Bible Quiz, also known as Bible Bowl, is a competition between teams (often representing individual churches) over knowledge of a pre-determined section of the Bible. Various Protestant denominations, plus a handful of independent groups, sponsor these competitions. All of them take the form of a quick-recall game, similar to those used in many American schools but instead using the Bible as the subject of study and questions. Organizations which use the name "Bible Bowl" lean toward the format established by television's College Bowl in the 1950s. All groups feature teams competing to be the first to "buzz in" using an electronic lockout device, much like those still used in TV game shows such as Jeopardy! today.
Most organizations have seasons which roughly correspond with the U.S. school year (September–June), holding local competitions on a monthly basis, with playoffs beginning in March or April that lead to a national championship tournament. Contestants are usually students in grades six through twelve, with some organizations also offering a separate division for younger children.
Historically, most Bible Bowl/Quiz organizations have used either the New International Version or the King James Version as the translation for their programs. More recently some groups such as Bible Quiz Fellowship and World Bible Quiz Association have instead chosen the English Standard Version. Some groups also feature a "quoting bee" as an additional part of their competition. Similar to a spelling bee, a contestant is given a verse reference, and must quote the verse perfectly within a time limit (8–20 seconds, depending on the level of competition) or be eliminated.
Bible trivia questions are typically made up from the team coordinators' own Bible knowledge, or derived from other sources, such as Bible trivia board games (i.e. Trivial Pursuit for the Bible) or free online Bible trivia sources. Bible trivia websites online are increasingly common, which may be useful for sharpening skills and Bible knowledge.
Other organizations, such as Assemblies of God Teen Bible Quiz, Bible Quiz Fellowship, World Bible Quiz Association, Piedmont Quizzing Association, and Nazarene Bible Quiz, derive their questions solely from the Bible. Contestants come in teams of up to five persons, and have two or three teams quizzing in a round. Quizzers buzz in as the question is being read, using either a hand-activated device or by standing (activating an electric switch in their seat. The first quizzer to buzz in must answer the question; in many competitions, if that person interrupts the moderator before the end of the question, the quizzer must complete the question first and then give the answer. In these organizations, quizzers will often memorize entire books or sets of books, depending on the material given for the year. Those who compete at higher levels often will have the entire material memorized, recallable by any given reference or key word. They can quote from start to finish in one setting. Some organizations have competitions where they compete as to accuracy in quoting the material.
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