But more than that, I just like doing special things with my extended family. For us Black Friday is not just about saving money, it is about going on an adventure together. It is now a family tradition. Granted we could get the same deals by shopping online, but then we would miss the specialness of the pre-dawn coffee run, meeting new people while waiting in lines, or discovering treasures at new or unique shops we would not otherwise visit.
As I am preparing for Hebrews, 1&2 Peter, it occurred to me that this season is like Black Friday for Teen Bible Quizzing. What I mean is this: With the same amount of time and effort you typically set aside for Bible Quizzing, you can acquire a lot more knowledge from your studies this coming season. Not only does this year's scripture contain about half the number of verses as the previous season of John, but Hebrews, 1&2 Peter is the shortest of all the Bible Quiz seasons! Because of this you have an opportunity to do special things this year.
But be careful! I encourage you not to reduce your study time just because there are fewer verses to learn. Instead, use that same time to deepen your knowledge and strengthen your relationship with Christ! Better yet, learn the material in a new, unique way. For example, if there was ever was a season to be an According To or Memory Verse question specialist, this is it!
To help you decide how special you want to be this season, here are some statistical highlights specific to Hebrews, 1&2 Peter:
The books of Hebrews, 1&2 Peter (H12P for short) have the same number of chapters as John. However, John's 21 chapters contain 879 verses while H12P has only 469 verses. That means John averages 42 verses per chapter while H12P averages 22 verses per chapter.
Comparing total words, John has 15,635 while H12P has 7,736. Per chapter, H12P has on average 368 words. At the typical reading speed of 200 words per minute, you could read a chapter of H12P in 2 minutes or the entirety of H12P in just 39 minutes. Many of us have dozens of songs memorized, so surely we can memorize at least a few 2-minute-long chapters!
Curiously, H12P has 36% more unique words compared to John (948 compared to 697 in John). In fact, 18% of all the words used in H12P are key words, meaning they appear no more than three times each in the scripture. This significance of this statistic is that students who memorize the material will have a distinct advantage when one of those words appear in a competition question.
[Want to specialize in According To questions? Read how others have done it.]
You could read a chapter of Hebrews, 1&2 Peter in 2 minutes, or the entirety of those three books in just 39 minutes!
Though the study material is shorter, there are still about the same number of memory verses this season. Of the 85 memory verses, 55 span single verses and 30 span multiple verses. This is comparable the memory verses in John. Additionally, these 85 memory verses span 117 total verses.
What is different, however, is that these 117 total verses represent 25% of the quizzing scripture! That means several questions in a game will be based on a memory verse. In fact, the calculator app on my iPhone predicts an average of 7 questions each game will be derived from a memory verse. So, even if you don't get the jump on the 3 memory verses in a game, there are still about 4 other questions you should be able to answer.
Speaking of memory verses, there is one that you should learn to recognize immediately. At 63 words long, Hebrews 4:14-15 will take 24 seconds to recite if you speak at a normal 160 word/min pace. Yes, we all know Memory Verse Quizzers don't speak at such slow speeds. But if you take a few seconds to recognize this verse after a jump, even at ludicrous speed you may not finish it in time.
In addition to the knowledge advantage gained by memorizing the memory verses this season, the odds are in your favor if you pre-jump. Consider this:
- 46 (or 54%) of Memory Verses are unique at the first word
- 29 (or 34%) of Memory Verses are unique at the second word
- 6 (or 7%) of Memory Verses are unique at the third word
- 4 (or 5%) of Memory Verses are unique at the fourth word.
So if you jump as the Quizmaster is forming the first word of the verse, you would likely hear enough of the first word and have a 54% chance of it being unique to a single memory verse. If you happen to get part of the second word, you now have an 88% chance of identifying the memory verse!
What are the odds that none of the memory verses in a game are unique at the first word? Only 10%, or once every ten games. Conversely, all three memory verses will be unique by the second word in nearly 70% of your games!
My prayer is that Teen Bible Quizzing not only helps youth and adult leaders develop a devotion to God's Word and lifelong habits of Bible study, but it enables them to contribute to a vast pool of leadership that continually strengthens the church, both locally and around the world.
As a Quiz Director or Coach, this is a great year to advertise and recruit for Teen Bible Quizzing. Talk about how this season is special and unique and the perfect time to join!
As a Quizzer, remember that you will not have another opportunity to study these short books. Challenge yourself to make the most of it: Memorize or master the scripture, specialize in According To questions, or learn the memory verses. Whatever you do, finish the season with no regrets.