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Philosophy of Verse Selection

How were the Memory Verses selected?
When selecting verses for this year’s National Bible Bee, we kept the mission of The Shelby Kennedy Foundation before us: To help families strengthen their personal relationships with the Lord and dynamically impact the world as ambassadors of Jesus Christ. As parents disciple their children to build a strong relationship with the Lord, they must begin with a strong doctrinal foundation.

Therefore, a great deal of effort was spent in choosing the 250 Primary Level verses to assure that they, in themselves, would provide a balanced, thorough description of the Gospel, salvation, and the resulting Christian life. The Junior and Senior Level verses were then chosen to build on that foundation by adding further depth and understanding. If a young person only participates in the Bible Bee for one year, we want him to have the basics of the Christian faith firmly committed to memory. If a child progresses through all 12 years of his Bible Bee eligibility, he will be exposed to an ever-growing variety of Scripture passages, always focused on strengthening his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

How does SKF decide the number of verses required?
Successful family discipleship is built upon a sustainable pattern of Bible study, Scripture memorization, and prayer. For most children, the Bible Bee will be a summer-long exercise. They will find that they can memorize far more Scripture than they would have thought possible, and families will find that the discipline of Scripture memorization, family Bible study, and family prayer is a natural, enjoyable process which can be maintained throughout the year…although at a much less competitive pace!

In the National Track, Primary age division children are accountable for memorizing 250 verses in the 12-week time period. Assuming five days for memorization work, one day for review and one day for rest, this breaks down to just over 4 verses per day. The Junior requirements could be met by memorizing 8 verses per day. At the Senior level, the daily workload is 13 1/3 verses per day - a formidable but manageable task, with concentrated effort.

For some families or children, the Timothy Track will be a better option. The Timothy Track contestants are responsible for a reduced number of Bible verses, that could be fully accomplished by memorizing 1 verse per day for Primary contestants, 1.5 verses per day for Juniors, and 2.5 verses per day for Seniors. Timothy Track contestants are not eligible for the Local Final Challenge Round or for the National Competition. They can, however, enjoy the summer family events, compete in the Local Bible Bee, and be recognized for their performance there. The Supporting Sibling Track is another option for youth who would like to use the study materials and participate in family activities, but do not wish to compete locally or work toward any set requirements in the Bible Bee.

Why are passages emphasized, as opposed to individual verses?
Our goal is to select verses that capture God’s heart, His ways and His person, learned as a whole, within the protection of the context of the surrounding verses. The meaning of verses is much more clearly understood when viewed within a passage of Scripture. This protection is particularly important in the Primary Level verses, which apply to the youngest participants.

Are verses repeated from year to year? How many relate to the Sword Studies?
In the actual breakdown of the verses, 10% (+/-) of foundational verses are repeated from the previous year. New foundational verses compromise approximately 35-40% of the selected verses, with the remaining 35-45% tied to the Bible knowledge book designated for the year.