More Than Just a Game – What Everyone Needs to Know

Bible Quiz is often seen as a mental game along the lines of chess, rarely it is even seen as a sport, but all too often that is where we stop with Bible Quiz.

Bible Quiz is more than just a game, it is more than just a sport.  Bible Quiz is an avenue of Christian discipleship that for some inexplicable reason is avoided by the vast majority of Christian youth, and the parents of those youth.

When I first looked into Bible Quizzing three years ago, I did so as a way to keep me as a Dad accountable to the discipleship of my teenage children.  Gone were the days of colorful children’s Bibles and the Cliff Notes stories, now I had to find a way to bridge the gap that exists between those booklets, Read with Me Bibles, Keys for Kids devotionals and actually reading, interpreting, and applying the Bible to their lives by themselves.  And one of the biggest issues is getting into the habit of regular Bible reading.

Another key to adult Christian discipleship is being able to recall what the Bible says without having the luxury of having it open in front of you.  You don’t necessarily have to be able to quote word perfectly but you do have to have a good idea of what and where the Bible says something.  However, so much Bible memorization is scattered throughout the Bible that we can often get the idea that the entire Bible is like the book of Proverbs, just a bunch of propositions, laws, statutes, promises, etc.  So part of our growing in the Christian faith is to begin to put the Bible back together by reading and becoming familiar with it one book/letter at a time.  This is something that some adult Christians never get around to.  Often what is expected and pushed is to read the entire Bible in one year.  Now I am all for reading the whole Bible through at least once every three to five years, but a lot of times we get lost in the rush of trying to get through the whole Bible on time, or we fall away because we come to a place where we can not possibly finish reading the whole thing in one year.  Then we are opened up to the attacks of our enemy with his darts of shame and failure, not to mention we remain ignorant of what the Bible actually says, and less likely to pick ourselves up and try again.

So as my teens were breaking into adulthood I was intent on leading them through the memorization of some of the most famous Bible passages so that they would be able to see them for themselves.  My eldest daughter and son would start with what is known as “the sermon on the mount”, and my youngest daughter would start with Proverbs 31.  At the beginning we did pretty good and for about three months we chipped away at the material before us.  But inevitably we would fall away, because with that kind of instruction at home my kids were able to rise to the top of their Sunday school classes to such an extent that their teachers didn’t mind if they skipped Sunday school altogether.  And no one else in the churches we were attending was trying to lead their kids in memorizing such large portions of Scripture, so I got complacent and lazy in my discipleship of my kids.  Soon we were not memorizing or even being familiar with sections of Scripture, but we were proud of how we had done.  Well, as we all know, life is not a sprint but a long distance race.  How you start any given endeavor is not as important as how you end it, and I had not ended well.  Thankfully my children’s youth was not yet over, so I still had a chance to get back up and make a run for the goal.

That is when I discovered Bible Quizzing, and that revolutionized the discipleship of my teens.  Now we are both held accountable, because if I am not helping them memorize and engage with the text of Scripture then they won’t have much success at the quiz meets.  Winning is a lot more fun than losing, so my teens are encouraged to push themselves to find their limits.  And it is a lot more natural and less forced for me to ask them how they are coming along with their assigned Scripture portion than to out of the blue tell them that they need to read the Bible for themselves.

Bible Quizzing has also helped me along my own personal discipleship journey since my teens inevitably have had questions about what a certain passage means, or why a certain verse was missing, etc… So I was faced with my own need to learn, and I search out the answers for my own.  And we teach best what we need to learn most.

So you see Bible Quiz is more than a game, it is a fun way to grow in our faith that focuses our attention on the Word of God.  The only words that have been breathed out by God and are therefore useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the people of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


More Than Just a Number – What Every Quizzer Needs to Know

Bible Quizzing is a game.  More than that, Bible Quizzing is a sport.  And sports have their own radical distinctions:

  • winner and loser
  • starter and backup
  • highly paid star and league minimum role player
  • coach and player
  • player and fan

Many in our age are uncomfortable with distinctions of any kind, but especially the type of distinctions that sports create.  Often when we see these distinctions we attach value to them, a win is good, a loss is bad, starters are good, backups are bad, highly paid players are the best, etc.  But there are always exceptions to the rules, and that is where sports helps us the most, they remind us that we are more than set, predictable, chains of events.  Sports help us to get an unbiased look at ourselves in certain areas by tracking our statistics, but they also prove time and time again that it is possible to rise up from where you have started, and that more games are won or lost before they are played.

In Bible Quiz, as in all sports, there are statistics that help make distinctions.  The team with the most points out of three after twelve minutes is the undisputed winner of that round.  However, what the other two teams do in their battle for second is a stat that, sadly, is ignored by most players.  The will to continue to fight, even when facing certain defeat is a stat that is hard to quantify, but is a part of every great team and player’s makeup.

So after every quiz meet they release the “stat sheet” which shows the rankings of the teams based on bracket points + 1% of total team points.  The “stat sheet” also ranks the individual players from all the teams based solely on the amount of points each player has earned throughout the season.

The most important thing to remember is that none of us as human beings can be boiled down to just numbers.  We are more than random atoms banging against each other, and often bare statistical data is given more importance than it is worth, even by coaches who should know better, and all too often by quizzers who allow their placement on the list dictate their worth as a team member and sometimes as a Christian.

For instance when the stats roll out, it would be compelling for a coach with a full team of seven quizzers to simply pick the top five ranking quizzers as the starters for the team.  However, the stats don’t point out how many questions were asked from a given quizzer’s material during the meet, or if the quizzer was a starter to begin with throughout the meet in question, or if the quizzer was always ready to be thrown into the fray, or how the quizzer dealt with failure, from themselves and from their team mates.  So it goes back to my days on the playground waiting to be picked on someones team to play baseball, football, dodge-ball, basketball, whatever.  I was never the best player, I’ve always been wider than tall, but I would always plead my case from the dwindling picks saying, “how am I ever going to get better, if you never let me play?”

Of course the answer to my question was practice and seizing opportunities as they came, not pouting or giving in to the lie that what we are today is all we will ever be able to be.  And the answer is still the same today.  In the end it doesn’t matter if you think you are good, you have to prove it, and to prove it takes what is called “heart”, it is what distinguishes players from each other more than stats because talent is never enough, and “heart” can’t be measured or weighed, only witnessed and respected.

This short movie is just one true story of how a boy who had “heart” became the legend who had “stats”.

The Secret to Breaking into the Top 10

The secret to breaking into the top 10 teams in one word is INTERRUPTION.  That is why breaking into the top 10 is so hard, interrupting a question seems impossible, but if we as a team want to go to the next level it is what we must do.  So let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals:

  1. Be Confident– You can not play your best if you are frustrated, scared, or angry, and the best way to play with confidence and a light heart is to know your material.  You don’t necessarily have to have every verse in a chapter memorized, but you do have to be confident with the material that you do know.  The way that the quiz is set up it is imperative that you not only know the words of your material but also the coordinates of that material.  Of course with the variety of books that we are quizzing in and the fact that some books have more questions asked from than others along with being confident you must also…
  2. Be Ready and Alert–  Especially if you don’t have every verse in a chapter memorized or have been assigned a chapter that doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of questions it is of the utmost importance to keep yourself in the game and be able to recognize when they are questioning on one of your verses.  Then, when you know they have just identified one of the verses that you know you know you must also…
  3. Be Fearless– So let’s take a moment to see where we are:  You may not know everything, but what you know you KNOW without question and you recognize that the question is being asked about one of those that you know!  Now comes the hardest part… you have to jump before the question is finished.  And the number one obstacle between you and beating the other quizzers is going to be your own fear of failure.  So to break into the top ten you must…
  4. Risk Errors– This is perhaps the hardest part to believe but in order to go to the next level you have to be willing to quiz out backwards.  It is just a fact that no baseball player hits home runs without striking out sometimes, no quarter back throws touchdowns without throwing interceptions, no basketball player makes 100% of their shots, and sometimes 0 errors means 0 answers, especially when both teams you are facing are ranked higher than your team.  In fact one of the least understood stats in Bible quizzing is the error stat in general.  All of the teams in the top 10 have at least 9 more errors than our team, eight of the top thirty-four quizzers have twenty errors or more, and only 10 of the top thirty-four quizzers have ten or fewer.  I have observed that among those top teams they get more than their fair share of errors, but they are errors not based on knowing material, but based on failed interruption attempts.  And since practice makes perfect, the more you try interrupting questions the better you get and your individual errors drop.  But in the beginning more than likely your individual errors will rise, and you will have to be willing to increase your errors if you want to help bring the team into the top ten.

Why doesn’t my Bible have Mark 7:16 in it?

To sum up the videos about whether or not we can trust the New Testament:

There is more manuscript support for the New Testament than for any other body of ancient literature.  Over five thousand Greek, eight thousand Latin, and many more manuscripts in other languages attest to the integrity of the New Testament.  There is only one basic New Testament used by Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox, by conservatives and liberals.  Minor variations in hand copying have appeared through the centuries, before mechanical printing began about A.D. 1450.
Some variations exist in spelling of Greek words, in word order, and in similar details.  These ordinarily do not show up in translation and do not affect the sense of the text in any way.
Other manuscript differences such as omission or addition of a word or clause, and two paragraphs in the Gospels, should not overshadow the overwhelming degree of agreement which exists among the ancient records.  We should rest assured that the most important differences in English translations of the New Testament of today are not due to manuscript differences, but to the way in which translators view the task of translation: How literally should the text be rendered?  How does the translator view the matter of biblical inspiration?  Does the translator adopt a paraphrase when a literal rendering would be quite clear and more to the point?


The most important differences in English translations

of the New Testament of today are not

due to manuscript differences,

but to the way in which translators

view the task of translation

The King James New Testament was based on the traditional text of the Greek-speaking churches, first published in 1516, and later called the Textus Receptus or Received Text.  Although based on the relatively few available manuscripts, these were representative of many more which existed at the time but only became known later.  It is now widely held that the Byzantine Text that largely supports the Textus Receptus (TR) has as much right as the Alexandrian or any other tradition to be weighed in determining the text of the New Testament.  However some readings in the TR have weak support as more ancient manuscripts have been discovered in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Since the 1880s most contemporary translations of the New Testament (NIV, NASB, ESV) have relied upon a relatively few manuscripts primarily two manuscripts called Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, because of their greater age.  The Greek obtained by using these sources and the related papyri (which are the most ancient manuscripts) is known as the Alexandrian Text.


Since the 1880s most contemporary translations

of the New Testament (NIV, NASB, ESV) have

relied upon the Greek obtained by using

Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus and the

related papyri known as the Alexandrian Text

(which are the most ancient manuscripts)

A third viewpoint of New Testament scholarship holds that the best text is based on the consensus of the majority of existing Greek manuscripts.  This text is called the Majority Text.  Most of these manuscripts are in substantial agreement.  Even though many are late, and none is earlier than the fifth century, usually their readings are verified by papyri, ancient versions, quotations from the early church fathers, or a combination of these.  The Majority Text is similar to the TR, but it is helpful in correcting those readings of the TR which have little or no support in the Greek manuscript tradition.
A good English translation of the Bible will tell you what Greek text their translation team is using as their foundation.  Of course in a few difficult cases in manuscript tradition the translators may follow a Greek text different from the text given preference.  In this regard the FOOTNOTES that accompany your English translation are an integral part of any translation, informing the reader of textual variations and difficulties and showing how these have been resolved by the translation team.  In addition to this, the footnotes indicate significant alternative readings and occasionally provide an explanation for technical terms or for a difficult reading in the text.


A good English translation of the Bible

will tell you what Greek text their

translation team is using as their foundation.


Once these facts are understood, the question above is easy to answer.  The reason your English translation of the Bible doesn’t have Mark 7:16 in it is due to which Greek manuscript the translators are working from.  However, a good Bible will have footnotes that will explain these things.  And an introduction before the Biblical text will often address these issues as well.


To watch the videos follow the links below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5


Bible Bingo Rules and example

The video is pretty self explanatory, but feel free to post your questions in the comments.

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Bible Bingo, posted with vodpod

Post Game Press Release

Well, I just have to tell ya, yesterday was one very exciting day for me as a coach.  Our quiz team came in first in one of our six meets and a strong 2nd in the other 5.  Then, when the top ten teams were listed we found out that all of the teams that beat us were to be found in that top 10 out of 36 ranking!  So we may have been beaten, but we were beaten by the best teams out there, and that is not bad for a first showing.  Of course Monday the Bible Quizzing ministry will release all of the official rankings and we can give a more detailed accounting, for now I hope you can enjoy this short montage from Saturday.

Now we have four more weeks to push and press and prepare to match or best our first showing placement.  And one thing I am certain of is that we could do it with just one small adjustment.  Coach Andy is asking any parents who can to come on into practice on Wednesday evenings from 5:20-6:00.  If I had just two more sets of ears and eyes the 40 min. practice session would be a lot more productive.

Let me be clear about what I am asking of any parents that may be able to come to the Wed. practice sessions.  I will have an activity/challenge/game (A.C.G.) for the quizzers to participate in, and I will be dividing them up into teams.  There are eight quizzers so far for November’s quiz, so most of the time I will have them split into two teams of four.  After the A.C.G.  I would like to have as many quizzers as possible recite what verses they have been working on to a parent.  For this time I would like to have one parent/quizzer but I would like to mix and match quizzers to parents so that on Wed. practice they will be reciting to someone other than their parent.  This will help them to be able to recite in front of various quizmasters.  It’s a lot easier to show than tell exactly how I want you to mark the quizzer’s portion so that I can tell at a glance how they are doing on their assigned sections, so if you can stick around for the 40 minutes after you drop off your teen there’s no telling how far the team may go.

Why doesn’t my Bible have Mark 7:16 in it?

Excellent question brought up at quiz practice Cassie. And as promised we will begin answering and discussing it here, where we have time. Sad to say there are no “quick and easy” answers. So while I work on getting more up on the Blog, here is a video of a talk that deals with most of the issues we will be looking at over the next few days.I hope that the Holy Spirit is truly stirring all of you up to examine and defend His word in a way that conforms to the reality of history.

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