So what gives? Sure, we recently changed from NIV 1984 to NIV 2011, but that doesn’t explain how we went from 85 single memory verses in 1993 to a mixture of Singles and Multiples covering 116 verses in 2001! Important Bible verses are still important Bible verses, amirite?
Fortunately for all of us, Teen Bible Quizzing is a vibrant ministry! Over the years rules are changed, new types of questions are introduced, and the memory verses change each cycle. This keeps Bible Quizzing fresh and aligned with the changing dynamics and aptitudes of today’s youth.
Peeking behind the curtain, it turns out the majority of the Nazarene Bible Quizzing memory verse selection process begins in the very capable hands of one person – Karl Tabor.
Here is Karl’s story and how he chooses the memory verses that are considered for each season:
As I said - I found the Lord, and as I prayed at the altar I felt a hand on each shoulder - it was the guys (the younger brother and another friend), both my age, who had been inviting and bringing me to church for the past few years, and who both quizzed. As we walked back up the aisle I said, "Well, I guess now I'll have to do Bible Quizzing!" It got a little harder than that, because I got clobbered at every practice - and my aim was eventually to quit after my first year, since I would have then done what I said I would. But I got all excited about it at the bigger quizzes late in the year and set higher goals for the years to come.”
For my junior and senior years I got pumped, learned all the memory verses, and attempted total memory. I didn't finish that last, but got about 2/3rds each of Acts and 1 & 2 Corinthians memorized. In my years coaching and directing, I've always encouraged quizzers to learn the memory verses. Scripture memorization is the heart of Bible Quizzing.”
“At least since early 2007, when we selected the Luke verses for 2008-09.”
How did you get started selecting the Memory Verses for TBQ?
“For a long stretch of years, Bill Horning was - of necessity - leading about everything that needed to happen to keep the Bible Quiz Ministry going. I got Bill involved in Quizzing back in 1990, and he knew I had strong opinions about everything related to Bible Quizzing - so he got me involved with memory verse selection. At first we did it by committee (maybe 8 or more people?), but that got cumbersome for Bill - so he eventually asked me to do it each year. He reviewed my final selections and usually made a few changes.”
“That's hard to answer. Back in the day, before I was selecting and while we still only did single verses, we often had right at 100 verses. When we started using multiples, we eventually went to fewer "memory verses" - while covering more total verses. In the last few years, we decided to reduce it slightly. We like quizzers to memorize more verses - but we also want more quizzers to do them.
We like quizzers to memorize more verses - but we also want more quizzers to do them. ...We now aim for around 80-85 [memory verses].
- Read through the material very slowly and carefully - and jot down all the verses that could potentially be memory verses.
- Then I gather old lists as far back as I can, compile everything onto a spreadsheet and start making comparisons. This initial work is more labor and time intensive.
- I eliminate verses to pare the list down to something reasonable. This part is hard in other ways, thinking-wise. It's common for me to consider over 200 verses altogether (those I initially select, plus all that were used before - all these get equal consideration) to end up with 80-85 memory verses that span 110-125 total verses. I look for those verses that are very commonly memorized and quoted, and for verses that cover each idea as clearly and concisely as possible. I try not to choose too many verses that repeat the same idea - and this can be hard, especially when they are chapters apart.
- [Karl and the NPH Youth Bible Quiz Editor] look at verse starts as the list gets pared down. All verses have to be key by the fifth word, and we often aim for sooner. Sometimes we'll watch which memory verses are Multiples to assist with this last - but I prefer having Multiples be verses that naturally fit together, not artificially (i.e. - adjacent verses that should each be a memory verse - but that are not thought-connected). And of course, my final list is still subject to further review."
- The NPH Editor and USA/Canada Quizzing Consultant reviews the list for changes or to provide feedback. Once finalized, that list is sent to the NPH Editorial team.
- The NPH Editorial team reviews and suggests changes, if any, to the Memory Verse list.
- Next, the NPH Supervising Editor reviews the list for changes or approval.
- Finally, the NYI Youth Quiz Coordinator shares this approved version of the Memory Verse list with the Quizzing Advisory Council (QAC) for their final acceptance and approval.