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Revelation - Allusions from Old Testament

Julian Spriggs M.A.

Related articles

Introduction to the Book of Revelation Four main views of Revelation
Structure of the book Main Characters in the book
Virtual Seven Churches Jesus the Lamb
Allusions to the Old Testament
Millennium Rapture and tribulation


I: Prologue (1:1-8) II: Letters to seven churches (1:9 - 3:22)
III: Seven Seals (4:1 - 8:1) IV: Seven trumpets (8:2 - 11:18)
V: Seven signs (11:19 - 15:4) VI: Seven Bowls (15:5 - 16:21)
VII: Prostitute / Babylon (17:1 - 19:10) VIII: Seven judgements (19:11 - 21:8)
IX: Bride / Jerusalem (21:9 - 22:9) X: Epilogue (22:10-21)

Allusions to the Old Testament in the Book of Revelation

This is a list of the passages in the Book of Revelation which allude to passages in the OT. Although passages from the OT are never directly quoted, the Book of Revelation is thoroughly soaked in the thinking and language of the Old Testament. This list contains all the allusions I have found so far, so does not claim to be an exhaustive list. Other allusions will be added when I find them. These allusions come from many of the OT books, but particularly Exodus, the Psalms and many of the prophets, particularly Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. There are also some allusions to non-canonical Jewish writings, which I have included in parentheses. The allusions are listed in the order they appear in the Book of Revelation. Where the same allusion from the OT is used in more than one place in the Book of Revelation, the list includes it at its first occurrence, together with a list of the other references where it is used.

Revelation Allusion OT Reference
Chapter 1
1:1, 22:6 Revelation of Jesus Christ Dan 2:28,29,45
1:4,8, 4:8, 11:17, 16:5 him who is and who was and who is to come Ex 3:14, Is 41:4
1:4, 4:5, 5:6 seven spirits Zech 4:2,10
1:5 Jesus the firstborn of the dead, ruler of kings Ps 89:27
1:5 freed us from our sins Ps 130:8, Is 40:2,
1:6, 5:10 made us to be a kingdom Ex 19:6, Is 61:6
1:7 coming with the clouds Dan 7:13
1:7 even those who pierced him Zech 12:10
1:7 all the tribes of the earth will wail Zech 12:12
1:10, 4:1 voice like a trumpet Ex 19:16
1:10 in the Spirit Ezek 3:12
1:12 lampstand Ex 25:31-37, 1 Kg 7:49, Zech 4:2
1:13, 14:14 Son of man Dan 7:13
1:13 man clothed in a long robe, golden sash Ezek 9:2,11, Dan 10:5
1:14 hair like white wool Dan 7:9
1:14-15, 2:18, 19:12 eyes like flame, feet like bronze Dan 10:6
1:15 voice like many waters Ezek 1:24, 43:2
1:16, 2:12,16, 19:15 from mouth sharp sword Is 49:2
1:17, 2:8 first and the last Is 44:6, 48:12
1:17 fell at his feet as though dead Dan 10:9
1:17 placed right hand on me Dan 10:18
Chapter 2
2:7, 22:2,19 tree of life Gen 2:8-9, Ezek 47:12
2:7 paradise of God Ezek 28:13, 31:8-9
2:10 ten days prison, testing Dan 1:12,14
2:14,20 teaching of Balaam, fornication Num 22-24, 25:1-2,31:16
2:17 hidden manna Ex 16:4, Ps 78:24
2:17 a new name Is 65:15
2:20 Jezebel 1 Kg 16:31
2:23 God searches minds and hearts Ps 7:9, Jer 11:20, 17:10
2:23 give as your works deserve Ps 62:12, Prov 24:12
2:26-27 authority over nations, rule with iron rod Ps 2:8,9
Chapter 3
3:5,7 not blot name out of book of life Ex 32:32-33, Ps 69:28, Dan 12:1
3:7 shuts no one opens Job 12:14, Is 22:22
3:9 they learn that I have loved you Is 45:14
3:9 they come bow down before your feet Is 60:14
3:12 write my own new name Is 62:2, 65:15
3:17 I am rich, I have prospered Hos 12:8
3:19 discipline those I love Prov 3:12
Chapter 4
4:2,9,10, 5:1,7,13, 6:16, 7:10,15, 19:4, 21:5 one seated on a throne 1 Kg 22:19, 2 Chr 18:18, Ps 47:8, Is 6:1
4:2 like jasper and carnelian, rainbow Ezek 1:26-27
4:4 24 elders 1 Chr 25
Is 24:23
4:5, 16:18 lightning, peals of thunder Ex 19:16, Ezek 1:13
4:6 sea of glass Ex 24:10, Ezek 1:22
4:6-7 4 living creatures Ezek 1:5-10, 10:14
4:8 living creatures full of eyes Ezek 1:18, 10:12
4:8 4 living creatures singing holy, holy, holy Is 6:2-3
4:9 one who lives forever and ever Dan 4:34, 6:26, 12:7
Chapter 5
5:1 scroll written on inside and back Ezek 2:9-10
5:3 no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth Ex 20:4
5:5 Lion of tribe of Judah Gen 49:9-10
5:5 Root of David Is 11:1,10
5:6,12 lamb as if it had been slaughtered Is 53:7
5:8, 8:3,4 incense - prayers of saints Ps 141:2
5:9, 14:3 sing a new song Ps 33:3, 40:3, 91:1, 98:1, 144:9, 149:1, Is 42:10
5:11 myriads and thousands Dan 7:10
5:12 to receive power, wealth, wisdom 1 Chr 29:11
Chapter 6
6:2, 19:11 white horse Zech 1:8, 6:3,6
6:3 red horse Zech 1:8, 6:2
6:5 black horse Zech 6:2,6
6:8 kill with sword famine pestilence Jer 14:12, 15:2-3, Ezek 5:12,17, 14:21, 33:27
6:10 avenge our blood Deut 32:43, 2 Kg 9:7, Ps 79:10
6:12, 9:2 great earthquake Ex 19:18
6:12-13 sun became black, moon like blood Joel 2:31, Is 13:10, Jer 4:23-28, Ezek 32:7-8, Joel 2:10, 3:15
6:14 sky vanished like a scroll Is 34:4
6:15 hide in caves and rocks Is 2:10,19,21, Jer 4:29
6:16 call to mountains - fall on us Hos 10:8
6:17 great day of wrath who can stand? Joel 2:11, Mal 3:2
Chapter 7
7:1 four winds of earth Jer 49:36, Ezek 37:9, Dan 7:2, Zech 6:5
7:3, 9:4, 14:1 mark servants with seal Ezek 9:4
7:14 come out of great ordeal Dan 12:1
7:16 hunger thirst no more, sun not strike them, guide by springs of water Is 49:10
7:17 lamb will be their shepherd Ps 23:1-2, Ezek 34:23
7:17, 21:4 Lord wipe away tears Is 25:8, 35:10, 65:19
7:17 springs of water Jer 2:13
Chapter 8
8:2 7 angels before God (Tobit 12:15)
8:3, 9:13 incense on altar Ex 30:1-3, Lev 16:12
8:5 thunder, lightning, trumpet Ex 19:16-19
8:5 threw fire on earth Ezek 10:2
8:7, 9:2 fire hurled to earth Gen 19:24, Ex 9:23-25, Ezek 38:22
8:8, 11:6, 16:3,4 sea became blood Ex 7:20-21
8:11 wormwood Prov 5:3-4, Jer 9:15
8:12, 16:10 sun darkened Ex 10:31, Is 8:22, 13:10, Ezek 32:7-8, Joel 2:10, 3:15
Chapter 9
9:2 smoke like a furnace Gen 19:28, Ex 19:18
9:3 locusts Ex 10:12,15, Deut 28:42, 1 Kg 8:37, Ps 78:46, Joel 1:2 - 2:11
9:6 seek death, not find it Job 3:21, Jer 8:3
9:7-9 locusts like horses Joel 1:6, 2:4-5
9:16 200 million cavalry Ezek 38:14, Ps 68:17
9:17 fire smoke sulphur from mouths Job 41:19-20
9:17 fire smoke sulphur Gen 19:24-28
9:20 worshipping demons Deut 32:17
9:20 works of their hands Deut 4:28
9:20 idols cannot see hear or walk Ps 115:4-7, 135:15-16, Dan 5:23
Chapter 10
10:1 rainbow over head Ezek 1:28
10:1 pillar of fire Ex 14:19,24, 13:21-22
10:3 like lion roaring Hos 11:10, Amos 3:8
10:4 7 thunders Ps 29
10:4 seal up 7 thunders Dan 8:26, 12:4.9
10:5-6 lift hand to heaven and swear Deut 32:40, Dan 12:7
10:6, 14:7 him who created heaven, earth & sea Gen 14:19,22, Ex 20:11, Neh 9:6, Ps 146:6
10:7 mystery announced to servants the prophets Dan 9:6,10, Amos 3:7
10:9-10 eating scroll Jer 5:16-18, Ezek 2:8-9
10:9-10 sweet as honey in mouth Ezek 3:1-3, Ps 119:103
10:11 prophesy before peoples, nations, languages & kings Jer 1:10, Dan 7:14
Chapter 11
11:1 rod to measure temple Ezek 40:3, Zech 2:1-2
11:2 nations trample holy city Ps 79:1, Is 63:18, Zech 12:3
11:3 2 witnesses in sackcloth Deut 19:15, Jer 4:8
11:4 2 olive trees, 2 lampstands Zech 4:3,11-14
11:5 fire pours from mouth consumes foes 2 Sam 22:9, 2 Kg 1:10,12, Ps 97:3, Jer 5:14
11:6 authority to shut sky, no rain 1 Kg 17:1
11:7 beast make war on them and kill them Dan 7:3,7,21
11:8 Sodom & Egypt where Lord crucified Is 1:10, Ezek 16:46-49
11:11 breath entered them, stood on feet Ezek 37:5,10
11:12 voice from heaven, come up here 2 Kg 2:11
11:13 great earthquake, tenth of city fell Ezek 38:19-20
11:15 Lord will reign forever Ps 10:16, 22:28, Dan 2:44, Zech 14:9
11:18 the nations raged Ps 2:1, 46:6
11:18 rewarding your servants small and great Ps 115:13
11:18 your servants the prophets Dan 9:6,10, Amos 3:7, Zech 1:6
11:19 flashes of lightning Ex 9:24, 19:16, Ezek 1:13
11:19 Ark of covenant in temple 1 Kg 8:1,6
Chapter 12
12:2 pregnant woman about to give birth Is 26:7, 66:7, Micah 4:10, 5:3
12:4 dragon's tail swept down third of stars Dan 8:10
12:5 woman gave birth to male child Is 7:14, 66:7
12:5, 19:15 son rule nations with rod of iron Ps 2:9
12:7 Michael fought against dragon and angels Dan 10:13,21, 12:1
12:10 Dragon - accuser of brothers Job 1:9-11, Zech 3:1
12:14 woman carried on wings of eagle Ex 19:4
12:14 time, times and half a time Dan 7:25, 12:7
12:16 earth swallowed river Ex 15:12
12:17 dragon made war on children of woman Dan 7:7,21
Chapter 13
13:1 beast rising out of the sea Dan 7:3
13:2 beast like a leopard, feet like a bear, mouth like a lion Dan 7:4-6
13:5 beast uttering haughty blasphemous words Dan 7:8,20, 11:36
13:5 beast authority for 42 months Dan 7:25
13:7 allowed to make war on saints and conquer them Dan 7:21
13:8, 17:8, 20:12,15, 21:27 book of life of Lamb Ex 32:32-33, Ps 69:28, Is 53:7, Dan 12:1
13:10 to be taken captive, into captivity you go Jer 15:2, 43:11
13:13 beast - fire down from heaven 1 Kg 18:24-39
13:15 worshipping image of beast Dan 3:5-6
13:16, 14:1 marked on right hand or forehead Ex 13:9, Deut 6:8, Is 44:5
Chapter 14
14: standing on Mt Zion Job 2:32
14:2 voice like sound of many waters & loud thunder Ezek 1:24, 43:3
14:4 like virgins 2 Kg 19:21, Lam 1:15, Jer 18:13, Amos 5:2
14:5 no lie in their mouth Is 53:9
14:8, 18:2 Fallen fallen is Babylon the great, made nations drink of her wine Is 21:9, Jer 51:7, 51:8
14:10, 15:7, 16:19, 21:8 drink wine of God's wrath, fire & sulphur Gen 19:24, Ps 11:6, 75:8, Job 21:20, Is 51:17,22, Jer 25:15, Ezek 38:22, (3 Macc 2:5)
14:11, 19:3 smoke go up forever Is 34:10
14:14-15,18 use sickle and reap Joel 3:13
14:20 tread wine press Is 63:3, Lam 1:15
Chapter 15
15:1,6 7 angels with 7 plagues Lev 26:21
15:3 song of Moses Ex 15:1,11, Deut 32:4, Ps 92:5, 111:2, 139:14, 145:7, Jer 10:10, Amos 3:13, 4:13 (LXX) (Enoch 9:4)
15:3 just and true are your ways, Deut 32:4, Ps 92:5, 111:2
15:4 nations come and worship Ps 86:9, 98:2, 144:17 Jer 10:6-7, Mal 1:11
15:5 tabernacle / tent of witness Ex 40:34, Num 17:7, 18:2
15:8 temple filled with smoke Ex 40:34, 1 Kg 8:10-11,Is 6:4, 2 Chr 5:13-14, Ezek 44:4
Chapter 16
16:1 pour out wrath of God Ps 69:24, Is 66:6, Jer 10:25, Ezek 22:31, Zeph 3:8
16:2 foul & painful sore Ex 9:10, Deut 28:35
16:5,7 judgements are just Deut 32:4, Ps 19:9, 119:137, 145:7
16:6 shed blood of saints and prophets Ps 79:3
16:6 given them blood to drink Is 49:26
16:23 dry up Euphrates Is 11:15, 44:27, Jer 50:38, 51:36
16:13 foul spirits like frogs Ex 8:1-15
16:16 Harmagedon Judg 5:19, 2 Kg 9:27, 23:29, Zech 12:11
16:17 voice from temple Is 66:6
16:18 earthquake such as not occurred since people were upon the earth Dan 12:1
16:21 huge hailstones Ex 9:24
Chapter 17
17:1 great whore seated on many waters Jer 51:13
17:2, 18:3 kings of earth committed fornication Is 23:17
17:4 adorned with gold, jewels and pearls Ezek 28:13
17:12 10 horns = 10 kings Dan 7:24
17:14, 19:16 Lord of Lords and King of Kings Deut 10:17, Dan 2:47, (Enoch 9:4), (2 Macc 13:4), (3 Macc 5:35)
17:16, 18:8 whore burned with fire Lev 21:9
Chapter 18
18:2 Babylon become dwelling place of demons, foul & hateful birds Is 13:21, 34:11, Jer 50:39, (Baruch 4:35)
18:4 Come out of her (Babylon) my people Is 48:20, 52:11, Jer 50:8,51:6,9,45
18:5 God remembered her iniquities Gen 18:20-21
18:6 Render to her as she has rendered, repay double Ps 137:8, Jer 16:18, 17:18
18:7-8 In her heart she says, 'I rule as a queen ...' Is 47:7-9
18:8 Babylon burned with fire Jer 50:15,34, 51:25,30,32,38
18:9-10 weep and wail over Babylon Ezek 26:16-17, 27:30-35
18:10 Babylon mighty city Dan 4:30
18:11 merchants lament over Babylon (Tyre) Ezek 27:36
18:12-13 list of goods no longer traded (Tyre) Ezek 27:12,13,22
18:15 merchants wailing Ezek 27:36
18:16 adorned with gold, jewels and pearls Ezek 28:13
18:17 riches laid waste Ezek 27:27-29
18:18 seafarers wail (for Tyre) Ezek 27:32
18:19 whose who had ships grew rich Ezek 27:30-34
18:20 rejoice over her, O heaven Ps 96:11, Is 44:23, 49:13, Jer 51:48
18:21 threw millstone into sea Jer 51:63-64, Ezek 26:21
18:22 sound of harpist no more ... Is 24:8, Ezek 26:13, Jer 25:10
18:23 voice of bridegroom and bride heard no more Is 23:8, 47:9, Jer 7:34, 16:9, 25:10
18:24 blood of prophets and saints Jer 51:49, Ezek 24:7
Chapter 19
19:2 avenge on her the blood of his servants Deut 32:43, 2 Kg 9:7, Ps 19:9, 79:10, 119:137
19:5 praise our God, all who fear him Ps 22:23, 115:13, 134:1, 135:1
19:6 Lord our God the Almighty reigns Ex 15:18, Ps 22:28, 93:1, 97:1, 99:1, Ezek 1:24, 43:2, Dan 7:14, Amos 3:13, 4:13 (LXX), Zech 14:9
19:8 clothed with fine linen Is 61:10
19:11 in righteousness he judges Ps 96:13, Is 11:4
19:13 treading winepress Is 63:1-3, Lam 1:15, Joel 3:13
19:15 rule nations with rod of iron Ps 2:9
19:17-18, 21 great supper of God - eat flesh of ... Ezek 39:17-20
19:19 kings gather to make war Ps 2:9
19:20 burning with sulphur Is 30:33
Chapter 20
20:4 thrones - authority to judge Dan 7:9,22,27
20:6 priests of God, reign with him Ex 19:6, Is 61:6
20:8 four corners of earth, Gog and Magog Ezek 7:2, 38:2
20:9 fire from heaven, consumed them 2 Kg 1:10-12, Ezek 38:22, 39:6
20:10 fire and sulphur Gen 19:24, Ps 11:6, Is 30:33, Ezek 38:22, (3 Macc 2:5)
20:11 earth and heaven fled from his presence Ps 114:3-7
20:11-12 before the throne, books opened Dan 7:9-10
20:12,14 name in book of life Ex 32:32-33, Ps 69:28, Dan 12:1
20:13, 22:12 repay according to their deeds Ps 28:4, 62:12, Prov 24:12, Is 59:18, Jer 17:10
Chapter 21
21:1 new heavens and new earth Is 65:17, 66:22
21:2 Jerusalem holy city Is 52:1, 61:10
21:3 home of God is among men Ex 26:11-12, 1 Chr 6:18, Ezek 37:27, Zech 2:10
21:6, 22:13 Alpha and Omega Ps 36:9, Is 44:6, 48:12
21:6 to the thirsty I will give water Ps 36:9, Is 55:1, Jer 2:13
21:10 taken to high mountain to see city Ex 40:2
21:11 city has glory of God Is 60:1,2,19
21:12-13 gates inscribed with names of tribes of Israel Ezek 48:30-35
21:16-17 angel with measuring rod, square city Ezek 40:3-5, 48:16
21:19 foundations of jewels Ex 28:21, 39:10-14, Is 54:11-12
21:23, 22:5 no need of sun in city Is 60:19-20
21:24,26 nations walk by light of city Ps 72:10-11, Is 60:3,5, (Ps Sol 17:34)
21:25, 22:5 gates always open, continuous day Is 60:19-20, Dan 7:18,27, Zech 14:7
Chapter 22
22:1 river of water of life from throne Ezek 47:1, Joel 3:18, Zech 14:8
22:4 servants see face of God Ps 17:15, 42:2
22:10 do not seal up words of book Dan 12:4
22:16 root and descendent of David, bright morning star Num 24:17, Is 11:1,10
22:18-19 not to add or take away from words of book Deut 4:2, 12:32

Related articles

Introduction to the Book of Revelation Four main views of Revelation
Structure of the book Main Characters in the book
Virtual Seven Churches Jesus the Lamb
Allusions to the Old Testament
Millennium Rapture and tribulation


I: Prologue (1:1-8) II: Letters to seven churches (1:9 - 3:22)
III: Seven Seals (4:1 - 8:1) IV: Seven trumpets (8:2 - 11:18)
V: Seven signs (11:19 - 15:4) VI: Seven Bowls (15:5 - 16:21)
VII: Prostitute / Babylon (17:1 - 19:10) VIII: Seven judgements (19:11 - 21:8)
IX: Bride / Jerusalem (21:9 - 22:9) X: Epilogue (22:10-21)

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There are a series of pages giving a commentary through the text of five of the books:
Romans (7 pages), 1 Corinthians (7 pages), Galatians (3 pages), Philemon (1 page) and Hebrews (7 pages)

Apostolic Messages in the Book of Acts
Paul and His Apostleship
Collection for the Saints
The Church Described as a Temple
Church as the Body of Christ
Jesus as the Last Adam
Food Offered to Idols
Paul's Teaching on Headcoverings
Who are the Fallen Angels
The Meaning of Redemption
What is the Church?
Paul and the Greek Games

Romans Commentary (7 pages)

1 Corinthians Commentary (7 pages)

Galatians Commentary (3 pages)

Philemon Commentary (1 page)

Hebrews Commentary (7 pages)

Studies in the Book of Revelation

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the study of the Book of Revelation and topics concerning Eschatology (the study of end-times).

These include a description of the structure of the book, a comparison and contrast between the good and evil characters in the book and a list of the many allusions to the OT. For the seven churches, there is a page which gives links to their location on Google maps.

There is a page studying the important theme of Jesus as the Lamb, which forms the central theological truth of the book. There are pages looking at the major views of the Millennium, as well as the rapture and tribulation, as well as a list of dates of the second coming that have been mistakenly predicted through history.

There is also a series of ten pages giving a detailed commentry through the text of the Book of Revelation.

Introduction to the Book of Revelation
Characters Introduced in the Book
Structure of Revelation
List of Allusions to OT
The Description of Jesus as the Lamb
Virtual Seven Churches of Revelation
The Nero Redivius Myth
The Millennium (1000 years)
The Rapture and the Tribulation
Different Approaches to Revelation
Predicted Dates of the Second Coming

Revelation Commentary (10 pages)

How to do Inductive Bible Study

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study the Bible inductively, by asking a series of simple questions. There are lists of observation and interpretation questions, as well as information about the structure and historical background of biblical books, as well as a list of the different types of figures of speech used in the Bible. There is also a page giving helpful tips on how to apply the Scriptures personally.

How to Study the Bible Inductively
I. The Inductive Study Method
II. Observation Questions
III. Interpretation Questions
IV. Structure of Books
V. Determining the Historical background
VI. Identifying Figures of Speech
VII. Personal Application
VIII. Text Layout

Types of Literature in the Bible

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study each of the different types of book in the Bible by appreciating the type of literature being used. These include historical narrative, law, wisdom, prophets, Gospels, Acts, letters and Revelation.

It is most important that when reading the Bible we are taking note of the type of literature we are reading. Each type needs to be considered and interpreted differently as they have different purposes.

How to Understand OT Narratives
How to Understand OT Law
Hebrew Poetry
OT Wisdom Literature
Understanding the OT Prophets
The Four Gospels
The Parables of Jesus
The Book of Acts
How to Understand the NT Letters
Studying End Times (Eschatology)
The Book of Revelation

Geography and Archaeology

These are a series of pages giving geographical and archaeological information relevant to the study of the Bible. There is a page where you can search for a particular geographical location and locate it on Google maps, as well as viewing photographs on other sites.

There are also pages with photographs from Ephesus and Corinth.

Search for Geographical Locations
Major Archaeological Sites in Israel
Archaeological Sites in Assyria, Babylon and Persia
Virtual Paul's Missionary Journeys
Virtual Seven Churches of Revelation
Photos of the City of Corinth
Photos of the City of Ephesus

Biblical Archaeology in Museums around the world

A page with a facility to search for artifacts held in museums around the world which have a connection with the Bible. These give information about each artifact, as well as links to the museum's collection website where available showing high resolution photographs of the artifact.

There is also page of photographs from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem of important artifacts.

Search Museums for Biblical Archaeology
Israel Museum Photos

Difficult Theological and Ethical Questions

These are a series of pages looking at some of the more difficult questions of Christian theology, including war, suffering, disappointment and what happens to those who have never heard the Gospel.

Christian Ethics
Never Heard the Gospel
Is there Ever a Just War?
Why Does God Allow Suffering
Handling Disappointment

How to Preach

These are a series of pages giving a practical step-by-step explanation of the process of preparing a message for preaching, and how to lead a small group Bible study.

What is Preaching?
I. Two Approaches to Preaching
II. Study a Passage for Preaching
III. Creating a Message Outline
IV. Making Preaching Relevant
V. Presentation and Public Speaking
VI. Preaching Feedback and Critique
Leading a Small Group Bible Study

Information for SBS staff members

Two pages particularly relevant for people serving as staff on the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) in YWAM. One gives helpful instruction about how to prepare to teach on a book in the SBS. The other gives a list of recommended topics which can be taught about for each book of the Bible.

Teaching on SBS Book Topics for SBS