Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do you ask a question on the FAQ page of the Bible Bee website?
Answer: Please go to your Local Bible Bee Host with any questions that you might have. If your Host is unsure of the answer, he or she can ask a Bible Bee Headquarters Customer Service Representative for assistance. Headquarters can then post commonly asked questions on the FAQ page of the website. We want everyone to have the same information, and this is the best route with our small ministry team.
Recently Added Updates
Question: What version should my childen use to compete in the National Bible Bee now that NIV is no longer available?
Answer: We recognize that many of you are struggling with the unavailability of the NIV this year, because the publisher rescinded all printing rights for the 1984 version. We had a number of families who converted to the NASB or ESV versions last year in anticipation of this event and they report that their children adjusted rather easily to the change. With only 24 passages to learn/relearn this summer, it’s a perfect opportunity for the children to make a smooth transition to either of these versions.
Question: Do contestants need to be familiar with the biographical information contained in the vignettes or information from the recommended resources to do well on the Written Test?
Answer: According to the Competition Rulebook p. 17, #2 and #3 of the Written Test Round section, the Written Tests will cover comprehension of the Bible memory passages and a wide range of Bible knowledge that is based on the designated Bible book of the year, including word studies and cross references of that book. The test is not based on the Sword Study itself or on the supplementary materials.
Question: How many verses are included in the 24 Bible Memory Passages?
Answer: There are approximately 50 verses included in the summer's 24 Bible Memory Passage cards.
Question: Some of the dates and details included in the Sword Study regarding the historical context of the book don’t match the information I have found from other sources. How will I know what to answer on the Written Test?
Answer: If we ask questions on potentially disputed dates and details, we will either include a range that covers all potential dates or assure that the correct answer is the best and only obvious choice within the multiple choice answers.
Question: Why did my children receive T-shirts with the same Scripture verse as last year?
Answer: Many participants will receive shirts with the same passage as last year because the shirts were a gift and we must use the inventory that we have left. If you would like to purchase a new shirt separately, they will be available on the E-store soon.
Question: What if there is a discrepancy in the text between my Bible and Bible Memory cards?
Answer: The policy of the Bible Bee has been to place final authority in the printed Bibles that we send out (Competition Rulebook, p.7, #7). We feel that this backs up the message of our belief in an inerrant Bible in the original language. (SKF Statement of Faith). For the purposes of the contest, however, we must have one consistent standard on which to base our word-perfect standard for oral recitation. Due to slight edits that the publishers of Bibles make on a regular basis behind the scenes, our stock of Bibles that are sent out to the contestants are sometimes of unavoidably different versions of the same translation. This was the case with the King James in 2011, and this year, we cannot purchase ESV Bibles all of a consistent publication. Therefore, the 2013 Bible Memory cards are based on the 2011 ESV translation.
In light of these factors that are out of our control, and in the desire to avoid confusion, we will now base the test materials on the Bible Bee-issued memory cards, and the cards will be the final authority in the case of any discrepancy between the text on the cards and the Bibles that are sent to contestants. We encourage parents to clarify to their children that there aren’t mistakes in the Bible, but small variations are part of an ongoing translation/publishing process. We believe that the Bible is without error in the original language- it’s just another great reason to invest in Hebrew and Greek word studies to dig into God’s truth!
Registration and Materials
Question: If a family missed the registration deadline, can they still order the Sword Studies or Bible Bee Memory Cards?
Answer: Yes, most of the Bible Bee materials can be ordered from the E-Store.
Question: How can families access their Family Control Panel?
Answer: On the Bible Bee website or a Local Bible Bee microsite, they can click on “Login” at the top right of the page. With the username and password listed on their registration confirmation email, they can login. The original username is always the email address that was given at registration. Located underneath the login fields there is a “Forgot your password” option. If they cannot login after using the above information, families should contact Bible Bee Headquarters.
Question: Once registered, can contestants change their Bible version?
Answer: Yes, through July 15th. Parents can make this change on their Family Control Panel.
Question: Are the Sword Studies specific to different Bible versions?
Answer: No. The Sword Studies and Parent Guidebooks make reference to all the Bible Bee approved versions, but do not favor any one particular version.
Question: Will there be different requirements during the summer for those who hope to qualify for Nationals?
Answer: The objective of the "20 minutes a day, 2 cards a week" format is to bring as many families as possible into synchronized Bible study and Scripture memorization as a yearly habit. Those who qualify for an invitation to the National Competition will then be given extra verses and another Bible book as a challenge appropriate to their commitment level at the time that the National Qualifiers are announced. So, there will be no division of participants during the summer.
Question: What is inductive study? What are the benefits of studying the Bible inductively?
Answer: Inductive study is an investigative method that systematically observes and asks questions of the Biblical text which leads to more accurate understanding of Scripture. A clearer knowledge of the background setting, key words and the context of a passage allows us to properly interpret and apply God’s Word to our lives, which serves as a deterrent to superficial or faulty human interpretations of Scripture.
The inductive method also guides us into an intimate involvement with the Word, utilizing both understanding and critical thinking. Through this method both the big picture of the entire book and the detailed chapter by chapter flow are explored and charted. Those who invest in studying a book of the Bible to this depth come away feeling like they “own” the book. It also allows the Holy Spirit to use Scripture in our lives as we accurately understand it, and we are better equipped both to resist heresy and deception, and to explain and teach truth to others.
Question: Why do you ask contestants to study Hebrew or Greek words?
Answer: Hebrew and Greek word studies give us an accurate understanding of the use of the words in the passage being studied. Then you can focus on the meaning of the words and get a clear understanding of the meaning of the passage as it relates to the entire book.
For example, the English word "love" is translated from these Greek words: "phileo" which refers to brotherly love, "eros" which refers to romantic love and "agape" which signifies sacrificial, unselfish love. Understanding which specific Greek word that is translated as "love" is being used in a passage significantly affects the interpretation and application of that passage.
Question: I’m concerned that my child is at the young end of his age division, will he have a hard time completing the Sword Study?
Answer: The Sword Studies are written for the middle range of each age division, though obviously, there are wide variations in skill sets, abilities and maturity among growing children. In general, the younger children in the Primary and Junior groups may need some parental assistance and encouragement in completing their Sword Studies. The Young Explorer Sword Study is designed especially for the younger half of the primary division. The younger children who chose this book may have more success in working through and completing their study. Children ages four to eight should continue to have close, parental involvement in their study of the Bible. Those who chose to use the Young Explorer and compete in the Primary division should be adequately prepared if they do the suggested reading and digging deeper sections with their parents' assistance.
Question: If a family decides to not compete at the Local Contest, what procedure should they follow?
Answer: Before August 1st, parents may switch their children’s preference to “noncompeting” on the Family Control Panel so that no test materials will be prepared for them. We hope that all participating Bible Bee families will choose to attend the Local Contest to enjoy the celebration, and to support their fellow participants as they compete. Families who were previously registered as “competing” who are not planning to attend Locals at all should notify their Local Host for their planning purposes.
Question: If a family would like alternative test arrangements for a child with special needs, what should they do?
Answer: According to the Competition Rulebook, the starting point for modifications is a doctor's letter that must be submitted to SKF by July 1st. Each case will be considered individually, and Bible Bee Headquarters will consult with the local Host about making specific arrangements.
Question: Will all of the contestants be able to see their scores online, or just the winners?
Answer: All contestants’ scores for the Oral Test, Written Test and their Combined Score will be listed online by their Contestant I.D. number.Test materials will not be released or returned to families because they are the confidential intellectual property of SKF, just like an SAT or ACT test.
Oral Test Round
Question: What is the definition of a “passage?”
Answer: A passage is a verse or verses in consecutive order. A passage may vary in length from one to three Bible Memory Cards. The reference for the entire passage is always listed first on the front of the cards. Contestants will have the opportunity to recite up to 20 passages in 10 minutes.
Question: Is it possible for children to say all 20 passages at a normal rate of speaking in 10 minutes?
Answer: Yes, it is possible, if they know their passages very well.
Question: If a memory passage is long, will the Judges ask the contestant to recite certain verses rather than the entire passage?
Answer: The contestants will always be asked to recite the whole passage. We will not split memory passages or ask for a verse recitation from the middle of a passage.
Question: If contestants choose to pass some of their Oral Test passages, can they be asked extra passages beyond the 20 if they have remaining time?
Question: May contestants sing their Bible memory passages?
Answer: Singing of passages will be permitted in the Oral Test Round at the local and national level, but will not be permitted in the Challenge Rounds at Nationals. Contestants still need to make their words understandable to the Judges, by singing clearly and slowly enough for the Judges to score the recitations accurately.
Question: Can family members watch two separate Oral Tests when they have two children in the same age division?
Answer: If the Host is able to schedule both children consecutively in the same room, yes. The family members must remain in the room as the first child leaves and the second child comes in to complete the Oral Test. Siblings in the same age division may not observe one another, due to the unfair advantage it would give the second child. Siblings in other age divisions must stay with their age division.
Question: Can Runners be under 18 years of age?
Answer: No. Under the stipulations of the Volunteer Security Agreement, the Runners must be 18 years or older. While they do not have direct contact with the test materials, they do interact with the contestants and contestant families who have knowledge of the Oral Test.
Question: What is the difference between a “start-over” and a “self-correction?”
Answer: For a recitation to count as a true start over, contestants must stop on their own accord before finishing the verse and start over at the beginning of the passage, with or without the reference. The contestants may tell the Judges that they want to start over, or they may just begin again. The signal to the Judges for the start-over is to hear the reference or the first word of the passage repeated again. No points will be deducted for leaving out the reference when starting over. Only one start-over is permitted per passage.
Stopping and going back to a place in the middle of a passage and beginning again from that point is what we consider a “self-correction.” Self-corrections will be graded as using an incorrect word or words, as referenced in the Competition Rulebook under “Oral Test Round Judging Rules.”
Example of a self-correction:
"In the beginning, God created...hmmm.. God created the heavens and earth..."
Two points would be deducted for two additional words inserted in this example.
Question: Is the 10-minute period continuous, or does it only run when the contestant is reciting?
Answer: The 10-minute period begins as the Judge says the last word of the first Scripture reference and continues without pause until the contestant either finishes reciting the passages or the time runs out. If a contestant is having a “meltdown” or other emergency, the Judge may stop the timer until the contestant is ready to begin again with the remaining time on the clock.
Question: If a contestant is reciting the wrong passage and asks for a prompt, what should the Judge do?
Answer: Give the reference of the correct passage again. This is a clue to the contestants that they are on the wrong passage and must start over.
Question: If a child says “Start-over” and then immediately requests a prompt, should the Judge give the Scripture reference again or the first word of the passage?
Answer: The Judge may ask the child whether she is requesting the prompt for the reference or the first word.
Question: If a contestant repeats the reference more than once before reciting the passage, is that a start-over or a repeated word?
Answer: If the contestant hasn’t said the first word of the passage, it would be considered a repeated word, and each time he repeats the reference, one point would be deducted. If he begins to recite the passage, and then says the reference, it is a start-over.
Question: If a contestant substitutes a word, such as “In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth,” do the Judges count that as a one-point deduction or one point for omitting the right word and another point for using the wrong word?
Answer: It is a one-point deduction.
Question: If a child inserts what is obviously internal dialogue, “No, that’s not it…,” should the Judge count off every extra word that is spoken?
Answer: Ultimately, it is up to the Judge to discern the particular situation. Parents should help children to practice leaving such comments out of their recitations and if this happens during the Oral Test, the Judges can gently remind the children to only say what’s in the passage while reciting.
Written Test Round
Question: Are the Written Tests version-specific?
Answer: The Written Test is carefully crafted to be fair for all contestants, no matter what Bible version they use. Our test writers have all of the approved Bible Bee versions open throughout the creation of the tests and constantly compare word choices to make the exam as “version-neutral” as possible.
Question: How should contestants prepare for the Written Test?
Answer: Though the test is based on the Bible book itself, not the Sword Studies, we have provided the Sword Studies as a useful study tool. The purpose of the Sword Studies is to facilitate parents in discipling their children in learning how to study God's Word on their own and grow in their personal relationship with the Lord. On the Contest side, the test is not a rote memory test. A child who thoroughly understands the materials and context, and studies the Sword Study diligently will be well-prepared for the Written Test. Please remember that the questions are multiple-choice, so a child who knows the book very well should be able to choose the correct answer.
Question: Do the contestants need to know Hebrew or Greek to do well on the Written Test? Will a list of key words be provided for study purposes?
Answer: Questions on the Written Test will include Greek and/or Hebrew word studies from the Bible book designated for the year. Contestants will need to recognize Greek and/or Hebrew words written in English and recognize their meanings as they relate to the book, but we will not provide a list, as we don’t want to encourage rote memorization, but rather the habit of seeking understanding. You can find a list of resources to assist your family in word studies in the introductory section of the Sword Study.
Question: Do contestants need to memorize the designated book, or all of the listed cross references to do well on the Written Test?
Answer: Again, the test is not a rote memory test. A child who is familiar with the cross references and thoroughly understands the materials and context, and studies the Sword Study diligently will be well-prepared for the Written Test.
Question: May youth who don’t read well enough to understand the test have an adult help them read the words?
Answer: Contestants who have an approved special accommodation from SKF for reading assistance will be given that help, as arranged by the Host, Bible Bee Headquarters and the parents.
Question: When will National Qualifiers be announced?
Answer: On or before the Wednesday after the Local Contests.
Question: Are there still alternates for Nationals?
Answer: No. In order to allow everyone to start out at the same time, we will no longer have alternate National Qualifiers. The top-scoring 120 contestants in each age division will be invited to compete at Nationals. Due to ties and declined invitations, there may be more than, or fewer than 120 contestants in each age division who actually compete at Nationals.
Question: What type of proof of identity, age or citizenship is required to compete at Nationals?
Answer: National Qualifiers must send in a copy of their birth certificate or passport to Bible Bee Headquarters within two weeks of invitation to Nationals. If contestants were born in another country, they must also send in a copy of a document that proves their U.S. citizenship. Any contestants who fail to comply within the deadline for receiving these documents will be ineligible for the National Competition.
Question: Why does the Bible Bee require National Contestants to be U.S. citizens?
Answer: While we wish to encourage people from every background to participate and grow in their walk with Christ, due to the legal and tax difficulties in awarding monetary prizes and scholarships to non-citizens, the Bible Bee must reserve participation in the National Competition for U.S. citizens. This rule is clearly stated in the “Contestant Eligibility” section of the National Bible Bee Competition Rulebook, with which all families must indicate agreement during the online registration for the summer program. The Bible Bee welcomes all families to join in the summer program and to benefit from the family discipleship resources that we offer throughout the year.
Question: What costs are associated with competing at the National Competition?
Answer: The families of National Contestants are responsible for all costs of travel, lodging and meals for their attending family members. There is a a registration fee of $50 for participation in the National Competition.
Question: Are Local Event Teams responsible for raising money to help any National Qualifiers from their Local Bee to attend Nationals?
Answer: No. They may help the families if they choose to, but only the National Qualifier’s family holds the financial responsibility of all expenses associated with travel and participating at Nationals.
Question: How many Bible Memory verses will be assigned to National Contestants for 2013?
Answer: At the time that the National Qualifiers are announced, Primary contestants will receive 100 passages that contain approximately 300 verses. The Junior contestants will receive 150 passages, which include the Primary passages and an additional 100 verses, for a total of approximately 400 verses. The Senior contestants will receive 200 passages which will add up to approximately 600 verses and are inclusive of those passages assigned to the Primaries and Juniors. Additionally, all contestants should know the 25 summer passages. These levels of Bible Memory requirements are proportionate to what was assigned for Nationals in 2011, other than a slight correction for the Primary contestants because there were not enough passages for the Semi-Final Challenge Round at last year’s National Competition.
Question: Will test materials be released to families after Nationals?
Answer: Neither local nor national test materials will be released or returned to families because they are the confidential intellectual property of SKF, just like an SAT or ACT test. Scores from Nationals will be posted on the Bible Bee website within 30 days after the National Competition.