As a Christian Educator, I know how challenging it can be to come up with creative ways to present the Bible and aid people in learning the Bible. I have taught about the friendship between Jonathan and David in the Old Testament using Facebook “walls.” I have seen countless churches do their own version of Jeopardy as a refresher for the unit they just taught in Sunday school.
GSN premiered its new game show, The American Bible Challenge, last week that presents Bible trivia in some creative ways. Host Jeff Foxworthy, yes the Foxworthy of “You might be a Redneck, if . . .” fame, guides three teams through various rounds of Bible trivia. In the first round, three teams of three buzz in to reply to the question from a list of multiple choice answers. It’s the middle-school version of Jeopardy. In the second round, the teams of three are reduced to two and each team is given their own question to answer, no buzzing. This gives each team a chance to show up on the board. In the third round, the teams of two are reduced to one. The third round is the “choose three” round. Each question has three correct answers. Points are awarded for each correct answer.
From here, the two teams with the highest scores enter the Revelation Round. The two teams are given ten minutes for “Bible study” where they cram as much as they can about the broad topic they will be quizzed on. So far topics have been “Women of the Bible” and “Animals in the Bible.” The first team is brought out and they answer as many questions in sixty seconds as they are given on the topic. Afterwards, the other team (who has been a sound proof room) comes on stage to answer the same set of questions in sixty seconds.
The first episode presented somewhat fairly easy questions, which left much to be desired. However, this week’s episode, the questions increased in difficulty. There were some questions that Megan and I, both seminary grads, didn’t have answers for. This was actually welcomed as we played along. There is a lot about the Bible that many do not know. And they present the trivia in some creative ways, including Biblical figure’s Facebook pages and tweets; fill-in-the-blank Bible verses from Tim Tebow’s eye; and Word of the Lord vs. Lord of the Rings.
The coolest part of the show is that the teams are playing for their favorite charities. Some have played for soup kitchens, local churches, and cancer-related non-profits. And, staying Biblical, no one is a loser. Each team walks away with some money for their organization. The winning team gets to come back at the end of the season and compete with other winning teams for an even bigger prize.
Aside from the awkardly staged gospel choir, the GSN might be on to something.