam and Eve – Genesis 2:7 – 3:24
- Noah and the Ark – Genesis 6:11 – 8:22
- The Judgement of Solomon – 1 Kings 3:16-28
- Daniel in the Lion’s Den – Daniel 6
- Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter – Mark 5:21-43
- Jesus heals the Gerasene Demoniac – Luke 8:26-39
- The Day of Pentecost – Acts 2
The completed Bible News Feeds can then be discussed among the group – different participants will draw different things out of the texts as differing life experiences will alter the way each participant views the texts.