Discover the Bible was developed to help people understand where some key bible personalities fit into the timeline of the bible. Discover the Bible is two enjoyable games to help you learn more about the bible.
My name is Matt Cameron, living in Timaru NZ. I first thought of this idea when I saw the enjoyment of my two boys playing with All Black Weetbix cards. I wondered if I could do the same with bible characters, and the game began to form. I then read a book, “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus”, by John R. Cross. I like the way he presents the bible as one focused story, beginning with a perfect world, a fall into sin and God’s unfolding plan to restore and redeem sinful human beings to the perfect world He began with.
I developed the game to place bible characters as they appear in the timeline of the bible. The bible is not a jumble to stories happening at the same time in different places around the world. It is one continuous story of Yahweh God working with Humanity and the centre point is Jesus Christ who provides the way for sinners to come back to the intended relationship with God, like it was at the beginning.
The 60 character cards are a helpful tool to get to know some details about certain bible characters. These characters are examples to us in regard to what qualities a godly person ought to show in their Faith, Obedience, Love, Suffering, Wisdom and Leadership (some are better than others – as you will see). Discuss and debate the ratings that each character has been given and look up the references to find out more about each character. Each card also gives more information about their name meaning and where we can read more about them in the bible.
May you learn more about how to be godly in your own character: to have more faith in what God has planned for your life; what it means to be obedient; to show love for each other and love for God above all else; to count it a privilege to suffer for doing what is right; to make wise decisions based on the character of Jesus Christ as found in the Bible; and to be a godly leader who is an example and deals justly with others, who upholds the teaching and example of Jesus, the Servant King.
Story number 2:
Bible Game Enterprise
Matt Cameron moved to Timaru in 1997 to take up a teaching job with Timaru Christian school. In that role he enjoyed helping children understand how the bible fitted together and using the Bible in all aspects of learning. One early project was to create a 4 metre long overview of the Bible that followed a timeline from creation to Christ’s second coming – as seen in the bible.
While at the Christian school Matt met his wife to be, (he was teaching her nephew) and was invited to watch rugby by his parents who set up their meeting. They got married about nine months later and he then worked at Timaru Bluestone for about 18 months as a labourer, settling into married life.
He began a job at Waihi Prep School in 2001 and worked there for eight years. During that time he continued to work on timelines of the Bible and completed a counselling diploma. It was while Matt worked at Waihi that an idea of developing a bible game emerged and was trialled with his class in 2008. Hours were spent searching for pictures on Google images and finding interesting details about various bible characters.
The idea came to Matt when he observed the enjoyment his sons gained from playing with All Black Weetbix cards. He thought a similar concept could be used to emphasise important godly character traits that different bible persons have. He could teach his boys to be wise like Methuselah, or to show godly leadership like Moses, or love like Jacob or Mary or to have faith like Abraham… the list goes on (60 Bible characters in all). From there he began to wonder if the bible card game could also be used in a board game and the concept advanced further.
Matt realised that if he wanted his game to be professionally produced all the pictures would need to be original and the bible quotations would need to be copyright free. He was already good friends with a local Christian artist, Richard Gunther (having taught his daughter for a year at the Christian school), and tapped into his talent through that relationship. Matt used a local printer to print ten copies of the game and he cut them out and laminated everything. This was an expensive way of publishing and took a great amount of time to do. Matt ran a holiday Bible club programme and trialled the concept there and saw the benefit of teaching the Bible as a continuous story with the central figure being Jesus Christ. God began with a perfect world that got messed up with sin, which God set about redeeming the fallen human race back to Himself to eventually restore everything back to perfection – as it was in the beginning.
In March 2010 Matt received an email from a New Zealand company that produces board game asking all teachers if they had invented a game that they were interested in developing further. Matt’s curiosity grew and he flicked an email with some draft cards and the board that had been hand made. The response was not enthusiastic since, “I’m simply not a religious person. I believe strongly in the importance of working on projects that I can get passionate about and unfortunately I just can’t get passionate about your game”, although, the game manufacturer did offer to publish the game at Matt’s own expense.
Finally, about 18 months after that initial contact with the board game manufacturer, Matt had set aside enough money to begin the process of publishing the game. He always had a figure of 1000 games in his head and this went ahead at the beginning of 2012. The game arrived in Auckland in August and Matt’s family kindly drove to Auckland (from the Waikato) to collect the 4.6 cubic metres of boxes. It was going to cost about $700 to ship them all down to Timaru but Matt wanted to keep about half in the North Island. With some arranging and juggling of ideas, two cubic metres have arrived in Timaru (that is, a bit over 400 games), and now he has a task to sell these games.
“What an adventure and I have reason to be excited about having something I designed and produced in shops.”
Earlier this year Matt asked another family friend and local Web designer, Tony Zwies, to give his boys some lessons on Webpage design (Yellow Design). It was also Matt’s goal to produce a website for himself to advertise and sell his game. Tony was very kind in giving cheap lessons in this area for about 10 weeks. His boys produced a blog site each and Matt got his website (www.discoverthebible.co.nz).
The game can be purchased from the website or the local Christian Bookshop. They have been available in other Christian Bookshops in Hamilton, Tauranga, Ashburton and Christchurch. He has also sold a few on TradeMe and Creation Ministries NZ have sold a few boxes through their promotional flyers and on the internet. Matt is hoping that people will see this as a great gift and he has a special price for people if they buy more than one game, to encourage giving them away as a gift.
“My boys and I enjoy playing the game and we have played it in a home bible study group and youth group with plenty of laughter and conversation about it. It has also been used to introduce new Christians to the Bible before going through a course to “Discover The Way” (an introduction to Christianity that I developed). I have had positive feedback from others who have played it and I believe it is a fun way to learn more about the Bible and where the Bible characters fit into the overall story of Bible history (His Story).”